The most obvious change that the San Diego Chargers made this offseason was the complete overhaul of the front office and head coaching positions. While these alterations will certainly be significant, the players in the locker room have seen their fair share of turnover as well.
According to U-T San Diego, just 10 players remain on the San Diego roster from the last time this club won the AFC West title. And that was only a few years ago in 2009.
Obviously there is a new vibe with the Bolts, and it’s not just the artificial new vibe that the 31 NFL teams that didn’t win the Super Bowl try to perpetuate. This team really is different in 2013 with Malcom Floyd, Mike Scifres and Antonio Gates now left as the longest tenured Chargers. Their decade in San Diego has seen many ups and downs, but now it’s time for the entire locker room to come together, regardless of the experience level.
Quarterback Philip Rivers told U-T San Diego:
“This offseason more than ever has been the biggest to believe and quickly develop trust in each other. You can’t wait.”
Sometimes veterans don’t like to be part of a rebuilding effort that likely doesn’t include them as a part of the long-term plans. This group for the Bolts doesn’t seem to mind much even though there are only 18 players on the roster that are 27 years old. Many budding young stars have been thrust into the roles of veteran leaders, and the majority of them are doing well with their new job descriptions.
Safety Eric Weddle certainly is a fan of the new feeling around the team as he said:
“It’s been refreshing. It’s been good for the older players. We have to go out and prove ourselves. It’s good to re-energize. There is a new belief, new hope. You always have the drive, that belief, every season. But you have a whole new regime coming in, doing it their way, giving that sense of urgency.”
It’s true. Often times under the watch of Norv Turner this team looked like they had a ‘better luck next year’ attitude. This new regime of head coach Mike McCoy and GM Tom Telesco brings with it a sense of determination and a lack of entitlement that will lead to an attitude of desperation, which will in turn facilitate more success.
Generally when veterans are taking on the energized attitude of the rookies around them it leads to good things. Rivers and Weddle are officially two of the longest tenured Bolts, and their leadership in the upcoming season will largely determine just what direction this team goes in during the 2013 season.
Given their fresh outlooks on the change that has taken place this offseason, things are definitely looking up for the Chargers.