Posts Tagged ‘rock 105.3’

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Interview With The Oracle: Preseason Edition

September 3, 2009

eddieIn what has become a regular segment, “The Oracle” Eddie Pappani joined me to talk Chargers football, where he made a few bold predictions in the process. For the complete interview, read on…

Jeff: Hey Oracle! If I haven’t mentioned it before, congratulations on becoming a dad for the first time! I think I can assume that you’ll raise her right…to be a Chargers fan of course!

Eddie: Are you kidding? My wife is born and raised in San Diego. She had a Chargers outfit before she was even born. Of course, she is ready.

Jeff: The Chargers have had a fairly uneventful training camp and preseason, although there are a few interesting stories that seem to be developing this week. What would you consider to be the biggest story of the preseason so far?

Eddie: I think the offensive line. The right side is a concern. Losing Mike Goff was not a big deal to me, as long as they got someone to replace him. I didn’t like the idea of going with journeyman Kynan Forney. He was on the team last year and didn’t see the field, and now he has been hurt with a neck injury. So we are gonna go with Louis Vasquez. I like the rookie, but he is a rookie. He is gonna be prone to mistakes. Worries me. Jeromy Clary needs to be better. He has not impressed me since being inserted into the starting lineup. Step up or step off, I say. If the Chargers are gonna go far, they need the O-line to play better. Period.

Jeff: One story I keep hoping to see includes AJ finding some O-line help. After watching the first three preseason games, what else has you concerned heading into the season?

Eddie: I think another big concern is my boy, Shawne Merriman. He looks to be favoring his knee. He may be doing it just to protect it during preseason, but it worries me. Come week 1 at Oakland, I hope I see #56 have that burst back.

Jeff: Have you seen anything that surprised you so far in the preseason?

Eddie: I think the play of some of the secondary has surprised me a bit. I like the way Cromartie and Jammer have been playing. That is kind of expected, but some other guys have looked good too. I am a big Kevin Ellison fan. I think the rookie safety will eventually take Clinton Hart’s job. I think that C.J. Spillman has made some plays. Brandon Hughes looked ok before he got hurt. Steve Gregory looks like he has improved. It’s good to see the secondary playing better.

Jeff: Which positions would you describe as the Chargers biggest strengths and weaknesses at this point?

Eddie: Linebacker is a big strength, so much so that the guys we cut might start for other teams. The addition of Kevin Burnett is huge. That guy will be a Pro Bowler. Larry English will be a nice situational pass rusher. I hope we keep Brandon Siler. He is a monster on goal line and special teams. It’s tough though. Who do you cut? Antwan Applewhite deserves a spot on this team. He plays hard. And you still have Merriman, Phillips, Cooper, Dobbins and Tucker. I would cut Jyles Tucker if anyone, but they signed him to a fat extension and probably won’t. James Holt, the rookie from Kansas would normally make this team but we are loaded. He may be a practice squad guy. Weakness is the right side of the O-line. Gotta improve.

Jeff: I’m with you on the linebacking corp, but another postion that has become surprisingly strong is wide receiver. And not just Jackson and Chambers, but Nanee, Floyd, and even Buster have looked great. Lets step away from the Chargers for a minute and discuss some of the other big stories from around the league. Jay Cutler is no longer a Bronco- what do you think of the big trade that kicked him out of the division and the drama that continues to surround the Broncos?

Eddie: I am fine with the Broncos being in disarray. They are a mess. It started with firing Shannahan. Mistake. He is gonna comeback in the league and win. Cutler was easy to rattle. He will be fine in Chicago though. Kyle Orton is not a good quarterback. They are gonna have to rebuild. Hopefully for a few years.

Jeff: What are your thoughts about the rest of the AFC West?

Eddie: It’s the Chargers and then everybody else. Honestly, I will be disappointed if they don’t sweep the entire division. Broncos, please. A mess. Chiefs? No chance. Bad offense and even worse defense. Raiders? I actually thought they might be better, until watching them in the preseason. JaMarcus Russell is terrible. They better start Jeff Garcia or they are done. Their defense is ok, but the Chargers should still whip them. 6-0 for the Chargers (in the AFC West).

Jeff: Brett Favre is back…again. What’s your take on the man who couldn’t retire?

Eddie: He is a liar. It bugs me. I think it is fine that he still wants to play, but just say that. Don’t do all this ridiculous retirement stuff. Lame. I will say he makes the Vikings a scary team and maybe the team to beat in the NFC.

Jeff: Michael Crabtree- reaction!

Eddie: Not surprised. Whoever is in his ear does not have his best intentions. He was drafted 10th. He doesn’t feel like he is a 10th pick. He feels like he is a top 3 pick. Sorry bud. This isn’t hard. You are the 10th pick. You will get paid accordingly. So stupid. It will only hurt him.

Jeff: OK, back to the Bolts. So we’ve gone a few years now breaking down what some people consider to be “the most talented roster in the NFL,” and I have to say I’m sick of the talk- how about you? Are you getting a similar vibe from the players and staff at Chargers camp?

Eddie: Not this year. The Chargers are playing it very low key. Not a lot of Super Bowl talk. Last year, that killed them. They thought they were better than they actually were. This year, it seems they are letting their talk happen on the field, which is great. The fact is they are super deep. They should make a run but they have to put in the work. Let’s hope they do. Jeff: They have a pretty tough schedule this season. How do you see the regular season playing out? Eddie: I have them about 11-5. I give them 6 wins from the division. That means they only have to win 5 other games to finish with 11 wins. Should happen. I give them wins against Miami, Philly, Cincinnati, Cleveland, and Washington. They could beat Baltimore, Dallas, Tennessee, Giants, and Pittsburgh. So any combo of those wins, should get them to 11 wins and easily winning the division.

Jeff: Time to take a deeper look into the crystal ball- who do you predict will be squaring off in Super Bowl XLIV?

Eddie: Wow, so early? I am gonna take the Giants in the NFC. And I will be the homer and pick the Chargers. It will be a rematch of our week 9 game. Rivers vs. Manning. Can’t ask for more.

Jeff: One last question: Hank Bauer- one of the 50 Greatest Chargers Ever?

Eddie: Loaded question. It depends how you break it down. The Chargers are asking fans to vote on their website. They let you pick 2 special teamers. I have a hard time not picking David Binn and Kasim Osgood in that category. But if I am just listing Top 50 regardless of position…sure, I’ll put Hank in there. How’s that?

Jeff: I’m never going to get you on one of those Hank Bauer questions. Oracle, as always, thanks for taking some time out of your day to talk football with me.

You can catch Eddie on the Chargers Countdown To Kickoff Show that starts 3-hours before kickoff, and also weekday mornings on The Mikey Show, both on Rock 105.3.

Jeff Williams

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Interview with The Oracle, Season II

August 16, 2008

Football is back, and with that comes the expert analysis of our favorite Chargers insider, “The Oracle” Eddie Pappani:

Jeff:  What’s up Oracle?  Dude, how psyched are you for some football?  Anyway, let’s get into it…
Once again, AJ Smith was able to keep the roster pretty-much intact while adding a few key players for depth.  Looking at the roster overall, what are our strongest and weakest positions?

Eddie:  Our strongest position is LB.  We have 11 guys that could start for an NFL roster.  We are gonna cut some guys that will be picked up quickly.  You look at Shawne Merriman, Shaun Phillips, Matt Wilhelm, Stephen Cooper, Derek Smith, Carlos Polk, Tim Dobbins, Brandon Siler, Anthony Water, Marques Harris, and Jyles Tucker, who do you cut?  Probably Polk and Harris.  Which sucks cause those guys are good.  Dobbins may be on the chopping block as well.  I think our weakest position is at safety still.  I like Weddle and Hart, but I think they may struggle.  I was hoping the team would sign local boy John Lynch just to sure up that spot.  We’ll have to wait and see.

Jeff:  Which player might be the biggest surprise to the fans this season?

Eddie:  Hopefully it will be Buster Davis.  He needs to prove why he was a 1st rounder. I would like to see him step up and take that #3 WR spot and make it his.  Legedu Naanee may surprise some people after being moved to WR as well. 

Jeff:  The Chargers’ offseason injury list was also a big part of the Pro Bowl roster the last couple of years:  Rivers, LT, Merriman, McNeill, Williams, Dielman, Gates.  Which of these is the biggest cause for concern as we enter this season?

Eddie:  Gates.  We need him healthy.  He is probably 80% right now.  I am concerned that the injury may linger, but hopefully it won’t.  LT is fine.  Merriman will be fine.  Rivers will be fine.  Not having Hardwick for 7-8 games is not good either.  Luckily they signed a good one in Jeremy Newberry.  He has to stay healthy until Nick is ready. 
 
Jeff:  It’s well known that the Chargers front office and fans have huge expectations for this season.  What is the vibe you get from the players you’ve talked to during this preseason? 

Eddie:  One game at a time. The team believed some of it’s press clippings at the beginning of last season and they paid for it.  They have a rare opportunity this season and need to handle their business game by game.  No more looking ahead. 

Jeff:  The Chargers play the St Louis Rams this weekend.  Stephen Jackson of the Rams is holding out with no signs of returning to camp any time soon.  What do you think of player holdouts in the NFL?  By the way, Jackson was going to be my keeper in fantasy football this year.  He is absolutely killing me!

Eddie:  That sucks.  He needs to get into camp.  I understand this is a business and he will get what he wants.  It’s tough because as a fan it really blows when guys like that hold out.  I want to see him on the field.  I hope they work it out before the season starts, or your fantasy season is over!

Jeff:  I don’t even want to think about that.  Get into camp Jackson!  Are you ready to give your prediction for the Chargers 2008 season?

Eddie:  Umm, no.  It makes me nervous.  This is a legitimate Super Bowl contender.  They have to stay healthy and get hot at the right time and they can win it all.  How’s that?  Looking at their schedule they should win 11 games no problem.  

Jeff:  Talk about the Chargers Countdown To Kickoff show.  Can we expect any changes?  Has Hacksaw pushed his way on to it yet?

Eddie:  Hahaha…no.  Hacksaw will remain in his coffin until his afternoon show weekly.  They don’t let him out of the home on weekends.  It’s still me, Lew Bush and Laz.  We are the Dream Team.  Why change that lineup?

Jeff:  Nice.  Lastly, have you seen former Charger Girl Shantel’s performance in the Cheerleader Playoffs and the Chargers Cheerleader auditions on the NFL Network?  I’m surprised that I haven’t heard any drops on the Mikey Show.

Eddie:  To be honest, I haven’t.  I have to make time to check it out.  I have heard a lot about it.  She is ridiculous.  We can’t make her look any worse than she does every Friday on the show herself!  Boo Ya!

Jeff:  Looking forward to this season, and can’t wait to hear your takes throughout!  Thanks Eddie!

Eddie Pappani can be found on  Rock 105.3 pretty much every day of the week.  You can find him on the Fantasy Freakin Football Show and the Chargers Countdown to Kickoff show 4-hours before kickoff on gamedays.  You can also catch him every morning on the number-1 rated morning show, The Mikey Show, from 6am to 10am.

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