Q&A with Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers

San Diego Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers, center, throws under pressure from Tennessee Titans defensive end Derrick Morgan, right, during the first quarter of an NFL football game, Sunday, Sept. 16, 2012, in San Diego. (Denis Poroy/ Associated Press )

San Diego Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers, center, throws under pressure from Tennessee Titans defensive end Derrick Morgan, right, during the first quarter of an NFL football game, Sunday, Sept. 16, 2012, in San Diego. (Denis Poroy/ Associated Press )

FLOWERY BRANCH–Excerpts from conference call with Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers.

Q. You’ve got to be happy about being off to a 2-0 start.

Yeah, it’s been a while since we won the first two in a season [2006 under coach Marty Schottenheimer]. But I think it’s really nothing more than that. We know it’s a week-to-week league and you’ve got to be able to put them on top of one another. It’s going to be a tough challenge against Atlanta this week. Getting to see them on Monday Night Football, it was an impressive team to watch. And now, preparing for them, it’s going to be a challenge.

Q. The Falcons ended up using five different corners against Denver. What did you think of Dominque Franks, who played some nickel?

I thought all of them contributed and played well. They are super active and always moving around. You never get a great feel for what they are going to do. It’s kind of ‘next man up.’ It was an unfortunate injury two weeks ago to [Brent] Grimes. Guys have just stepped up. Obviously the top two corners are veteran guys and the young guys have filled in. Getting three interceptions in the first eight minutes of the game and just [being] super active. Watching the tape of the game and also watching it live, you never could get in a rhythm or feel for what they were doing. They were just so active and aggressive to the ball.

Q. The TV angle is different from what you see on tapes. Can you watch as a fan? How do you end up watching a game like that?

Monday night with the wife and the kids we always enjoy the Monday night game. This one was a little bit more as a scout and watching it a little closer because it was the opponent we were going to play. Then you ended up watching the game film the next morning and you see it a little clearer of what they are trying to do. [Watching it live] gives you a feel of just the energy and the speed. It’s a little closer look on the TV to what real life is like as far as these guys operate. It jumped off the screen how fast this group is and what energy they play with. We know what we’ve got in store for us Sunday.

Q. What did you see from eh Falcons with their pre-snap activity?

A lot of the guys standing up and a lot of the guys moving around. You have to be able to communicate as far as a protection standpoint and read the coverage on the run. This is as active and ‘move around’ and as an unsettling group, they don’t ever let you get comfortable.

Q. How much no-huddle have you run?

We have not run a snap of no-huddle this year.

Q. That’s unusual compared to the rest of the teams.

Yeah, a lot of teams have really gone to it. We have the ability to [do it] but we’ve huddled and go in the first two weeks.

Q. Do you lobby for it?

No. There are times when it can help get you in a rhythm and get you going and it gives you a little bit more time at the line. But we still feel like we have plenty of flexibility huddling and kind of going as we’ve gone the past few years.

Q. Your tight end Dante Rosario had a big game against the Titans with Antonio Gates out. What do you see with his abilities?

He’s a very smooth route runner and is very natural catching the ball. With Gates being down last week, he in addition to Randy McMichael and Ladarius Green still gave us a heck of a group there at tight end. Obviously we want Gates out there but it was good to have the three we had because they call can contribute.

Q. A lot has been expected of Chargers in recent years and you’ve had some unfortunate losses. Is this team different as far as their psyche vs. the last few years?

I think it still somewhat is a ‘wait and see’ because it’s still early in the year. But I do feel like the mental makeup of this group [is] the combination of what’s been here the last six to 10 years here with a handful of guys who have been through what we’ve been through, and then we have quite a few that this is their first year with us. I think the combination of this mix has given us an outlook and a mentality and an approach that is somewhat different than what we’ve had. It’s still early. We’ve won two games. It’s funny how the teams that have won the first two, they are awesome, and the teams that have lost the first two they have no chance. We know that’s not the case. There is still a long ways to go.

Q. You see safeties that who can come forward and go backwards and not only play run support but get behind the line of scrimmage. Is that one thing that’s changed in the time that you’ve been a starter?

I think so. The size of these safeties that can come downhill and fill the run and then can also cover ground and make plays on the ball. Certainly [William Moore] can do that and [Thomas DeCloud]. They both cover a lot of ground. I thought both of their interceptions in the game were very instinctive. They are just football players, you can tell. It wasn’t a matter of playing the coverage on the blackboard it was a matter of, ‘I see what’s happening here and I’m going to make a play.’ That’s what both of those guys do. That, to me, is what makes safeties dangerous. They obviously can play all of the coverages and play things fundamentally sound but at the same time they are football players. Those two guys fit that mold.

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54 comments Add your comment

Nick

September 20th, 2012
5:20 am

Marcus

September 20th, 2012
5:31 am

DOL,
What should we expect from SD?

Nice guy (P. Rivers). I hope you lose this weekend, though.

t

September 20th, 2012
5:52 am

Grace of God that Michael Turner didn’t kill himself or my family coming back from the Falcons game!

Section242

September 20th, 2012
7:51 am

SD is favored by 4. They are also banged up in the secondary. Can Nolan pull another rabbit out of his hat or do we have to outscore them?

RobbE33

September 20th, 2012
7:58 am

Teams will no doubt find a formula for countering Nolan’s scheme. Let’s hope he’s innovative enough to counter their counter. This is fun!

falconfan90

September 20th, 2012
8:25 am

As with any scheme it won’t work all the time. the beautiful thing about this group that Nolan has is He is quickly starting to realize how creative he is going to be able to get with this group of guys. If we stay healthy for the most part, this defense is going to be very dangerous down the stretch. I think Nolan is starting to really get a feel now and Philip could be in trouble because after Monday Nolan really learned what he had. it took him 11years after his only win against peyton in 2000 to beat Peyton and this group of guys did it in good fashion. let’s not forget that Nolan also has an offense that can score which allows him to be aggressive on defense to.

Esquire

September 20th, 2012
8:38 am

5-6-7-8
Everywhere we goooO,
Everywhere we goooO,
People wanna knooOw,
People wanna knooOw,
Who we aaa are,
Who we aaa are,
So we tell theem, So we tell theem,
We are the FALCONS!! We are the FALCONS!!
MIGHTY MIGHTY FALCONS, MIGHTY MIGHTY FALCONS !!
OHH AHH OHH YEEAHH

Seen This B4

September 20th, 2012
8:39 am

Getting crowded on that bandwagon….

The Chargers will be like a toll lane to a lot of y’all, LOL!

Cejay

September 20th, 2012
8:59 am

At least our bus made it to the toll lane…….your bus is still broken down in the parking lot HA HA HA HA

Rise Up

September 20th, 2012
9:00 am

Thanks for the update DLed.

Seen This B4

September 20th, 2012
9:06 am

@Cejay: It’s not broken down, just has a later departure schedule.

JSS

September 20th, 2012
9:22 am

Typical jive talkers are up… “Bus?” What is this 1954?

As far as Rivers, he never be considered “a nice guy.” He argues with opponents, own fans, teammates, and local media… But what has been called is a competitive! It is refreshing to hear a QB with no filter and actually answer questions with a real sense of articulation and depth… Rodgers, Rivers, and to a point Brees are good listen to in that regard…

Damage Inc.

September 20th, 2012
9:23 am

Look at the bright side seen. You guys get to play the Chiefs this week. They don’t have a rookie QB.

kew

September 20th, 2012
9:25 am

I like that SeenThisB4

But I do think the Saints is departing later is because they are having engine problems…and if you get started too late, you may never catch up before the finish line.

Cejay

September 20th, 2012
9:48 am

You’re so typical, bus is figurative, I know you’re slow…….do I need to explain ??? the world is not so literal……go back to bed and wake up again and get a clue this time.

Jimmy Walker

September 20th, 2012
10:09 am

Hey hey ! I used to use the word jive too………………..in 1974

SirReal

September 20th, 2012
10:39 am

@t so you really had your family about at 4-5 in the morning? Keep God out of this and use some common sense doofus. Were you really out at that time? Please.
@Seen hello my idiot friend. You’d love that. You guys should finally get in the win column this week and you’ll probably think you guys are “back” and Super Bowl bound.LOL Stuper Bowl is more fitting for your team right about now.lol
ANYWAY…..Rivers better be ready. He basically said “I dont know WHAT their D is gonna do!LOL” Should be a good game but Falcons win by 10.

JSS

September 20th, 2012
10:49 am

And then the “figurative” use of “jive” fits the mindset, both of you are way behind the times… Y’all get on the bus now, cause they’s done voted down rail! “Slow?” Not as slow as that “jive bus” you’re fixating on in your little tete-a-tete… JW, you were hell-o-fied in ‘Let’s Do It Again!”

JSS

September 20th, 2012
10:52 am

JW, didn’t have enough money to catch the “L?”

Jimmy Crack

September 20th, 2012
11:05 am

Rivers is always a good interview. I’m really glad he doesn’t have Vince Jackson to throw to anymore. Those two were always in sinc and seemed to carve up the Falcons’ secondary over the years. Hopefully Vince won’t mesh so well with his new QB in Tampa.

Michael M.

September 20th, 2012
11:17 am

Falcons 31 Chargers 27…………… just the facts mam…………………

comments , comments , comments , comments

Post-It

September 20th, 2012
11:56 am

@Seen. Would rather have people jumping on our bandwagon than jumping off like they are with your tainted team. Sports coverage is having a field day breaking down all the reasons why the Saints are so horrible this year. And yes, I do imagine that you’ll manage to squeak by the lowly Chiefs this week. It will be amusing to watch you jump back into obsessive troll mode. But it will be empty and you know it.

PJ

September 20th, 2012
11:59 am

The Falcons were very one dimensional on Monday night……without the three interceptions…and only 10 points to show for it…..the Broncos would have won that game going away. But the Falcons won at home with a loud crowd behind them. Going to San Diego on a short week and 3 time zones against a very balanced Charger team will not be an easy task for any team. The Chargers defense has allowed two vg backs less than 100 yds rushing in 2 games. In addition, the Chargers won the first two games w/o Gates or Matthew. Anyone predicting a blowout one way or the other is crazy…..this game will come down to a last minute field goal.

Michael M.

September 20th, 2012
12:01 pm

poor STBzip……………yeah , they will manage to win this week, but it aint gonna be easy. no pun intended………………………………………………………..then they will be back on here bragging with a 1 – 2 record on how great they look, so get ready Falcon Faithful……………..ha ! ha !

Michael M.

September 20th, 2012
12:03 pm

yup…tough game for Atlanta this week and probably will be back n forth and close at the end and I am out………………………………………………………………..

Seen This B4

September 20th, 2012
12:06 pm

@Post-It: I don’t get your point, there is none. We’re winless, and yet the Sports coverage, as you call it, is still talking more about my team than your team. Wonder why? Perhaps cause they know your team will fade in the end, or go 1 and out in the playoffs.

You can have the entire population of the world jump on your sorry team’s bandwagon, but there’s one individual that won’t be there: ME!

Obsessive troll mode? Moi? LOL!

GO Chargers!

GEAUX SAINTS!!!

Hey

September 20th, 2012
12:42 pm

“You can have the entire population of the world jump on your sorry team’s bandwagon, but there’s one individual that won’t be there: ME!”

Makes sense.

Someone needs to stay back and try to keep all those folks from jumping off the aints bandwagon. It was getting crowded.

yeahsure

September 20th, 2012
1:49 pm

Taints fans act like they’ve been untouchable in the playoffs. Check your memory gals. How many years has it been?

chc4

September 20th, 2012
1:51 pm

Uh, the media coverage of that Saints is all negative! As in how much trouble they are in and how they have no leadership. Meanhwhile the Falcons are getting alot of positive national media play. But you Saint fans can keep whistlin’ past the graveyard.

johnm

September 20th, 2012
2:52 pm

seen this b4 and jss, you guys are so full of it. All the crap youve talked and you never hone up to what youve said. Both of you say well lose every week and when we win you move on to the next week. Why dont you guys ever admit that youre wrong? Our teams play each other twice this year, so well know who the better team is soon enough. And so what if were 0-3 in the playoffs two of those teams became superbowl champs and the other made it to the superbowl, so yeah we might be winless in the playoffs but the teams that ny, gb, and ar played didnt fair much better so thats enough with all the 0-3 in the playoffs bs, its a new season and so far the falcons looklike champs and the saints look like chumps.

johnm

September 20th, 2012
2:57 pm

oh aND if kc beats no sunday im gonna laugh my a$$ off

Post-It

September 20th, 2012
3:43 pm

@Seen If you consider negative press vs positive, then yes, the sportswriters are talking more about your miserable team right now. As for fading, we’ll see. But power polls have the Falcons near the top and Ryan leading the MVP race. Hard to get much more positive praise than that.

Hamp

September 20th, 2012
3:43 pm

@SEEN, KC will win Sunday. N.O. defense leaks like a strainer. Oh have you seen how 50, the police looked lost on a few plays last week. Guess Nolan was right he is a 2 down LB. Which strengtens my point Dent didn’t play much at all monday night. Nolan’s D doesn’t really need a MLB. We were not gonna give Lofton 3 down money for 2 downs if that. So enjoy the 2 downs and if you leave him out there on 3rd WE and every other decent QB in the league will find him. Have a good day!

SINCE66

September 20th, 2012
4:06 pm

SeenBfore is in the buffalo chips again. See how green his chin is.

Seen This B4

September 20th, 2012
4:06 pm

@johnm: That’s funny, cause I was laughing my rear end off at your functionally illiterate postings. LOL!

@Hemp: Yeah, 50 is a dog alright, I won’t argue that, once a falcan’t, always a falcan’t. I never advocated having ex-falcan’ts on our team, I categorically was opposed to it. But that being said, there aren’t too many 3 down LBs in the league, including your sorry team.

Seen This B4

September 20th, 2012
4:09 pm

Since66: I bet your hair, if you have any, is all gray.

JSS

September 20th, 2012
4:29 pm

“you never hone up to what youve said. Both of you say well lose every week”

I guess you meant “own?” Listen, you need to work on your reading comprehension… I’ve only said that the Falcons would lose 6 games in all the time that I’ve been blogging on the AJC… In 2008, when they played the Arizona Cardinals in the playoffs. In 2009, when they played the Philadelphia Eagles… In 2010 when they played the Green Bay Packers (2nd time)… In 2011 when they played the Eagles on Sunday and when they met the New Orleans Saints in the Dome. And I did predict the disaster that was the NY Giants playoff butt whipping… So that is 5-1…

Now, do I undervalue them as an NFL entity? Sure, but like I said back in the pre-season, they are banking on “smoke and mirrors” never being caught up to by the better teams in the league before the playoffs… It is a calculated risk…

JSS

September 20th, 2012
4:31 pm

And again, what do I care if the Saints are struggling?

Whos First

September 20th, 2012
4:45 pm

So how long you been a Chargers fan Seen? LOL BWAHWHAHWHAHHAHAH!

alwolf

September 20th, 2012
4:53 pm

Followed him from NC State and think you’re wrong. Rivers is a very nice guy, very good person–but great QB…ask his teammates what they think of him….then look at Cutler who make everyone else look good. Rivers is a true warrior who has had some trouble latley but looks to be back and among the best QBs along with Ryan….He’s just chirpy with opponents and refs. Really like the way he balls and respect his toughness. Should be a war and he’ll have his hands full with my falcons though. I think we’re gonna win at the end. SD has a tough time with us.

JSS

September 20th, 2012
5:24 pm

His teammates know that have to live and die with Rivers, the Spanos much like Blank has tied their horse to him…

JONESBORO SLIM

September 20th, 2012
5:46 pm

Look for Turner to make a gallent efford this Sunday to make-up for Tuesday morning (hopefully the OL will open some holes) and he will continue giving this efford for the remainder of the season….

falCANS

September 20th, 2012
5:53 pm

All comes down to Dent. Can he get his first tackle lol sheeesus? ?? & whether or not Rivers sees how absolutely poor Daunte “no cover” Robinson is??? Hopefully Nolan disguised that as well

JONESBORO SLIM

September 20th, 2012
6:05 pm

I’m going to put this on all the AJC’s blogs until I get an answer and please no jokes…..”Where was Ray Edwards Monday night…did he do thing”?

JSS

September 20th, 2012
6:15 pm

Jonesboro, go to video that Ledbetter just posted… There is a blurb about Edwards not being used in Nickel there…

JONESBORO SLIM

September 20th, 2012
6:46 pm

@JSS……thanx

Boleterated

September 20th, 2012
6:56 pm

I find it funny how you Falcons fans are sudden experts on Chargers football. Right down to the comment about River’s about arguing with teammates, fans, and local media. Completely untrue and has never happened. He go into one shouting match with Cutler (who in my opinion is the cry baby and is more like the player you are talking about) and he is labeled with a bad attitude. As far as the game goes do not expect a blow out . The number three defense in the league (number 1 vs the run) should put plenty of pressure on your offense. After 4 gift turn overs vs Denver and the Donkos were still in it till the very end. Very Sad!

JSS

September 20th, 2012
7:25 pm

Funny following the Chargers since the days of Keith Lincoln and Lance Alworth means nothing… The first mistake was saying “Falcons fans.” Rivers trash talking is the stuff of legend… The still hilarious moment when Bob Sanders blew him a kiss after he yakked up a storm was priceless…

falconsrus

September 20th, 2012
11:11 pm

bolestrated y’all won;t be rated so high when our offense goes all gata on ya sunday

619SDBOLTS

September 21st, 2012
12:23 am

Rivers is a devout catholic with five kids, he’s a fantastic human being who contributes to the san diego community in a positive way. not once has he been in the blotter.

Does he talk smack? Hell yeah he does, but all in a good natured, competitive way.Watch NFLN 7pm EST Friday for more Rivers…