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Rivers confident of turnaround

Discussion in 'Chargers Fan Forum' started by Blue Bolt, Jun 24, 2012.

  1. Blue Bolt
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    Blue Bolt Persona Non Grata

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    Rivers confident in turnaround
    ALEX MARVEZ
    Updated Jun 21, 2012 12:36 PM ET

    San Diego Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers was one of 7,000 participants who successfully completed a 5K run/walk last weekend to benefit his charity foundation

    His journey to the Super Bowl remains unfinished.

    Road blocks and dead ends have increased as Rivers prepares to enter his ninth NFL campaign. After guiding the Chargers into the postseason in each of his first four years as a starter, Rivers has failed to lead San Diego to the playoffs for two straight seasons.

    Rivers is optimistic that will change thanks to a slew of free-agent signings by a general manager (A.J. Smith) who has customarily built its roster through the draft.

    “I’ve never thought we’re not going to be good, but we do have a chance to be as good as we’ve been,” Rivers told me and co-host Jim Miller on SiriusXM NFL Radio. “Now, I thought that last year, too, and we finished 8-8. We have to go do it, but we have the capability to be a really good team.”

    That starts with Rivers rebounding from a subpar 2011 outing. Although he once again ranked among the league leaders in passing yards (4,624), touchdowns (27) and completion percentage (62.9), Rivers finished with a career-high 20 interceptions and also lost five fumbles.

    “I turned the ball over too much,” Rivers admitted. “Much has been made whether I was hurt or this or that. I wasn’t hurt. I was as healthy as I’ve been throughout the year and I played really good at times. But then there were times when I made crucial turnovers at crucial times in games.

    “That’s all it takes. You can play good football for 55 minutes and throw two interceptions and fumble and you lose the game. I need to play better and I’m preparing like crazy to play better.”

    Rivers is doing that with a new supporting cast. Rather than use a franchise tag on Vincent Jackson or try to resign him to the type of five-year, $56 million mega-contract he received from Tampa Bay, San Diego used its cap space to add four free-agent wide receivers – Robert Meachem (New Orleans), Eddie Royal(Denver), Roscoe Parrish (Buffalo) and Michael Spurlock (Tampa Bay).

    Meachem is expected to replace Jackson as San Diego’s top deep threat, while Royal already has earned praise from Rivers as the team’s “most exciting” offseason pickup because of what he can provide on shorter and intermediate routes.

    “He gives us a dimension that was different than what we’ve had,” Rivers said of Royal. “We've had the big guys running up the field and making all the plays. He can push the ball up the field but has such a knack for all the things. He’ll be a great complement to (tight end Antonio) Gates.”

    Gates is among the key Chargers players who have struggled with injuries in recent seasons. With San Diego signing 16 unrestricted free agents, re-signing nine others and adding seven draft picks, quality depth should no longer be a San Diego weakness.

    “There’s been as much change as we’ve ever had,” Rivers said. “This year, we’re going to have guys who have been around the league play bigger roles as first-year players for us.”
    Such moves had better pay quick dividends. Smith and head coach Norv Turner are squarely on the hot seat because of the team’s playoff drought.

    Rivers believes rectifying the problem is bettering a .500 record the past two seasons against AFC West foes that the Chargers once crushed en route to winning four straight division crowns. Rivers also bemoaned the fact San Diego missed the playoffs last year when splitting its final two games. The Chargers were unable to take advantage of a window to make the postseason even with a 7-7 record like the ultimate Super Bowl XLVI champion New York Giants.

    “We can talk about what’s wrong with the Chargers. I don’t think anything is wrong,” Rivers said of the criticism that has surrounded the team. “We’ve got to find a way to get in (the playoffs).”

    If the Chargers can accomplish that once again, Rivers will have the chance to shed the “best-active-quarterback-without-a-Super-Bowl-title” label that is now placed on his 30-year-old shoulders.

    “I would hate to think there’s a quarterback out there who thinks the window is closing if he has the confidence in himself under center,” Rivers said. “I say that humbly. But if I line up out there, I believe we’re going to win.”
    That race begins in September.
  2. Ikeman83
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    He fills me up with happiness and joy. I hated him when Brees was our starter, but since meeting him in TC in 2006, I've never had a bad Rivers moment.
  3. Blue Bolt
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    Blue Bolt Persona Non Grata

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    You hated Rivers when he was drafted? :confused:
  4. Ikeman83
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    He was holding out and I didn't think Brees was a bust. I remember after the 2005 season I was hoping they'd sign Brees to a long term contract and trade Rivers to a QB needy team for some upgrades at CB or S.
  5. Blue Bolt
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    Blue Bolt Persona Non Grata

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    LT and Jammer held out too........ did you hate them as well?
  6. boltssbbound
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    boltssbbound Well-Known Member

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    I don't see how anyone who paid any attention at all to Rivers' college career would have hated him. The guy was obviously a winner.
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  7. Ikeman83
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    Brees was also obviously a winner in college. The point was, I didn't want to "start over" with Rivers, and didn't see the point in paying a b/u QB 8 million a season when we had a pro bowl QB as our starter. Luckily for the team, Rivers is an amazing QB and the transition was seamless, but there was no way of knowing in February 2006 that LT was going to have the greatest season by a RB of all time, that Merriman and SP would have 30 sacks, and that Rivers would be quarterbacking the best overall team in the NFL.

    It's all irrelevant, however, as my dislike of Rivers had nothing to do with him or his abilities, but rather to do with the opportunity cost of keeping him on the roster.
  8. ETicket
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    ETicket Well-Known Member

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    Even after his injury?

    Although Brees had a decent year in 2005 and a great year in 2004, in 2003 he stunk up the field and that sealed his fate. Any notion I might have had regarding the wisdom of possibly retaining Brees went out the window with the shoulder injury.
  9. ETicket
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    ETicket Well-Known Member

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    There was no way of knowing in February 2006... if Brees' shoulder would ever be the same. Miami was unsure if Brees' shoulder was completely healed and doctors suggested the team not sign him because of the injury. New Orleans took a considerable risk.
  10. Ikeman83
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    They did, and it sure paid off for them.
  11. HEXEDBOLT
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    HEXEDBOLT Well-Known Member

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    Brees was not a good QB until after the 2003 season, if he was the Bolts never would have drafted Eli then trade him for River's. To say otherwise is pure bullshit, nothing less. What, 4600 hundred yards is a bust for a QB? River's was a turn over machine last year but he still managed to get the team into position for wins. Sure he was a big part in a terrible season but he also had lots of help.
  12. DenverBolt67
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    Coincidence that he sucked in 03, then in the offseason before 2004, we replaced all 5 offensive linemen, traded for McCardell, and Gates went into his 2nd year, and all of a sudden Brees was a pro-bowler? Fact is, Brees was terrible in 04, but so was the talent level around him other than LT. Once the overall talent level went up, he turned into a pro bowler.

    And I agree, once he was injured, he was a goner. But I know that I was one of the people yelling to improve the talent around him in 04, and especially the line, and to not give up on him.

    But overall, it doesn't matter. We have a great QB now, and I truly believe that have Rivers and Brees swapped places the last 6 years, Rivers would have a ring and Brees wouldn't. Our issues have not been at QB
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  13. Sandolf
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    Sandolf Blue Moon Rising

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    Bring back Doug Flutie. :D
  14. Carlsbad_Bolt_Fan
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    [​IMG]
  15. Buck Melanoma
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    Flutopia the Remake. ;)
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  16. Ikeman83
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    Getting back on topic, I think that two things are going to be critical for Rivers to turn it around these season. First, the line needs to stay healthy. Rivers can throw the ball to anyone, but he can't do it from his back. Second, the defense needs to get off the damn field more often than 50% of the time on 3rd down. I imagine if Rivers wasn't under pressure to score on every drive, he'd have fewer turnovers.
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  17. boltssbbound
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    There was a way of knowing Rivers was special. Watching him in college did not compare to watching Brees in college. Brees put up big numbers in a spread offense at Purdue. But Rivers was flat-out dominant. He consistently made throws at the college level that were jaw-dropping. People seemed to overlook him because of his weird throwing motion, but that was his only knock.
  18. Buck Melanoma
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    It's been pretty simple for me to compare these two in San Diego.

    With Brees, I never felt like any lead was enough to secure the win.

    With Rivers, I never feel we're out of a game until the clock runs out.
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  19. Ikeman83
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    and this is why I have never been disappointed by Philip Rivers. When I watch him playing, I know that he cares as much about the Chargers winning the game as I do, unlike some players who seemingly don't give a crap.
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  20. BoltsFanUK
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    agreed 100%- whenever i watch a charger game, no matter how much we're down by- i always feel that PR can bring us back especially when we have loads of games as examples. 06 against the Bengals, 09 against the Giants etc
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  21. Ikeman83
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    on top of that, he almost brought us back against arguably the best team in the NFL last year after starting the game off 21-0.
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  22. HEXEDBOLT
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    I've been watching River's since his freshman year at State and any game he is in there is a chance. Last year, his turn overs hurt the club and contributed to some of the defensive woes. Even though the threw for 46 hundred yards it was considered a poor year. I never felt that way with Brees under center, if he wasn't handing the ball to Tomlinson there was always a fear of pending disaster.
  23. Ikeman83
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    I agree with that, but I think that was more of a factor of the quality of his receiving targets. I mean, we had nobody catching the ball until 2007, and even then VJ really got on track in the playoffs. Rivers makes average receivers impressive, but Brees wasn't even throwing to average receivers.
  24. Sandolf
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    Sandolf Blue Moon Rising

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    Meh... revisionist history.


    http://www.footballdb.com/teams/nfl/san-diego-chargers/roster/2005
  25. Thomas
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    I'll say it again. I think in today's hyper analytical world, too much is made on throwing motion. NO two players throw the same way. They are called quarterback's not thrower's. I think if you try to change a players motion after he's drafted into the highest level of football on the planet, you are doing nothing but getting into his head. Of course I want to see the ball zip and be accurate, but I couldn't care less what he looks like when he's chucking it. Just no (granny) please.:tup:
  26. Ikeman83
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  27. Sandolf
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    Sandolf Blue Moon Rising

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  28. Buck Melanoma
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  29. Sandolf
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    Sandolf Blue Moon Rising

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    Now you know why Ikeman is teaching English in Germany. Should it degenerate any more he will have to pry his trade in Japan. :D
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  30. Ikeman83
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    Ouch, a low blow. Sadly, however, although I made a spelling mistake on a somewhat rarely written word, you failed to properly use the subjunctive in an if-then clause. I fixed it for you cuddles.

    Back onto something relevant, Rivers didn't actually do any better with the receivers he had than Brees did from 2005 to 2006.

    Brees 2005: 3500 yds, 25 TDs, 15 INTs, 64.6% completion rate, 89.6 Rating on 500 throws. Sacked 27 times
    Rivers 2006: 3388 yds, 22 TDs, 9 INTs, 61.7% completion rate, 92 Rating on 460 throws. Sacked 27 times

    Looks to me like they did about the same. Hmmmm, what was different between 2005 and 2006? Oh, I remember, the team didn't have 7 East coast Road Trips in 2006. But that wasn't all, damnit, something else was different... some player did something really impressive, crap, who was it? Oh, that's right:

    LT 2005 1462 rushing yds on 339 attempts, 18 Rushing TDs, 370 yds on 51 receptions for 2 TDs
    LT 2006: 1815 rushing yds on 348 attempts, 28 Rushing TDs, 508 yds on 56 receptions for 3 TDs

    I'm sure that Tomlinson getting 10 more rushing TDs in a season along with 350 more rushing yds and 130 receiving yds on the year had nothing to do with improving our performance in conjunction with a more friendly schedule, and it was all simply a case of going from Brees to Rivers.

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