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Jon Gruden's thoughts on Philip Rivers
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ESPN conducted a media conference call on Monday with Jon Gruden to discuss the SportsCenter Special: Gruden's QB Camp series and ESPN's 2013 NFL Draft coverage. In one two-part question, Gruden was asked to divulge his thoughts on Philip Rivers and if it's time to begin grooming someone for down the road and also what he expects from the new coaching staff in building the Chargers offense.
Here's what he had to say:
Obviously Coach Whisenhunt has had a lot of success with the Pittsburgh Steelers, and he helped Arizona go to the Super Bowl with Kurt Warner and the numbers that they accumulated were outstanding. Coach McCoy got to the playoffs with Tim Tebow and adjusted his offense a year later for the great [Peyton] Manning. So you're going to have two coaches that have adaptability and a brain trust in place, so I think they're going to really help any quarterback flourish. I think Rivers is still one of the top players in the game. They've got to get him some help certainly on the offensive line, and they've lost a lot of skilled players in the back field and at wide receiver. They need to replenish their offense around him.
But as far as a back‑up to Philip Rivers, I think there are a few guys that fit in that mold. I like Tyler Wilson at Arkansas, he's a pocket passer. I think Tyler Bray as a middle‑round quarterback could come in there and take advantage of watching Philip Rivers prepare on a weekly basis. I think there are a couple guys in this draft, quite honestly, that could come in there and be a good quality back‑up of Philip Rivers.