Posted by Josh Katzowitz
A nice column here by the San Diego Union-Tribune’s Tim Sullivan on Chargers QB Philip Rivers and what a tough SOB he is. Even during a meaningless preseason game, Rivers can’t stop himself from putting himself in danger to make a play.
Here’s what Sullivan was talking about:
To review: Late in the second quarter of their 16-14 dress rehearsal defeat by the Dallas Cowboys, the Chargers had moved the ball from their own 6-yard line to the Dallas 18. Needing three yards to sustain the drive on third down, Rivers completed a short flip to Darren Sproles, who picked up the required real estate, but was then separated from the ball by Cowboys’ linebacker Bradie James.
Rookie safety Barry Church claimed the loose ball at the Dallas 12-yard line and turned toward the Chargers’ goal as a Cowboys’ convoy formed to clear his path. By the time Church reached midfield, it appeared that the things most likely to prevent him from scoring a touchdown were, in order, a clipping penalty, a cramp and an unscheduled appearance by the Stanford band.
But here was Rivers, drifting toward the north sideline as a shambling deep safety, picking his way through the traffic like a pedestrian crossing a freeway, finding Church and then flattening him.
“I just knew he was going to do it,” Chargers coach Norv Turner said. “I prefer him to not do it in that situation. That being said, that’s the wrong way to think. He’s a football player. He’s out there playing. Go after it and do what he did.”
For Rivers’ part, he says he couldn’t just let Church score there without a fight. Yes, the preseason doesn’t mean much, but then Rivers asks: They’re still keeping score, aren’t they? Oh, they are? OK, I’ll keep playing hard then.
That attitude is one reason why Rivers is one of the top quarterbacks in the league. It’s also why he commands so much respect in the Chargers locker room.
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