It is just a very different feel right now at the Fortress, Chargers Park.
It has nothing to do with fans turning out for off season workouts, nor Mike McCoy’s litany of clichés about positive practices, or the cheerleader newspaper columnists in town.
It feels different, it looks different, it sounds different.
The misery of last year’s (4-12) Chargers season is now in the rear-view mirror. New players, new assistant coaches, and new found health seems to have put this team on a better track. Sure the first 8-weeks of the schedule are tough, but if you compare what San Diego has become, compared to the defections in Denver, the multiple surgery issues in Kansas City, and the growth of youth in Oakland, you’d have to believe things are looking up in Boltville.
Philip Rivers seems to have the best firepower around him since the last quality playoff run this team had in 2013.
The crushing number of injuries to the offensive line seem to have gone away, with the re-emergence of all five starters health, the acquisition of center Matt Slauson, and the growth of young backup lineman like Ken Wiggins and others.
Melvin Gordon is running with power, authority and cutting ability, bounding back from what appears to be minor micro fracture surgery.
Keenan Allen has emerged as a star receiver in this league, Travis Benjamin provides scary speed, and people are raving about big young receiver Tyrell Williams as the heir apparent to Malcom Floyd.
The farewell tour of Antonio Gates is about to begin, and his future replacement, Hunter Henry is catching everything throw in his direction.
On defense, that is a legitimate proven wide body at nose-tackle in Brandon Mebane.
And now there is speed to burn on the blitz package, with Joey Bosa joining Melvin Ingram and Jerry Attaochu.
And the secondary seems trustworthy. Jason Verrett seems to be a star in the making, but Dwight Lowery, Casey Hayward and Brandon Flowers have thousands of snaps under their belt to bring stability to what was a porous secondary group.
Sure it’s early, and yes there’s lots of football to be played. But for the first time in a long time, the positive vibes coming off that practice field, seem real, not imagined.
The Chargers have alot of banners hung across the top of their building, for winning divisional titles. There might be another one coming this season.
From (4-12) to 1st place this year. It might happen. Worst to first in the AFC-West, could happen.