Bolts Roundup

Everything is crazy in Charger Land. The general manager is praising the head coach. LaDainian Tomlinson is talking smack. Junior Seau is on the opposing team. Get things straightened out in the Chargers roundup.


--Another week, another commercial to talk about. The chatter leading to last Sunday's game was LaDainian Tomlinson running through the Bears defense in a Nike ad. This week, Shawne Merriman's commercial in which he blasts past a Patriots' front line and sacks a Patriots quarterback is making the rounds.

"It's not (Tom) Brady, it's another quarterback," Merriman said. "Who knows what kind of deal will be made out of it this week. Sometimes going through the week you look for a certain motivation and a reason to tune the game up a little bit. I don't think that should be one of them, but if so, it won't be something new that I'd be seeing."

--One game into his career as a Chargers head coach, Norv Turner already has something Marty Schottenheimer never received in his San Diego stint: a compliment from general manager A.J. Smith.

"I'm really happy that we won the football game and I thought he did an excellent job," Smith was quoted as saying. "I was very pleased with game management and with how everything was run." Smith despised Schottenheimer; the only praise he would receive was that he let his coordinators do a good job.

--Tomlinson isn't surprised the Patriots would resort to cheating in order to get an edge. It was Tomlinson who called Patriots head coach Bill Belichick and his team "classless" after the way they celebrated after January's playoff loss.

"I think the Patriots actually live by the saying, 'If you're not cheating, you're not trying,'" Tomlinson said. "I'm not surprised because you keep hearing different stories of people complaining about stuff they do."

--Maybe the Chargers should embrace this revenge theme for Sunday. It has certainly worked in the past. Since the NFL switched to the current playoff format, the Chargers have faced the team that eliminated them from the playoffs the previous season the next year and are a perfect 5-0.

After the Raiders bounced them from the 1980 AFC Championship Game, the Chargers swept them the next season. After the Bengals beat the Chargers in the 1981 Ice Bowl AFC Championship Game, the Chargers prevailed 50-34 in 1982. In 1992, the Dolphins ousted the Chargers from the playoffs only to get beat the next season, 45-20. And after the Jets upset the Chargers in the 2004 playoffs, they gained revenge the next year with a 31-26 triumph on the road.

--LB Junior Seau, a Dolphins captain, earned 12 Pro Bowl selections when with the Chargers.

--Patriots backup QB Matt Cassel is the younger brother of Padres pitcher Jack Cassel.

--The game is on Sunday Night Football, which is cool with the Chargers. They went 3-0 before Al Michaels, John Madden and crew last year. They defeated the Steelers at home, Broncos on the road and Chiefs in San Diego.

--ILB Stephen Cooper, one of three new starters on defense and last week's leading tackler for the Chargers, is from the University of Maine. He was an undrafted free agent.

--New England WR Wes Welker got his first NFL tryout with the Chargers and played one game with the team in 2004.

BY THE NUMBERS: 11 -- Number of consecutive regular-season wins by the Chargers.

QUOTE TO NOTE: "You know what, if we had won, we would've been running around like crazy, to. It was more the emotions of the loss and the fact that the season was over, than it was any of their actions." -- QB Philip Rivers, on the Chargers' response to the Patriots midfield celebration after last season's playoff defeat.

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