The San Diego Chargers are turning up the heat, in more ways than one.
With camp winding down, and roster spots at a premium, the team traded coasts, opting to spend the next several days practicing with and against the Miami Dolphins.
The Chargers will practice five times against the Dolphins, three of which will be joint workouts as the teams prepare for their exhibition game Saturday.
The heat, however, is another story.
Tuesday the temperature at Lindbergh Field, the Dolphins training facility in Fort Lauderdale, was 88 degrees, with the humidity coming in at 72 percent. Combining the two brings the on-field heat index in at 100.
Quite a switch from the cool ocean breezes of UCSD.
"It'll be a shock back to the system," said guard Raleigh Roundtree.
Aware of the shock and still mindful of the Korey Stringer incident, team officials are keeping watchful eyes on the players, urging them to drink as much fluid as possible. They will also be scouting for any signs of distress or overexertion.
"We'll keep a watchful eye on them," said Chargers trainer James Collins. "We know our personnel well, and we know which guys have cramped in the past."
"It probably would be pretty good for us to get a couple of days of work in good
warm weather with humidity," said Bolts head coach Mike Riley. "That change
might be good, if just for a short time."
"Weve been at this for three weeks and weve had a very physical camp, but its always against our own stuff on offense and our own stuff on defense. It will be a nice change of pace to work against somebody else right now. This is a good time to do that."
Saturdays game against the Dolphins also marks the NFL debut of quarterback Drew Brees in a Chargers uniform.
Brees, the former Purdue standout, is expected to handle the majority of the snaps with both the first and second teams, taking the reigns once starter Doug Flutie completes the first few possessions.