We’ve all been wondering what preseason games may look like give the lockout-extended offseason and short time teams have to get prepared to play on the football field. San Diego Chargers coach Norv Turner has an answer, and it’s that the new rules may affect decisions on who plays and how much, particularly with the first preseason game.
Turner brings up the rule in which free agents who are signed cannot practice with teams until Aug. 4, which maybe gives them a week to get ready to play. Instead, it sounds like we might not see some of those guys right away, or at least not extensively. After that, though, Turner says we should get back to business as usual.
Norv Turner joined XTRA 1360 in San Diego with The World of Sports to discuss what it has been like getting back to business, how he can get the rookies caught up quickly, if the Chargers are making a hard push this year given their free agent signings and how the lockout will affect the preseason.
What’s it like to finally be back and gearing up for football?:
“It’s great to be out on the field this morning. We had our walkthrough practice and we actually get out and have a practice today. We are not in pads the first two days as is part of the new CBA agreement, but Saturday afternoon we’ll be in full pads and I expect a lot of people out here.”
How do you get the players, especially the rookies, caught up quickly?:
“They have to have an impact and we have to use every tool we have in terms of getting them caught up. We started this morning with a walkthrough. We will have special sessions for the young guys along with our regular practices. We’re going to use all the allotted time that we’re given to get them ready. The good thing about it is I really believe this rookie group and the guys we brought in, I think they’re sharp guys. … It’s going to take a little while to get them comfortable with our system, but once we do, I think they’ll be able to turn it loose and go play.”
Based on the moves being made this week, is this is San Diego Chargers team that is trying to win right now?:
“Well, that’s what your philosophy is every year. Our football team is a talented group of guys and guys with very good experience. What we spent the offseason doing, and the offseason was way too long, but we looked at who are the guys that could best address the needs we had. … Obviously it starts with our No. 1 draft pick in Corey [Liuget] … but then if you can add an inside linebacker like Spikes and get a guy like Bob Sanders, you’re strengthening yourself down the middle.”
Will preseason games be any different given that they are coming up so fast?:
“I don’t think the offseason part is going to affect us, I think the fact that anyone who’s a restricted free agent or one of our free agents or the free agents we’re signing from other teams can’t practice until the 4th. We’ll have some decisions to make, who plays in that first game. After that, we play on the 11th and don’t play again until the following Sunday, so that gives us almost 10 days to have another 10-day stretch of training camp like you would when you first start.”