By Dennis Green
The Chargers start training camp on July 25. That means their first game - versus the Panthers - of the 2008 regular season is only seven weeks away.
The team will have a lot to do in the upcoming weeks to prepare for their expected successful season.
Training camp is the time for coming together in a rarified atmosphere. The team, while practicing, meeting and having their meals in their training facility at Chargers Park, is able to focus on key aspects in the development of successful chemistry.
In the NFL, some teams leave their facilities and move temporarily into college campuses for training. In their first 44 years as a professional team, the Chargers were one of those teams. They traveled to various California cities and college towns to utilize their practice facilities, eat in the college cafeterias and, of course, try to sleep in those undersized dormitories.
That all changed in 2005 when the team established Chargers Park, which is on Murphy Canyon Road just west of Interstate 15 between Aero Drive and Clairemont Mesa Boulevard. They determined it would be just fine as a year-round practice, training and season-preparation facility.
This has been good news for supporters and the just plain curious. Select practices are open to the public and are free of charge.
Up close, fans can watch LaDainian Tomlinson, the Chargers best player and the NFL’s best running back, do his thing. Linebacker Shawne Merriman, with his quick starts, will show you why he’s considered one of the most explosive defensive players in the game. Then, when you want to see amazing athletic ability, set your eyes on cornerback Antonio Cromartie.
Training camp runs through Aug. 14. For more details, visit
Dennis Green is the former coach of the Minnesota Vikings and the Arizona Cardinals.