On one hand, we understand rookie Los Angeles Chargers coach Anthony Lynn needing to set the tone for how he wants things run in his first training camp with the team. But on the other, is this really the way he wants to go?
Sporting News’ Alex Marvez reported on Monday that Lynn refused to allow quarterback Philip Rivers and tight end Antonio Gates to travel to Canton, Ohio this weekend for the Pro Football Hall of Fame induction ceremony.
Chargers great LaDainian Tomlinson, whom Rivers and Gates played with, is a member of the Class of 2017, which will officially be inducted on Saturday evening.
Lynn disputed the report Monday afternoon, telling the Orange County Register, “I don’t know where that came from. I guess you just can’t believe everything you read on Twitter.”
The Chargers’ first training camp session at the StubHub Center is on Saturday; citing two sources, Marvez wrote that Lynn is “insisting” that Rivers and Gates take part in the practice instead of watching their friend receive the game’s highest honor.
According to Marvez, Gates is considering defying Lynn and going to the ceremony anyway, even if he incurs a team fine.
Rivers and Gates are two veteran leaders with 27 years of NFL experience between them, themselves strong Hall of Fame candidates, so is the whole team going to fall apart if they miss a day?
It also doesn’t seem like the best way for Lynn to endear himself to the entire roster. If anyone has earned the opportunity to take a day off to see a friend and former teammate, it’s Rivers and Gates. Run a tight ship, of course, but you can’t suffocate players.