Philip Rivers Must Overcome Adversity


When a quarterback is faced with adversity, it is important how he reacts to it. How they react can often define their careers, if not their entire legacy. They are constantly being asked to adjust to changes. It might be new players, new coaches, new systems, new rules, new teams, or new situations. There are always changes being made behind the scenes, and this is a constant in today’s NFL.

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Yesterday, we got the awful news that Antonio Gates tested positive for performance enhancing drugs. This came as a shock to just about everyone in the league. Gates has been the poster child for integrity for the Chargers, and to some degree, the entire NFL. The details of the test results have not been made clear yet, and may never be clear. Gates has made his statement, and it seems like he is taking responsibility for his actions, even if he is claiming not to have known that he was taking any banned substances. Whether people believe that statement, or not, will be discussed endlessly. But, that’s not what I am here to write about. What I want to know is how will Philip Rivers react?

Antonio Gates has always been Philip’s go-to guy. Everyone knows that #85 is his “security blanket”. They have played together for their entire careers in San Diego, and have become one of the most explosive receiving threats in the league. They are a record-setting duo, with unfathomable chemistry. The Rivers-to-Gates connection has routinely moved the chains, and scored countless touchdowns, even when it seemed impossible!  For the first four games of the season, we will not be seeing that train leave the station for the first time. Watching those two perform their magic was, in a way, my security blanket. I look forward to it every season. I was especially looking forward to it this season, knowing that it could be both of these player’s last season in a Charger uniform.

How Rivers reacts to this situation is imperative to how the team will perform this season. Philip is no stranger to adversity. He has watched player after player get shown the door for his entire career. He has had two different head coaches, and three offensive coordinators over the last three years. He has been asked to make do with receivers like Ajirotutu, and Meachem. He has lost guys like Vincent Jackson, Danario Alexander, and Eddie Royal. He has still managed to give the Chargers a fighting chance, even when things were shaky up front.

All teams lose good players, for a variety of reasons. Players retire, get injured, get suspended, get convicted of murder, or get traded all of the time. The difference between good teams, and not-so-good teams, is how they respond to adversity. The same can be said of quarterbacks. Especially when it comes to losing your favorite weapon, before the season even starts. This offseason has been full of distractions for this team. Some of the distractions were self-inflicted by Rivers himself. It is up to #17 to tune it all out, focus on getting this team into a rhythm, and ready to compete for a Super Bowl. No Hardwick, no Clary, no Gates, no Mathews, no Royal…. “no problem”. That’s the kind of attitude I want to see & hear from him, and everyone else on this team.

Antonio Gates will probably retire after this season, and Floyd has already said he is calling it a career in 2016. If the team decides to leave for L.A., Rivers doesn’t sign a contract, and the Chargers can’t come to an agreement with Eric Weddle…. this may be the last time we see the heart of Chargers we have grown to love over the last decade take the field. It will be the last charge of the four horsemen.

Personally, I can’t wait to see them come blazing from the tunnel, with their heads held high, eliminating the shadow of looming uncertainty…. even if only for one more season. I can’t wait to see them play Charger Football. I hope they feel the same way, and embrace this year. They owe it to themselves, and they deserve it. The fans deserve it. San Diego deserves it.

We have all seen Philip Rivers overcome adversity before. He must overcome adversity again. I believe that he will.

-Keep Bolting Toward Excellence-

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