Anthony Lynn hoping the bye week provides answers to Chargers' problems

Anthony Lynn hoping the bye week provides answers to Chargers' problems
Chargers head coach Anthony Lynn speaks to the media following a game against the New England Patriots on Oct. 29. (Steven Senne / Associated Press)

Chargers defensive tackle Brandon Mebane wasn't looking for any answers last week. He was just looking to relax and take his mind off of football.

It's why he went to Pelican Hill, a swanky Orange County resort overlooking the Pacific Ocean.


Not as scenic, perhaps, were what Chargers coach Anthony Lynn and his staff took in during the team's bye week. Huddled in their offices for an in-depth round of self-scouting, the coaches hoped to uncover something that will help them in the team's next eight games.

"It's always good when you have the time to go back and look and see other things," Lynn said Monday. "We do that every game anyway, but we had a chance to sit back and really reflect on it. I thought it was productive."

The results? Well, he's not sharing those as of now.

"Hopefully, they show [up] on Sunday," he said.

When the Chargers play at Jacksonville on Sunday, they will not have used their week without a game as an extreme amount of extra preparation.

The Chargers mostly focused on conditioning and fundamentals during a "bonus" practice Monday before getting back into the rhythms of a normal game week Wednesday.

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"[We] took a peek at [the Jaguars] last week," Lynn said. "But last week, I really wanted to look at the Chargers, and try to fix the Chargers."

One big part of fixing the Chargers — the team's run defense — is set to get a big boost with the expected return of Denzel Perryman, who has been on injured reserved since undergoing ankle surgery during the preseason.

"I want to see how he looks in practice throughout the week," Lynn said. "Definitely going to work him in with the starters, and just see how he looks. …My bet is Denzel's going to play. How much? Right now, we don't know."

It'll be one of the answers the Chargers try to discover this week — one week after Lynn gave his team a clear directive not to try to do anything. Monday, the vacation ended.

"Hopefully, in a week, they didn't do too much damage," Lynn said. "I wanted them to get off their legs and rest."

The Chargers and Lynn know that running back Melvin Gordon will continue to be tied to their success in the second half of the season, and Lynn wants his running back to be steadier.

And, a big part of that will be keeping him injury-free.

"When he was up, he looked good," Lynn said. "Melvin, he's been sore with the toe, sore with the knee. It's cost him some practice time. But the weeks he's practiced, and gone out and played, he looked really good."


It's a plan the Chargers probably will continue to employ, limiting Gordon at times during the week to keep him as fresh as possible.

"We have to do a good job of monitoring him, getting him to the games with the proper balance — where he's practicing enough, but we don't wear him out before we get him on Sundays," Lynn said.

And walking that line comes with a cost.

"We ask our running backs to do a lot," Lynn said. "We run multiple schemes. Protection is just as important, keeping Philip [Rivers] on two feet. We ask those guys to do a lot, so missing practice time is never good for a running back. You can monitor him some, but he's still young. Veteran backs, you get a better feel for those guys. Young backs, they really need to get on the practice field."

Max Tuerk, the Chargers' third-round pick in 2016, signed with the Arizona Cardinals off the Chargers' practice squad. Tuerk, who starred at USC, never played for the Chargers after being drafted. He was suspended the first four games in 2017 for violating the league's performance-enhancing substance policy. ...Tackle Joe Barksdale is still dealing with turf toe, an injury that's problematic for a lineman. "It's a tough injury because you put a lot of your weight on that toe," Lynn said. "…You've got to be able to push off on that. He struggled pushing off. He tried to play through it. Hopefully, with a couple of weeks' rest, he'll be ready to go."

Twitter: @DanWoikeSports