"It was an honor, especially (with) someone of his stature who has played at such a high level for a long time. Really always just trying to absorb as much as I could and ask as (many) questions as I could and doing my best to pick his mind."
In the spring of 2015, Marcus Mariota had a meeting he would never forget.
As a player ready to enter the draft and transition into life as a professional athlete, while working out in Carlsbad, Mariota sat down with San Diego's signal caller.
"When I was coming out of college, (Philip Rivers) really helped me in terms of my footwork," Mariota said. "He spent some time with me going through drops, being under center, talking ball (and) coverages and certain things that he was seeing. Things he had to go through when he was transitioning into the NFL."
"I sat in with him and went in over film with him once or twice," Rivers added. "I was really impressed with him. Not that I'm at all the guy he should be listening to. But, obviously with what a great career he had and what a great college player he was, I was impressed with how humble and eager he was to listen and soak up any ideas or points I had that he may want to try."
Come Sunday, the former teacher and student will become competitors. Rivers will get to see Mariota and how far he's come as the Titans travel to America's Finest City to take on the Chargers. Mariota said he is "privileged" for the chance to share opposite sides of the field with him on Sunday and is "looking forward to the opportunity."
Needless to say, Mariota's self-proclaimed absorption rang true for Rivers.
"I kind of walked away from those interactions with him thinking he's going to be a heck of a pro. You knew he had a good head on his shoulders both from an approach standpoint and, with just talking football, you could tell he really loved ball. It's shown so far. He's off to a great start."