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Offseason outings help build trust for Bolts

6/10/2014

SAN DIEGO -- In search of a safe yet competitive activity for some of his teammates to take part in during the offseason -- that wouldn't draw the ire of San Diego Chargers coach Mike McCoy -- Philip Rivers found softball. Rivers put together a team of Chargers that included fellow captains Nick Hardwick and Eric Weddle, along with running back Danny Woodhead.

The group is playing in a recreational softball league in the San Diego area, and includes Rivers at times showing up in a wig shaped like a mullet, sporting a high socks and softball shorts.

"I just think it's fitting -- don't I look like an 1980s softball player?" Rivers said. "That's the look I'm going for."

"Obviously, we spend so much time here on our craft. This is something that is competitive, but chill. I would love to have 30 guys, but you wouldn't get to bat but just once. But it's fun, and it's in an atmosphere that's very controlled."

Hardwick serves as the pitcher for the softball team.

"It's so fun," he said. "You still get your adrenaline going because you're competing. All your buddies are watching. We're all competitive guys. We want to win most everything we do in life. It's just how we're built. So we're out there having a good time, but competing at the same time, laughing and giving each other crap when they struggle."

McCoy also took the team and entire football staff golfing last week. The six-man teams included players from different position groups and offices that normally do not work with each other, creating some interesting conversations on the golf course.

"I'm playing golf with Jahleel Addae, Tourek Williams and [Mike] Flacco -- guys that otherwise I wouldn't get to spend three hours with," Rivers said. "So that was fun. It's good to get out of the environment. Sure, we talked a little bit of football. But you get a little bit out of the environment and you get to know guys a little better."

Receiver Eddie Royal said the outing with teammates, along with the intense competition on the field, creates a family-type atmosphere that hopefully will help the Chargers build trust and win games on the field.

"Right now is when you come together and develop your identity as a team," Royal said. "You always want to be that hard-working team -- a family. We're out here competing against one another and fighting, but it's really bringing us closer together as a group.

"At the end of the day you want to be called a family, and I think we're building that right now."