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Injury or no, both QBs will remain as Chargers

Discussion in 'Latest Chargers News & Headlines' started by robdog, Jan 1, 2006.

  1. robdog

    robdog Code Monkey Staff Member Administrator

    Jun 29, 2009
    Source: <a href="http://www.nctimes.com/articles/2006/01/01/sports/scholfield/123105201958.txt" target="_blank">North County Times</a>


    SAN DIEGO ---- Now that the Chargers proved they aren't playoff worthy, let the speculation begin.

    Will it be Drew Brees or Philip Rivers guiding the Chargers next year?

    That question arose Saturday afternoon in the team's season finale against the Denver Broncos when Brees was injured and Rivers, the second-year quarterback, threw his first passes of the season.

    Chargers coach Marty Schottenheimer said Brees dislocated his throwing shoulder and possibly tore the labrum, a ring of cartilage that stabilizes the joint. The injury took place when Brees reached for a fumble after he was sacked near the Chargers' goal line late in the second quarter.

    How long it will take Brees to heal and how it will affect his throwing are uncertain. But it doesn't matter.

    All the speculation you have been hearing that the Chargers are entertaining offers for Rivers while working on a long-term contract for Brees is simply a rumor. A club source tells me that team president Dean Spanos is more than happy to pay for two quality quarterbacks.

    Brees does not have a long-term deal and might never get one, but the team can slap the club's franchise tag on him for as many years as it desires.

    Rivers, who just completed the second year of a six-year contract, really has no leverage. When he came in for Brees with 3:16 left in the second quarter, he immediately marched the team to its only touchdown of the game, which was encouraging.

    But in the second half, Rivers learned just how tough Denver's aggressive defense can be. After halftime, he was sacked three times, one for a safety, threw one interception and hit on 8-of-16 passes for 76 yards.

    And when the game ended, the Broncos had secured an impressive 23-7 triumph at Qualcomm Stadium.

    The game fueled my belief the Chargers, who finished at 9-7, weren't as good at the end of the season than at midyear, when they strung together five straight victories.

    One victory in the last four games doesn't cut it, even if that victory was against Indianapolis, the best team in football. The Chargers would gladly trade that victory for the three they didn't get.

    The Chargers' effort Saturday was by far their worst of the year. They finished with all the pizzazz of old Rice Krispies: no snap, crackle or pop.

    People can talk about the 0-2 start, the five losses by a total of 14 points and the tough schedule. But remember how they finished:

    > They scored only a touchdown in each of their final two games, both losses.

    > The Chargers accumulated an astounding 33 penalties in their last four games.

    Schottenheimer said he didn't have an answer to the flat finish.

    "We have not done the things on the offensive side particularly the last couple of weeks that you need to be able to do," Schottenheimer said. "Normally, we find ways to win at home (they were 4-4 at Qualcomm Stadium this season), we find ways to win close games ---- and we have failed to do that this season."

    I have a couple of suggestions why the season fell apart. Much of it has to do with the ball-control running game. When LaDainian Tomlinson hurt his ribs against the Oakland Raiders five games ago, the running game went south.

    Tomlinson tried to play in every game, but he admitted after Saturday's contest that he had a cracked rib.

    "It's a tough injury to play with because every time you get hit, you can't breathe for a second," said Tomlinson, who said he never thought of asking out of a game.

    The club was also hurt with inconsistent offensive line play, especially at left tackle, where the presence of the oft-injured Roman Oben was missed.

    Defensively, the pass rush was better but the cornerbacks are not improving fast enough to be of playoff caliber.

    Look for general manager A.J. Smith to address these issues during free agency and in the draft.

    As for Brees and Rivers, don't expect Smith to do a thing. He likes the combination he has and doesn't plan to move either quarterback.

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