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Analyzing the First Team Offense

Posted Aug 8, 2014

A look at how the starters performed against the Cowboys.

Thursday night marked the second season under Head Coach Mike McCoy and the first under Frank Reich as offensive coordinator.

Quarterback Philip Rivers and the first-team offense played only one series, but there were plenty of positives.  Their drive lasted 5:55 with 90 total yards including 61 passing and 29 rushing.  It afforded San Diego fans a good look at how dynamic the offense could be once again in 2014.

Rivers ran much of the first series no-huddle and was pleased with his team’s progress.

“We were going good, we were going fast,” he said.  “We ran it well and completed what we threw to a few different guys.  We were going in a no-huddle mode and we ran it well.  It was a good start.  We have a lot to still improve on but a lot we can build on from by getting off this way.”

Running back Danny Woodhead was also glad to get back out on the field.

“It’s great just to get back out there hitting other people,” he said.  “I think you grow tired of hitting your teammates.  It was a lot of fun to get back into a game atmosphere.”

Rivers went 4-for-4 for 61-yards and completed passes to Woodhead, Eddie Royal, and Ladarius Green.  The series began with strong runs by running backs Ryan Mathews and Woodhead.  Number 39’s biggest play of the night came on a swing-pass from Rivers for a 25-yard gain.

“It’s nice to get back in the swing of things,” he said.  “We were able to get a first down on it so it was great to get back in a game atmosphere.  With OTAs, minicamp and training camp, it’s a lot of (work) against your teammates but it’s good to play against someone else.”

The drive ended on an unfortunate note with Mathews fumbling on the goal line.  While the fumble was certainly the worst part of the drive, Mathews only coughed the ball up twice all of last season.

“Ryan was sick about it and I know he knows that can’t happen,” Rivers said.  “It would have been nice to finish that thing with a touchdown but it was a heck of a drive.”

During the offseason, Reich described his upcoming offense as tough and discussed placing an emphasis on the fast-paced, no-huddle offense.  While Rivers and his teammates ran it well, number 17 said he plans on mixing it in throughout the season.

“Anytime you’re in the no-huddle you can go fast and you can go slow,” Rivers said.  “We will huddle.  It’s not like we’re going to be exclusive no-huddle.  We will huddle, we’ll go fast, we’ll go slow and we’ll mix it up.  I don’t think that first drive is who we’re going to be four quarters of every game, but it’ll certainly be a part of it.”


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