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In fact, they told him so Friday morning.
“I was getting my Americana at Starbucks this morning and was stopped by three or four guys who sounded like pretty knowledge football fans and were great Chargers fans,” he said to begin his press conference. “There was such a great sense of excitement about the chance to watch our young players and watch our new players…They appreciated the effort and energy our guys showed. To me, it was the same excitement I felt when I left the stadium last night because the things we went about trying to accomplish in the offseason, and we had a very specific plan for what we wanted to accomplish from a talent standpoint and from a roster standpoint, I believe we’ve accomplished (it).”
Turner was all smiles for the most part, and rattled off a list of things he was encouraged about from the first preseason game. Perhaps nothing made him happier than the play of his defense, particularly his front seven.
“I think it’s pretty obvious that that is going to be a big upgrade for us,” he said. “I was excited about the way we played defensively and how active we were. I think the defensive staff has done a great job working hard to give our guys things they do best.”
While there was a lot to be excited about in the team’s 21-13 win over the Packers, the team did receive some bad news as Ryan Mathews suffered a broken clavicle and is expected to miss four to six weeks. Still, the setback didn’t quell Turner’s enthusiasm about what his star running back will bring to the table, especially since he is expected to miss only a couple weeks of the regular season at most.
“Ryan will come back healthy, and he’s on his way to having a great season,” he said. “I don’t think this will deter that… Like I said last night, if this injury is going to happen, I’d rather it happen last night and have him get back with us near the start of the season rather than have it happen in the fourth preseason game and miss a third of the season. “
Clearly, Turner still anticipates a monster campaign from his electric star running back, but fans last night got a glimpse of another youngster on offense that also has big play potential.
“Vincent (Brown) has grown up, and we all know he’s got ability,” coach said about his second-year wide receiver out of San Diego State University. “A year ago, like all the rookies, he had no work during the offseason because of the lockout. Unlike other rookies he pulled a hamstring right at the start of training camp so we were always trying to play catch up with him in terms of the details to play the position…He’s had a great offseason, he’s in the middle of having an outstanding training camp, and he obviously is a playmaker so he’s a guy that’s going to figure real strongly in what we do.”
After an off day today, the team is geared up for a lively week of practice heading into next Saturday’s game against the Dallas Cowboys.
“We know we need to get better,” said Turner, “Which is why I refer to this next eight-day stretch. We’re going to come back and have our best practice tomorrow, our most physical practice tomorrow, and a competitive practice.”
As much as the fans are excited about what they saw from the Chargers Thursday night, hearing the conviction in Turner’s voice as he talks about improving the club each day only reinforces the notion that the team can accomplish something special in 2012. Read