COSTA MESA, Calif. -- With the offseason in full swing, the month-long break provides some time for self-analysis for both players and coaches.
Los Angeles Chargers head coach Anthony Lynn said he will find time for rest and relaxation, but will also use free time to take a closer look at his roster before training camp begins in just over a month.
"I'm going to stick around for a week, tie up some loose end and then I'm going to get away," Lynn said after his team's final minicamp practice last week.
The rookies had an extra week at the team's facility for the league's rookie transition program, which includes speakers who show players how to invest their money and how to handle living in the limelight as an NFL player.
The Chargers also announced 14 practice dates that will be free and open to the public as part of the team's training camp schedule at Jack Hammett Sports Complex in Costa Mesa.
The Chargers report to camp on Friday, July 27, and will take the field for the first time Saturday, July 28, at 10 a.m. local time.
As part of the training camp practices, the Chargers will hold a public team scrimmage on Saturday, Aug. 4. Time and location are still to be announced. Check out the full training camp schedule here.
Let's take a look at a question from this week's mailbag:
#Chargersmail which non division game is the most important this year, whether for record or for publicity for the team?— Steve (@StevenLuffman) June 21, 2018
@eric_d_williams: A few games against non-divisional opponents jump out when taking a closer look at the Chargers' upcoming regular-season schedule, which you can view in more detail here.
A Week 3 matchup against the Los Angeles Rams at the Coliseum -- the first time the Chargers and Rams face off in a regular-season game since both teams moved to Los Angeles -- is an obvious choice.
While tempting, this early season matchup is more of an appetizer than a full meal, as a lot can happen down the backstretch of the season.
I also like the Chargers' Week 7 contest in London against the Tennessee Titans, a playoff team last year, and a Week 16 game against the Baltimore Ravens, with former Bolts' safety Eric Weddle facing the Chargers for the first time.
However, the most important non-divisional game for the Chargers in my opinion is a Week 13 contest on the road against the Pittsburgh Steelers on Dec. 2.
The Chargers have to win these types of games in cold-weather climates in December if they want to continue playing in January.
The Bolts have not played the Steelers in Pittsburgh since 2012, and are 2-8 against Pittsburgh over the last 10 meetings. This game could have playoff implications if both teams play to their potential in 2018.
The past five seasons the No. 1 seed in the AFC playoffs has advanced to the Super Bowl, so securing a win and working to earn home-field advantage is important for the Chargers.
Also, there's the matchup within the game of 2004, first-round draft class quarterbacks in Philip Rivers and Ben Roethlisberger. So far, Roethlisberger has the advantage, with a 3-2 record (including playoffs) vs. the Chargers when both quarterbacks start the game.
For answers to more mailbag questions, click here.