One more for the road

The San Diego Chargers will get a one week sabbatical from the not so friendly confines of Qualcomm Stadium this week. <br><br> The 3-11 Bolts head to Pittsburgh on Sunday, putting the wraps on a road schedule that has seen them win twice. Or, better put, one more time than they've prevailed at home.

"Pittsburgh is going to be cold and wintry, and it'll be pretty tough weather," coach Marty Schottenheimer said. "I know that area reasonably well since I grew up there."

Schottenheimer's wish is his team matures there, as well as against the Raiders in the season finale.

"Looking at it in the broader two game perspective, I told our football team their signature is going to be placed in terms of performance in these next two weeks, and we are going to find out," he said. "I told them right now the opportunity is available to them to step forward, and ultimately, their performance is going to be their signature. And we'll evaluate it then once they've signed off on it, as it were."

Does that same situation pertain to the coaching staff?

"Absolutely," he said.

Pittsburgh Head Coach Bill Cowher couldn't agree more. His team sits at a more respectable 5-9, but this is a team that has been in playoff contention every year since the Cold War.

"It's disappointing to be here in this position," Cowher said. "It's been frustrating throughout the course of the season but we're here. We have two games left. We're eliminated from the playoffs and really at this point it's our obligation as coaches and players to finish this season strong. It's not a choice. It's an obligation."

"And now is not the time to reflect or to ponder about what takes place after the season. What we have in front of us are two games and we're going to do whatever it takes to win these final two games. That's how we're going to approach it and that's where all our focus will be."

For many that figured they would see some of the rookies get more time that likely won't happen in either city. It is still about winning, and perhaps saving the jobs of coaches on both teams.

Schottenheimer still claims he doesn't think about his job security but he has to be a little nervous…or maybe he is thankful since he will collect a ransom if he is let go.

"In the course of an offseason you talk about changing jobs," Schottenheimer said. "We are in a tough situation at 3-11. Their energy and preparation has been there and that is a prerequisite for the next two weeks. It is what is expected of them."

Cowher is emotional at this time of the year with no playoffs to back him up.

"It's a privilege to be in this league, to have these jobs. It's an obligation to go out there and try to win every week."

Ultimately, without wins the coach won't be back for another season. What the ownership in either city is thinking remains a mystery.

The Chargers hope to get another win for the soul and win number three on the road this week. A win would give Drew Brees some confidence heading into the offseason and they would be 2-1 in their last three games. It is the little things that matter and it is all they have at 3-11.

"If you can't get motivated to play in the NFL," Schottenheimer began, "you better go find another job."

Denis Savage can be reached at safage@cox.net

Several NFL Insiders, including SteelCitySports, contributed to this report.

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