Conflicting Reports

As if the hardships of a 1-6 season are not enough. The San Diego Chargers are now practicing in Champaign, Illinois as they fled wildfires devastating the San Diego area. There is even talk of moving the November 9th game against Minnesota from San Diego to another site.

When asked about the difficulty of preparing for Sunday's game at Soldier Field in a conference call Wednesday, Wiley wondered which obstacle the reporter was referring to:

"The fire or the losses?'' he responded.

While the fires have directly impacted some Chargers and front-office staff, Wiley and his teammates also are dealing with the team's 1-6 record.

"This is going to be probably our toughest game to date because we're going to have to overcome their distractions,'' Greg Blache said.

"Somebody in a situation like the Chargers are now, a lot of times, it will rally a team together and sometimes they even play better," Bears quarterback Chris Chandler said. "You have to expect nothing but the best from those guys. And I'm sure they'll give it."

Bears coach Dick Jauron concurs with Chandler's sentiments:

"In our business you get ideas and you tend to implement them. In a short week you can't have a lot of ideas. You've got to keep a lot of things from the previous game plan or the things that you do well — your basics — and go to work with those because you don't have a lot of practice time."

Remember the old adage ‘don't look ahead':

With an extra day last week, Marty Schottenheimer and his staff began to break down film of the Bears before the Chargers' 26-10 loss to Miami on Monday night. He must be really pumped to play Chicago.

"Players in professional sports now have come to understand that there's constant change in their life: free agency, players moving around, quality players being released for salary cap reasons," Schottenheimer said. "The professional athletes now have a better understanding and are better able to cope with these kinds of issues because change is something that's familiar to them.

"I'm one who doesn't like change, but I'm looking at the league and the way players have to adapt to constant change. They're certainly far better prepared to deal with it now than they would have been in the days that I played."

Coping with the human aspect of the tragedy is the real challenge for the Chargers.

"Obviously, we're going to stay in constant contact with our families, but we have a task at hand, also, and that's what we've got to be focused on," Wiley said. "There are people in much worse situations than me right now, so who am I to complain that I've got to go to Champaign two days early."

Conflicting reports come out each sentence. Things are muddled back in San Diego and they are muddled on the field. One and six -- nowhere to go but up.


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