ESPN's Matt Bowen joined this week's episode of Chargers Weekly to discuss Derwin James' All-Pro rookie season, Philip Rivers' success in 2018 and what positions the team could look to in free agency and the draft.
Bowen played safety for seven seasons in the NFL. He currently stars in ESPN's "NFL Matchup" show alongside NFL Films' Greg Cosell, who was also a guest on this week's podcast. Highlights from the conversation with Bowen are below.
On James' rookie season (:45):
"You look at scheme fit always with the rookies. Whether you're talking about a first-round pick or a seventh-round pick or an undrafted free agent, [the] first thing is how they're going to fit in your scheme and fit into your program, and how you can coach them in your scheme. Do they have coachable traits? Do they have some traits that are uncoachable? What I mean are special traits that just pop on the film. Derwin had all of that. … I mean, he's a young superstar, that's what he is."
On Rivers' leadership (7:00):
"Philip Rivers, I thought, was an MVP candidate this past year – late stages of his career, has gone through injuries before [and] is so tough, and that's what I always look for. If I'm a defensive player or a special teams player, I can't wait to play for Philip Rivers. I can't wait to compete for Tom Brady. I want to play hard for those guys because of what they do on the field and how they carry themselves on the field. I'm not in the Chargers locker room or the film room or the weight room, but I would bet that Philip Rivers is the leader in every area of that clubhouse."
On the Chargers' 2018 season (9:10):
"I thought they had a great season. They're a playoff team. That's what they were. … One of my favorite games of the year to watch live and to study on tape was their win at Kansas City because that goes back to what we were just talking about: Philip Rivers making plays late [and] the way their defense played. The way those two teams competed in that football game – that was high-level football at its best in my opinion. It's one of the best games you could watch all year, and I'm not saying because of the big plays. I'm saying how they competed against each other. I love seeing that stuff. I love the high-level football with the great players and the great teams. I thought they had a phenomenal season, and they got beat by the Super Bowl champs. That's what happened."
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