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Struggling Chargers face their former coach

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SAN DIEGO — When the San Diego Chargers travel to Minnesota to face the Vikings on Sunday, they will be greeted by a familiar face.

Hello Norv Turner.

The one-time Chargers head coach will try to stick it to San Diego as the Vikings’ offensive coordinator.

“It certainly will be weird going against him,” quarterback Philip Rivers said. “I don’t know there’s a competitive advantage either way.”

There is no two ways around it: The Chargers (1-1) need a win to rinse the doubt created from getting thumped last week by the Cincinnati Bengals.

The Chargers struggled on both sides of the line. The special teams were shoddy. And coach Mike McCoy left himself open to second-guessers by taking two timeouts to the locker room with him at halftime.

So while facing off against their former coach and offensive coordinator makes for a good angle, this is more about the Chargers than facing an ex-coach.

“We’ll bounce back,” McCoy stressed.

McCoy tips his hat to Turner but said it’s up to the Chargers to focus on their task.

“Norv is one of the best coordinators of all time,” he said. “He’s going to be calling the plays over there for them, and obviously Philip knows him extremely well, too.

“It’s going to be a great game and we’re looking forward to playing against him. We’ve got to play our best game of the year. We have our system and they have their system. We’ve got to go out there and play the game.”

Sounds simple. But stopping the Vikings’ Adrian Peterson? Not so much.

At least Chargers rookie running back Melvin Gordon will get close to the runner he emulated.

“Adrian Peterson was kind of who I wanted to be,” Gordon said. “Not just me but everyone admired how he played the game. I have been looking up to him for a quite a while.”

The Chargers’ quest is not to be doing the same in the AFC West standings.

–Cornerback Brandon Flowers is looking to rebound after giving up three touchdown passes in the loss to the Bengals.

“It’s comes with the job,” Flowers said.

Like all good cornerbacks, Flowers has a short memory. But he will be tested Sunday to see if he really did shake the issue of getting beaten for scores by three different receivers.

–Center Chris Watt knows the line needs a better effort on Sunday against the Vikings in pass protection. Hopefully, Watt can lend a hand on Sunday as he skipped Wednesday’s practice with a groin injury.

“There is no time to wait,” said Watt, not buying into the fact that the Chargers need some games to gel with so many new faces along the line. “We have to get comfortable as quick as possible. People can use that as an excuse, but we have to get that right.”

–Rookie running back Melvin Gordon received praise from the Vikings’ Adrian Peterson in Wednesday’s conference call. Peterson, the Vikings’ All-Pro running back, likes what he sees in Gordon.

“He’s got real nice feet,” Peterson said. “He runs physical, and he’s quick in between the tackles. I think maybe that’s why I like him so much, because he reminds me of how I would run the ball with the talent that I’ve been presented with.”

NOTES: Among those expected to miss Sunday’s game are OLB Tourek Williams (leg), SS Jahleel Addae (ankle) and LG D.J. Fluker (ankle). OL Chris Hairston, a converted tackle, will replace Fluker. . . . WR/KR Jacoby Jones missed practice and will be a game-time decision. If Jones is out, Keenan Allen will return punts.


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