Dec 30, 2012; San Diego, CA, USA; General view of the San Diego Chargers helmet of quarterback Philip Rivers with the initials S.H.E.S. in honor of the shooting victims of Sandy Hook elementary school during the game against the Oakland Raiders at Qualcomm Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee/Image of Sport-USA TODAY Sports
I am blessed to have been with BoltBeat.com since March of last year. I have had some very, very popular articles… and some not so popular ones. My guess is that this one will be split down the middle.
I have based my opinions on decades of following the Chargers. Add to that playing football for over a decade, coaching for 3 years, and officiating for 3 years, I have a decent perspective on football and the Chargers.
I, without a doubt, have guessed wrong on some things. Who hasn’t? I suppose that there isn’t a single one of us that is above it. Well, there is that one guy, that every website has, that can’t spell or form a complete sentence but he’s always right. He may think he’s above it.
Well, I’m certainly not above it. Heck, I was that guy that started the “This is Our Year” movement on this site and Twitter during the 2012 offseason. Yeah……not so much.
But I digress.
The following will explain why I believe that Philip Rivers is still the answer for the Chargers. I can’t wait to see the comments on this one and I truly hope that there are quite a few. I say that knowing there are a good number of you that are ready to start throwing daggers. I welcome said daggers as much as I do the comments in which people agree with me. It’s a part of the biz.
In 2010, Rivers led the league in passing yards with 4,710. In that same year, Peyton Manning threw for a career high 4,700. He finished second to Rivers.
The fact that number 17 threw for more yards than Manning’s career high is not the most remarkable stat of that year. He did so by throwing to an NFL record 17 different receivers.
That season also marked the last time that Marcus McNeill, Kris Dielman, and Nick Hardwick had spent the majority of a season manning the Bolts’ offensive line.
Although I am completely unable to defend some of the boneheaded throws/decisions that Philip has made at times, it is crystal clear to me that, when given the proper time, Rivers is an elite quarterback.
By comparing the 2010 numbers of Manning and Rivers, I am not, by any means, going to pretend that Philip is better than Peyton. I’m just stating the facts. Facts that can not be argued in any way, shape, or form.
There is not a fan out there that can act as though Rivers is a mobile guy. He is not capable of making things happen with his feet. But what he can do, when given the proper time by a solid line, is pick apart a defense.
Let us not forget that Rivers was far more aware of how terrible the offensive line was than anyone else out there. He knew going into each game that he was going to have zero time to make plays without being forced to get rid of it quickly or take a sack. There were, obviously, some balls that he’d like to take back. That throw to Leonard Johnson, of the Buccaneers, was absolutely inexcusable.
The Chargers have made a serious effort to help Rivers, coaching staff-wise, by bringing in Mike McCoy, Ken Whisenhunt, and Frank Reich.
Throughout his time in the league, as a QB coach and Offensive Coordinator, McCoy has made chicken salad out of chicken (you get the picture) with the likes of Jake Delhomme, Kyle Orton, and even Tim Tebow. Having the opportunity to see the game through the eyes of Peyton Manning is not too darn bad either. If you are going to learn about the quarterback position from a player, who better to learn from than Manning?
Whisenhunt, depsite the debacle that has been the quarterback situation in Arizona the last few years, has worked with the likes of Ben Roethlisberger and Kurt Warner. Not too shabby. The fact that the Chargers were able to bring in Whisenhunt is a huge plus for the team. We will not be forced to watch an overwhelmed Norv Turner attempt to play head coach and offensive coordinator. Let us realize too, that Whisenhunt will be auditioning for his next head coaching job while taking on the offensive coordinator duties for the Chargers.
Frank Reich was Peyton Manning’s quarterback coach in Indianapolis. He then joined the Cardinals as a wide receiver coach on Whisenhunt’s coaching staff. Reich was a student of the game as a player and, of course, as a coach. Playing behind Hall of Famer Jim Kelly, Reich was at the helm for the biggest comeback in NFL history. Buffalo was down 35-3 in the third quarter versus the Houston Oilers and Warren Moon.
None of the coaching staff additions will matter if the offensive line is not properly addressed. It has become plain as day to all of the football world that the Chargers need to fix the offensive line. This can be done through both free agency and the draft.
It is my opinion that the team must use two of it’s first four picks on the o-line. Here’s to hoping that they do just that.
Philip Rivers is the answer at quarterback for the Chargers for the forseeable future. He has proven, that when given time, he can lead this team to victory over and over again.
But I refuse to act like the NFL is not a “what have you done for me lately” league. The fans have grown impatient despite the obvious holes on our offensive line. Couple that with poor decision making at times, and people have even suggested that Rivers be cut. That is not a joke. Commenters on this site have literally said “cut him.”