Chargers begin workouts in Champaign

Updated: October 30, 2003, 11:23 PM ET

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. -- The San Diego Chargers' practice location might have changed by nearly 2,000 miles, but the weather hasn't.

Unseasonably warm temperatures that soared into the mid-70s during an afternoon workout Thursday at the University of Illinois were more like San Diego than fall in the Midwest.

"Hopefully, it will continue to be this way," running back LaDainian Tomlinson said. "We got lucky, I guess."

Wildfires in Southern California forced the Chargers to come to Illinois early to get ready for Sunday's game in Chicago against the Bears. The fires displaced the Chargers earlier this week when they had to move their game Monday night against the Miami Dolphins from San Diego to Arizona because their stadium's parking lot was being used as a relief center.

"It's an unusual situation for all of us in San Diego," coach Marty Schottenheimer said. "I'm not overly concerned about the fact that we picked up and moved because I've done that before. The distraction is the concern and well-being of our families and everybody back in San Diego."

Schottenheimer said the Chargers have enjoyed their stay in Champaign so far.

"We're very fortunate to have an opportunity to get away and work in a quality facility like this," Schottenheimer said.

The Chargers' players have found refuge on the practice field.

"For a couple of hours you get to put things out of your mind," quarterback Doug Flutie said. "Let's get out there so we can take our mind off it and so others can take their mind off it for a little while. It would be nice if we could get a win for the people back in San Diego."

This story is from's automated news wire. Wire index