Before his coaching career, Renaldo Hill spent 10 NFL seasons as a safety and defensive back.
At his introductory press conference on Wednesday, the Chargers defensive coordinator recalled the first time he played against Philip Rivers, who retired from the NFL last week after 17 seasons. Hill was playing for the Denver Broncos on "Monday Night Football."
The rest shouldn't be too surprising.
"I never saw a quarterback waiting in the tunnel," Hill said. "I've seen defensive linemen do it, I've seen other people do it, but I never saw a quarterback standing by the exit of the tunnel ready for you, and talking a little trash — never a curse word, but you knew that he meant everything about it.
"Playing the Chargers, you knew that it was going to be a competitive ball game with number 17 leading the way in everything that they did whether it was the trash talk or the play on the field."
Rivers leaves the NFL having started 240 consecutive games dating back to 2006. He's fifth all-time in passing yards (63,440) and touchdowns (421), trailing only Drew Brees, Tom Brady, Peyton Manning and Brett Favre in both categories.
But it was his competitiveness and love for the game – love for his teammates – that shined brighter than any record can. Hill's story is just one small snapshot into what made Rivers special, and why his next stop is undoubtedly Canton.
Check out the Top 50 shots of Philip Rivers' 16 seasons with the Chargers.
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