Thursday, October 30, 2003
Chargers begin workouts in Champaign
CHAMPAIGN, Ill. -- The San Diego Chargers' practice location
might have changed by nearly 2,000 miles, but the weather hasn't.
Unseasonably warm temperatures that soared into the mid-70s
during an afternoon workout Thursday at the University of Illinois
were more like San Diego than fall in the Midwest.
"Hopefully, it will continue to be this way," running back
LaDainian Tomlinson said. "We got lucky, I guess."
Wildfires in Southern California forced the Chargers to come to
Illinois early to get ready for Sunday's game in Chicago against
the Bears. The fires displaced the Chargers earlier this week when
they had to move their game Monday night against the Denver Broncos
from San Diego to Arizona because their stadium's parking lot was
being used as a relief center.
"It's an unusual situation for all of us in San Diego," coach
Marty Schottenheimer said. "I'm not overly concerned about the
fact that we picked up and moved because I've done that before. The
distraction is the concern and well-being of our families and
everybody back in San Diego."
Schottenheimer said the Chargers have enjoyed their stay in
Champaign so far.
"We're very fortunate to have an opportunity to get away and
work in a quality facility like this," Schottenheimer said.
The Chargers' players have found refuge on the practice field.
"For a couple of hours you get to put things out of your
mind," quarterback Doug Flutie said. "Let's get out there so we
can take our mind off it and so others can take their mind off it
for a little while. It would be nice if we could get a win for the
people back in San Diego."