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With Rivers, LT has no need for direct snaps

Discussion in 'Latest Chargers News & Headlines' started by robdog, Sep 23, 2008.

  1. robdog

    robdog Code Monkey Staff Member Administrator

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    Source: <a href="http://sports.yahoo.com/nfl/news?slug=ap-chargerswin&amp;prov=ap&amp;type=lgns" target="_blank">Associated Press</a>

    <a href="http://i2.chargers.com/assets/239/41673_600w600h.jpg"><img class="alignnone" title="Quarterback Philip Rivers #17 calls out from under center while taking on the New York Jets on September 22, 2008 at Qualcomm Stadium in San Diego, California.(Stephen Dunn/Getty Images North America)" src="http://i2.chargers.com/assets/239/41673_600w600h.jpg" alt="" width="260" height="172" /></a>

    By Bernie Wilson

    SAN DIEGO (AP)-Minutes after the San Diego Chargers finally got their first win, star running back LaDainian Tomlinson was asked what he thought of the recent trend of running backs taking direct snaps.

    L.T. didn't jump at the chance to lobby for the Chargers to start snapping the ball straight to him, a la the Miami Dolphins and Ronnie Brown, and the Oakland Raiders and Darren McFadden.

    Instead, the two-time defending NFL rushing champion praised the one player who's been consistent for the Chargers in all three games, Philip Rivers.

    "There's a couple of things that those teams have in common. They don't have our quarterback," said Tomlinson, who started to laugh. "We're fine with where we are. We're scoring a lot of points and don't have a need to do that."

    With Rivers matching his career high with three touchdown passes for the third straight week, the Chargers beat Brett Favre and the New York Jets 48-29 on Monday night.

    Picked by many to make it to the Super Bowl, the Chargers got the victory they desperately needed after gut-wrenching losses to Carolina and Denver.

    Rivers kept it in perspective.

    "It was a good win, a good win to build on," the third-year starter said. "We're 1-2. We didn't all of a sudden become 3-0 like we wished we were."

    Rivers leads the NFL with nine touchdown passes and a 124.8 passer rating. He's thrown two interceptions, including one on his first pass Monday night that was returned 25 yards for a touchdown by Jets cornerback David Barrett.

    "I just think it's a progression," coach Norv Turner said.

    Turner pointed to last season, his first as San Diego's coach, when Rivers and the rest of the team struggled early before making it all the way to the AFC championship game.

    "I just see it as a growth pattern," Turner said. "We were getting used to each other in terms of the offense and he was getting used to the way we go about attacking and playing offense.

    "Obviously he had the tough play last night on the interception for the touchdown. The ball got snapped a count early, he got the ball and no one really was ready, and then instead of just throwing it away he tried to make something happen. But other than that, he was outstanding last night."

    Rivers was 19-of-25 for 250 yards. Overall, he's 57-of-85 (67.1 percent) for 844 yards.

    "It was a fun night," Rivers said. "It obviously didn't start too good with the interception for a touchdown on the first throw. Anytime you're playing against a Brett Favre-led team the game is never over."

    Turner said he's not getting caught up in the number of Rivers' TD passes.

    "Touchdown passes, you know, it's just a funny thing. You can go three weeks and not throw one, and go three weeks and throw nine, based on how things come up. We threw a touchdown on the 1-yard line, based on how they were playing. Most of the time we're going to give the ball to the tailback. I think that pass helped us get the ball to the tailback later in the game.

    "So, I'm not a stat guy; I don't get caught up in that stuff. My purpose and our team's purpose to go win, and all of that stuff takes care of itself."

    Turner said he thinks Tomlinson came out of the game in good shape. He'd been slowed after jamming his right big toe late in the season opener. Tomlinson scored his first two touchdowns of the season, gaining 67 yards on 26 carries.

    Tomlinson missed significant practice time the past two weeks but Turner won't know about this week until the players return on Wednesday to begin preparing for Sunday's game at Oakland.

    "We'll see where he is tomorrow when we go out and warm up and move around," Turner said. "He's done as much as he's capable of doing, and then being ready to play. He'll push it as far as he can and do everything he can to start getting practice reps, and that will help him, but not to a point of go out and practice hard for three days and then be sore on Saturday. I don't think that would be in our best interest."

    The only injury of note was when defensive end Luis Castillo was hit in the knees by Jets running back Thomas Jones in the second quarter. Castillo returned to the game. He had an MRI on Tuesday and is fine, Turner said.
     

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