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Brandon Flowers Emerges from Funk

After a long practice, Brandon Flowers headed over to the fence to sign autographs for the fans.

They sure let him know what was on their mind.

As he signed and took photos, fans wanted to know if he was going to be back to the player they expect after a rough 2015 campaign. Nonetheless, the comments didn't bother the cornerback one bit as he knows last season was unacceptable. 

"I'm not a guy who takes it personally," Flowers said.  "I was talking with them and told them it's ok to tell me I had a bad year.  I know I had a bad year!  I owe it to the fans and to the Chargers because they brought me in for a reason.  I know last year won't be wiped clean, but I want them slowly to see that it's not going to happen again. They should (ask because) that's what lets me know they really care about the team more than anything.  I'm not a sensitive guy and I just take the good with the bad."

As Flowers has shown, he's out of his "funk". That's the term he uses to describe his play and the "bad place" he was in mentally all throughout last season.  In fact, Head Coach Mike McCoy noted that the nine-year veteran has looked young and spry over the first two days of training camp.

"He looked like he was 25 today so I like the way he looks," McCoy said.  "He has come back with a different mentality this year. I am very happy with Brandon, his attitude and his approach to the game… (He) had some adversity, and nobody is perfect, but it's a new year. He came back with a different mindset this year.  Our entire team did, and you saw that in the entire offseason program.  It's different, and I'm very pleased with the way the DBs and Brandon (have) played through this point."

That is quite the difference from last season, when injuries cost him to miss nearly the entire offseason program, the start of training camp and the first preseason game.

"I'm just in a good place (mentally) and having fun.  Those young guys who came in and the attitudes they came with ready to work has helped.  I just think the chemistry, being in good health, feeling younger; it's all coming together. I'm healthy so my mindset is, 'Hey, go 100%.'  I just know what it feels like not to be healthy so me being healthy right now just feels so good."

In stark contrast to his mindset last season, Flowers kept things light on Sunday by putting his teammates in their place.  Number 24 had told them that he is a punt returner at heart, to which some scoffed.  So what did Flowers do?  He took a rep at punt returner and immediately deked the gunners to raucous cheers from the crowd.

"The thing is, I try to tell the young guys, I'm a punt returner!" Flowers laughed.  "Just because they're young, they don't believe it and haven't seen it lately.  Before I went in, I went over to Jason Verrett and Keenan Allen and said, 'I know it's going to look good but tell me how good this is going to look.'  I had to let them know before I did it.  I had to show them a little taste and do it one time so they all could see it."

While the fans, the team and his own internal drive motivates Flowers, perhaps no one has helped him refocus more than his girlfriend and young daughter.

"(My girl) helped me get out of the funk I was in so much.  She's like my life coach at home.  She let me know I needed to get out of that funk.  She's the extra support I needed at home.  And my daughter, she is just a bundle of joy.  Every time I see her I just light up.  Everything I do is for her now."

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