Philip Rivers Comments on Chargers Moving to Los Angeles

Mike Chiari@mikechiariFeatured ColumnistJanuary 13, 2017

SAN DIEGO, CA - JANUARY 01: Philip Rivers #17 of the San Diego Chargers back to pass the ball against  the Kansas City Chiefs during a NFL game at Qualcomm Stadium on January 1, 2017 in San Diego, California.  (Photo by Leon Bennett/Getty Images)
Leon Bennett/Getty Images

One day after the Chargers announced their impending move from San Diego to Los Angeles, quarterback Philip Rivers commented on the relocation Friday.

In an interview with Xtra 1360 Fox Sports Radio (h/t ESPN.com's Eric D. Williams), Rivers expressed conflicting feelings:

I want to be clear that my love for San Diego—the time we've had here, the games, practices and everything about it—is special and awesome. That will never go away. But at the same time, and I hope people understand this, I have to get excited and fired up about going up to a new area, representing our team and organization and going up trying to win as many games as we can win.

I want to be the same guy I've always been. That's the only way I know. So I'm kind of in the middle of that, leaving behind something that you love and are thankful for, and you want to make sure that everybody knows that, and at the same time I don't want people to think, 'Well, he sure seems fired up to go up there.' ... I hope as the dust settles a little bit that people can understand that.

The 35-year-old also said he hoped Chargers fans in San Diego will continue to support the franchise:

I do think time always make things better. It doesn't make things go away, but I do hope—and I say this with all sincerity and sensitiveness to all of the community here—I do hope that there's still some families, some sons and dads, that will load up and say, 'Shoot, we're right up the road [111 miles],' on a Sunday afternoon, and still pull for the guys you've always pulled for.

Bolts chairman Dean Spanos announced the move Thursday and also revealed the Chargers will play their games at the 30,000-seat StubHub Center in Carson, California, for the next two seasons before sharing a future stadium with the Los Angeles Rams in Inglewood.

Still, Rivers—who the New York Giants drafted fourth overall in 2004 and traded to the Chargers, where he's played his entire career—is looking forward to the type of setting it could create:

The StubHub Center excites me more than the Coliseum would have. You're talking about 90,000 to 100,000 at the Coliseum in a new place. I know there were some games early that looked awesome for the Rams and others that didn't.

But the StubHub Center in a way excites me. It's 30,000, so it's kind of an intimate environment. It's small and everyone's right on top of you. I was actually Googling some of the pictures just seeing Galaxy games and things like that. It looks like it could be a cool environment.

The Chargers will play home games outside of San Diego for the first time since 1960 next season, and they'll have a new coach following Mike McCoy's ouster in former Buffalo Bills interim coach Anthony Lynn.

The Chargers have not made the playoffs since 2013 and finished 5-11 in the talent-rich AFC West in 2016. To improve amid the possible distraction of relocating, the team will need to do a better job of holding onto late-game leads, a fatal flaw last season.

         

Follow @MikeChiari on Twitter.

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