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Philip Rivers Answers Key Questions on Relocation
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Philip Rivers took to the podium at the Los Angeles Chargers Kickoff Event at the Forum to a chorus of “Philip! Philip!” chants from the crowd.
His first words were vintage Rivers.
“I hope I’m alright in blue jeans and cowboy boots because that’s what you’re going to get!”
After an emotional week, he admitted to some trepidation as to how he’d be received in Los Angeles. Any unease was quickly quelled based on the reception he’s received on the streets and messages from Angelenos.
“All I’ve heard the last few days were how nobody wanted us up here. But shoot, looks like we’re going to be alright!”
Over the course of the next hour, Rivers answered numerous key questions on the Chargers relocation to LA. Here are the highlights:
Any truth to those rumors he was requesting a trade?
Rivers: “I don’t know where that came from. If that was the case, I wouldn’t have been up here the last few days! I’m here. I’m committed to this team and organization, and I’m excited about what’s ahead here in Los Angeles. It’s new. I’m going to embrace it and be myself. (I’ll) give them everything I’ve got like I did the last 13 years down in San Diego.”
Are there any concerns to how the players will be received in the LA?
Rivers: “As players, I don’t really have those concerns. Like I mentioned (on stage), you hear that nobody wants you up here. Then you get here, and shoot, walking down the street the other day there are people who recognize you and scream, ‘Go Chargers!’ I think that part of it will be just fine. As players and coaches, once this all settles, we’re used to working and playing football. If we do that well and win games, I think we’ll be alright.”
What is Los Angeles getting in the Chargers that they may not realize?
Rivers: “There are a lot of talented players coming up here that they are going to be big fans of. Some they don’t really know much about. I don’t want to leave anyone out, but shoot, you are getting Joey Bosa, who is the defensive rookie of the year. Jason Verrett is a Pro Bowler. Casey Hayward just led the league in interceptions. You are getting a big time nose guard in Brandon Mebane, who grew up only a couple miles down the road. You are getting Antonio Gates, who is the all-time leader in touchdowns for a tight end. You are getting a guy who led all tight ends in touchdowns in Hunter Henry, and he was just a rookie. And then there is Keenan Allen coming back. Melvin Gordon is one of the best running backs in the league. So there is a lot of talented players they are going to have the chance to cheer for.”
What’s his hope for the fans that supported him for 13 years in San Diego?
Rivers: “I want to be sensitive to that (community), but at the same time I do hope that when everything calms down (they continue to support us). Time can be healing. (Hopefully) they will still pull for us and support us. I know that I am not turning my back on San Diego. It will always be a special place for me. I’ll keep friends down there that we’ve built over the last 13 years. Hopefully over time, things from that stand point and relationships will be better.”
What are his thoughts playing in the StubHub Center for the next two seasons?
Rivers: “I’m kind of excited about it! It’s going to be the smallest venue in the NFL, but I like to think we can fill it up with 30,000. It’s going to be full and right on top of you. I think it can be kind of a unique environment, and if we can win some games, I think it will be the kind of place people will say, ‘Let’s go check it out.’ It’s going to be so unique. There’s nothing else like it.”
What is the initial impression to Anthony Lynn being hired as head coach?
Rivers: “Very positive. His demeanor and ability to command a room is very evident. He is a coach that won in a lot of places he’s been. He’s been around good teams, and he won two Super Bowl championships as a player. He knows too that he is coming into a team that is really ready to go win. We are built to go have some good years ahead, and he knows and senses that. He is trying to get us pointed in the right direction and lead us.”
What’s the impact on Ken Whisenhunt coming back as offensive coordinator?
Rivers: “That’s a big thing for us. It’s really good. We did a lot of good things offensively; we just can’t turn the ball over. We scored a lot of points and got a lot of yards, so we have a good (system) in place with him.”