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Chargers leaned on ‘team building exercises’ to recover from 0-4 start

By in Press Enterprise on December 5, 2017

By Jack Wang

COSTA MESA — Maybe it was experience, all those close losses honing the Chargers into something more durable. Maybe it was the change of scenery, a new coaching staff in a new city. Or maybe it was the sports psychiatrist.

Anthony Lynn’s team is back atop the AFC West, having shaken off an ugly 0-4 start that no one in the locker room had foreseen. Their ascension since? Two months ago, no one outside the locker room would have ever believed it.

After all, this is a team that ended its final season in San Diego with five straight losses, and went 1-8 in games decided by seven or fewer points. Few franchises have become as synonymous with painful, inexplicable losses.

That this year’s Chargers (6-6) did not fold into themselves after four straight losses could be due in part to what Lynn described as “team-building exercises” — a process that began in the offseason, and has continued with monthly meetings. Although the first-year head coach declined to detail specifically what these exercises entailed, he noted the value of having a sports psychiatrist on hand for regular check-ins.

“He works with the guys as far as different things that we want to go over every single month,” Lynn said. “These guys talk it out. They do exercises. Some of it is mental training. Some of it is focus. Some of it is just trusting one another and being together.”

That said, the margin between success and failure remains razor-thin. Just rewind three weeks to Jacksonville, where the Chargers couldn’t seal a win despite picking off Blake Bortles twice in the final two minutes of regulation. That loss, Lynn acknowledges, forced him to break his own postgame 24-hour rule.

“I think it took me 72,” he said. “That was a tough loss. It was […]    

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