Dec 30, 2012; San Diego, CA, USA; San Diego Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers (17) during the second quarter against the Oakland Raiders at Qualcomm Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports

Philip Rivers 2013


Here we are in the offseason. The draft is over, Free Agency moves have been made, and we have a far better idea of how this team will look. Clearly, there are some positions that still need addressing.

All of us, including Tom Telesco, sat helplessly as all three elite left tackles went off the board by pick #4. This wasn’t a huge surprise to a Charger organization which is desperate to protect Philip Rivers blind-side. The next few rounds held some left tackles, but none of them (even Armstead) were viewed as capable of starting this year. No problem, right? We still have a shot at Bryant McKinnie in our back pocket, and had already talked to him prior to the draft. Well, we all saw how that went.

So, what now?

As it stands, we have King Dunlap, Mike Harris, Kevin Haslam, and UDFA Nick Becton as our current left tackles. King Dunlap is the most experienced, but is widely seen around the league as a back-up. We DO have one heck of an offensive line coach, so perhaps he can whip the big man into shape. Or, MAYBE one of the younger prospects can play well enough to win the starting job. We still have an outside possibility of bringing in Max Starks. There has been some movement on that front, as the Chargers have indeed reached out to Starks. But, we might not know anything for a while, and we don’t see that Gaither money until June 1st.

Which leads us to the big question. Can Philip Rivers bounce back in 2013, with the left tackles we have on the roster today?

We have seen Mike McCoy make statements that Rivers is not going anywhere. Most think Philip has struggled due to an offensive line that was scotched taped together. But, a case can also be made that he has made extremely bad decisions lately, even when the o-line has played well. What if the offensive line brings those sack numbers down, and he continues to make poor decisions? Furthermore, what if the o-line doesn’t play well? How much do fans, believe in him?

It looks like he has a pretty decent shot, if you ask me.

One thing is for sure, we have all seen the leadership, and commitment that Philip Rivers has brought to this team. Personally, I LOVE the heck out of this guy! I hope he gets back to his old self, and puts all of these concerns to rest! He’s got some new weapons like Keenan Allen, and Danny Woodhead. Danario Alexandar was re-signed. The player we all thought was going to break out last year, Vincent Brown, is back in action. Floyd has always been a consistent favorite of Rivers. Meachem should have a HUGE chip on his shoulder, and Royal has his old coach at the helm. DJ Fluker is a monster of a man, and will bring stability to the right side. Some new guards have been brought in. Troutman is healthy, and ready to compete. Mathews will have Fluker in front of him, and (I would hope) can’t have as awful as a year as he did last year. And, most importantly, Gaither, Greene, and Norv Turner are no longer here!!!! Ken Whisenhunt will breath some much needed originality into this unit.  So, there are still some really positive things going on with this new offense!

So, now it’s turn for you guys to sound off! What kind of year do you see Philip Rivers having in 2013?

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  • Dion Chin

    PR will be back to his old form this year with upgrades to the O-line and new weapons at the WR positions and Danny Woodhead coming out the back field.

    • Peter Thompson

      I think the cards are stacked in his favor, if the o-line can improve from last year.

      • Stefanie Smith

        Agreed. And it has to consistently be improved. Not a flash in the pan one or two game deal. These guys on the o-line have to step up or Rivers will be carried out on a stretcher. I am sure he is getting sick of it.

    • Stefanie Smith

      People laugh about Woodhead, but I think he is the sleeper and has the experience to really help Rivers., However, Rivers has to be standing to do anything. That o-line better be a whole lot better than in the past.

      • MC Boltman

        Yes, Woodhead brings options to the offense. He´s very solid in pass protection and versatile weapon on third downs. With some creative ideas in play calling (Whisenhunt – I´m sure you got this), I think we´ll have fun watching the small sized speedster on the field this season.

  • Jeff

    Wear the GLOVES Phillip!

  • Stan Zab

    I don’t think the O-line will be all that much improved. Fluker should be better than Clary at RT and Dunlap should be better than Harris at LT. BTW, Dunlap was a LT with a left handed QB (Vick). Much different that “protecting the blind side”.

    But how much better? Troutman is the equivalent of a rookie @ guard. How will Clary do at guard? Nobody knows. Nobody knows the new offensive scheme McCoy and Whisenhunt are installing either.

    We can’t predict how PR will do at this point. However, if I was McCoy, I would install a west coast offense. More three step drops than five step drops. More screens. More quick slants. Much less lob it up to Floyd and Gates and pray for the best. Thats what hurt Rivers in the past couple of years IMO. The deep route will not work with a less than average O-line and a QB scared for his life.

    • Stefanie Smith

      Rivers is about shell-shocked at this point. Brady flinches and “sees ghosts” when he gets sacked. Imagine what Rivers is seeing by now. It will degrade the capabilities of even top notch QBs, if he is sacked all the time.

      I can’t make these jamoches do it, but something has to be done with this o-line… or we, as a team, will be doing a disservice to Rivers… possibly creating a greater risk of injury, etc. Please, somebody in charge fix the stinking o-line. Not next season, not in future drafts—now. Thank you from the peanut gallery.

  • tubbs45

    I sure hope JoeD does work some magic and I do think that our line is better fixing even one side tackle. The problem, for me, last year was the rookie LT and clary at RT both sides needed blocking help every down. That really limits the offensive possibilities when your TE, RB or FB have to help out every damn play. I would like to break down last years offense and see just how many plays per game there were max protection sets and see the trend in relation game success.
    PT thanks for the write-up!

    • Peter Thompson

      My pleasure, Tubbs.

  • Stefanie Smith

    When you think about it.. but we’re about telling Rivers, “Go win us some games,,, but figure out for yourself how to stay upright.” Okay, I am exaggerating, but the o-line is still not good. Is it average? Is it hopefully functional? Is it excellent (No)? On a scale of 1-10 with 10 being a superb o-line, where are we ? I say 3. Maybe 4.

    • 619Chiver

      not excited about the possibility of starks. keep in mind that big Ben was constantly running for his life too

    • RussinSactown

      Is it ideal? No, not really but the situation is not as bad as last year. You also have to believe that McCoy will bring more wrinkles into an offense than Norv’s “Run run, oh crap it’s 3rd and a mile. I’d better pass” strategy.

  • Cgoodness13

    I’m giving Dunlap a chance because he was poorly coached in Philadelphia you can’t argue that, and our line was poorly coached last year. We have a BA new o line coach, good OC, and hungry knowledgable HC. So I believe he might be a average – above average tackle. Even if we sign Starks I think Dunlap might beat him out for the job.

    • MC Boltman

      Well, I agree that Dunlap can do better than last year. Already said it in a previous article of mine…Vick was left-handed and is a mobile QB, not too easy to block for such a guy. We´ll see what happens with Starks…not too sure if the “King” would outplay him, but surely a possibility (especially in a ZBS). #boltup

  • Cgoodness13

    Quick question….isn’t every Tackle drafted above Fluker being moved to RT? So technically fluker might be better than all them right? Lol

  • Nick in PB

    I think that Philip will love the new challenge of a new offense and new leadership. Many of his problems were because of a stale offense and poor play calling. I said this before in a previous post but in the past few years, the offense was terribly predictable and personnel-wise, it was like trying to fit a square peg in a round hole. When you are playing that position, and the offense is not going well, much of it was scheme. Philip took it upon himself too much to make it work and when it wasn’t, he was prone to poor decisions. He came unraveled many times probably due to trying to do too much.

    I think the O Line will be improved, mostly from a run standpoint but that will go a long ways in helping the pass. Hopefully, shorter routes as opposed to the longer ones Norv preferred, will also help. Philip is a very good QB and although he may not return to the All Pro form we saw earlier in his career, I do think he will improve a great deal from last year.

    • Peter Thompson

      GREAT comments, Nick!

  • Mark Viguri

    RT King. RG Rinehart, C Hardwick, LG Troutman, RT Fluker with Molk, Harris, Baxter & Haslam as reserves. After Chargers cut Clary and sign Starks O-Line will be good enough for a playoff run

    • Cgoodness13

      Ya mean King at LT at right? If not then that’s one hell of a overload lol.

      • RussinSactown

        Student body right all day long!

  • Rob Base

    I’m going to say Rivers will hit about 4,400 yards with 30 TD and 11 Int. I put this out to into the universe and so it is!

  • MC Boltman

    Bro I´m with you on that: Rivers fan to the fullest. He drove me into desperation with some of his decisions last year, but I know…i just KNOW he can do better than that – really hope he´ll be able to silence his critics with a stud season 2013 (…yes, lookin at you Mr. Kevin Acee…)

    • Peter Thompson

      I LOVE it!!!!

  • JoshRogen

    I think without an O-line, or a running game, River’s days are numbered and they had better start looking for a run and gun type QB to take over next year

  • arnie

    You brought up some very valid, and good concerns, Pete. I’m not worried at all, and not because I’m being positive. When I look at the whole offense situation, in context, T&M have shown, before the draft, they as polar opposites of there predecessors. While the former HC used players in situations, that were very predictable, because that was there role. Under McCoy, Telesco has gone in the direction of “versatility”, both in play design, and player selection. Example, John Phillips, Danny Woodhead. Both seem to be players that are on the short term solutions, and not BIG NAME, Big Time Playmakers. They don’t have to be, they are best used as players that can be on the field in the same formation, that have four different plays run from it.
    Let me be specific, Phillips and Woodhead, have something else in common, they can catch and “pass block”. Between these two players the LT position, will have the support it needs to protect PR. Also pressure is reduced on PR when Woodhead, or Phillips goes into that flat, or over the middle to be a quick out for Rivers. Did mention Phillips is good run blocker as well? Why should that matter? Again another aspect of McCoy offensive design to take pressure off PR.
    So when I think of the LT position, all this is what goes into my thinking process, as “context”. The LT the Chargers need, to be better this season, is already in Chargers park.

    • nativesandiegan

      Great explanation Arnie

  • Sergio Quintero

    I would like to hear the chargers called for the availability of Monroe, Albert & Saffold. At this point the health of your franchise QB is worth more than a 2nd round pick in the 2014 draft.

  • Sergio Quintero

    Sure sounds like the chargers are going to a variation of Manning offense, which means a whole lot of under 10 yard passes, according to Pro Football talk McCoy wants Philip to complete 70% of his passes, and to get the pass as quickly as possible, so with Norv gone, so is his love of 7 step drops.


    • Sergio Quintero

      From Peter King:

      “McCoy said he thinks Philip Rivers, who has never completed more than 66 percent of his throws in seven starting seasons, can be a 70-percent passer in his new offense. ‘I’ve been blown away by his anticipation and willingness to learn,” McCoy said. That Rivers has 35 interceptions in the last two years is an indication to many who watch the Chargers that he can get too confident in his ability to fit balls downfield into small holes. McCoy will harp on trusting the system that has a myriad of answers, always including one short one — thus his belief the completion percentage can improve.

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