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Chargers' Rivers looks forward to game against Favre

Discussion in 'Latest Chargers News & Headlines' started by robdog, Aug 11, 2006.

  1. robdog

    robdog Code Monkey Staff Member Administrator

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    Source: <a target="_blank" href="http://www.signonsandiego.com/sports/chargers/20060811-1736-fbn-packers-chargers.html">Associated Press</a>

    SAN DIEGO – The Chargers' Philip Rivers gets his first NFL start Saturday night against the man he once idolized: Brett Favre.

    Although neither is expected to play long, Rivers and Favre will square off when San Diego welcomes the Green Bay Packers in the preseason opener at Qualcomm Stadium.

    "It's unique that now I'm playing with a guy that was once my favorite," Rivers said. "Funny how time changes things and you grow and move up."

    The 24-year-old Rivers has moved up, leaping from the backup role to the starting position in the offseason when the Chargers let Drew Brees move to the Saints.

    The game also marks the debut of Mike McCarthy, the Packers' 14th head coach. McCarthy isn't shy about saying he's going for a victory.

    "Winning is most important, that's what our business is all about," McCarthy said. "And we say it over and over again, no excuses."

    Despite winning an AFC West title and 20 regular-season games the past two years, the Chargers decided not to keep Brees after he injured his right shoulder.

    Enter Rivers, acquired by the Chargers in 2004 after being drafted fourth overall by the New York Giants. San Diego sent the rights to Eli Manning, the top overall pick, for Rivers, who has waited patiently for his chance, throwing but 30 NFL passes as Brees' understudy.

    "I want to get out there and get things rolling a little bit and try to get in the end zone a couple times and get out of there," said Rivers, who will play the first half. "We're all itching to play. I'm tired of looking over and seeing the same guys."

    By all accounts, Rivers has had a stellar training camp and has received the support of his teammates. But the former North Carolina State star also knows he needs to prove his worth somewhere other than in workouts.

    "I need to go out there and perform, obviously," said Rivers, who has one NFL touchdown pass. "That's not saying I've been great in practice, but I have had solid days that has given them some confidence in me, and trust and respect. But ultimately it happens out there at Qualcomm and in the real games. That is when it is really shown."

    The Chargers finished above third place once in the past three seasons, missed the playoffs in nine of the past 10 years and haven't won a playoff game since 1994. Last year, they lost three of their final four games.

    The organization is confident Rivers can lead the squad to more success than Brees.

    "I'm not worried about Philip," coach Marty Schottenheimer said.

    Pro Bowl running back LaDainian Tomlinson offered his own endorsement.

    "He's coming along just fine and he's ahead of all the predictions to where he might be. But Philip is a very smart guy, so it is really not surprising where he is right now."

    Schottenheimer said Tomlinson will not play against the Packers to avoid risking injury.

    The Packers bring an inexperienced interior offensive line with them. Center Scott Wells will line up with a rookie guard on either side.

    Wells says second-round pick Daryn Colledge and third-rounder Jason Spitz spent plenty of time with coaches and teammates during offseason minicamps and workouts, giving them an edge going into training camp.

    "If you ask anybody on the line, we feel comfortable and confident with what we've got," Wells said. "To us, the age factor's not really an issue. The preseason games will definitely help."
     

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