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A 'Galvanizing' Week Ahead as Bolts Embrace an NFL Rarity


Philip Rivers didn't even try to hide it at the podium on Sunday.

Every win in the NFL is huge and loss brutal. But losing to the Browns and then staying in Cleveland all week long would have been particularly gut-wrenching.

"You don't let those negative thoughts creep in, but I was telling Melvin (Ingram) as were coming off of the bus, 'We can't lose this game and then stay four or five days,'" Rivers said. "I couldn't think of anything much worse."

Instead of living out that nightmare, the Bolts routed the Browns, winning their third straight game to improve to 4-2. They now have a chance to make it four in a row with an impressive 5-2 record heading into the bye.

Before heading across the pond to take on the Tennessee Titans, the Chargers will spend every day all week long alongside one another morning, noon and night. They'll practice through Thursday before taking off that evening for London.

The Chargers are already as tight-knit a group as you'll find in the NFL. Still, this week has a chance to really bond them together.

It's the type of experience teams can look back on when the season comes to an end and reflect about how crucial it was to their success.

"It can be a galvanizing experience for our football team," Head Coach Anthony Lynn said. "Being on the road, being away from home for two weeks. I think it's good to see these guys together having lunch and dinners together around the hotel and even off site. Yesterday, I go and have a steak, and I see all the players in there having dinner. It's good to see. It can definitely bring a team together."

Tyrell Williams knows that first hand.

Playing at tiny Western Oregon, he didn't travel by plane for road games. Instead, the team would spend a ridiculous amount of hours together bussing throughout the west coast. Williams noted how close the experience made one another.

"We always had long road trips being (Division II), so we would take 25-hour bus rides to games and it'd be like a bonding experience," he explained. "One year we had to bus to Utah, it was like 28 hours, and then we bussed to Los Angeles for a game and that was like 24, so it was two rough ones."

However, while those trips were grueling and often taxing on their bodies, the Bolts will spend the week in far better accommodations. Thus, the wideout sees this trip as having all the benefits of that experience without the negatives.

"Being together for a week will be big, just getting everybody together," he said. "We're a close-knit group anyway, but just being around each other like this will be big for us…. There's really no other place I'd rather be. We're on a road trip, we get to go to London (and) play in the NFL. So, if you've got complaints with that, you've got something wrong. I'm just having fun. It's a cool experience, so I'm excited to go there and play."

Williams is in the minority of players who have gone through this type of experience. However, they agree it has the potential to elevate them as a unit

"It's kind of cool," said Damion Square. "It's like this whole gladiator mentality. You've got to move on the run, we've got things to do, but we've still got business to handle."

"I will be as prepared as ever for this Titans game," added Rivers. "I'm always prepared every week, but there will be a lot of time to prepare because I won't be going home in the evenings. There will be a lot of good team bonding…. I think it will be good for us. We're already a pretty close team, but I still think it will be good for us."

A ton of credit goes to those behind the scenes.

From the equipment staff to the video department to the football logistics staff and more, so many people have a part to play in making sure the Chargers don't miss a beat as they set up shop in Cleveland.

When asked about the equipment staff, Lynn made sure to give them their proper due in comments that reflect upon the entire team behind the team.

"We couldn't function without our equipment staff," he said. "(Equipment Manager) Chris Smith and his crew, they do a heck of a job making sure we have everything we need. You can go out and prepare the best you can, and the last thing you do is not have the right equipment and it was all for naught. It cancels everything you've done, so those guys do a heck of a job."

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