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Sun., Jul. 19, 2015 7:30 AM PDT
Weddle, Rivers Have Strong Ties On and Off Field
Weddle sprinted 40 yards and lowered his shoulder into Philip Rivers’ body with all his might, taking the Chargers quarterback to the ground and laughed as he stood over him.
But not to worry.
This wasn’t Eric Weddle getting too aggressive during practice. Instead it was his four-year old son, Gaige, playfully wrestling with the Chargers QB after practice.
“I told him to do it,” the elder Weddle boasted.
Weddle and Rivers have a lot in common besides being leaders of their respective units, and as a result have formed a tight bond over the years. They both married their high school sweethearts, are extremely close with their families, and are tireless workers who often are the last ones off the field.
“Eric and I are a lot alike in a lot of ways on and off the field,” said Rivers. “Our competitiveness and our love for the game and our enjoyment of every aspect of our job is the same. We have a lively banter on the field and have a lot of fun off of it.”
The Chargers star safety agreed with the star quarterback, explaining what it is about Rivers that makes him so special.
“Philip is one of my best friends,” said Weddle. “I look up to the guy in a lot of ways. We’ve really grown close over the years because with each year that passes it seems like there’s only a few of us left from back in the day. But he’s our guy and I’m excited for him to have a great year.”
Entering their seventh season together, the duo knows a ton about each other. According to Rivers, it is that familiarity of getting to see him day in and day out and learning what makes him tick that has helped endear him to his teammate.
“We as teammates appreciate our guys as much as anybody can,” he said. “I know as a safety how he brings it every single day. He’s the first guy in the weight room and he studies so hard. Obviously everybody sees him on Sundays, and he’s awesome on Sundays, but I even more appreciate the kind of player and guy he is because of how he carries himself every single day.”
So now that his son Gaige had the chance to sack Rivers, does Eric want to follow in his son’s footsteps?
“I hope I never get to because that means we’ve played our whole careers together,” he said. “And hopefully we’ll have won a bunch of Super Bowls.”