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Rivers takes reigns

Discussion in 'Latest Chargers News & Headlines' started by robdog, Mar 14, 2006.

  1. robdog

    robdog Code Monkey Staff Member Administrator

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    Source: <a target="_blank" href="http://www.chargers.com/news/headline_detail.cfm?news_key=2575">Chargers.com</a>

    <img width="278" height="141" alt="Philip Rivers" id="image2067" src="http://bolttalk.com/wp-content/uploads/2006/03/343_philip.jpg" />
    By Casey Pearce

    As an 18-year-old young man, Philip Rivers walked onto the campus of North Carolina State six months ahead of schedule, focused on conquering the Atlantic Coast Conference."  He had graduated high school a semester early in hopes of winning the starting quarterback job for the Wolfpack."  It took him one day of practice to do so, and four years later he left Raleigh as the NCAA's second all-time leading passer.

    "Philip was the second-string quarterback when he arrived, but after one day (Head Coach) Chuck Amato and we decided to name him the starter because he was going to win the job anyway," said former NC State and current Tennessee Titans offensive coordinator Norm Chow."  "He came in and commanded the respect of his teammates and quickly became a leader."  Look at the success the program had because of that."

    After being named MVP of five bowl games and racking up numerous awards, Rivers joined the Chargers two years ago after being selected fourth overall in the NFL draft."  With Drew Brees choosing to sign with the New Orleans Saints, Rivers now finds himself holding the reigns of a team that features six 2005 Pro Bowlers and a wealth of talent around him.

    "It's a situation similar to when I got to N.C. State because it's all about proving yourself," Rivers said."  "I came in there and showed the coaches that I could play and I got the job."  I'm confident that I can succeed at this level as well and I'm excited about the opportunity to get out there and show not only what I can do but, more importantly, what this team can do with me in there."

    Despite intense competition over the course of the last two years, Rivers developed a strong friendship with Brees and is thankful for what he learned during their time together.

    "Drew was a heck of a teammate and an incredible player," Rivers said."  "He was a guy that I have a lot of fun with both on and off the field."  I enjoyed being around him and I'm pulling for him."  I wish him well and hope he recovers well."  I'm thankful for the ways that he's helped me as a football player and a person."  We were put in a difficult situation over the last couple years, but I'm fortunate that I was in the position with someone as classy as Drew."

    Although Rivers took a limited number of regular-season snaps as a pro, the Chargers are confident in his ability to become an NFL starter at this point in his career."  He has impressed those around him with his play in practice and ability to absorb Offensive Coordinator Cam Cameron's offense.

    "I feel ready."  Although I haven't had a lot of playing experience, the last two years have been very valuable to me," Rivers said."  "I've continued to learn how to prepare week in and week out."  I was able to learn a lot of good things from Drew."  I was able to practice and see how to do things throughout the game."  I got to see it firsthand and study it on tape."  The two years have been very valuable for me, and I really think that the next four or five months are going to be very valuable as I continue to get ready for the 2006 season."

    As he prepares for the upcoming season, Rivers is grateful for the playing time he did receive in the last two years."  While he wasn't fully pleased with his performance in the 2005 season finale against Denver, he believes that experience gives him something to build on.

    "I missed some throws, but when I watched the tape, I did some good things as well," Rivers said."  "That gave me the confidence to know that if I keep working at it and have a good offseason, I can be a good player in this league."  It will become more and more valuable to me as I continue to learn over the course of the next couple of months."

    Rivers led N.C. State to an 8-4 record during his freshman campaign, including a victory over Minnesota in the MicronPC.com Bowl."  While Rivers' opportunity didn't come as quickly as it did in college, Chow believes he is poised to experience similar success in his first year as a professional starter.

    "There's no doubt in my mind he's going to do well," Chow said."  "He's got all of the intangibles."  He's a great kid and can really throw the football."  I hope he wins 15 games next fall, the one exception being when (the Titans) play in San Diego."

    In addition to being surrounded by the likes of LaDainian Tomlinson, Antonio Gates and Keenan McCardell, Rivers will have the opportunity to work with a position coach that knows a thing or two about grooming young quarterbacks."  John Ramsdell, who joined the Bolts' staff in January, helped mold Kurt Warner into a two-time league MVP and was highly responsible for Marc Bulger's ascension to a Pro Bowl quarterback during Ramsdell's tenure with the St. Louis Rams.

    "I'm really looking forward to working with him," Rivers said."  "He's been around our system for a while."  He's coached just about every offensive position."  He's going to bring a lot of knowledge and insight that I'm going to benefit from."

    On top of being counted on to perform on the field, Rivers must also take on the crucial leadership position that comes with being an NFL quarterback.

    "I've got a responsibility to work hard and get ready so that we can take this team where we need to go," Rivers said."  "Drew was a leader and a huge part of this team for five years, particularly the last couple."  It's going to be important for me to be myself; to play and practice the way that I know how to do it."  Hopefully I've already developed some trust in my teammates, as a player and as a person."  I consider myself a leader of this football team along with a lot of other guys."  I'm well aware of the responsibility and accountability that comes with that."

    As Rivers spoke with Chargers.com on Tuesday, he continually pointed to the next six months, the time he has to prepare for this big step in his career."  He promised to be prepared and focused.

    "We've got a great team," Rivers said."  "There are a lot of great players here."  I just need to focus on continuing to work on my development and letting the chips fall where they may. I'm going to do everything I can to get ready for this fall and hopefully help this team win a championship."
     

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