There were so many unknowns and a great deal of trepidation throughout the Chargers’ organization before the team’s move from San Diego to Los Angeles last year.
The biggest immediate change was training camp, which went from the club’s former headquarters in San Diego to Costa Mesa, Calif. Adjusting to that was a big deal and set the tone for an entire year of adjustment.
‘There was certainly a lot more going on off the field last year’
“You never can quantify what the move, how much that affected us last year,” quarterback Philip Rivers told Alex Marvez and Gil Brandt during the SiriusXM NFL Radio camp tour. “I don’t think any player or coach would make an excuse at all, but there was certainly a lot more going on off the field last year with the move and everything. So this year we’re a whole another year comfortable.
“There’s a lot more comfort as far as where meetings are, where we’re doing training camp, where’s the hotel, where’s the meals. All those things, we know, so we can focus more between the lines and I think we’re off to a good start.”
‘(Strong finish last year) brings some energy as we got going into camp’
Rivers doesn’t buy the commonly head theory that the Chargers winning six of their final seven games after an 0-4 start “brings momentum to Year Two” in Los Angeles. But he does think it “brings some energy as we got going into camp.”
What the quarterback does buy is the leadership of second-year coach Anthony Lynn. What impressed him most about Lynn as a rookie head coach in 2017?
‘(Lynn) was very focused; he knew what he wanted and we had to grow together’
“I think his steadiness,” Rivers said. “That may sound kind of vague, but it’s very clear to me. He was very focused; we knew what he wanted and we had to grow together. It doesn’t just happen with a new coach. But his steadiness with the move and going 0-4. And his demeanor, he didn’t blink. And I think that rubbed off on us.
“He didn’t say, ‘We’re going to abandon everything I’ve told you for the last five months and we’re going to do things different, because this isn’t working.’ He believed in it, so we said, ‘Shoot, we know we’re close, believed in it.’ And then you go on to win nine of the last 12 and finish the way we did and now that gives us a great deal of confidence going into Year Two.”
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