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Rivera bringing fresh approach to San Diego

Discussion in 'Chargers Fan Forum' started by ChargerRay, Jun 5, 2009.

  1. ChargerRay

    ChargerRay #FireMcCoy #FirePagano Staff Member Super Moderator Podcaster

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    http://myespn.go.com/blogs/afcwest/0-3-2287/Rivera-bringing-fresh-approach-to-San-Diego.html

    The first stage of Ron Rivera's new job was about survival.

    The newly promoted defensive coordinator had to figure out a way to get the San Diego Chargers' defense turned around in the second half of the 2008 season. There was no time for research or even teaching. The plan was tighten your chinstrap and make a play.

    Rivera made it through the initial breakneck portion of the job. Now he can step back and prepare for the future.

    "It's like I'm just starting this job," Rivera said. "All the stuff I had no time to deal with I'm finally getting a chance to do. It finally feels like it's my defense now."

    Rivera did just fine when he moved from inside linebackers coach to coordinator midway through last season, replacing Ted Cottrell when San Diego had a 3-5 record and appeared to have little chance of making the playoffs. The Chargers caught fire after Rivera took over and the team's defensive production improved dramatically. San Diego ended up winning its final four games to capture the AFC West division title.

    But Rivera is looking at the defense anew in his first full season as coordinator in San Diego.

    "We have a long way to go," Rivera said. "We can't look at what we did last year. It's all about getting our program going."

    To begin his own program in San Diego, Rivera is looking to the past. He is studying the Chargers' defense from 2006 -- when the unit led the NFL in sacks -- which is helping his transition to a 3-4 scheme. Rivera coached in a 4-3 alignment when he was Chicago's defensive coordinator.

    "I'm open to everything," Rivera said. "We're going to do what's best for this defense."

    San Diego general manager A.J. Smith feels Rivera is best for the Chargers' defense. Rivera reminds Smith of former coordinator Wade Philips because of the way he teaches the game to players.

    "He has that teaching instinct and ability," Smith said of Rivera. "He gives individual attention to players. He really stresses the classroom."

    Smith said he believes the improvement of the pass defense is the key to whether San Diego can be a legitimate contender in the AFC this season.

    The return of Pro Bowl linebacker Shawne Merriman, who missed all but one game last season because of a knee injury, and the addition of top pick Larry English should help. Rivera has spent the past several weeks crafting ideas of how to use Merriman, English and Shaun Phillips in packages. The influx of pass-rushers -- along with a rebound year from cornerback Antonio Cromartie, who was hampered by a hip injury last season -- should help the team in passing situations.

    The Chargers were pushed around at times with Merriman on the sideline. The big-play defense San Diego became known for was absent without him.

    "We need to be together at all times," Rivera said. "We need to make key stops. That's what this offseason is all about. It's about getting all on the same page. It's about knowing each other better as we start the new season."

    During the team's minicamp last month, Rivera worked to implement his philosophies and marry them with what the Chargers are used to.

    "We all believe in what Coach Rivera did for us last season," safety Eric Weddle said. "Last year, it was about accountability and we all believe in each other. It's the same this year, but it's also about fundamentals and doing things the way he wants us to do it. He is always teaching. That is going to be the way it is here."

    The Chargers got a dose of the way Rivera plans to conduct business on the first day of minicamp: He gave the team a film study of their 35-24 loss to Pittsburgh in the AFC divisional playoffs.

    "We're only as good as our last game and we weren't very good in that game," Rivera said. "I showed specific breakdowns. It's the only way we are going to get better around here."
     
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  2. in_a_days

    in_a_days dgaf

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    I am excited. I think we're going to see some very wild and creative blitz packages this year with Rivera. No more vanilla bullshit, just bodies flyin'. Damnit season... hurry up! :icon_evil:
     
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  3. Nomadic Bolt Fan

    Nomadic Bolt Fan Well-Known Member

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    I know, I hate the off season!
     
  4. RM24

    RM24 BoltTalker

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    You mean you didn't like Cotrell's "sit back and get killed" schemes? Ah, come on! :icon_evil:
     
  5. Boltergeist

    Boltergeist BoltTalker

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    I really liked what I read in this article...specifically that Rivera is more than willing to look at how Wade ran the defense in 2006 and to mix in some of his ideas to his own playbook.....He's been a successful DC in this league, but is ego isn't so big that it prevents him to keep learning....

    That fat F&%K Cotrell on the other hand wasn't willing to listen to anyone...and couldn't adapt during games to save his life. He may have been the single worst coaching hire in the history of this organization....and I'm being serious with that.

    Rivera will probably be Norv's succesor as our HC in the near future and I think he would be the right guy for the job...I'm also WAAAAAY more comfortable going into this year than last with the defense...and it has more to do with Chico running the defense than anything....more than Merriman coming back, Cro being healthy, whatever...nothing can be counted on when you have a moron like Ted running the D.
     
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  6. 17Rocks

    17Rocks Well-Known Member

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    two words...

    Mike Riley...
     
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  7. Concudan

    Concudan Caffeinated Commando

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    NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!
     
  8. wrbanwal

    wrbanwal Well-Known Member

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    :no:


    HARLAND F'N SVARE

    Mike Riley was a good coach. It just wasn't the right time & place
     
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  9. Boltergeist

    Boltergeist BoltTalker

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    I didn't even consider Svare...and from what I've read, you might be right.


    I'm no fan of Smiley Riley's either.....but I would take him as HC or DC over Cotrell.
     
  10. foober

    foober BoltTalker

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    i can't believe it took the chargers that long to make Rivera the head of the defense. Cottrell must have had naked pictures of spanos or something.

    Rivera is as good as they come. And we've got good talnet on the defense. They just all need to be on the same page.

    The chargers defense gets solid and they win thier first nfl championship. The offense is as good as they come. We just need a good defense.:yes:
     
  11. Buck Melanoma

    Buck Melanoma Guest

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    I think you're right, foobs. Or at least proof that AJ sabotaged all of those great Buffalo teams.

    Our D is gonna FSU this year, a la the Ron Rivera-led Jim Johnson type of schemes.

    Merriman may break Strahan's "record". :abq1:
     
  12. HEXEDBOLT

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

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    i just hope hart gets it and wasn't hiding behind the door.:icon_rofl:
     
  13. RM24

    RM24 BoltTalker

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    I hope both Hart and Wilhelm were taking notes! This defense can be one of the best if they are all on the same page. :yes:
     
  14. Buck Melanoma

    Buck Melanoma Guest

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    I hope that they're both mapping the most direct way out of town. :tup:
     
  15. vegasboy

    vegasboy BoltTalker

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    Mike Riley was no where near as bad as Kevin Gilbride or Dan Henning.:icon_eek::tdown:

    Riley was just a college coach miscast in the NFL.
     
  16. HEXEDBOLT

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

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    Ron is going to change our D, I sure as hell hope they come out bad ***. I'm tired of our Boy Scout mentality that so many here hold near and dear to their hearts.

    Fawk em, kick some *** and worry about what happens later. I don't want Brownie cookies for defense, I want dudes that want to hurt you!!!!!!!
     

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