Turner's explanation sounds reassuring, but it doesn't hold water. Because the thing about bad teams, such as the 1-10 Browns, is that they're typically loaded with young players whose pro careers are subject to weekly evaluations. If either team will benefit Sunday because the hunger of its young players, it will be the Browns.
Imagine the second half of a preseason finale, when fringe players are scrapping for the right to extend their NFL careers -- Cleveland's roster is littered with players like that.
So why is Turner having a tough time feigning concern for this week's opponent? It's because the Chargers, despite their many injuries, have too many star players to lose this game.
TE Antonio Gates
In fact, the Chargers may have more elite players on their injury report than the Browns do on their active roster. Shawne Merriman (foot), Luis Castillo (calf), Eric Weddle (knee) and Nick Hardwick (ankle) could all find themselves on the inactive list this week.
And it won't matter.
The Chargers have too many talented, proud veterans to let this train fall off its tracks in the season's final month.
Philip Rivers, 14-0 in December, will lead the charge. His top two targets, Antonio Gates and Vincent Jackson, both rank in the top-15 in receptions. Gates leads all NFL tight ends in big plays (13) while Jackson and Malcom Floyd both rank in the top-10 in receptions of 40-plus yards (seven between them).
The offense will be balanced by LaDainian Tomlinson, who enters Sunday's game just 55 yards shy of Jim Brown for eighth place on the all-time rushing list.
If San Diego's balanced attack scores 24 or more points -- they've scored more than 30 in each of the last three games -- the Browns have no chance.
San Diego's defense has been stripped of much of its firepower by this rash of injuries, but the presence of stalwarts Quentin Jammer, Shaun Phillips, Stephen Cooper and Antonio Cromartie should be enough to frustrate Cleveland's last-ranked offense.
So while Norv Turner is legitimately excited about the play of his youngsters, he's even more thrilled to have a core of star players capable of overcoming some adversity and throttling lesser opponents.
What's in store for Sunday's game in Cleveland? Find out in the message boards.
Michael Lombardo is a member of the Pro Football Writers of America and a long-time contributor to the Scout.com network. His analysis has been published by the NFL Network, Fox Sports and MySpace Sports. He has followed the Chargers for more than 15 years and covered the team since 2003. You can see more of his updates by following him on twitter.