CHARGER REVIEW : NOTEBOOK : Despite Matching Coryell's Record, Henning's Job Safe

General Manager Bobby Beathard went for a long walk down the beach Sunday night to consider the plight of the Chargers, but he reported later that "nothing's changed" in regards to the status of Coach Dan Henning.

The Chargers have lost 10 of their last 11 games and 12 of their last 14. In Henning's three years with the Chargers, he has compiled a 13-27 record.

The Chargers dismissed Coach Don Coryell after the team opened 1-7 in 1986. Henning is 1-7 this season.

"I can't say it's the most disappointing loss, because I said that after the last two," Beathard said. "But it almost seems as if they're more disappointing by the week. The way the guys played so hard, it's too bad it had to end as it did."

Beathard indicated earlier that Henning will remain coach of the Chargers through the end of the 1991 season.

What happens to the Chargers if they have to play against a really good quarterback?

The Chargers have made Jay Schroeder, Jim Everett and Bernie Kosar look like direct descendants of Joe Namath the past three weeks. The trio has combined to complete 60 of 90 passes for 700 yards with five touchdowns and two interceptions.

"There has certainly been a consistent pattern there," said Henning. "We have to do something about the pass defense."

After hitting seven of his first 15 pass attempts, Kosar did as he pleased. He went on to complete 19 of his next 27 passes to give Cleveland a 30-24 overtime victory.

"I thought we did a pretty good job of stopping the run," Henning said. "We've had three weeks in a row where they (opponents) have hit a lot of passes. At the same time, we're not getting any turnovers. That's a concern; we have to do something about it."

Henning loses and loses again. The Chargers' public relations staff distributed handouts before the game and made note of Henning's 22-43-1 record as head coach of the Atlanta Falcons.

So much for public relations. The Chargers' staff added two more losses to Henning's record in Atlanta. The record books indicate that Henning's mark was 22-41-1 before being fired. But what's two more losses?

Homefield advantage?

San Diego Jack Murphy Stadium was adorned in orange and brown posters showing the support of the large number of Browns' fans who attended Sunday's game. The field-level stands behind the end zone even had a "Dawg Pound" look to it.

Each year the Browns Backers conduct a convention at an away game, and this year they chose San Diego. There are 111 Browns Backers groups around the country with the Southern California chapter being the largest with about 2,000 dues-paying members.

Cleveland officials said the Browns Backers purchased more than 3,000 tickets for the game with the Chargers.

Sign on the end zone wall--before it was removed: "Dan Henning--You must win???"

It's Flag Day when the Browns play.

The Browns drew 11 penalties a week ago in a 42-17 loss to Washington, while the Redskins failed to attract a single penalty.

The officials dropped four flags on the Browns Sunday before the game with the Chargers was six minutes old.

The Browns began their first offensive series on their own six-yard line after a penalty on the opening kickoff, and were forced to punt after failing to overcome a holding call. They took possession on their own 11 after being penalized on a punt return, and then punted again after being pushed back for illegal motion.

The lone penalty on the Chargers in the first half, however, set up Cleveland's 30-yard field goal to close the second quarter. Charger linebacker Henry Rolling was penalized 15 yards for grabbing Eric Metcalf's face mask and trying to shake Metcalf's head from his shoulders.

Have you heard this suggestion before? Get the ball to Ronnie Harmon more often.

On third and 10 from their 48 in the first quarter, quarterback John Friesz completed a short pass to running back Harmon. Cleveland linebacker Clay Matthews had Harmon cornered on the sideline and would have stopped him for an eight-yard gain and forced the Chargers to punt.

Harmon, however, jiggled and darted and went past a befuddled Matthews without having so much as a hand laid on him. He was eventually forced out at the Cleveland 38-yard line--a 14-yard gain.

Harmon got the ball four times as a runner and averaged eight yards per carry. He caught six passes and averaged a little more than 10 yards a reception.

More Harmon: After scoring his first touchdown of the season in the third quarter, Harmon had no time to take congratulations from his teammates.

Harmon went racing downfield on the Charger kickoff and placed a crushing tackle on Metcalf at the 23-yard line.

Running back Rod Bernstine stayed on the sideline for much of the second half with a lower back injury. Safety Stanley Richard left the game late with a concussion.

Quarterback John Friesz has thrown for more than 300 yards in each of the past two games. The last time the Chargers threw for more than 300 yards in consecutive weeks was in 1986 with Dan Fouts and Mark Herrmann at quarterback. . . . The 437 yards in total offense by the Chargers was the most since Oct. 19, 1986 against Kansas City. . . . The 20 first downs via rushing were the most since the Jan. 2, 1982 playoff game against Miami. . . . Anthony Miller moved past John Jefferson into ninth place on the Chargers' all-time reception list with 201.. . . The Chargers are 8-8 in overtime games. . . . Three of the last four games against the Browns in San Diego Jack Murphy Stadium have gone into overtime.

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