The Chargers lost again last Sunday and, in keeping with the precedent set this season, they lost a game that was well within their reach in the fourth quarter in heartbreaking fashion.
A snap sailed through the hands of holder Drew Kaser, leaving the Raiders up 27-24 instead of giving kicker Josh Lambo a chance to tie the game. Many players, coaches and officials from the Chargers reacted to the development with anger and/or disgust.
Lambo was in a different place. He met up with Raiders kicker Sebastian Janikowski in the middle of the field and cameras caught him laughing in a post-game scene that didn’t sit well with some of his teammates. Coach Mike McCoy and special teams coordinator Craig Aukerman both spoke to Lambo about it on Monday.
“Everybody on your team is looking at you and looking at everything you do at all times,” McCoy said, via the San Diego Union-Tribune. “When a teammate sees you in a situation like this and you get caught, laughing it up, people take it differently. Everybody is different. Some players will look at it and say, ‘It’s not a big deal.’ Other players, it pisses you off. You were involved in a critical play in the game, and it wasn’t executed properly, and we lost. Just understand what it means. I think he’s handled it the right way, talking to his teammates, talking to different coaches on the staff, apologizing and what he’s learned from it.”
It’s hardly uncommon to see players from different teams greeting each other, chatting and laughing after games and any problems that players on the losing side may have with it rarely make their way into public conversation. No one made a fuss about quarterback Philip Rivers saying you had to laugh to keep from crying last week, although there are always exceptions.
The nature of the loss and the trajectory of this Chargers season may have helped these complaints find the light of day, where they have created a locker room issue for a team that has plenty of on-field ones to sort out.