SAN DIEGO -- What feels better on the football field, making a devastating block or a game-breaking catch?
San Diego receiver Eddie Royal had to actually think about question, but eventually settled on his job title.
“It seems like an easy answer, but it's kind of close,” Royal said “Because you can get so excited about that block -- and it may have nothing to do with the play -- but you just get real excited. But I will go with the explosive play though.”
San Diego coach Mike McCoy credited the blocking of his receiving group in helping to create explosive plays for the Chargers offensively.
Explosive plays -- passing plays of 20-plus yards or running plays of 12-plus yards -- are usually created by good downfield blocks by receivers that allow the ball carrier to penetrate the back end of a defense.
The Chargers have 54 passing plays of 20-plus yards this season, No. 4 in the league. San Diego also has amassed 622 yards after contact running the ball, which is tied for No. 10 in the NFL.
McCoy says he stresses to his receivers that running plays aren't opportunities to take plays off.
“I'll tell the receivers all the time, do you want Ryan Mathews not to pick up the blitzing linebacker when he comes so then you can't catch a pass?” McCoy said. “It's a matter of being unselfish and that's what we tell the receivers here. If you want to catch some passes, you better block for the backs also.”
McCoy pointed to the block Vincent Brown made against Denver that allowed Ryan Mathews to waltz into the end zone on a 23-yard run as an example of the importance of receivers blocking downfield. Check out the play here.
At 5-10 and 185 pounds, McCoy called Royal one of the best blocking receivers in the NFL.
“It's really about effort, and not wanting your guy to make the tackle,” Royal said. “You never want to be responsible for, ‘Ah, if I would have just got my guy he would have scored a touchdown.' You never want to have that feeling, or that thought cross your mind. So you just have to do everything you can to stay in front of that guy.
“You're not always going to dominate the guy and he's going to end up on his back. You may end up on your back. But as long as you did your job and your guy didn't make the tackle, you did your job.”