Pre-Game Notes: Chargers vs. Rams

San Diego's showdown with the Rams will be crucial for several young players, as the game comes just 10 days before the first round of roster cuts are due. Other than some tight battles on the backend of the roster, there are more tidbits Bolts Backers should be aware of. breaks them down in this pre-game notebook.

--The Chargers-Rams showdown has become a preseason rite of passage, as the teams have collided in 36 preseason contests. The Chargers hold a slight edge in this preseason series, 18-17, after winning the last four meetings. No meeting was more infamous than in 1999, when Chargers safety Rodney Harrison delivered a vicious hit to Rams QB Trent Green, knocking Green out for the season. Green's backup, Kurt Warner, stepped in and led the Rams to their first Super Bowl win. After seven years away, Green, an eighth-round pick of the Chargers in 1993, re-signed with the Rams this off-season and should see action against the Chargers.

--Three other former Chargers will take the field for the Rams on Sunday: Reche Caldwell, Brandon Gorin and Fakhir Brown. Caldwell was a second-round pick of the Bolts in 2002. He spent four up-and-down seasons in San Diego before joining the New England Patriots in 2006, where in the AFC Divisional Round of the playoffs he caught seven passes for 80 yards and a TD to help eliminate the Chargers. Gorin was a seventh-round pick of the Chargers in 2001 and went on to start for the Patriots as they won Super Bowl XXXIX. Brown spent his first two seasons with the Chargers in 1999 and 2000, logging 11 starts and an interception.

--Several members of San Diego's coaching staff will feel a bit of déjà vu during Saturday's game. Head Coach Norv Turner was an assistant coach with the Los Angeles Rams from 1985-1990; Offensive Coordinator Clarence Shelmon led the Rams' running backs in 1991; and Quarterbacks Coach John Ramsdell was an assistant coach with the Rams from 1995-2005.

--Speaking of coaches, one St. Louis assistant coach shared with some insight on former Rams tight end Brandon Manumaleuna. "I'm not surprised at all that Brandon has found so much success in San Diego. He's a California kid," the coach said of Manumaleuna, who was born in Torrance, Calif. "He was never happy in St. Louis. He always had the talent; now he's putting it all together."

--Turnovers will play a large role in Saturday's game. The Rams have a reputation as a ball-hawking defense; since 1995, the Rams have authored the second-most takeaways in the NFL with 405. The Chargers, on the other hand, led the NFL in takeaways last season with 48, securing 30 interceptions and 18 fumble recoveries. The Bolts also led the League in points off turnovers last season with 128, an average of eight points per game.

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