SAN DIEGO — As the Chargers' non-union team prepares for its second game, Coach Al Saunders said he is becoming frustrated trying to prepare two different game plans for Sunday's game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
Saunders and his coaching staff will spend part of the week preparing a game plan for the regular roster against Tampa Bay's regular roster.
They will then prepare a different game plan suited for the non-union roster against Tampa Bay's non-union roster.
"The thing that makes it difficult is not knowing who will be representing the Chargers on Sunday," Saunders said after Monday's 45-minute practice. Mondays are typically days off during the regular season, but the replacement players spent two hours in meetings on top of their practice.
The Chargers began the week believing the strike will be resolved by Sunday, Saunders said. So Monday, he and his staff devised their game plan for the veteran roster. Today, they will begin to "pare it down for the replacement players."
The Chargers should have an easier time preparing for Tampa Bay than they did for the Bengals last Sunday because NFL teams trade films of their previous games with upcoming opponents.
Striking quarterback Dan Fouts is receiving notes from quarterback coach Roger Theder consisting of plays that would be instituted against the Buccaneers should the strike end before Sunday. The striking Chargers continue to work out daily on their own.
Who will be the Chargers' starting quarterback Sunday?
After a shaky performance by Rick Neuheisel Sunday, and the play of third-string quarterback Mike Kelly, Saunders is waiting until later in the week to name his starter.
"Right now, I don't think it's anybody's job," Saunders said. "It's a matter of who will be ready for Tampa Bay."
Kelly, who led the Chargers on their scoring drives in the 10-9 victory over the Bengals, has been with the non-union team since it began practicing. Neuheisel, who was in training camp and lasted until the final cut to 45 players, joined the team three days before the Cincinnati game.
Charger Notes Much of the criticism of the games featuring non-union players centers on sloppy play. But against the Bengals, the non-union squad had two turnovers and was charged with two penalties for 10 yards. In the season-opening loss to Kansas City, the regular team committed four turnovers and had nine penalties for 55 yards. In the Chargers' 28-24 victory over St. Louis, they had two turnovers and three penalties for 27 yards. . . . Monday, the Chargers added Carl Brazley, a cornerback who was in training camp through the 60-man roster, to the non-union team. Brazley has spent the past seven years playing in the Canadian Football League.