One thing you've got to love about Rivers is his genuine love for the game and his honest approach in the media. If you've never seen him in a press conference, he's more like a boy playing his favorite game than a stereotypical NFL quarterback repeating the same old hackneyed company line that most others use.
He is exuberant and energetic, boisterous and even giddy at times. You can just tell that this guy loves what he does and knows he is one of the luckiest people on earth for getting a chance to play a kids game professionally.
Some people seem to find his attitude obnoxious. I suppose that his detractors are the same people who would keep the curtains drawn on a bright and sunny day. To each his own, but personally, I find his demeanor very refreshing.
With a positive slant to every response and nary a dirty word, Rivers spoke to Christopher Smith of Chargers.com.
When asked about the poor 9-7 record, Rivers pointed out that many players improved or had their best seasons last year.
When asked about winning a championship, Rivers responded: “It’s hard to win a championship as we all know as players and as our fans here know. They've been longing for one for a long time. It’s hard to get it done. But we believe here we’re going to get it done and I’m determined to help lead this team to get it done. We’re going to get it done and I’m excited about this coming season.”
Those are definitely positive words and what you would expect from an elite quarterback such as Rivers.
Sounding more like Laurence Fishburne’s character “Morpheus” from the film “The Matrix,” Rivers went on to discuss his views on getting the Chargers into the Super Bowl.
“I see the journey to a championship as one big season. Each season doesn't stand alone, and we are on the path. We are on the path and I can tell you the people in this building are doing everything we can to make sure that path ends hopefully in Indianapolis this year but then there’s New Orleans and then there’s New York. I've got them all mapped out. We’re going to get there at some point.”
For Chargers fans, we can only hope that Rivers knows that there is a difference between knowing the path and walking the path.
When asked about his experience in his first ever appearance in the Pro Bowl, Rivers waxed philosophically: “You compete against these guys (during the regular season) and you obviously are playing within a three-and-a-half hour window and you often don’t have a chance to really get to know them. So I think having a chance to get to know some of your competitors and kind of what motivates them, some things you can take from their game and the way they work, that was what I appreciated the most.”
Perhaps the most enlightening words to come from Rivers were in his support for head coach Norv Turner.
“Unless you know him like we do as players, to me he has a very misleading perception on the outside as a very laid-back, not-very-passionate head coach that’s not as fiery and energetic as he should be. And in a lot of ways that couldn't be further from the truth. He knows when the time’s right to get us going. He’s a heck of a coach. I know if you go through the roster, they would each and every one of them tell you they love playing for him. He and his staff put us in position to succeed and together we’re going to win it all.”
Those of you who know me, know I am a self proclaimed Norv-hater and have been for a long time.
But I am also a Rivers lover.
So when Rivers says that Turner’s on-field personality is misleading and the perception of many fans that he is too laid back is false, well, I have to stand up and take notice. No one has done more to sway me towards the possibility that Turner is a competent coach than these words of confidence from my favorite quarterback.
Regardless if Turner is a great coach or not, I believe that Rivers is an elite quarterback who could very well lead the Chargers to the Promised Land despite or in spite of any failings of head coach Norv Turner.
To see the full story at Chargers.com click here.