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Chargers still mulling choice between Brees and Rivers

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  • Chargers still mulling choice between Brees and Rivers

    Chargers still mulling choice between Brees and Rivers
    By: JAY PARIS - Staff Writer

    SAN DIEGO ---- In the city where "The Catch" became famous, Philip Rivers hopes to snag "The Job." Tonight's matchup between the Chargers (1-2) and the ***** (0-3) at San Francisco features more drama than most exhibition finales. Rivers, the draft's fourth pick, and incumbent Drew Brees are leaning toward the tape to be declared the winner of the team's quarterback derby.

    Coach Marty Schottenheimer continues to state that the position is up for grabs, despite the fact that Rivers missed 29 practices and two preseason games in a contract dispute.

    Rivers, who counts ***** great Joe Montana ---- he threw the ball to Dwight Clark in the NFC championship game following the 1981 season, resulting in "The Catch" ---- among his idols, aims to land a title bestowed upon only 32 men: NFL starting quarterback.

    "I actually pulled for the ***** a little bit because of Montana," Rivers said. "Joe Montana was obviously one of my favorites growing up. They were good then, and you always pull for a proven winner."

    Much like the Chargers, the ***** haven't struck gold of late. If nothing else, they know their starting quarterback is Tim Rattay. The Chargers? Their key training camp question remains unresolved a little more than a week before the season opener.

    "Obviously, the faster (Schottenheimer) makes the decision, or announces it, the better," said Brees, whose summer passing numbers are 26-of-40 for 361 yards, with two touchdowns and two interceptions. "I'm not sure where he is on that. I hope I know where he's going, but I don't."

    Rivers' destination is clear-cut: he's the future of a franchise that is eager to escape its recent past.

    But just how soon he's crowned the offensive leader is to be determined, with tonight serving as the final audition.

    "I'm always confident going into a game, but I definitely have more confidence than I did last week," said Rivers, who was 5-of-14 for 79 yards, with two interceptions. "I only had three days (of practice) before my first game.

    "This game, I feel I already know what the game is kind of going to be like. The first game is out of the way, so that, plus mentally, I feel more prepared with what we are doing."

    Rivers got off to a hot start on Friday ---- three straight completions ---- then returned to earth with a resounding thud: seven straight incompletions, including two interceptions and two sacks.

    But Rivers chalks up the outing as part of his learning process.

    "In that game, I was thinking you got to do more than you have to do," the former North Carolina State star said. "I've got to let the game come to me and take what they give me."

    What Schottenheimer has given Rivers is extraordinary. Although Brees is a two-year starter in his fourth year in this offense, Rivers was awarded the opportunity to unseat him. Even considering Brees' struggles last year ---- 15 interceptions, the second-worst rating among AFC starters ---- Rivers speculated that his late reporting date might have torpedoed his starting chances.

    Not so, in Schottenheimer's eyes.

    "That was one thing that I was still curious to see how it was going to play out after missing that much," Rivers said. "But after getting in and getting going, I still felt like the door was open a little bit. And I was far enough along when I left (offseason workouts) this summer that I wasn't too much behind."

    Who will line up behind center Nick Hardwick on Sept. 12 remains to be seen. But both of the candidates get another shot tonight, in a competition that's more important than the final score between two wobbly squads.

    Schottenheimer is expected to anoint his starter early next week.

    "I don't think there's disappointment either way," Rivers said. "I can't look at it that way. Certainly, both guys want to be a starter. But if it's not the case, and that isn't what happens, it's not a failure. You just keep working, because at some point you are going to be called on."

    CHARGERS NOTES ---- Coach Marty Schottenheimer said QB Drew Brees will start tonight and possibly play into the second quarter. He will be relieved by Philip Rivers, who will play the balance of the game. ... RB LaDainian Tomlinson will not play. ... Tim Dwight and Eric Parker will start at wide receiver. ... LB Donnie Edwards is expected to start and be on the field through the second quarter in his first preseason action after suffering a calf injury. ... Among those not expected to play tonight are DT DeQuincy Scott (abdomen), WR Malcom Floyd (shoulder), LBs Matt Wilhelm (shoulder) and Shaun Phillips (shoulder), FB Andrew Pinnock (calf), RB-KR Leon Johnson (foot) and OL Chad Ward (back). ... The team had a walk-through Wednesday before attending its annual kickoff luncheon.

    Contact staff writer Jay Paris at [email protected].

  • #2
    Re: Chargers still mulling choice between Brees and Rivers

    They made the right choice and picked Brees. Rivers will be the guy eventually, but Brees had a better preseason and knows the offense better.

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    • Nick
      Rivers' playing time churns speculation
      by Nick
      Rivers' playing time churns speculation
      Chargers QB could get prime work vs. Seattle
      By Jim Trotter
      STAFF WRITER
      August 26, 2004

      CARSON Oliver Stone, where are you when Chargers fans need you most?

      Conspiracy theorists were out in droves yesterday after coach Marty Schottenheimer announced that rookie quarterback Philip Rivers "might" get some work with the first team in tomorrow's exhibition game against the Seattle Seahawks in Qualcomm Stadium.

      Rivers, the fourth selection overall in April's NFL draft, missed 25 days and 29 practices while at a contract impasse with the club. But that didn't stop Schottenheimer from saying the former North Carolina State standout could cut into Drew Brees' playing time tomorrow.

      Might this be a prelude to Rivers starting the season opener Sept. 12 at Houston, even though he has completed just four practices since joining the team on Monday?

      Schottenheimer cautioned not to read between the lines, even though he has yet to name a starter and refused to rule out Rivers when asked about the possibility Monday. For one thing, this is one week, one exhibition game.

      "He's done a nice job here, so my expectation is that he'll play (tomorrow)," Schottenheimer said.

      The second half?

      "I haven't really made that decision," Schottenheimer said. "He might even get in earlier than that.

      "If we do it in the second quarter, I wouldn't think it would be with all the starters. At this point we kind of have groups. There's not a dramatic difference, maybe, between first (team) and second, as we speak."

      Rivers seemed surprised when told he would play not only in the second half, but possibly as early as the second quarter. Teams generally play their starters into the third quarter of the third exhibition game, then rest them in the fourth and final exhibition game to guard against injury.

      "Really?" Rivers said when told of Schottenheimer's comments about playing time. "Great. I think they know I'm pretty much up to speed, as far as all the run checks and all that stuff."

      Rivers acknowledged he's not as comfortable as he will be tomorrow, or a week from now, or a month from now. He said that will come with time. The goal is to reach the point where everything feels as if it's second nature and he can act instead of react.

      Like some outsiders, a few teammates arched their eyebrows when they learned Rivers might play in the second quarter. They too wondered whether to read anything into the situation.

      Management spent the offseason saying it had to upgrade the quarterback position after Brees, who ranked 15th among 16 AFC quarterbacks in passer rating last year, was benched for five games and pulled from two others.
      ...
      -08-26-2004, 08:35 AM
    • r8rh8rmike
      Tomlinson: Philip Rivers Has Lost Faith In Chargers
      by r8rh8rmike
      Tomlinson: Philip Rivers has lost faith in Chargers

      By Gregg Rosenthal
      Around The NFL Editor
      Published: April 20, 2015 at 08:02 p.m.

      Philip Rivers is at the center of the most fascinating storyline of the offseason. But the Chargers quarterback isn't leaving San Diego yet, and its business as usual around the Chargers for now.

      Rivers was at the start of the offseason training program Monday, NFL Media's Alex Flanagan reported. New Chargers receiver Steve Johnson, for one, said he was looking forward to catching Rivers' passes on Tuesday. But will Johnson still be catching his passes in Week 1?

      One of Rivers' most notable former teammates, NFL Media's LaDainian Tomlinson, doesn't think so.

      "You never want to trade your franchise quarterback. You know that's never the case. However, in this situation, they might have no choice but to do so," Tomlinson said Monday on NFL Network's NFL Total Access. "Because I don't know if Philip (Rivers) wants to be there anymore. I think he has lost confidence in the organization. He's seen a lot of changes going on and the L.A. thing is valid. Him not wanting to go to L.A. is very valid."

      Tomlinson points towards a larger divide between the quarterback and the organization than just a potential move up Interstate 5.

      "The parts around him keep on moving. The receiver corps keeps on changing. Eddie Royal is now gone," Tomlinson noted. "We talked about this before with Vincent Jackson leaving years ago. There are so many parts that are leaving. When Philip is looking around in that locker room and he doesn't see anyone that he's familiar with other than Antonio Gates.

      "Now to that point, Antonio Gates next year is a free agent, Eric Weddle is gonna be up. Next year the Chargers have a lot of decisions to make with a lot of key guys. So Philip could be looking at the situation and thinking 'we're not close to winning a championship anytime soon.' "

      That can't be easy for Chargers fans to read. Kevin Acee of the U-T San Diego also wrote last week that it's time to trade Rivers, indicating that Rivers could retire before he played in Los Angeles. Tomlinson's words echo the notion that Rivers wants out.

      Rivers declined to speak to the media on Monday, but the message coming from San Diego is unmistakable.
      -04-20-2015, 08:17 PM
    • r8rh8rmike
      Rams Aren't Fooled By Chargers' 2-3 Record
      by r8rh8rmike
      Rams aren't fooled by Chargers' 2-3 record


      BY JIM THOMAS
      Thursday, October 14, 2010

      The San Diego Chargers are first in NFL total offense, second in total defense, yet tied for last in the AFC West. How can this be?

      "You look at the numbers on offense and defense and you figure they're a 5-0 football team," Rams coach Steve Spagnuolo said. "And I'm sure they're disappointed in that. But we're treating them as a 5-0 football team because they're really good."

      The Chargers actually are 2-3, and in large part because their special teams have been a disaster area:

      Kansas City's Dexter McCluster returned a punt 94 yards for a touchdown against them in the season opener, a 21-14 San Diego loss.

      Two weeks later, Seattle's Leon Washington returned two kickoffs for TDs in a 27-20 defeat.

      Last week, two blocked punts resulted directly in nine Oakland points in a 35-27 loss to the Raiders.

      All three of those contests took place on the road. San Diego has been a different beast at home, winning those two games by a combined score of 79-23. So the Rams can only hope San Diego's special teams and road woes continue for one more week, what with the Chargers visiting the Edward Jones Dome on Sunday in a noon kickoff.

      "I'm quite sure they're going to come in here with a mindset to win, especially the way we performed last week," defensive tackle Clifton Ryan said. "They're going to come in here a pretty confident bunch."

      The Rams were humbled in Detroit 44-6, with the 38-point defeat tying for the seventh-worst loss in 73 seasons of Rams football. They're hoping to get back in their comfort level in the dome, where they've won the past two contests.

      "After a tough road loss it's good that we get to come back home where we seem to be a little more comfortable," cornerback Ron Bartell said. "So it'll be good to get back in the dome in front of the fans. Hopefully, they'll get loud enough to give (Philip) Rivers some trouble when he's out on the field."

      Be it fans, team mascots, or opposing defenses, not many have given Rivers and the San Diego offense much trouble this season. A disciple of the "Air Coryell" offense pioneered by the late Don Coryell and popularized by the Washington Redskins of Joe Gibbs, the Dallas Cowboys of Aikman, Irvin, and Smith, and the Mike Martz Rams, veteran Chargers coach Norv Turner remains one of the game's best play callers.

      "They're scary to watch on film," Spagnuolo said. "I'm sure they'll be scary to watch live. Norv does a great job. He's been doing it for a lot of years in this league. I remember when I was in Philly and him and (defensive coordinator) Jim Johnson would go head to head. They were some great battles to watch. I've...
      -10-15-2010, 05:39 PM
    • dgr828
      Next Victim: San Diego Chargers(2nd Pre-season Game)
      by dgr828
      GOOD TO GET A WIN AGAINST "DA BEARS", THOUGH ONLY PRE-SEASON. IT'S UNFORTUNATE WHAT HAPPENED TO THEIR QB (GROSSMAN), HOPEFULLY HE HAS A SPEEDY RECOVERY.

      NOW IT'S ON TO SAN DIEGO. THE FIRST OF TWO STRAIGHT GAMES ON THE ROAD(THE OTHER BEING IN DETRIOT).

      WHO: SAN DIEGO CHARGERS

      GAMETIME: AUGUST 21, 2005(SUNDAY-1 PM PST)

      WHERE: QUALCOMM STADIUM - SAN DIEGO, CALIFORNIA

      TV: CHECK LOCAL LISTINGS

      GAMEPLAN: THE CHARGERS HAVE QB ISSUES(DREW BREES OR PHILLIP RIVERS), THE RAMS PROBABLY WILL GET A GOOD DOSE OF BOTH OF THEM.
      L.T.(LA DAINIAN TOMLINSON) DIDN'T PLAY AGAINST GREEN BAY IN THE CHARGERS FIRST PRE-SEASON GAME, SO HE'LL SURELY TRY TO START ON A GOOD NOTE AGAINST THE RAMS . STAND OUT TIGHT-END ANTONIO GATES IS A HOLD-OUT (CONTRACT NEGOTIATIONS). KEENAN McCARDELL IS THEIR ONLY RECEIVER WORTH MENTIONING. THE DEFENSE(NO-NAMES), MOST NOTE WORTHY- DONNIE EDWARDS(ILB),QUENTIN JAMMER(CB), SAMMY DAVIS(CB). SPECIAL TEAMS- SAN DIEGO HAS A PRETTY GOOD PUNT RETURNER IN ERIC PARKER.
      AS FOR THEIR KICKER- NATE KAEDING- HE MISSED THREE STRAIGHT FIELD GOAL ATTEMPTS IN THEIR LOST LAST WEEK TO GREEN BAY. SAME PROBLEMS HE HAD IN THE (AFC)PLAY-OFFS LAST SEASON.

      THE CHARGERS PLAY WHAT THEY CALL "MARTYBALL", NAMED FOR THEIR COACH'S(MARTY SCHOTTENHEIMER) CONSERVATIVE STYLE OF PLAY ON THE OFFENSE. NOTE: MARTY SCHOTTENHEIMER IS THE OLDER BROTHER OF RAMS SECONDARY COACH KURT SCHOTTENHEIMER.

      HOPEFULLY MARC BULGER HAS A BETTER SHOWING THAN WHAT HE HAD AGAINST CHICAGO.
      WILL THIS BE #1 DRAFT PICK ALEX BARRONS' NFL DEBUT?
      LET'S SEE HOW WELL THE RAMS DEFENSE STANDS-UP TO "MARTYBALL''.

      UNDERSTAND COACH MIKE MARTZ GAVE THE TEAM THE WEEK-END OFF, SO COME MONDAY, IT'LL BE "TIME TO GO TO WORK!" ONCE AGAIN.

      --"LET'S BEAT DEM BOLTS!" GO RAMS:helmet:
      -08-14-2005, 02:43 PM
    • Nick
      Chargers give Gates ultimatum
      by Nick
      Chargers give Gates ultimatum
      Jay Glazer / FOXSports.com
      Posted: 17 hours ago

      The San Diego Chargers have made their move in the contract stalemate with All-Pro tight end Antonio Gates.

      FOXSports.com has learned that the Chargers sent Gates a letter informing him that if he does not sign his tender (reported to be $380,000) by Saturday, he will be held out of both the season opener against Dallas in addition to the last two preseason games.

      The letter also states that for every preseason and regular season game he misses after Saturday's game, he will be sat for an extra game. In other words, if Gates does not sign his tender until after the preseason, he will miss the first three games of the season, as the contract impasse between the two sides now hits another level. He will also not receive a game check for those games he is forced to sit.

      For the games Gates is forced to miss, he will be held off the team's 53-man roster.

      Gates last year was named an All Pro and wants to be paid along the lines of Chiefs' perennial Pro Bowl tight end Tony Gonzalez. The Chargers have negotiated with Gates for a while, but when they could not get a deal done prior to camp, Gates boycotted training camp.

      Gates, who did not play college football, had a breakout year in 2004, making 81 catches for 964 yards and 13 touchdowns.
      -08-18-2005, 12:00 PM
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