The Los Angeles Chargers are quickly emerging as an offseason darling to turn things around in 2018.
Analysts are talking about the team, and even Denver Broncos general manager John Elway entered the fray by saying the Chargers might be the team to beat in the AFC West.
High praise, for sure, but don’t expect Chargers coach Anthony Lynn to buy into the early hype over his team.
“That sounds like a mousetrap to me,”
Lynn said Thursday during a guest appearance on NFL Up To The Minute.
“That’s all I can say about that drill.
“We know Kansas City won this division, they had a good draft, they brought in some key free agents. To me, that’s still the team to beat in this division. Until we beat Kansas City, we can’t even talk about playoffs and things like that.”
Still, the Chargers have reason for optimism ahead of the season.
In Lynn’s first year as the head coach, the Chargers finished on a high note, winning six of the final eight games en route to 9-7 record.
Numerous key pieces on both sides of the ball, including quarterback Philip Rivers, running back Melvin Gordon, wide receiver Keenan Allen and defensive ends Melvin Ingram and Joey Bosa, among others, return for another season. And the Chargers should have Jason Verrett back healthy after the cornerback suffered a season-ending knee injury in Week 1 of the 2017 season.
The core foundation of the team and its offseason acquisitions, which include center Mike Pouncey, have Lynn believing the Chargers could put together something special for the upcoming season.
“I thought the pieces were there last year to do something special, no different than this year, and we’ve added some more guys. I feel like we did a heck of a job of bringing in the right people for that locker room.”
Nevertheless, don’t go so far as to crown the Chargers the AFC West champions just yet despite all the league-wide predictions, including from Elway.
“We’ve got to beat Kansas City,” Lynn said. “I took it as a compliment, but we’ve got a lot of work to do. I like this football team. I’m excited about this football team, but like I said we have a lot of work to do.”