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Rivers Senses a “Night and Day” Difference in Familiarity

Posted Apr 22, 2014

With a season in the system in the books, Philip Rivers says he feels more comfortable heading into 2014.

When Philip Rivers took to the podium Tuesday, he was immediately asked the difference between last year’s start of the offseason program and this year’s.

He gave an emphatic answer.

“It’s a big difference,” he said.  “Just mentally it’s different.  There are not as many unknowns, so we can really hit the ground running.  As far as where we are, (last year) was figuring out how we are going to call the play, what are we calling a formation and still a lot of getting to know one another.  Now it’s getting right to it.  Building off what we did.  So from a comfortable standpoint, from an understanding where the expectations are and how we do things, it’s night and day difference.”

Along with that familiarity comes a boost in confidence following the team’s success last season. 

“I do think you use what you can use from last year, the positives, as far as continuing to build a confidence and belief,” he said.  “Some of that is evident in what we did.  We have real tangible things to draw from.”

However, like other Bolts, Rivers says the past is in the past, explaining that the Chargers need to focus on the upcoming season.

“We have to put that year aside,” he said.  “Yeah, we accomplished a lot in the sense of we bounced back.  The last six weeks were exciting and we all felt good about what we did, besides obviously not reaching the top.  We didn’t feel good on that Sunday afternoon.  But I think (we need to) quickly realize we were 5-7.  We were struggling there for a bit and it wasn’t like we were lights out all year long.  So I think we take what we can take good and quickly put that behind us and try to become a team again.  I think that’s the biggest thing.”

While there is a strong sense of continuity, there are still a number of differences facing the team, especially the quarterback.  Rivers will have a new offensive coordinator in Frank Reich, whose promotion created a vacancy at quarterbacks coach that was filled with the subsequent promotion of Nick Sirianni. But even then, despite two coaches in new positions, Rivers still feels comfortable having gotten to know both men well in 2013.

“Obviously (Sirianni and I) will communicate a lot more,” he said.  “He and I communicated a decent amount even last year.  He’s a super smart young coach that really grinds, so he’ll fit in (the quarterback room) quite well. So I have a great deal of comfort level with him.  And I think too the fact that Frank is offensive coordinator, he will have a great deal of presence in the room as far as meetings go.  So I couldn’t be more pleased with the dynamic of our quarterback room with Nick as quarterback coach, Frank as OC and bringing Kellen (Clemens) in here.”

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