Every week during the regular season we get an opportunity to talk with the opposing head coach via conference call. This week it was Los Angeles Chargers head coach Anthony Lynn. I also scanned the Los Angeles media websites and the Chargers website to see what else the Chargers players and coaches are saying about this week’s matchup with the Lions.
Here’s what they had to say:
1. The Chargers are traveling from the west coast to play in the eastern time zone in Detroit Sunday. Lynn said the team tries to do a few little things to help prepare the players for a game that will start at 1 p.m. eastern, but will feel like 10 a.m. in the morning to the Chargers players. Los Angeles has moved up meeting and practice times this week. They’ll travel to Detroit Friday instead of Saturday. Lynn said the players will also wear compression socks on the plane to help with circulation, along with their team sweat suits.
2. Chargers All-Pro cornerback Desmond King will have a large fan club at Ford Field Sunday. The Detroit native and former East English Village Prep star is expecting a ton of family, friends and former coaches to attend the game Sunday at Ford Field.
“It’s good to know I have that support system back home, even when I’m out here,” King told the Los Angeles Times. “As a guy from the inner city of Detroit, to come back for a homecoming game ... it’s nice to know a lot of people will be there rooting me on.”
Meet this week's opponents, the Los Angeles Chargers.
3. Los Angeles has lost tight end Hunter Henry to a tibia plateau fracture, suffered last week vs. Indianapolis. Lynn said they’ll obviously miss Henry for however long he’s out, but said the offense won’t change at all without him in there. Next man up.
4. No Melvin Gordon? No problem for the Chargers. Gordon, a Pro Bowl running back in 2016 and 2018, continues to be a holdout for the Chargers. Austin Ekeler has assumed the No. 1 running back role. Last week he finished with a career-high 154 yards from scrimmage and three touchdowns.
Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers said he has all the confidence in the world in Ekeler to continue to produce for them this week in Detroit.
“He has this thing that nobody can see unless you're out there with him, but there's just nothing too big for him,” Rivers told ESPN.com. “You can see it in his face and in his eyes and in his communication. It's just like we're out there in the backyard. I saw that when he was a young player, and that's continued to be the case.”
5. Lynn was very complimentary of the Lions' offense and the weapons they have at the skill positions. Starting from the two receivers on the outside – Kenny Golladay and Marvin Jones Jr. – to Danny Amendola in the slot and T.J. Hockenson and Jesse James at tight end. Lynn said Detroit’s offense can really stress a defense vertically, and they have to be mindful of that. Detroit had seven receptions of 20-plus yards last week in Arizona.
6. What impresses Lynn the most about 16-year veteran quarterback Phillip Rivers? Lynn said his preparation leading up to Sunday is as thorough as any coach on his staff.
7. Lynn had a great line when asked about edge rushers Joey Bosa and Melvin Ingram. He said it was great to have two edge players who can rush like they can, but it’s also important to get that push from the middle of the line or else the quarterback “can step up in the pocket and still deliver the mail.”