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Smith reveals offensive priorities around Rivers

Posted Feb 24, 2012

San Diego General Manager A.J. Smith feels a consistent offensive line is the most important piece of the Chargers’ offense around Philip Rivers, followed by a good running game and then a stable of pass-catchers.

SAN DIEGO – The Chargers believe four-time Pro Bowl quarterback Philip Rivers can win a Super Bowl.

San Diego has its franchise quarterback, one of the most difficult aspects to acquire. But how do the Chargers stack the players around Rivers to chase a championship?

Is a Pro Bowl receiver the priority? A stud running back? An elite offensive line?

All of the above help, but General Manager A.J. Smith believes in a clear architectural pecking order.

Smith believes protecting Rivers must be the top priority.

“We need to give him an opportunity to scan the field and work,” Smith said. “If he cannot scan the field and work, it doesn’t matter who we have at receiver. It’s very important that we build and try to have a consistent offensive line, and we have some issues there that we’re working our way through right now.

“Second, we need to get a couple of good running backs, and I think that we do have that.

“And then after that we will build a wide receiver and tight end receiving corps for him. But the order that I put it is offensive line, running back – and a running game will help everything – and a receiving corps.”

Smith’s blueprint includes at least one star pass-catcher at tight end, two star receivers and two more “pretty good” receivers.

“So that’s how I think of building if you have a special quarterback,” Smith said. “If you want to accomplish a world championship, you’ve got to do everything you can to give him the tools – talent, but also the opportunity to stand there and be able to scan the field.”

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