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Team's mindset tested

Posted Nov 3, 2011

This particular Chargers team detests losing, but has maintained perspective and remains focused on pressing forward.

SAN DIEGO – After a pair of tough road losses, a respected veteran reminded the team Wednesday to stay focused on their goals, which are still possible, and don't dwell on the last two games.

Head Coach Norv Turner said the same thing at the beginning of the week, and it appears the entire team has followed suit.

San Diego held a 21-10 halftime lead at the New York Jets and lost, then appeared in position for a come-from-behind fourth-quarter win at Kansas City only to lose in overtime after a fumbled snap. The Chargers are human, and the losses sting – they admitted as much Wednesday – but the players and coaches’ mindset is about the next game Sunday against Green Bay.

“There’s no time to dwell on the past, because we can’t change it,” Philip Rivers said, comparing himself to a three-point shooter that doesn’t let a few misses keep him from hoisting another jump shot. “(This) team’s ability to stay focused, block out everything that you can’t control, that really is going to be key to how we bounce back and how we move forward this week.”

The team went through an enthusiastic practice in shells Wednesday afternoon, an early indication of a group that’s no worse mentally than when they flew to New York as a 4-1 team.

“There’s no time to sit back and have a pity party,” Takeo Spikes said. “You won’t find that in this locker room because we know what’s at stake. It’s a long season, man. I’m very happy about the way we came out and took the field at practice.

“The reason why I’m so proud of the guys is that we never let someone else’s opinion become our reality. I felt good to come out here on this practice field today and guys are into it. They’re eager. It’s a short week. We can make a lot of excuses, man, but at the end of the day, everybody plays a Monday Night Football game. Nobody cares about your problems, man, so what are you going to do?”

The team hasn’t played its best at times but also has played at a high level in stretches of every game. Rivers, for example, completed 10 consecutive passes at one point Monday. There have been plenty of positives to keep the team’s confidence high, and the Chargers have no doubt they’re capable of playing well enough to win tough games, Rivers said.

“As disappointed as (fans) are, they can only imagine how disappointed we are when we lose a game, how frustrating it is and how tough it is to handle. All the time we put in,” Rivers said. “It’s going to be a wild race for the next nine weeks. We’ve made it interesting and we’re certainly not pleased with the way things have gone the last few weeks, but this can still be a great, great year.”

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