That’s how long it’ll have been since the Los Angeles Chargers fell to the New England Patriots in the Divisional Round when they kick off the 2019 voluntary offseason program on Monday.
And man, you won’t find anyone champing at the bit to get going more than Anthony Lynn.
In fact, it’s been a bitterly long wait for the Chargers’ head coach, who’s been counting down the minutes until the team reconvenes at Hoag Performance Center,
“We had high hopes last year, and they got cut a little short by the Patriots, so I’ve been thinking about this day probably every day since to be honest with you” Lynn said. “There have been years when I feel like I need a couple more weeks in the offseason before the players got back, but this year, it seems like it’s taking forever. I can’t wait to get them back. I can’t wait to get going (and) start building something special.”
Often times you’ll hear teams talk about putting last year completely in the rearview mirror.
But that’s not the case for the Bolts.
In fact, Lynn believes last year’s playoff loss will serve extra motivation right from the jump.
“You have to look at how our season ended because you need to learn from it,” he said. “No matter if you win, lose or tie, you’ve got to learn from it and grow. I believe we have as a coaching staff and an organization. Let’s just say I’m plenty motivated to get going and see what we can do this year.”
To that end, while most fans consider training camp the start of a new year, that’s simply not true.
This is when the 2019 season truly begins.
“It starts right now,” he said. “Absolutely it starts right now. This is one of the most critical and most important times of the year. Guys get to work together, and things are at a much slower pace. This is when you build the foundation of your football team. That’s right now. Training camp is too late. Things are flying, and thing are going by too fast. Guy are competing for jobs. Schemes and installs, we’re not slowing down. And then you get in the games in season, and it’s almost impossible to build some of the intangibles that I like us to build in the offseason.”
What exactly are those intangibles?
“Just simply getting to really know one another,” he continued. “Where are guys from? What makes a guy tick? What’s something in your life that you had to overcome? I think just knowing more about your teammates and your coaches, and sharing some of your vulnerabilities, I think that helps make you tighter. When you’re in the trenches, you’ll (go to bat) for that guy when you really know that guy. So I’m excited. I’m looking forward to seeing the guys. It will be good to see them working together, and start all over.”