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Panthers appreciate Rivers' fiery style

Discussion in 'American Football' started by Johnny Lightning, Sep 5, 2008.

  1. Johnny Lightning

    Johnny Lightning Go Bolts

    Feb 7, 2006
    Former N.C. State QB takes on Carolina in season-opener

    Stan Olson
    Sep 05, 2008

    CHARLOTTE - Carolina Panthers quarterback Jake Delhomme doesn't know San Diego Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers personally but ... "I've followed him since I came to the Carolinas and he was at N.C. State, and he's a winner," Delhomme said Wednesday. "I think his strength is from the neck up; he's extremely bright. He's feisty -- he's an accurate thrower, don't get me wrong -- but from the neck up plays a big part. That's huge."

    Rivers will lead the Chargers, a favorite in the AFC this season, against visiting Carolina on Sunday in the NFL opener for both teams. And this isn't the Philip Rivers who went to San Diego in a draft-day trade for Eli Manning in 2004 and then sat on the bench for two years.
    Rivers has developed rapidly, throwing for more than 3,000 yards in each of the past two seasons. Along the way, his enthusiasm and brash on-field demeanor have offended some -- but not Carolina cornerback Ken Lucas, who grinned when Rivers' name was mentioned.
    "He has the type of attitude a lot of wide receivers and defensive backs have," Lucas said. "He's very confident in his ability. He likes to talk to the fans, talk to the other team. You kind of like that, in a quarterback especially."
    San Diego coach Norv Turner remembered incidents in which his young quarterback got a bit intense with Indianapolis and Denver.
    "A couple of situations and all of a sudden a guy is perceived totally different than if those two things had not happened," Turner said on a Wednesday conference call. "For the most part he goes out and plays; he does have great energy and enthusiasm."
    Turner talked with Rivers about such perceptions during the offseason, but he added, "I don't want him to back off if it takes away from his ability to play."
    Enthusiasm is the key word here. Remember how Rivers played while leading the Wolfpack to a 34-17 record? He's still that way in the pros.
    "I play the game with a lot of enthusiasm, and that's the only way I know how to play; growing up in the backyard in Alabama playing, and my years at N.C. State," he said in that still-comfortable Southern drawl. "There's nothing that I've really changed. I just play with that type of attitude and mentality.
    "The one thing I think is key, is it's never a distraction. There's never any false hype. I never think, 'What can I do now to draw attention to ourselves?' It's all within the scheme and emotions of the game. That's just the way I go about it."
    That attitude comes with guts. Last season, Rivers played in the AFC championship game with a torn ACL in his right knee and threw for 211 yards as the Chargers lost to the New England Patriots.
    "He gives your team the best chance to win, so tape it up and let's go," Delhomme said of that performance. "And he looks like the kind of guy who says that and does that."
    They remember that kind of fortitude in Raleigh, where Rivers led the Wolfpack to four bowls in his four seasons, breaking a batch of ACC records along the way.
    The NFL, though, took some getting used to. When Manning didn't want to play in San Diego, Rivers went over in that deal with the Giants, then sat and watched Drew Brees run the offense for two seasons.
    That was tough, Rivers said, but he understood.
    "When you get here as a rookie, you start over like you did as a freshman in college. You have to start building that trust and respect with your teammates.
    "But those two years were still important to lay the groundwork for when I hopefully did get the shot at getting a chance."
    If running back LaDainian Tomlinson is the motor of the San Diego offense, Rivers has become its spark. "He reminds you a lot of Brett Favre," Lucas said. "Just going out and enjoying this game."

  2. Charger Dave

    Charger Dave Dead account

    Apr 13, 2007
    Have mentioned this elsewhere... I absolutely LOVED that read - pretty major props coming PRs way from this weekend's competition. Will be interested to watch that news site for articles AFTER the game Sunday. :tup:
  3. cranberry

    cranberry BoltTalker

    Oct 3, 2006
    The Carolinas have a good memory of Philip Rivers.
    We have good memory of Delhomme in the Superbowl.
    On the field this doesn't count anymore. Chargers will
    wins, but it sure will be a hard work to do.
  4. Retired Catholic

    Retired Catholic BoltTalker

    Aug 3, 2006
    The props are deserved and I figure the articles will probably criticize the Carolina team if the lose and say things like PR gave it his best shot if the Chargers lose-which they won't. Rivers will need every point of his football IQ to win this game. Norval will also have to keep a sharp eye on Merriman and and have the presence of mind to yank him if he is not up to snuff. That's another position that had better be optimum.
  5. LT-Express

    LT-Express Bolttalk.com Janitor since 06' Staff Member Super Moderator

    Aug 4, 2006
    I will post the article on here when it comes out from the charlotte observer. I live in Charlotte, NC so I will get it ASAP for ya!


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