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Fernando Ramirez | LA Chargers Reporter, The Sporting Tribune

Amy Lawrence Show / Amy Lawrence
The Truth Network Radio
October 17, 2023 5:57 am

Fernando Ramirez | LA Chargers Reporter, The Sporting Tribune

Amy Lawrence Show / Amy Lawrence

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October 17, 2023 5:57 am

Los Angeles Chargers reporter Fernando Ramirez from The Sporting Tribune joins the show to recap a tough MNF loss to the Cowboys.

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For important information, visit Principal.com slash disclosures. Our guest, Fernando Ramirez, who covers the Chargers for the Sporting Tribune, is now with us. He's got his own story to tell.

Fernando, thanks so much for joining us. What happened? Oh, hi, Amy. Super secret home base. I'm like, maybe I shouldn't disclose where I'm at, but no, I'm just kidding with you.

That's pretty funny. Super secret home base. I'm gonna start using that line now. I hope you're okay with that. I'm okay with that. That's fine. But you're not home, so where are you?

I'm on my way. I still live in San Diego, so I'm on my way driving from LA to San Diego. I left the stadium at about probably closer to almost 11 o'clock and my tail light was out and I got pulled over and the cops like, hey, there's fog.

I know. Where are you driving from? I'm like, oh, I was covering the Charger game and then he goes, oh, and I said, yeah.

And then he's like, well, drive home safe. Just your tail lights out. Make sure you're aware of it.

It's kind of foggy out here. I'm like, I was like, all right, I appreciate it. Thank you so much. Bye bye bye. So that was my little, my little, my little mishap, but everything's good to go. And so yeah, I'm on the road driving back down to San Diego.

What did that happen at the exact time that you were supposed to join us on the show? Exactly. Yeah. I mean, what are the odds of that?

Right. And, and I'm in my eye watches ringing and I'm like, oh my God, I'm like, I'm missing this. And I wasn't going to tell him, Hey officer, can you give me five minutes? I got to say, Hey, who knows? Maybe he's a fan of yours.

And he would have been like for Amy. Yeah, sure. Go ahead. So maybe I should have plugged. Maybe I should have plugged you. I should have plugged you and been like, Hey, it's Amy show.

Like you got to let me jump on there. So maybe next time I'll use that. You can name drop next time.

Sounds good. Exactly. Exactly.

You might know who you are, who I am, but you'll know who you are. I appreciate that. So Fernando, let's talk about the atmosphere at SoFi. I mean, there were times where it seemed like it was AT&T stadium. How loud was it for the Cowboys fans? Uh, it was pretty loud. I mean, at times when it was especially third, third and long, uh, you can hear defense, defense loud, uh, for the Cowboys. You know why it felt like we were at AT&T stadium because anytime you would look up at the, at the, uh, at the monitors, like before the game, Jerry Jones on set with ESPN, Jimmy Johnson and, uh, and Jerry Jones embraced at the 50 yard line. Like it just, that just made it feel even more like it was, uh, it was a Cowboys home game, but, uh, but I mean, it did get loud for the chargers at times and, and charger fans were loud, but I mean, it's California who doesn't want to come out here. Who doesn't want to, I mean, if you're, especially with some of the opponents that they have coming out, Detroit, uh, they have the bills coming out right before Christmas.

I mean, you're in the snowy weather. You're going to want to get out of there and, and come out to sunny, sunny California. So, and we have the great, the best Mexican food in the whole country. So I wouldn't blame them for wanting to come out here. How frustrating is that though, for the chargers players and coaches to not feel like they have a home field advantage? Well, I mean, they've been, they've been doing better and I mean, I guess having Justin Herbert helps. I think Justin Herbert had gained them more and more fans that are up here are, have they, they've gotten up in LA. I still know that a lot of fans drive from San Diego, from Tijuana up to the, to the games as well. They've established a fan base, just that it's like last week for the rare though, two weeks ago for the Raider game, there was, uh, it was probably 55, 45, 50, 50 right around there.

Like it wasn't a, a sea of, uh, of black, uh, and silver. Like it was a couple of years ago, they have gotten better when it comes to this, but, uh, but I know former players voice their frustration a little bit more like Melvin Gordon, uh, guys like that. And some of the guys right now on the team, they really don't, they don't really see it like that. Uh, I think they're more quiet about it because like I said, I think they have built a, uh, a fan base here. They've connected with the community.

They've done more stuff. And again, having a guy like Justin Herbert, uh, really helps it. So I think they've helped, they've helped grow that, but obviously when it comes to the Cowboys, it's gonna, they're going to overrun whatever stadium they go to just because their fan base, I mean, honestly, people want to say, Oh, is it a ramp down or is it a charger down? No, this is a Raiders and Cowboys down.

Like the Cowboys have training camp out here. The Raiders are obviously going to be loved because ice cube, uh, easy. All of these guys were Raider guys and they love the Raiders and the Raiders were in LA. So I think it's more of a Raiders and Cowboys town, but, uh, I think the charges are slowly, but surely building a fan base out here. Fernando Ramirez is joining us now, thankfully did not get a ticket and is working his way home through the fog. He's a chargers reporter for the sporting Tribune with us here after hours on CBS sports radio.

And we appreciate him doing a bit of a pivot and making sure he can still hop on the show. Um, I know that for the chargers a long time, the reputation has been, you don't want to have faith in them because they're going to let you down. They find unique and creative ways to lose. And yes, with Justin Herbert and some of the other, um, incredible weapons that they have on both sides of the ball, they've had some impressive wins. They tend to get in these games that are separated by one or two scores tops.

But a lot of times it's single digits. What is it that's missing for them? Fernando, why can't they quite get over the hump and join the elite in the NFL? Uh, I mean, to be completely honest, I just think it, it started it's everything. It's not just the players. It's every, it starts up top trickles down to the bottom.

I just think it it's everything. And, and, uh, I think it starts at the top and comes down general manager, head coach and everything. And honestly like they have, like you said, they have good players, but, uh, it just, uh, it just has them materialized. I mean, last year they go in with the momentum going into the last game of the season and then boom, Mike Williams dropped in the second quarter and, uh, you go into the playoffs, they have that game against the Jaguars. And then they come out this season, they start rolling to, uh, even their wins against Minnesota and the, and the Raiders aren't convincing at all. Um, and then they lose this one of the Cowboys, Amy, they've only, they, the three losses, if you combine it two points against the, uh, dolphins, uh, what was it? Two points against the dolphins, three points against, uh, the Titans and then three points today.

So that's eight points. They've lost three, three games with eight points. So it's just, uh, it, you, you would hope that they can finally get over the hump and, and Justin Herbert had seen that white knight that potentially did get this fan base or not the family team over the hump, but I mean, they're going to have to get better playmakers tonight. No Mike Williams really is hurting them. I mean, Quinn Johnson just hasn't been integrated into this team. Um, Josh Palmer's in a serviceable job, but you're missing that Mike Williams element. You need other guys to step up like, uh, Gerald Everett, Donald Parham, uh, Austin Eckler, the running back to the hole and just nobody else kind of goes at it. So it's like, okay, Herbert has to throw the ball 50 times. And, and that's, that worked against the Vikings, but it just didn't work tonight. So, uh, it just a little, it's a little, uh, well, I shouldn't even say tonight, last night, because obviously it's a new day, but, uh, but yeah, it just, it's a continued run that even happened back in San Diego where they would like, I remember that I got, people were getting mad at Mario crystal ball for the fumble the other day. I remember there was a game where Phillip Rivers was under center against the chiefs. All they needed to do Amy was down the ball, take a knee, and then boom, it would be, uh, um, the game would be over. It was on Halloween night. It hit Phillip Rivers, moved his hand before Nick Hardwick snaps it, hit his hand, fumbled, chiefs recover, they go down the field, kick a field goal, win the game.

And that's how she wrote. It just, it just happened to these guys for some reason. And, and it's really unexplainable, but if you had to put your finger on it, it just, it's the team as a whole in a sense, all the way from management to, to, uh, the players. Except that leadership can change that.

Right. Uh, so as you point out, there's, there's a lack of discipline at times. Um, it seems as though they're, they're not all pulling in the same direction. If it does start at the top and whether it's ownership, we know we're not, not going to see a team sale or anything, but whether it's ownership, general manager coaches, if it does start at the top, then does that mean the coaching staff is under fire or the coaching staff is on a hot seat? I mean, it doesn't look good, especially, I mean, but there's positives and there's negatives to what Brandon Bailey has done. Like the players are behind them. They still say they're behind them.

If you ask the players, do you feel like he is the right coach? Yeah, I know. Brad, it's on us. It's on us. It's on us. It's on us.

And then, uh, and then you, you see the results and you're kind of like, well, like there's times like brand. One of the things about Brandon Bailey is defense. The defense has not been able to stop guys. Like, yeah, they held the Cowboys and I did 20 points. They stopped the run, but at the same time they made that they, what the, what the 49ers did last week, the dad Prescott got unraveled tonight and the dad Prescott looked like he was making, he was picking their defense apart. He, uh, he was seven for seven when he targeted CD lamb four for four with Brandon cooks, when they needed a clutch moment for him, he got it. And he was able to drive the, the team down the charge.

Couldn't make stops at certain points. And that falls on, on Brandon's daily because of his defense. I mean, this is your defense.

You've now had three years with it. These are your guys. The only guy that you really inherited are Joey Bosa and Derwin James and Kenneth Murray. Everybody else is basically and Michael Davis, but everybody else is basically a guy that you've, uh, that you've wanted it. And it just hasn't worked.

That scheme hasn't worked. Um, for some reason, Amy, I don't know why they just do not press, uh, receivers. That's very surprising, especially when Tyree killed did a number on you a couple of weeks ago, Justin Jefferson did a number on you before he got hurt.

And now CD lamb does a number on you. And it's like, it's just the same continuation of, uh, of stuff happening where they're at third and 18, they get the first down there at third and eight, they get the first day. Like they just can't come up with stops at clutch moments and, and that kind of falls on them. So, yeah, I think in a sense there, uh, he, he, he should be, well, he is on the hot seat just because of not, but they won't make a change during the season, but I'm sure they're going to be, if they don't make the playoffs, there's going to be conversations after the season about, uh, moving forward, what's going to be the best decision for them. If even Brandon failure going with an offensive minded coach or, or what those are. But I, I do think that there is a, that seat is, um, there are going to be questions after the season if they don't make the playoffs.

Hmm. So Fernando, we saw Justin Herbert miss on a couple of big throws, one in particular that stands out Keenan Allen wide open up the left sideline. He just threw the ball over his head. I mean, there were a couple of others where he just wasn't in sync, but yeah, it seemed as though there's far more of a, a choice that concerted effort to throw the ball as opposed to run it. And I know the Dallas defense, they do pride themselves on stuffing the run. What impact though has Kellen Moore made as the new OC?

Well, I mean, yeah. And I think with those throws, I just think the Cowboys were hitting Justin so much that at one point I think he, he might've gotten flustered a little bit. I mean, I doesn't take away from who he is in the quarterback and what he's meant means that it's franchise, but at the same time you could tell he was a little bit flustered. He was under duress a lot during this game. I think, uh, by halftime, I think it was 45 or 50% of the snaps that he had taken or drawbacks that he had had, he had been under pressure.

So he was hitting like, I think it was eight or nine times. So, and that's not counting the runs that he had, but, um, but going back to your, what was your question about Kellen Moore? It's okay. Kellen Moore. Yeah. Yeah.

Sorry about that. So Kellen Moore, uh, what, what has really kind of happened with the chargers is, and, and I'm leaning more towards what they do in the, in the second half of games, the charges are one of the worst teams in the NFL last year. They w they went nine, nine games straight without scoring a, uh, a third quarter touchdown. And in the fourth quarter, they were, they were, they would get out to big leads and they would lose them.

That's what happened last year. This year, they're kind of maintaining their scoring almost consistently every single quarter. Uh, I know they're, they're fitting the NFL, I think in fourth quarters and second half scoring. So that's really improved last year.

I think there were like nine, eight, I think there were like 28 in second half scoring. So he's really improved a lot of the things that the charges have done. The only thing is, besides that first game of the season, the running game hasn't really been made an impact. And I guess that's going to take some time with Austin Eckler easing in and, and everything. So, uh, but the running game, it's suffer, it hasn't been good.

Um, but other than that, I mean, it's been positive. What he's done is just, they just need to kind of step up, uh, especially late in games. I mean, against the, the Miami dolphins, um, late in that game, big banjo dialed up a lot of pressure at the end of that game. And, uh, it really ruined the comeback that the charge could have had, uh, same thing happened tonight. And they just, it's just been one of those things where, uh, yes, Dylan Moore has been a positive, but there's also little wrinkles here and there where you see some of some things that you're kind of like, Oh, like, well, why, why would this play like in Tennessee? So that last, uh, the last red zone opportunity that they had at the end of the game, there were some questionable calls, just some questionable decisions being made. And then on the, in overtime, when they first got the ball, there were some questionable, uh, play calling there as well.

So, uh, just, yeah, there's a lot of positives, but there's also some negatives if we're being completely honest about, uh, some questionable things more about, uh, Kellen Moore, uh, as the offense coordinator here, but yes, he has been better than what Joe Lombardi was for these guys last year, but there are still some question marks, uh, when it comes to Kellen Moore. Fernando, I feel badly for the woman who was holding up the sign that you tweeted flew from Canada for Eckler's return and a game ball because neither one of those went according to plan. No, no. And honestly, I felt bad for her as well. The other, the other sign that I don't know if you saw my other tweet, Lance Bass, with, I think the sign of the night, to be honest, uh, I don't know if you saw that, but he's like, not Taylor, he held up a sign that said not Taylor Swift. So I thought that was, uh, hilarious. I thought that was such a good, I know he was waiting for that one too. So I thought that was hilarious that he pulled out that sign and said not Taylor Swift. So, uh, yeah, there was some, uh, there was some interesting signs out there, uh, tonight, especially the lady on ESPN. Oh my gosh, crazy for the chargers.

Yeah. I was like, she must've made a cue. I gotta know if you saw that when Colorado lost that game on Friday, when they lost that 25 point and 29 point lead, there was a guy crying in the stands. I'm like, he made a bet and he got, he is going to be sleeping under the freeway in a cardboard box because of the bet that he made. And, and I think this girl must've had a huge bet on this game too, because she was celebrating like she was on the price is right.

To be honest, she definitely was very intense and very engaged. Uh, speaking of not Taylor Swift, what are the chances that Travis Kelsey and Taylor Swift is still a thing when the chiefs are in Los Angeles coming up on January 7th. So it's a very last week of the regular season. What do you think? Are they still a thing? Does she show up in LA?

Amy, you're trying to get the Swifties to come after me. Really? I think the business transaction will still be a thing by the time they come out to LA. I'm oh, you're not buying that. It's real. You're not buying the holding hands and the showing up on SNL. Uh, there's, there happens to be cameras involved every single time.

There's a affection and everything. So I don't know. I don't know. Hey, new heights podcast, uh, the they've gone up in ratings.

He's on every other, Hey, have you ever seen a non quarterback being so many commercials on TV? I'm asking you, I mean, I'm not just that, but you know, he and his brother were at the Phillies game and so they were on TV at the Phillies game too. I mean, I'm telling you like they're, they're really taking their lives to new heights. I think that's, I think they foresaw this and they're like, you know what, let's call it new heights.

Like, let's take this to a whole, like they're taking their life to a whole new level with this. But, uh, but Hey, I'm, I'm no one to jump. I'm single. I'm no, I'm no one to judge anybody else's relationships. I'm happy for both of them. If they're, if they love each other.

Congratulations to both of you, but I'm pretty sure there'll still be a thing. And I think in LA, I think she'll be present if she doesn't have a sordid cause you know, it's funny. I checked. Will she be in Kansas city next week?

No, she will be in Miami cause she has a concert in Miami. Yeah, I checked. I checked. I was like, I wonder if Taylor's so good.

I have a podcast as well. So I checked and I'm like, I wonder my clothes. Like, why don't you check to see if Taylor Swift is going to be there? And I'm like, no, it's not going to be there. She'll be in Miami. So, uh, but I think she will make her way out to LA for, uh, for that game. If there's still a thing, I'm pretty sure she'll make her way out and I'm pretty sure we won't be talking about, was there more chiefs or charger fans? We'll be talking about, was there more Swifties or NFL fans at that game?

Interesting. Cause I'm not sure how much she needs the pub, but as you point out, the NFL has gotten a lot of extra pub for it as have the Kelsey's and certainly the chiefs. They're selling more gear because now Swifties are, are buying chief's gear, which is kind of funny. Can you imagine if Swifties are the reason why there's no more turf in the NFL? Of course. Let's, let's put that all on Taylor and see what else you can get changed. Absolutely.

I like it. Can you, can you get the, the, the, some of this hitting some of these things, can you get that solved to Taylor? Like, yeah, the roughing the passer.

Can you get them to lay off on roughing the passer calls? Exactly. Like, can you, can you, can you help us out?

And while you're at it, I mean, if you, if you have a job for some of us, like, we'll take a job. I mean, if you need them shameless self-promotion for Fernando Ramirez, you can find him on Twitter at real F Ramirez. And he's none worse for the wear after getting pulled over when he was supposed to be on the radio last hour.

We appreciate his humor to Chargers reporter for Sporting Tribune and clearly is not opposed to Taylor Swift making an appearance at SoFi come the opportunity. All right, Fernando, we're glad you're safe. Thank you so much for a couple of minutes. Thank you, Amy. Have a great, great or great morning. Yes, exactly.

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Whisper: medium.en / 2023-10-17 13:36:13 / 2023-10-17 13:46:44 / 11

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