Message from the Chargers coach

The singing heard at the Manchester Grand Hyatt had nothing to do with a winning season for the San Diego Chargers. Instead it was Roy Firestone at the mike performing a range of songs and impersonations to go with it. His voice made its way from Mohammed Ali to Smokey Robinson and everywhere in between. The real message, however, was delivered by Head Coach Marty Schottenheimer and roused the crowd with dreams and promise of real wins in 2004.

Even this writer felt the weight of his words and left feeling better about the quickly approaching season.

Here is the transcript from head coach Marty Schottenheimer:

In our initial meeting, I told the club of what I believe is the single most important thing in your ability to be efficient in any endeavor. And that is you must have trust in those that are around you.

We talked about the concept of trust in one another and the idea that we were going to find a way to build on that. And I will share with you what I shared with our players that night:


The "T" in my view begins with "Truth".

You have to be truthful with another. More importantly you must be truthful with yourself. Are we getting things done in the manner, which is necessary to build a Championship football team? We have to look one another in the eye and we have to be able to deal with one another in truth.

Secondly, "R", we must be "Responsive" to the interest of one another.

Because until as a player your greatest fear is not failing yourself but letting your teammates down…until you have that attitude, you will not perform to the level that which you are capable. We must be responsible.

The "U". That relationship and trust you have worked to build must be "Unconditional."

Your relationship with your peers, with your coaches and with your organization, it must be unconditional because in the absence of that you can't follow the course that is necessary to trust.

The "S" is "Sacrificing."

We all know the kind of sacrifice that is made by players in the NFL, by your San Diego Chargers. On any given day, on any given play, a career can end. These guys willingly make that sacrifice because they want to be a Championship football team.

Ultimately, the "T", "Together."

It has to be done together. We are working each day in the meeting room, on the practice field, during the ball games, to develop the kind of trust that is unconditional in one another so we can ultimately achieve the thing that everybody here wants to achieve and that is a Championship.

That is the target. And that is where we are going.

The general sense in the media is the Chargers are in for a long season. I look at that in a positive light. The long season would be three or four playoff games.

It really doesn't matter what other people think. They don't chart our course. They don't determine our destiny. The people in the Chargers organization, the young men in this room, they chart the course.

I assure you of one thing. I believe in these players and more importantly I have a sense that they believe in one another. That is ultimately the thing that will enable us to get to where we are trying to go.

Once again at the outset of a season – we are going to focus – will not be distracted and each day that we go out there the young men that represent the San Diego Chargers will have a purpose and they will have the qualities of toughness and determination and the willingness to extend themselves beyond maybe that which they think they can do.

To a man these Chargers want to be Champions.

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