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Rivers to fans: Chargers on right path
SAN DIEGO – Thirty-one teams are asking themselves what they need to do better after the Lombardi Trophy from Super Bowl XLV didn’t end the month in a display case at their headquarters.
If NFL championships are the only standard of success, 96.9 percent of the teams fail to achieve it each season. Falling short of Dallas isn’t an indictment of a team’s direction, Philip Rivers told season-ticket holders Wednesday.
“It’s hard to win a championship as we all know as players and as our fans here know,” Rivers said. “They’ve been longing for one for a long time. It’s hard to get it done. But we believe here we’re going to get it done and I’m determined to help lead this team to get it done.”
While acknowledging the 9-7 finish with no playoff appearance wasn’t the best result, Rivers was encouraged by the number of players that improved or had their best seasons.
“I certainly appreciate fans that are going to hang in there and keep pulling for us because that’s what we need,” Rivers said. “We’re going to get it done and I’m excited about this coming season.
“I see the journey to a championship as one big season. Each season doesn’t stand alone, and we are on the path. We are on the path and I can tell you the people in this building are doing everything we can to make sure that path ends hopefully in Indianapolis this year but then there’s New Orleans and then there’s New York. I’ve got them all mapped out. We’re going to get there at some point.”
Rivers voiced support for Head Coach Norv Turner, who is 44-26 in four seasons with San Diego, including three playoff wins.
“Unless you know him like we do as players, to me he has a very misleading perception on the outside as a very laid-back, not very passionate head coach that’s not as fiery and energetic as he should be. And in a lot of ways that couldn’t be further from the truth,” Rivers said.
“He knows when the time’s right to get us going. He’s a heck of a coach. I know if you go through the roster, they would each and every one of them tell you they love playing for him. He and his staff put us in position to succeed and together we’re going to win it all.”
Rivers, who threw for a career-best 4,710 yards this season to lead the NFL, attended the Pro Bowl in Hawaii for the first time on Jan. 30. The AFC lost, 55-41, but spending a week around some of the NFL’s most productive players proved rewarding.
“You compete against these guys and you obviously are playing within a three-and-a-half hour window and you often don’t have a chance to really get to know them,” Rivers said.
“So I think having a chance to get to know some of your competitors and kind of what motivates them, some things you can take from their game and the way they work, that was what I appreciated the most.”