Is This the Year That Philip Rivers and the Chargers Finally Get to the Super Bowl?
The San Diego Chargers have won 32 games over the last three years in the regular season, but have been disappointing when the playoffs come around. Despite being as talented as any team in the NFL over the last three seasons, the Chargers have been watching the Super Bowl from home every year. Coming into this year though, the team looks a lot different than the team that won 13 games a year ago. Philip Rivers is back to lead the Chargers explosive offense, but the weapons around him are completely different. LaDainian Tomlinson is in New York, Vincent Jackson is suspended and is not on good terms with the Chargers front office, and left Marcus McNeil is looking for a new contact as well. The Chargers still have a ton of talent on offense and can light up the scoreboard with the best of them, but it’s going to be very important for rookie first round pick Ryan Mathews and new number one wide receiver Malcom Floyd to pick up the slack for the departed playmakers.Philip Rivers joined XX Sports Radio in San Diego with Darren Smith to talk about whether or not he is ready to get the regular season started, whether or not he thinks about the team going to the Super Bowl, the addition of Patrick Crayton, how important it is to get off to a hot start, the biggest improvement of the team from last year to this year, and gives his thoughts on the Kansas City Chiefs.
On whether or not he is ready for the regular season to get started:
“I think a little bit of both. It got here in a hurry. The preseason always tends to drag a little bit, but this year with our preseason schedule, our focus, and everything, we got every bit out of the preseason that we possibly could. Looking forward to this week. Norv set up a great practice schedule in order for us to be fresh on Monday night and at the same time allow us to pace ourselves to prepare so we don’t feel like we’re doing the same thing over and over and over. It’s gonna kinda have that build to the peak day Monday night and be ready to roll. Everybody has the plan and the schedule and looking forward to Monday night.”
On whether or not he thinks about the Super Bowl:
“I think you’ve gotta think about it and you’ve gotta picture yourself being there on February 6th in Dallas at Cowboys Stadium or whatever they call that. I think you’ve got to. Every team right now thinks they have a chance, and who knows who’s going to? Who really knows who’s going to pan out over 16 games, but I think possibly we can say here we’re one of the teams who does have a chance. Obviously it’s a long way and we have a lot to take care of to do it. If you told me when I was ten years old that I was going to be on the San Diego Chargers and be on a team that’s got a legitimate shot we’d be knocking the door down to get on the practice field and fighting like crazy and doing all we could do to win it. That’s where we are. We’re in that moment and it’s exciting. As emotional as this game is you have to have a plan and a focus over the next five months. You hope that you’re gonna sustain that over five months and you’re gonna be there in Cowboys stadium to go win a championship. I think our team has done a great job with the one game at a time approach and that’s what our approach is, but if that’s not in the back of your mind somewhere, I don’t think you can ever get there if you don’t think about it every so often.”
On how big it is to start 1-0:
“Big. You know it’s funny because we have it every year. It’s not like the past years we didn’t care about September. We’ve always tried to start fast but again we’ve stressed it even more and put an emphasis on getting off to a fast start. It’s hard to win games in this league and we’ve won a bunch of them and getting off to fast start is something we haven’t done the last four years and something that can be greatly beneficial to you when you get going because winning just like losing is contagious. It is. You start winning and winning and you tend to go on a roll. That’s what we’ve always done around here. Once we get winning, we win in those streaks and it would be nice to have one start on Monday night, get that first one, and get off to a good start.”
On the biggest improvement made in the offseason:
“I think it’s running the football. Some of the numbers last year, I think stats don’t always tell the whole story because we ran it in spurts last year and did some really good things, but I think over the last training camp and the last three months we really improved there. We have a mentality and an attitude that we’re gonna go run the football. That’s not to say we haven’t had it in the past, but we’ve improved at it. The more complete offense we can be, the better we can be. I understand more than anybody that running the football helps the passing game and helps us stretch the ball down the field. Certainly a positive and something I’m excited about is running the football. I don’t care how many times we throw it or whatever we are on the outside. We know that inside we gotta be a complete offense and a complete team to go get done what we want to.”