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New QB Coach Describes Approach with Philip Rivers

The best photos of Philip Rivers from the 2015 campaign.

The 2016 season marks Shane Steichen's fifth year with the Chargers over two separate stints dating back to 2011. 

After serving as the Bolts' offensive quality control coach since 2014, Head Coach Mike McCoy announced last week he was being elevated to quarterbacks coach where he will work closely with Philip Rivers. Number 17 is entrenched as one of the top QBs in the league, and fresh off a season in which he rewrote the Chargers record books.  As such, Steichen doesn't intend to make drastic changes as he described his approach to being QB coach.

"Obviously, working with Philip Rivers is a special thing because we all know what he can do," he explained.  "He is going to continue to do what he's done the past couple years.  He's been playing well, and we've just got to continue that trend.  My job is to help him continue to do that, and build the guys who are backing him up. My philosophy is that you want to get the most out of that player. They are counting on you to give them everything you can to make them better, so my philosophy is to work my butt off to make them as good as they can be."

Steichen and Rivers have developed a close relationship over the years that the coach believes will prove fortuitous.

"Our time together has been good, and we have a strong relationship.  It was good right when I got here in 2011, and it grew, especially since I played the position.  I got to know him a little more, and we had a good relationship even when I left. We still kept in contact.  So I've known Philip for a long time, and I'm excited for this opportunity."

In between his stints with the Bolts, Steichen was an offensive quality control coach in Cleveland, where he worked closely with the Browns' quarterbacks.  The position was ravaged by injuries as three separate players started multiple games at QB that year.  Nonetheless, all three passed for over 300 yards in a game at least once, marking the first time in franchise history and only the sixth time in NFL history that occurred.

As offensive quality control coach with the Bolts, Steichen assisted primarily with the team's wide receivers over the past two seasons.   He believes working intimately with Keenan Allen and the rest of Rivers' weapons will prove beneficial as QB coach even though there are stark differences between the positions.

"The passing game is all connected, but the biggest difference between them is that obviously a lot more goes into being quarterback.  And it's not just the passing game; you've got to do the running game and handle protections.  So there is a lot more involved.  But the concepts all tie in with the wide receivers, so that will help. To be a quarterback, you've got to be sound, you have to be a technician and you have to be intelligent.  A lot goes into it.  It's not just the physical part, but also the reads, protections and being a leader.  You have to sell that to the position because that is a big part of it."

A quarterback by trade, Steichen played collegiately at UNLV and ranked 12th all-time in school history when he graduated.  Even though he is well-versed with the ins and outs of the position, he's grateful to have a number of established QB whisperers on the Chargers staff in McCoy, Offensive Coordinator Ken Whisenhunt and Wide Receivers Coach Nick Sirianni to lean on when needed.

"That's going to help a lot.  I obviously have a good working relationship with Mike and Nick the past two years, and Whisenhunt coming back, I know he is in that same mold of this offense and philosophy.  So that will be good.  I've had the chance to meet with him the past couple days, and I'm looking forward to it."

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