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Chargers arrive in rural England

Discussion in 'San Diego Chargers Hall of Champions' started by robdog, Oct 20, 2008.

  1. robdog

    robdog Code Monkey Staff Member Administrator

    Jun 29, 2009
    Source: <a href="http://sports.yahoo.com/nfl/news?slug=ap-chargers-london&amp;prov=ap&amp;type=lgns" target="_blank">Associated Press</a>

    By Chris Lehourites

    <a href="http://ap.google.com/media/ALeqM5jCBT-Ll1MKms0y2zDwcNH2mrH07Q?size=m"><img class="alignleft" title="San Diego Chargerss Philip Rivers smiles during a press conference, in Bagshot, England, Monday, Oct. 20, 2008. The San Diego Chargers will face the New Orleans Saints in an NFL Football game at Wembley Stadium, London, Sunday, Oct. 26, 2008. (AP Photo/Tom Hevezi)" src="http://ap.google.com/media/ALeqM5jCBT-Ll1MKms0y2zDwcNH2mrH07Q?size=m" alt="" width="198" height="242" /></a>BAGSHOT, England (AP)-The change of setting to the rural outskirts of London hasn't exactly eased the sting of a disappointing loss for San Diego Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers.

    The Chargers arrived in England on Monday morning after a long flight from Buffalo, where Rivers fumbled twice and threw an interception in a 23-14 loss to the Bills.

    "The taste of that loss isn't gone by any means," Rivers said Monday at the team's base, a five-star hotel with a nearby practice field lined with trees. "It was a big game that we lost yesterday, and we know that, but we're going to have to rebound."

    The new scenery may even help the 3-4 team get back to .500 when the Chargers face the New Orleans Saints on Sunday at Wembley Stadium.

    "It will be less of a distraction maybe than we anticipated, and more of a boost," Rivers said. "The transition has been about as smooth as it can be, getting over here today."

    Landing only hours earlier at Gatwick Airport, the Chargers just worked out in the weight room.

    "Obviously we have a light practice at times at home, but after playing a game, the workout and getting the sweat going is the most critical thing," said Chargers coach Norv Turner, who is no stranger to overseas flights for a game.

    Although Sunday's event will be the second straight year the NFL plays a regular-season game in London, Turner came to the city years ago with the Rams and Cowboys to play exhibition games.

    "I've been over here a couple times in the preseason and I know how exciting the games are," Turner said. "That was preseason, so I know being a regular-season game and the way the crowd gets into it and how they respond, it will be exciting for everyone involved."

    Chargers running back LaDainian Tomlinson has also been to London, but he came to promote the league. Since his return, he's had to answer some questions from curious teammates about the city.

    "One of my guys said, ‘Are there any big guys in London like us or are we going to stand out?"' said Tomlinson, who gained only 41 yards rushing against the Bills and is nursing an injured toe. "I thought to myself, ‘I didn't see too many big guys so you might stand out a little bit.' Of course, he was a lineman."

    The Chargers and Saints will likely do plenty of standing out when they go sightseeing in their free time. Both teams have Tuesday off before Wednesday practice. The Chargers practice again on Thursday.

    "We have a pretty tight schedule and obviously these first couple days they have a little more time in terms of freedom," Turner said. "Tuesday is our normal day off. When we get into Wednesday it's our regular schedule, and then late in the week certainly there will be a curfew."

    On the field, the game will be missing the marquee running back matchup because New Orleans' Reggie Bush hurt his knee in Sunday's 30-7 loss to the Carolina Panthers and did not make the trip. But the intriguing factor will come from the quarterbacks, with Drew Brees facing Rivers, his former backup in San Diego.

    "That'll be kind of different, but at the same time I think it'll be fun being out there on the same field with him again," Tomlinson said, "but this time hoping that he throws some interceptions."

    San Diego linebacker Shaun Phillips is looking forward to hearing the crowd, which is again expected to be neutral-something that could favor the "visiting" Chargers.

    "Playing in front of the London fans is going to be huge," Phillips said. "You think of the soccer matches and how huge the soccer matches are, 80-90,000 fans screaming. We're hoping to get that same impact."

    In last year's game, the rain-soaked fans from all over England and thousands from the United States watched the New York Giants hold on to beat the Miami Dolphins 13-10. The Giants, of course, went on to win the Super Bowl.

    "They were kind of going through the same struggles," Tomlinson said of the Giants, who lost their opening two games but improved to 6-2 with the victory over the winless Dolphins last year. "They came here and it kind of changed their season. We're hoping for the same kind of luck. Hopefully, London brings us that."

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