The NFL is competitive enough that you normally don’t need any extra motivation to get pumped up each week.
Still, three Chargers have a little bit extra on the line when they go up against the Ravens on Sunday.
As a result, they each admit this week’s game is more meaningful than most on a personal level.
“I’d be lying if I said I didn’t want this one badly,” said Johnson. “But that’s only natural. It’s like when you want your ex-girlfriend to be jealous of you. It’s only natural to want to beat the heck out of your former team.”
Johnson arrived in San Diego after spending the first nine years of his career as a Raven after they selected him in the fourth-round back in 2003. In 143 career games with them, he amassed 523 tackles, 20 sacks, nine forced fumbles and three interceptions.
Meanwhile, McClain spent the first four years of his career in Baltimore as a fourth-round pick of the team in 2007. He made two Pro Bowls as a member of the Ravens, and he too is amped up for this week’s game.
“This is a great matchup for myself going up against a great defense like that,” said McClain. “I know a lot of the guys over there. They’ve already talked trash to me this week, so I can’t wait to get out there on Sunday.”
Finally, Chris Carr spent the last three seasons with the Ravens after signing with them as a free agent. He started all 16 games with them in 2010 and set career highs in tackles (61), forced fumbles (3) and interceptions (2).
“It’s weird knowing everybody and the whole organization very well,” said Carr. “But as a player, you always want to play against your former team and mentally you know a lot of stuff they are running. You want to go out and play well.”