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Bolts preparing to battle the cold

Discussion in 'Chargers Fan Forum' started by Johnny Lightning, Jan 7, 2009.

  1. Johnny Lightning

    Johnny Lightning Go Bolts

    Feb 7, 2006
    Wednesday, Jan 07, 2009
    By Casey Pearce, Chargers.com

    Chargers guard Kris Dielman took it as somewhat of an insult over the mere suggestion. Offensive tackle Jeromey Clary clarified.

    “It’s like an unwritten rule amongst offensive linemen,” Clary said. “We don’t wear sleeves.”

    Although no precipitation is expected Sunday, snow is in the forecast leading up to the Chargers’ AFC Divisional Playoff game in Pittsburgh this weekend. The current high for Sunday is 27. Offensive tackle Marcus McNeill has covered his arms in the past but received some flack and plans to tough it out this weekend.

    “I’m going to try to keep my sleeves off this week,” McNeill said. “You kind of get a little more jacked up when you’re playing without sleeves and man-(up) through that weather.”

    Defensive end Jacques Cesaire had a good time joking with his teammates over the issue Wednesday, saying sleeves do little to validate one’s toughness.

    “I’m wearing them,” Cesaire said. “The guys that don’t wear sleeves, watch how fast they run to the sidelines to put on a jacket and get in front of the heaters when their series is over.”

    The Chargers have done some things this week to prepare for the frigidness. Prior to Wednesday’s practice, a member of the club’s equipment staff put several pigskins in a cooler so the offense could practice handling the cold and hard footballs.

    Over the last three seasons, the Bolts have played eight games in which the temperature was below 42 degrees at kickoff, and the Chargers are 5-3 in such contests. They don’t believe the cold will have an impact on their performance Sunday.

    “You learn to deal with it,” tight end Antonio Gates said. “You go out and you play and you try to block that out. Obviously with the experience of playing in the cold, we played there earlier this year and the AFC Championship Game last year we played in New England, we have experience playing in the cold. You go out and try to win a football game.”

    Injury update

    Gates (ankle), running back LaDainian Tomlinson (groin) and defensive tackle Jamal Williams (rest) all sat out of Wednesday’s practice. Linebacker Brandon Siler (foot) was limited, while kicker Nate Kaeding (groin) didn’t miss any portion of practice.

    Tomlinson classified himself as “doubtful” for Sunday in Pittsburgh and voiced a great deal of frustration over the untimely injury.

    “It’s tough dealing with it,” Tomlinson said. “I really sometimes just want to go home and just stay at home and lock myself up and not even go into public, just cause all my life all I’ve ever wanted to do is play football. That’s all I’ve ever wanted to do and you know, win a championship. And to feel so helpless, to be at this point where we have a chance to do it and again, I can’t do anything about it, I can’t play, it’s like I’m being punished for something. It’s tough to deal with.”

    Gates said that he felt sore Sunday and Monday following his eight-catch performance against the Colts but the same Wednesday as he did midweek last week. He’s following a similar routine to the one he did leading up to Saturday’s win and hopes to be ready for the Steelers

    “I’m trying to do as much as I can to feel as close as I can to feel 100 percent on Sunday,” Gates said. “(Head Athletic Trainer) James Collins and his staff do a tremendous job of helping me rehab and getting me prepared to play the game.”

    Roethlisberger practices

    Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger was a full participant in Pittsburgh’s Wednesday practice and will start Sunday. The fifth-year pro suffered a concussion in the Steelers’ regular-season finale but is ready to go.

    Turner and his staff had the pleasure of coaching Roethlisberger at the Pro Bowl last February, and the Bolts’ head coach holds the Steeler signal caller in high regard.

    “He is uncanny at throwing the ball into tight spaces,” Turner said. “He can put the ball anywhere he wants it on a receiver’s body, so if you have one side of him covered he can throw it to the other side. He’s got great vision, but the thing that obviously sets him apart or that he is especially gifted at is that he can move in that pocket and slide in the pocket and he can throw the ball to anybody anywhere on the field.”

    Cover boy

    Chargers running back Darren Sproles will be featured on a regional cover of Sports Illustrated. The magazine will hit newsstands Thursday and includes a Bolts feature written by San Diego native Lee Jenkins recapping the Chargers’ season, particularly the last four weeks.

    “Nothing that happens for Darren or that he does would ever surprise me,” Turner said.

    Plead the fifth

    During a conference call with the San Diego media, Steelers safety Troy Polamalu was asked if he really got his hand fully under the ball on a first-quarter interception during Pittsburgh’s Week 11 win over the Chargers.

    “I don’t know,” Polamalu said with a laugh.

    After official review, the play was upheld and ended an early scoring threat. Rivers will certainly keep a close eye on the five-time Pro Bowler Sunday.

    “Polamalu is as good as it gets in the league,” Rivers said. “He runs around. You’ve got to know where he is.”

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