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A learning experience

Discussion in 'American Football' started by Concudan, Feb 10, 2007.

  1. Concudan

    Concudan Still Chargin Staff Member Administrator

    Mar 5, 2006

    It seems the Chargers’ players had just as difficult a time watching Super Bowl XLI as the Chargers’ fans.

    “It was hard to watch,” said running back LaDainian Tomlinson, the NFL’s reigning Most Valuable Player. “We know how close we were and knowing that we had beaten the team that won the Super Bowl (San Diego beat Indianapolis a year ago), it just kind of gave you a sense of a blown opportunity.”

    As Pro Bowl tight end Antonio Gates watched, he thought to himself: “You still think about the possibilities of yourself and the team being there. I just felt that we would have had a better chance to win the game.”

    Having watched their team roll through the regular season to a league-best 14-2 record, that has been the familiar feeling among the Chargers’ faithful.

    So what do the players do now with that knawing feeling and how will it affect them next season?

    “I think we’ll respond well because we have guys that love to work hard and guys that are very confident,” Tomlinson said. “We know that we still have a lot to learn, but I think we’re going to approach this season with that on our mind. We’re going to definitely come back stronger.

    “I think the experience is going to be a big factor. We know how to win in the regular season, now it’s a matter of winning in the playoffs. When you get that playoff experience, it’s different when you get back there. So now we have a little bit of playoff experience and I’m excited about that.”

    “We’ll grow from it,” said Pro Bowl center Nick Hardwick. “Hopefully we’ll be able to mature a little bit and understand what we’ve got to do. The more experience you have playing in the playoff games … there’s kind of an uncertainty about how the game is going to go, but once you get out there, you realize it’s just a game and nobody is faster or stronger than what they were two weeks ago when it was a regular season game. It’s all the same, so hopefully we’ll be calmer.”

    “I think next year we’re going to have that playoff loss in the back of our mind, and it still stings. I think we’ll be able to use that as motivation: ‘If I do just a little bit more right now, then maybe it will pay off later.’ Some guys have already started working out because they have that energy, so I know we’ll be ready to go.

    “I think it’s a learning experience,” Gates echoed. “Everything you go through, all of the trials and tribulations you go through as a team, you learn from it. The kind of guys we have on the team; the kind of guys we have returning. We all are focused. We understand the big picture that we all want to win the Super Bowl.”

    To a man, the players are excited that the organization has been able to maintain continuity by keeping the majority of the players under contract.

    “It feels good. That’s what you try to do is keep people together,” Tomlinson said. “When you know everybody, you know what everyone expects from each other. That’s a good feeling.”

    Hardwick added: “We all know each other. We know each others’ tendencies, their weaknesses, their strengths. We’re comfortable with each other and we can push each other.”

    In addition to the stability of the roster, Gates says the experience in the playoffs this past season will help the Chargers continue their winning ways.

    “I think it’s a combination of continuity and trust and experience,” he said. “The trust has always been there. The continuity is there. The experience – some guys went through their first playoff game or second playoff game. Now you put that combination together and I think you have a team … a San Diego Chargers team … that is ready to win the Super Bowl.”

    Ah, yes … win the Super Bowl. It seems oddsmakers have christened the Chargers as the team most likely to do just that in 2007. Is that going to heap more pressure on the team’s shoulders?

    “It think it adds a little bit of pressure for us now that people are expecting us to win the Super Bowl,” Tomlinson said. “But at the same time, it’s good pressure. You want that. You don’t want to be the team that people think is the furthest away from winning the Super Bowl. So I think it’s a good thing for us.”

    So what’s next for these players? Is there a need to get away before getting to work on the ’07 season?

    Tomlinson: “I’m going to get away a little bit and spend some time with the family and enjoy being away from the football field.”

    Gates: “I’m going to go the NBA all-star game and check the game out. I wish I could play.”

    And Hardwick: “I’m going to start working out right when I get back (from the Pro Bowl). I normally take a couple weeks off. But I’m going to get back into it pretty hard.”
  2. Thread_Killer

    Thread_Killer Well-Known Member

    Feb 6, 2006
    The players seem a little overconfident. We "stole" a few games to get to 14-2, and we haven't won a single playoff game in the LT era.

    I'm tired of all this talk about how good we are. Let's win a postseason game first. :tdown:
  3. sdchrger

    sdchrger Well-Known Member

    Dec 8, 2005
    Yeah you are right we suck.
  4. !~BOLT~!

    !~BOLT~! Well-Known Member

    Oct 2, 2006
    i completely agree, fuq this learning experience shyt, sounds like another way of saying we lost again. what more do our superstars need to learn about the game of football and how to win a freaking game? i hope they come out with a bigger sense of urgency but at the same time lets win a few playoff games. if learning had anything to do with it the patriots would have won the last five super bowls because they can damn near teach the class. win in the playoffs stop talking about what you learned in loss.
  5. nickelbolt

    nickelbolt Fuggedaboutit

    Aug 20, 2006
    Good. I hope this season burns. I hope it hurts them so much that they can't think about anything else until Training Camp starts. If the leaders on this team are serious about atoning for their playoff flop, they'll take control of the locker room and hold every man accountable for his actions.

    They can start with ordering a "CODE RED" on Drayton Florence. That idiot needs to answer for his stupid mistake in that game.

    Next, take a football and duct tape it to Clinton Hart's hands so he can feel what it's like to actually control a ball once he has a hold of it.

    LoNeal can then proceed to swing freely on anyone who gets arrested for drunk in public, DUI, disorderly conduct, spousal battery, or any of the other stupid off field incidents that this team experienced last year.

    WORK. That's all these guys need to be thinking about.
  6. Trumpet_Man

    Trumpet_Man Well-Known Member

    Feb 14, 2006
    Agreed....except for the cheap shots at my boy Clinton Hart.

    I am his daddy.

    HEXEDBOLT Don't like it, lump it!!!

    Jul 11, 2006
    It took the Colts what 5 years to get it down right, so yes last year was a "learning experience" for our team. They had the playoff game in their grasp only to let go and lose the damn thing. Dumb penalties and stupid mistakes will always come back to haunt you in a playoff game. We just couldn't overcome them all but we still have one of the best teams in the NFL.:bolt2:
  8. nickelbolt

    nickelbolt Fuggedaboutit

    Aug 20, 2006
    Actually, I "coughed up" that cheap shot just for you! :lol:

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