Thousands Out, Bolts In?

The thousands who have called Qualcomm home for the past few days got the notice to be out before noon on Friday. San Diego Mayor Jerry Sanders decided that the stadium will be ready for Sunday's game against the Houston Texans.

An official announcement will be made tomorrow, but this is a step in the right direction for a Sunday home game.

"Should they decide to play in San Diego, the stadium will be ready on Sunday," the mayor's spokesman Fred Sainz said. "It's the [NFL's] decision to play in San Diego or not."

For the most part, San Diego has begun to pick up the pieces of the fire crisis, but any sort of normalcy remains a group effort. The Chargers hope to be part of the collaboration with a win. San Diego hopes to rise above the .500 mark, regain a piece of first place in the AFC West and lift the spirits of residents, who will need their support long after the fires and the story die out.

With ties to the county, Houston Texans safety Will Demps, understands that the Chargers minds are not on football, but San Diego sees it differently.

Rather than seeing the fires as a distraction, LaDainian Tomlinson hopes the football game will become one.

"Anytime you can entertain people, it's going to take their minds off of what is going on," Tomlinson said. "The people of San Diego have come together to really help each other. In return, we have dealt with it a lot better than we did the first time."

Along with the county, the Chargers organization was better prepared to handle the disaster than the first time around in 2003. According to Lorenzo Neal, the addition of an 800 number helped. A handful of members of the organization stayed behind to answer any questions and facilitate any needs of players' loved ones via the hotline.

With their families taken care of and the quick decision to leave San Diego, the Chargers are in a better position to win rather than practice their jump shots.

"Last time, we went to a school and practiced inside of a gym and played on a hardwood floor," Neal said of the Chargers preparations during the Cedar Fire, which ultimately cost the team a loss against the Miami Dolphins. "You couldn't run, you couldn't get back in the grove."

On the field, Neal asks that his team remain focused and climb out of the 3-3 hole. Everyone knows that this is not a week that the Chargers can take off.

"The groundwork's been laid for us to give excuses and to go into this weekend and not play well, but as a veteran team with LaDainian, Lights Out, Philip Rivers, all these other guys, Jamal Williams, all these veterans on this team, you just got to say you know our families are safe, we're safe, we could be in a lot worse situation than we are," Neal said on NFL Total Access.

"We got to go out there and stay focused and take care of the Houston Texans that's what we go to go out there and do."

Lightning Quicks

-- Norv Turner took the "get used to it" approach if there were any complaints about a new practice facility and city for week eight. Turner told his team that the game will played and the ball will be kicked, so the only thing left to do is prepare. Turner wanted to assure San Diego that, although the Chargers left, it does not mean they do not care about their city. The best thing the Chargers can do is play football.

-- Turner and staff turned Arizona Cardinals meeting rooms into a home away from home. The space resembled Chargers Park facilities as much as possible. The organization also kept the same meeting and practice times to keep the players in their routine.

-- RB Ahman Green saw limited action in Thursday's practice. Green, who signed as a free agent to the Texans after six seasons with the Green Bay Packers, has earned 232 yards in 62 carries so far.


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