There has been talk around Kansas City about some Chiefs players arranging workouts as a team to take place of OTAs, but so far they have been working out individually around the country. One team in the AFC West has actually started workouts as a team: the San Diego Chargers, with Philip Rivers leading the effort.
Rivers, whose intention was to keep the workouts as secret as possible, said about 10 players showed up each of the first two days but he expects “more than 20″ next Monday, the date the offseason conditioning program would have started if the owners had not initiated a lockout on March 11.
“I think it will grow,” Rivers said. “I’ve talked to a lot more guys than that … I just wanted to touch base with everyone and make sure the mindset is we want to get better. We want to be better than last year, we want to win a championship.”
Many players are still out of town.
“We’ve got a good group of veteran guys,” fullback Jacob Hester said. “The next couple weeks I think we’ll see almost the whole team out there.”
Rivers said he expects that if the lockout does eliminate official offseason activities, the Chargers might have an advantage over teams without as many veteran players. These workouts, he believes, will foster that advantage.
“If June rolls around and we’re still in this thing, we can be the team that’s improving while other teams might be struggling to be together,” Rivers said. “… I’m excited about our team and how we can handle this.”
Tick, tick, tick… even with no end in sight to the lockout, the clock is ticking on an official “unofficial” batch of team workouts in Kansas City. It’s not that I don’t think Chiefs players are working out at home, because we have heard from plenty via Twitter about just how they are staying in shape. The issue here is exactly what Rivers is shooting for: team chemistry.
Every team will have the same amount of time available with their coaches to prepare for the first games when a new CBA is finalized and the Chiefs don’t do many football activities this time of year, but teams that have already had their core working together are the ones that will have an advantage.
For a team that talked a lot about coming together last year around “Chiefs Will”, it would be a shame if Haley’s group took longer to gel than the team they beat out for the division in 2010.