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Five Things Coming Out of the Bye
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The Chargers are set to return from the bye week refocused and ready for their next match against the Cleveland Browns. Here is a recap of the five areas the team is working on coming out of the bye.
1. Reined in Offense – The Chargers will still look to make the big play; they just won’t do so as often. Head coach Norv Turner said that in an effort to minimize turnovers that have plagued the team, he will call plays to drive the ball down field in a more conservative, safer manner. The hope is that this will additionally allow the offense to get into a rhythm, which Turner believes is a key factor to success. Sustaining drives also helps on the defensive side of the ball, allowing the unit to rest while keeping the opposition off the field.
2. Ball Security – In addition to altering the offensive play calls, the Chargers said they will make a more concerted effort to protect the football. Philip Rivers has stated outright that he will be making a concerted effort to throw the ball away, or even take a sack, rather than force an ill-advised pass. Ryan Mathews made the same type of effort following his fumble in Week 3 and hasn’t put the ball on the field since. Winning the turnover battle will go a long way toward determining the team’s success the rest of the season.
3. Playing a Complete Game - The Chargers are allowing a handful of negative plays to sway the momentum of the game and dictate the final outcome. The Chargers are determined to overcome negative plays and have the mental toughness to fight back when momentum turns on them. To accomplish this, the players plan on having a short memory, regardless if the previous play was a positive or negative one. They’ll simply move on to the next one as if it is the most important play in the game.
4. Moving Forward – That was the message from General Manager A.J. Smith regarding the Chargers’ mindset. Yes, they are disappointed to drop the last two decisions, but they sit tied for first place in the AFC West with a 3-3 record and have 10 games left to play. Each one of those remaining games are the sole focus of the team.
5. Getting Healthy – Nate Kaeding and Jared Gaither both expect to return from groin injuries for the upcoming game against the Cleveland Browns. Shareece Wright also has a chance to suit up after missing the entire season with a sprained ankle suffered on the season’s opening kickoff. A little further away is Vincent Brown, who broke his ankle in the preseason, and is expected to start running in the coming weeks. Read