Sunday, November 17, 2013
No happy homecoming for Liuget
By Eric D. Williams
MIAMI GARDENS, Fla. -- It’s not the homecoming San Diego Chargers defensive end Corey Liuget imagined, playing in front of his family and friends in his return to his hometown of Miami.
The third-year pro out of Illinois finished with three tackles, no sacks and no quarterback hurries.
Even worse, Liuget totaled two penalties against the Miami Dolphins, including a costly roughing the passer personal foul that wiped out a defensive turnover for the Chargers.
“I have to do my job, and I did it very poorly today,” Liuget said. “I had some of the biggest and costly penalties of the game. I had a pretty awful game. It was different today.”
Liuget attended Hialeah High in Miami, where he earn all-state honors in football and also wrestled. Liuget had been San Diego’s most consistent defensive lineman up until Sunday’s game.
His costly penalty occurred in the second quarter. On second-and-6 from San Diego’s 12-yard line, safety Eric Weddle forced Miami receiver Brian Hartline to fumble while trying to cross the goal line.
Cornerback Shareece Wright recovered the fumble, and the Chargers appeared to thwart a promising Miami scoring drive.
However, Liuget was whistled for taking Miami quarterback Ryan Tannehill down late on the play.
“Once I hit him I was like, ‘Oh crap, the ball is gone,’” Liuget said. “When I saw him on the ground, at first I thought I had a sack and I was like, ‘Let me help him up.’ And then I saw the flags coming.”
Liuget had one of five defensive off sides penalties for San Diego, as Tannehill did a nice job of altering his cadence to take advantage of the Chargers’ antsy defensive linemen. Although he had a sack, Thomas Keiser also had three of the five defensive line of scrimmage infractions.
“It was shown a little bit on film,” Weddle said. “But after the first couple series you should be adjusted to it. And we weren’t. So there’s no explanation you can give us as to why you should continue to be off sides. It’s unacceptable, and they know that. And our guys will learn from it.”
Brenner faces hometown team: A San Diego-area native who prepped at nearby Oceanside High, Miami offensive lineman Sam Brenner got his first career start against his hometown Chargers.
With guard Richie Incognito and tackle Jonathan Martin already out indefinitely due to the controversy involving those two, and center Maurkice Pouncey a late scratch due to an illness, Brenner was added from Miami’s practice squad to the team’s active roster this weekend, and started at left guard for the Dolphins.
Brenner was an undrafted rookie free agent out of Utah who went to training camp with the Dolphins, was released during final roster cut downs and signed to Miami’s practice squad.
“I was just really grateful for the opportunity -- that these coaches gave me this opportunity to come up and play tonight – the opportunity to make this team better and contribute to a win,” Brenner said. “I was just really excited about that.”
Injury update: Cornerback Johnny Patrick suffered a head injury and did not return for San Diego. Rookie receiver Keenan Allen appeared to suffer a knee injury late in the second half, and was replaced by Seyi Aijrotutu, who had a couple big catches on San Diego’s final drive of the game during the two-minute drill.