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Chargers playing follow the leader during offseason workouts

The San Diego Chargers have a distinct advantage over most other NFL teams during the lockout, Phillip Rivers says.

The quarterback, who has organized informal weightlifting and running sessions for teammates during the NFL lockout, told *The San Diego Union-Tribune* on Tuesday that the Chargers' large contingent of veterans will take the preparations seriously. Rivers expects the group, which started with 10 players, to grow to "more than 20" next week.

"I think it will grow," Rivers said. "I've talked to a lot more guys than that -- I just wanted to touch base with everyone and make sure the mindset is we want to get better. We want to be better than last year, we want to win a championship."

As players return to town, that number could grow even more.

"We've got a good group of veteran guys," fullback Jacob Hester said. "The next couple weeks, I think we'll see almost the whole team out there."

The workouts will remain mainly conditioning, but if the lockout lasts into the summer, Rivers could foresee more football-specific training involved.

"There is really no urgency right now," Rivers said. "(But) if this goes through training camp, we have to have a plan.

"If June rolls around and we're still in this thing, we can be the team that's improving while other teams might be struggling to be together. I'm excited about our team and how we can handle this."

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