Schottenheimer: Meester's play was dirty

Updated: October 11, 2004, 8:55 PM ET
Associated Press

SAN DIEGO -- Marty Schottenheimer, a one-time NFL linebacker, was in a fighting mood on Monday.

The San Diego Chargers coach went off during his weekly news conference when he was asked what he thought about nose tackle Jamal Williams punching Jacksonville center Brad Meester at the end of a play in the second quarter of the Chargers' 34-21 win on Sunday.

Schottenheimer wasn't happy with Williams, because he drew an unnecessary roughness penalty that added 15 yards to Jacksonville's first scoring drive.

"It was unnecessary. I saw what happened to him -- a guy cheap-shotted him, frankly. But there's no place for that," Schottenheimer said.

He had even sharper words for Meester, who apparently hit Williams from behind near his knees.

"Had I been the player, I probably would have responded in a little different fashion, at another time, when I was the first one in, not the second one in," Schottenheimer said.

If he were a player, he would have told Meester: "Don't do that crap to me."

Schottenheimer then used a harsher term to describe Meester's actions.

"I apologize for the vulgarity, but I tell you what, there's no place in this business for what happened there," Schottenheimer said. "You've got to have respect for people that play in this game, on your team as well as the other team."

Schottenheimer indicated that Meester's actions had been reported to the league office.

Schottenheimer gave his players Monday off. They'll return to practice Wednesday to start getting ready for Sunday's game at Atlanta.

Falcons quarterback Michael Vick and Chargers running back LaDainian Tomlinson will always be linked because Atlanta took Vick with the top pick in the 2001 draft after obtaining it from San Diego for the fifth pick, which San Diego used on Tomlinson, along with receiver Tim Dwight and other picks.

Schottenheimer joked that he might have the diminutive Dwight emulate Vick during practice.

"But we don't have anybody who throws it left-handed," Schottenheimer said.

"We all recognize the great athletic skills that he has. It certainly creates another dimension that you have to address."

Schottenheimer planned to sit down with his defensive coordinator, Wade Phillips, who held the same job with the Falcons the last two seasons, and was interim head coach the final three games last year after Dan Reeves was fired.

"I'm sure he has some thoughts, having been there," Schottenheimer said.

Tomlinson sat out the fourth quarter Sunday after reaggravating a groin injury but is expected to play against the Falcons.


Copyright 2004 by The Associated Press