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Chargers coaches adapting to lockout situation

Discussion in 'American Football' started by Blue Bolt, May 19, 2011.

  1. Blue Bolt

    Blue Bolt Persona Non Grata

    Oct 28, 2009
    Bolts coaching staff trying to use extra time to team's advantage
    THURSDAY, MAY 19, 2011 AT 6:58 P.M.


    Norv Turner was an assistant coach in the NFL when organized offseason work was virtually nonexistent. He believes it’s possible to be absolutely ready for the 2011 season, even with drastically limited time to prepare due to a work stoppage that is expected to linger well into summer and perhaps beyond.

    Turner asserted that most players know how to stay in shape all year-round and even said for some players who have been working out at the facility nine or 10 months a year for several years getting “time away from us and a chance to work out in their own setting, it might be a positive for them.”

    That said, he acknowledged that the Chargers' training camp might include more conditioning work at the start and might not include some of the experimentation with plays and personnel that it normally might.

    “You’re going to have to be a lot more specific, a lot more detailed,” Turner said Thursday.

    As long as the lockout doesn’t linger into August, Turner doesn’t buy into the predictions of a diminished product league-wide. He altered that opinion only slightly under the scenario of a severely truncated lead-up to the season.

    “What you do in training camp and the preseason has got to mean something,” he said. “But I don’t think it will change dramatically the quality of play.”

    Chargers fans used to the team’s slow starts might suggest the quality early in the season can’t get much worse.

    While Turner maintained, as always, that the Chargers’ meager win-loss record in September and October is not due to a lack of preparation or readiness, he and his staff are taking measures with their extra time to try to reverse the trend. They have already begun game planning for Minnesota and New England, their first two opponents, and will likely get even further into the season in their preliminary preparations.

    “It’s given us a pretty good stretch of time to really zero in,” he said. “… When we get to (training camp), if it is abbreviated, it will be very exact, very specific.”

    So while Chargers coaches, like all of their colleagues around the NFL, are not presently coaching in the narrowest sense of the word, not doing the part of their job they truly enjoy and would normally be doing this time of year, they are essentially making lists and checking them twice, trying to make the most of an extended prep period for a 2011 season everyone hopes will actually be played.

    “We’ll be ready whenever they tell us to be ready,” Turner said.

    The Chargers staff has reviewed film from most games the team has played in Turner’s four-year tenure, assessed and made adjustments, considered contingencies, talked about players and packages and practices and potential places for improvement.

    Most years, Turner said, “you don’t have time for some of this stuff.” To some extent, actually, the staff engages in reviewing and refining every offseason. But the fine-tuning is generally fit in between minicamps, rookie camps and offseason coaching sessions that would be going on in May and June.

    None of those have happened this year, and it appears none will.

    A number of Chargers players are regularly participating in workouts under the direction of quarterback Philip Rivers. Others are working out in smaller groups or on their own. Coaches touched base with some players during the brief lifting of the lockout in April. Turner is confident in Rivers and what is expected to be a returning core group of players will be a "plus" for the Chargers.

    He is, of course, hoping for a miracle resolution to the labor impasse in the next month, which might allow enough time for free agent signings and some sort of minicamp and/or rookie camp prior to a regular training camp and preseason. But he is prepared for the standoff to drag into late July, August or even September, which would likely leave teams with just two to three weeks to sign players and prepare for regular season games.

    “We have a plan in place to get ready to go without those,” Turner said, referring to what is almost certain to be a total loss of offseason workouts. “If something breaks … that would be great. But we have to prepare to go without them.”
  2. Buck Melanoma

    Buck Melanoma Guest

    Well of course this won't hurt the Chargers that much. The team doesn't even wake up until the 5th or 6th game. :rolleyes:

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