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Are the Chargers setting up Rivers to fail?

Discussion in 'Chargers Fan Forum' started by Blue Bolt, Apr 16, 2013.

  1. Blue Bolt

    Blue Bolt Persona Non Grata

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    Chargers setting up Philip Rivers to fail?
    By Chris Burke SI.com

    [​IMG]
    Philip Rivers has committed 47 turnovers over the past two seasons. (Gregory Bull, AP)

    Just about any way you slice it, this is a make-or-break type of season upcoming for Philip Rivers. The Chargers’ starter at QB for the past seven seasons, Rivers will turn 32 in December, has a cumbersome contract and no ties to San Diego’s new coaching staff.

    Kevin Acee of the San Diego Union-Tribune said on the NFL Network last week that “2013 is the final audition of Philip Rivers.”

    And if that’s the case, Rivers is in trouble.

    When new head coach Mike McCoy was hired back in January, he inherited a roster that had some nice pieces but fell shy of looking like a Super Bowl contender — and probably even shy of really challenging Denver in the AFC West. While San Diego has made a couple of decent free-agent additions (Danny Woodhead at running back, Derek Cox at corner), the offense especially looks more or less like it did in 2012. That unit, if you’ll recall, was thoroughly underwhelming.

    The hope for Chargers fans has to be that the offensive-minded McCoy’s arrival can bring back the Rivers of old, the QB who won 46 games and threw for 105 touchdown passes from 2006-09. Maybe it’s as simple as just flipping that switch, too, by getting Rivers more comfortable.

    But all the issues that plagued San Diego’s offense last season (aside from an increasingly turnover-prone Rivers) still remain. The offensive line, which coughed up 50 sacks in ’12, has not improved much, if at all, despite the additions of King Dunlap, Rich Ohrnberger and Chad Rinehart. The Chargers also, as of yet, have not added any more weapons to a receiving unit that is coming off a disappointing year.

    San Diego holds the No. 11 overall pick in the 2013 NFL Draft, so it could address one trouble spot there. The natural fit is at LT, where Jared Gaither hung the Chargers out to dry in 2012 as he struggled with injuries. What if Luke Joeckel, Eric Fisher and Lane Johnson are off the board, though? Would a developing Cordarrelle Patterson fit at wide receiver? Could San Diego trade down and go the quantity-over-quality route?

    Rivers no doubt will be watching intently. He and this Chargers team simply cannot go into 2013 with the status quo on offense and expect to improve. Sure, the offensive line could raise its game inexplicably and Ryan Mathews could stay healthy all year, while Malcom Floyd continues his development into a top-flight receiver. Heck, maybe even Robert Meachem might bounce back from free-agent bust land to pitch in some, or Danario Alexander’s reception numbers will continue to trend upward.

    The problem is that the Chargers, as they stand, need all of those what-ifs to occur simultaneously to really be a threat in the AFC West.

    Short of that, Rivers’ regression figures to continue behind an overmatched offensive line and with an underachieving group of position players.

    The natural reaction when any team struggles is to blame the quarterback. It’s happened time and again with Rivers, just as it has with Tony Romo, Mark Sanchez and many other QBs. Rivers does deserve his fair share of criticism, following three straight years without a playoff berth.

    As is often the case, however, the letdowns have been far from a one-man operation. Even at his best last season, Rivers could only do so much with the talent (or lack thereof) around him — specifically, up front.

    The situation for 2013 does not set up that much better, either. The Chargers have done little more than plug gum into the holes on their leaky line and the receiving corps is the same one Rivers threw to throughout the 7-9 2012 season.
     
  2. Fossil

    Fossil BoltTalker

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    Maybe in part because of its pessimistic slant, I like the article because it paints a pretty accurate picture of the team as it sits today.
    Two things SI's Burke omitted were that PR after seven years needs to quickly master a new offense**, and that AJ :poop: is the reason we've been unable to do much in free agency so far.

    ** Read two stories recently. One about how Peyton this off season, on his own, had lined up some practice sessions with his WRs and had brought Welker to get some reps and work on timing. Another article mentioned that PR was in his living room calling out new plays. Please tell me PR has worked this offseason at least as hard as Manning.
     
  3. CoronaDoug

    CoronaDoug Well-Known Member

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    Next years draft will have the Rivers replacement. Everyone is drafting rookies and starting them right away. If he stinks it up then he will be replaced, if not then it is still time to draft the future.
     
  4. CoronaDoug

    CoronaDoug Well-Known Member

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    The guy has six kids (the last that I heard). How much work could he get done?

    At least Cromartie had a mother for each one of them.
     
  5. Blue Bolt

    Blue Bolt Persona Non Grata

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    What, no housekeeper...... no nanny???

    What does this guy do with all that money? ;)
     
  6. Moses

    Moses Yeah Buddy!

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    I'll play the role of optimist for a moment and state the following (don't laugh):
    - We will likely invest premium picks to upgrade the OL one way or another. Maybe we even still add a free agent or 2 if we can get a good deal.

    - I think our WR crew will have a better year. As restricted free agency draws to a close, the likelihood of retaining Alexander increases. We will also see the return of Vincent Brown, who was primed for a breakout year. Meachem and Royal disappointed in year 1, but who is to say they don't find bigger roles in a McCoy / Whisenhunt offense? They certainly would struggle to do worse. We can hope that Gates has an injury free season too, I don't know how likely this is, but if he does, he'll be a difference maker still.

    - The run game surely couldn't be worse. Mathews has 2 collar bones, he's broken both of them, unless he can think of some magical way to grow a 3rd one and then somehow break it, then we can hope he will play a few more games. Who knows, maybe Woodhead would be a nice screen pass option for Rivers.

    I also feel like the pressure of Norv's job being on the line probably didn't help Philip either.

    I'm not saying we're giving him a loaded team and elite protection, but "setting up to fail" is a bit extreme, we are clearly trying to get better in areas of need.
     
    • Agree Agree x 1
  7. Savage Lizard

    Savage Lizard Charger fan at 7000'

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    It's not hard to figure out: lots of long developing plays + sub-par oline + guy trying too hard to force the issue when things weren't going well = struggles. Better game plan + any improvement on the line = a better season for Phillip.
     
    • Winner Winner x 1
  8. HEXEDBOLT

    HEXEDBOLT Don't like it, lump it!!!

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    I don't know if Philip can overcome the residual effects of the last two years. McCoy has a lot of work to do with Philip to him him up to speed in his system, I guess we're all going to see just how good McCoy and Philip work together. I'm hoping for the best.
     

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