Savoring the team moment

The moment has passed but the meaning is relevant. The San Diego Chargers clinched their first division crown since 1994 on Sunday but a big game looms this weekend when they travel to Indianapolis.

Before getting ready for the weekend game against the Colts, the Chargers were basking in the sunlight on Monday. There was little that could take away from the season the Chargers have had.

It is what happens when you put a football team around LaDainian Tomlinson.

In the course of one off-season, the Chargers became a team. It is the cohesiveness of the group and the dynamic involved that has made this group capable of great things. They all believe in one another and worked towards a common goal. The linemen hang out together. The quarterback meets with his receivers off the field. They aren't just teammates, they are also friends.

Now the veterans are telling those who have never seen the show how special it is.

"I think it means a lot to guys who have been to playoffs," Lorenzo Neal said. "I have been to the Super Bowl, but you have to savor every one of these moments. They do not come that often, so you have to work hard and hopefully it will give you a great deal of results."

Hard work pays off. Monday's, or Victory Monday for the past eight weeks, is a no practice day for the Chargers. They come in and do film work and get in a workout but are not required to do anything past studying the film of the past weekend's game.

Going above and beyond has been the mantra for success this year and no one is toning down their regimen.

Quarterback Drew Brees spends time looking at the week that passed and catches up on the film in anticipation of the following weekend's game. Instead of starting the work on Wednesday, which a lot of other teams do, the Chargers want to be fully prepared and an extra two days of thought has gone a long way.

Equivalent to studying for a midterm, the cram session doesn't work nearly as nice as the slow absorption of information.

"I like to be pretty prepared coming in on Wednesday, having watched a lot of film to get an idea for what I think the gameplan is going to be," Brees said. "Maybe who we will try to attack and that sort of thing.

"I am not satisfied with where I am right now. I am happy with the way we have come together as a team."

Working together so closely has been something they have done since the off-season. There is no one in the locker room that has a bad word to say about one of their teammates. If someone falls, ten other players are there to pick them up.

"Obviously, success comes with hard work," tight end Antonio Gates said. "This past off-season we learned to trust one another. We started performing and with performance comes confidence. It all has just snowballed and now we are playing at a tremendous level. We want to continue."

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