We knew the who and where, but now we officially know when the Los Angeles Chargers will face their 2021 opponents as the schedule for the upcoming NFL season was released on Wednesday.
It's an exciting time for the Bolts, from reigning Offensive Rookie of the Year Justin Herbert getting ready to take on his second professional season, to Brandon Staley heading up this team for the first time.
The NFL is a week-to-week league and for coaches, their focus is the same, despite knowing the 17-game schedule. Certainly, there are things you look for – especially as a first time head coach – but when asked about the 2021 slate, Staley said he really can't wait for Chargers fans to be back in the stands.
"I think from a travel and logistics standpoint you're kind of looking at where are the road games? We're a west coast team, where do we have to travel?" Staley said. "(We're) starting to plan those things with our sports performance staff (like) how you're going to organize practice during training camp … When I see the schedule, it's just excitement. There's a definite schedule, something you can look forward to. I think (this) is about the fans, something to look forward to."
Chargers fans have a lot to look forward to in 2021, including three primetime games – all of which are home at SoFi Stadium.
- Week 04 – Monday Night Football vs. Las Vegas Raiders (Oct. 4, 5:15pm)
- Week 11 – Sunday Night Football vs. Pittsburgh Steelers (Nov. 21, 5:20pm)
- Week 15 – Thursday Night Football vs. Kansas City Chiefs (Dec. 16, 5:20pm)
"Any time you're playing at night, that's a good thing and it means you're doing something right and hopefully there will be a lot more of those primetime slots," he reflected. "Hopefully we can earn that opportunity to be flexed later on in the season. Other places I've been, those environments are why you do it. You play in those big-time games in front of the entire world. That's what you're after. And certainly, I think it's a good start for us, having three games at home that the whole world can see."
Those environments at SoFi will certainly be rocking, and for Staley, he got a taste of it with the Bolt Fam a few weeks ago. But he can't wait for Chargers fans to experience a gameday, and we're just a few months away from that becoming a reality.
"We were at that season ticket event a few weeks back and it was palpable. It felt like gameday, a pregame environment. There was a buzz, an energy. This game is better with fans and I think as competitors, we feed off the fans and we're really looking forward to it.
"I think this is one of the great spectacles in all of sports. I think it was meant to host Super Bowls (and) Olympics. And for it to be our home field, to play in L.A., one of the great sports cities in the world, I just think it's going to be one of these premium venues that everyone is looking forward to. I think the fan experience for the game, I think it's just going create a special day for a fan, and I'm excited to see a bunch of Chargers fans this fall."
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