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Turner Reacts to 2nd Half Predictions

Team's focus not straying from improvement

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    NEWSLETTERS

    TK
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    There is a feeling Chargers coach Norv Turner gets when he hears the national media predict a strong second half from his football team.

    It isn't happiness. It isn't anger. Not even surprise.

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    “It makes me nervous,” Turner said. “Every time they talk about how good a team is, it seems like they go have their worst game.”

    The media speculates it's about that time of the year for the Chargers to get hot. In the past four years, they've closed out their season with winning streaks of 11, five, six and 10 straight games.

    To avoid getting caught up in the hype, Turner wants his players to continue to focus on one game at a time, an approach that has so far translated into a two-game winning streak and the Chargers (4-5) surging to just one game back in the AFC West.

    That momentum carried over into last week's bye, which Turner described as “outstanding.” He believes the Chargers have made strides to reverse a poor punting game just as they reversed their struggling kickoff coverage unit earlier this season.

    In Week 3, the Chargers allowed Seahawks running back Leon Washington to return kickoffs for 101-yard and 99-yard touchdowns. The unit then adjusted its personnel and patched its technique. Those two returns aside, the team has allowed 20.2 yards per kickoff return this season, tied for the third-best mark in the league.

    With the team getting healthier, a similar personnel upgrade awaits in Monday's game against the Broncos, welcome news for a punting unit that has been the worst in the league in both protection and coverage.

    But like media hype, Turner cautions that any improvements on paper will mean little if they don't translate onto the field.

    "This thing is about the four quarters of football," Turner said. "It's not about what people are saying before the game. It's not about what people are saying after the game. ...We've just got to take care of ourselves."

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