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Rivers upbeat as Chargers enter training camp

Discussion in 'Chargers Fan Forum' started by Johnny Lightning, Jul 26, 2010.

  1. Johnny Lightning

    Johnny Lightning Go Bolts

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    [​IMG]

    By Kevin Acee , UNION-TRIBUNE STAFF WRITER
    Sunday, July 25, 2010 at 10 p.m.


    Philip Rivers laughed a bunch, gesticulated as wildly as ever and generally appeared his usual happy, well-rested, confident and uber-optimistic self.
    If this is the face of the franchise the day before training camp unofficially begins, well, maybe things will be all right after all.
    Rivers doesn’t seem to have lost any sleep — sheets soaked in sweat as he awakens in a start from the nightmare of being crippled from his blind side, or frozen in the fear of a sleepless daze as he imagines himself repeatedly unable to find an open receiver.
    Rivers doesn’t relax so much as he occasionally ceases moving — momentarily. But, as it were, he seemed legitimately and deeply at peace Sunday afternoon as he spoke while lounging — OK, fidgeting — on a patio just more than a deep pass away from his Santaluz home.
    Today, he will join a few other veterans and (presumably) all but one of the team’s rookies at Chargers Park for the unofficial opening of training camp.
    Rookies practice today through Wednesday, veterans report Thursday and the first full-squad practice is Friday morning.
    Surprise! Rivers is pretty excited about it.
    “I don’t know what could happen to make me not optimistic,” Rivers said with a laugh.
    Rivers is in no way pretending he hasn’t kept up-to-date on the status of Vincent Jackson and Marcus McNeill.
    “Those are two key guys on our offense,” Rivers said. “… I don’t think there’s any way you can say we’re not better with them. We want to have them. But at the same time, can you still get it done without them? The answer is ‘Yes.’ ”
    The already-really-was-but-now-officially-is “face of the franchise” knows he will be asked more in the coming weeks about the players who are gone and those who are missing than he is about the group that remains.
    “It’s what I’d ask about too,” he said, meaning if he were a member of the media.
    But he’s pretty close to being done talking about Jackson and McNeill until (he hopes) he can happily welcome them back. And he plans to lead by example in that area.
    “We can only control what we can control,” Rivers said. “… The biggest thing that can be a negative in the next four weeks is if guys get caught up in talking about when Marcus or Vincent or (Shawne) Merriman is coming every day. It’s the only thing that can keep us from having a great training camp.”
    As for the Chargers’ other well-documented attrition, Rivers sees possibility.
    He has been wholly respectful the past five months when talking about the departures of Jamal Williams, Antonio Cromartie and, especially, LaDainian Tomlinson. However, Rivers spends little time dwelling on losses and is clearly intrigued by changes to the roster.
    Through the course of a 70-minute conversation, he offered detailed, anecdotal explanations about why he is excited about the contributions he believes a number of his young, unproven teammates can make.
    “People say we don’t know if these guys can do it,” Rivers said. “You’re right. We don’t know, but we’ve never asked them to do it.”
    As an example, Rivers recalled 2006 when a rookie named Marcus McNeill was the unexpected starter at left tackle and the Chargers went 14-2.
    The man who has worked the locker room laughing, teasing and talking football with his teammates since the day he arrived is also excited about what he sees as a new overall personality the Chargers will have.
    “I can’t wait for this training camp,” he said. “There are lot of recognizable faces gone. We’re going to have new faces. I think there will be a distinct difference — not necessarily in a good or bad way. In a fun way. It’s going to be fun to see.”
    More than anything, though, the theme Rivers sounded on Sunday was one of continuation and perseverance.
    Rivers is the NFL’s highest-rated passer over the past 39 regular-season games — since his 11th start under coach Norv Turner. While he has never played in one — two injuries, one baby being born — he has been selected to three Pro Bowls. He is, for the time being and depending on how one does the accounting, one of the league’s three highest-paid quarterbacks.
    Does it really need to be spelled out what he hasn’t accomplished?
    He and everyone else knows there is no ring.
    Devastated by the Chargers’ playoff loss to the New York Jets — their latest in what is piling up into a heap of January disappointment — he still recalls certain plays and winces.
    “It’s (important) that’s gone,” he said. “I think it was good for the offseason, for motivation … We can’t dwell on it. We can gain from it.”
    Rivers, like many in the organization, is hoping this is a process.
    He has communicated with teammates throughout the spring and summer — an offseason program roundly considered the team’s most productive and enthusiastic in several years — that “this whole thing is one big journey.”
    More than ever, Rivers hopes the Chargers, the only team to have made the divisional round of the playoffs each of the past four years, can someday be a mirror of the Indianapolis Colts.
    There was a time Peyton Manning’s team was seen as playoff chokers — until in its fifth straight trip to the postseason the Colts finally won a Super Bowl after the 2006 season.
    “We’re at a point now where guys have completely bought in,” Rivers said. “It’s because of all those tough times that allow you to get through them. That’s what it takes sometimes. It takes being in the low of lows, then seeing how the whole (team) gets through, and then you say, ‘This is us.’ We’ve been through the test of time. There’s nothing more we can do. From an injury standpoint, playoff losses, 4-8 in the regular season, there is nothing this team has not seen.
    “To win one time, we’ll look back and people won’t say, ‘Yeah, but you lost in ’06. No, they’ll say, ‘You won the Super Bowl.’ It’s all part of the grind to get there.”
     
  2. szarmes

    szarmes I am the Walrus

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    Git 'er done Philip!
     
  3. HEXEDBOLT

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

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    As much as I like Philip and believe he can lead this team to victory. I also remember feeling the same way with Dan Fouts. Some of us has witnessed those great teams and still feel the emptiness of no championship. It's time to just "Get R Dun" I know I'll be one happy Bolt fan when that day is here.
     
  4. AnteaterCharger

    AnteaterCharger Calibrating Bolttalk, Podcast by Podcast Staff Member Super Moderator Podcaster

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    Philip gets it
     
  5. HEXEDBOLT

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

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    You're right he does get, he made a critical mistake with the pick in the Jet's game. There were also at least three other major screw up by other players. Bottom line is they still had a chance if not for the total missed tackle by Cro. The team is capable, they must cut down on bone headed mistakes at critical junctures of the game and they'll bring that shiny new Lombardi home.
     
  6. AnteaterCharger

    AnteaterCharger Calibrating Bolttalk, Podcast by Podcast Staff Member Super Moderator Podcaster

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    they need to stop being boneheads IN THE PLAYOFFS - they play that game like they play in the regular season, jets get crushed. I don't know what it is about those big lights and main stage but they don't get it
     
  7. bigmike.x.09

    bigmike.x.09 Well-Known Member

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    our boys usually do good under the lights, the jets game was a midday game.
     
  8. AnteaterCharger

    AnteaterCharger Calibrating Bolttalk, Podcast by Podcast Staff Member Super Moderator Podcaster

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    the lights part was more a theatrical matter but yeah still the Chargers didn't do very well last year on monday night and got their asses handed to them on sunday night. So I'm a little concerned still
     
  9. HEXEDBOLT

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

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    They can't win every game and they can't play perfect ball. I just want them to eliminate the boneheaded stuff and see what happens.
     
  10. Johnny Lightning

    Johnny Lightning Go Bolts

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    CHARGERS: Absences notable as camp begins

    Rookie Mathews joins veteran holdouts on the sidelines


    BY SCOTT BAIR - nctimes.com | Posted: July 25, 2010

    SAN DIEGO -- The offseason is officially over.
    Chargers training camp formally began on Sunday evening, when rookies and select veterans reported for the duty of defending last year's AFC West title and avenging a heartbreaking playoff loss to the New York Jets.
    The first practice will take place on Monday morning, while the majority of the roster will report on Friday. The first full-squad practice is on Saturday.
    Most ingredients of the Chargers' recipe for success will be on the field preparing for the regular season, but the talk of training camp will focus on the missing few.
    First-round draft pick Ryan Mathews, a running back from Fresno State, won't report on time, but he is expected to arrive at some point this week. Mathews wants to report in a timely fashion, in an effort to illustrate his commitment to the team that traded up to draft him and his excitement to take over the starting job from LaDainian Tomlinson, his boyhood idol.
    A trio of restricted free agents hasn't shown such allegiance. Receiver Vincent Jackson, left tackle Marcus McNeill and outside linebacker Shawne Merriman have refused to sign their one-year contract tenders, adding drama to an already intriguing offseason that centered around the departures of several key players from recent seasons.
    Merriman is expected to sign early in camp, but he's not sure when.
    "We have a bunch of things we have to work out in order for that to happen," said Merriman, who stayed away from the team's offseason activities in protest of his contract status. "My hope is that everything goes well and I'll be in camp soon, preparing for what I expect to be a successful season."
    A successful season will be harder to realize without Jackson and McNeill, who are expected to hold out for a significant portion of the season.
    Sources close to Jackson and McNeill have said there has been little in the way of negotiations regarding either player since mid-June, when the Chargers slashed roughly $2.5 million off the contract tenders for each player to a minimum offer that includes a 10 percent raise.
    The Chargers have indicated that they're prepared to play the season without Jackson or McNeill.
    The progress of many of the young players who hit the field on Monday could determine how the Chargers fare in 2010
    "I'm excited for the season," Merriman said. "We lost a bunch of guys -- including a few Hall of Famers -- this offseason, but we have a lot of young talent that can fill in the gaps. We'll see how it all plays out over the next few weeks."
     
  11. AnteaterCharger

    AnteaterCharger Calibrating Bolttalk, Podcast by Podcast Staff Member Super Moderator Podcaster

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    There's been ONE first rounder signed this year, let's not panic or read too much into overly panicky articles on the fact that Mathews isn't here
     
  12. LV Bolt Fan

    LV Bolt Fan Well-Known Member

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    A few more 2nd. rounders have signed today,according to NFLN. :tup:
     
  13. Retired Catholic

    Retired Catholic BoltTalker

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    Missed or avoided. He was addition by subtraction.
     

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