San Diego Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers got some recognition from the NFL, and it wasn’t because he was wearing his famous bolo tie.
NFL Media senior analyst Gil Brandt built what he believes is the ultimate quarterback. It included having the accuracy of Drew Brees, the arm of Matthew Stafford, the toughness of Ben Roethlisberger, the mental alertness of Tom Brady, the athleticism of Cam Newton, the running ability of Russell Wilson and the competiveness of Aaron Rodgers.
And for leadership ability, Brandt selected Rivers. This is what he had to say:
“Rivers is a quiet leader off the field, but he’s very vocal on it. The Chargers’ quarterback simply puts it all on the line. He is not timid. Even when he gets knocked down, he comes up fighting, so to speak, ready to challenge guys on the other team. I think that kind of spark elevates the play of his teammates.”
Last year, Brandt deemed Brady as the quarterback with the best leadership. It’s great to see Rivers, who is arguably underrated, picked for that spot.
But like politics, there will always be differing opinions. And there rightfully should be.
Here’s my take: Some may want the old-school, calm signal caller leading their team. For me, I want a little edge in my quarterback, and that’s exactly what Rivers has. He’s a very animated and passionate player who fires up his team. He gets on his teammates for doing the wrong things, but that’s how they grow and develop. And hey, when you do something right, you get to see his happy dance.
He’s also been performing at a high level with less-than-stellar talent over the last few years. The popular phrase for Rivers is “immature crybaby.” Why? Because he has an attitude on the field? Brady is just as vocal yet people praise his style of play (hence why Brandt put him in that category last year).
Now, here’s why he doesn’t deserve to be picked. While he is a tough player who will do anything for his team, he hasn’t led the Chargers to the big dance. They are also coming off their worst season (4-12) in the last decade. The blame shouldn’t be put entirely on Rivers due to the fact that injuries, a lack of running game and subpar playcalling played a huge part in the team’s downfall last season. As the starting quarterback for the Bolts, Rivers only has two losing seasons (2012, 2015) under his belt, but mediocrity is what this team is known for, which is why some fans have given up on Rivers.
If Rivers can get his team over the hump, then there won’t be any argument for this selection. But for now, it’s hard to build the perfect case in defending him.