Tag:Philip Rivers
Posted on: August 31, 2010 11:14 am
Edited on: August 31, 2010 11:16 am

Falcons don't mind new position of ump

Collisions were a major reason the NFL decided to reposition the umpire (Getty). Posted by Josh Katzowitz

There’s been quite a bit of talk the past week or so regarding the umpire’s new position about 10 yards behind the offensive line and how it affects hurry-up offenses because the ball will be spotted a little slower. Like, say, the Colts and QB Peyton Manning.

Andy wrote about it yesterday, so check that out for some background.

But you know who’s not worried about the new positioning? The Falcons. That’s what D. Orlando Ledbetter writes in today’s Atlanta Journal-Constitution . Atlanta has run its no-huddle offense in all three of its preseason games, and so far, the team hasn’t had problems adjusting.

"Obviously it's different, the way they set the ball," Ryan said. "But we have not had any issues thus far with it."

The Chargers, though, can sympathize with the Colts. This, according to the San Diego Union-Tribune , which quotes QB Philip Rivers as saying, “It’s a problem. We’re down 11 with five minutes to go and we have to wait and look for people to snap? It’s an issue.”

Let me just put in my two cents. I can understand why the Colts would be frustrated with this, but the NFL says it made the move because of the umpire’s safety. More than 100 collisions and a handful of concussions suffered by those officials last year seemingly make this a pretty good idea.

And if the players’ major argument against an 18-game schedule is because they fear for their safety, they should sympathize for men who are older, slower and not in as good a shape but still share the same football field.

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Posted on: August 27, 2010 7:50 pm
Edited on: August 27, 2010 7:55 pm

V-Jax on sitting out the season: 'Absolutely.'

Posted by Will Brinson

Vincent Jackson's situation with the San Diego Chargers has grown increasingly awkward as the offseason progressed: the latest development had his agent Neil Schwartz insinuating that the Chargers don't seem inclined to trade him to anyone but the Seahawks, who don't seem inclined to pay Jackson what he wants .

In a sit-down interview with Jason LaCanfora for NFL Network (which LaCanfora mentioned on his Twitter account), Jackson said he would "absolutely" sit out the entire season if necessary. LaCanfora, in a teaser for the full interview on Total Access, asked Jackson what his options would be if the Chargers won't trade him or give him "fair market compensation."

"We're prepared [to sit out the season]," Jackson said. "I've been financially smart, taking care of things like that off the field so I'm ready for the long haul. But again, I miss football. I want to play football, I'm passionate about the game and I wouldn't be training and working as hard as I am if I didn't want to be on the field. So I'm hoping everything works out, but again, I don't hold my breath for anything -- I'm ready for whatever."

Remember, Jackson is going to miss at least three games because of his off-field incidents, and up to six if he doesn't

Asked if he could "see himself in a Chargers uniform in 2010" Jackson seemed, ahem, cautiously optimistic.

"Of course, you know, they have my rights," Jackson said. "That's where I'm still, kind of legally bound right now, and I have no problem putting on that jersey again."

Jackson also discussed his teammates, stating that he's been in contact with multiple players such as Philip Rivers and Antonio Gates and "all the guys have been very supportive." Jackson also added that he wasn't offended by Rivers' statement about the team moving on, pointing out that Rivers "has to get guys going in the right direction and make sure the team's not worried about who's not there."

However, he said there has been "no direct contact [with the front office] since the end of last season" and that he's "not even sure" if they want to trade him. Jackson told LaCanfora that there's been no attempt by San Diego to offer him any sort of long-term deal and when said he'd never asked for a trade.

"I have not," Jackson said. "Because that's not really my job -- my job is to play football. I've always been told you just take care of stuff on the football field and the rest will take care of itself. I belong [in San Diego], I think it's a good fit for us, but the league is a fly-by-night kind of thing and I'm ready to go wherever fits best."

Jackson offered "no excuse" for his second DUI and said he "made a poor choice" and that he could guarantee to another general manager that there would be "no off-the-field issues" with him in the future.

Given Jackson's demeanor and statements, it seems pretty safe to say that Jackson, if he's not bluffing about the "absolutely" thing, might not see the football field during 2010.

After all, it certainly appears that GM A.J. Smith doesn't intend to cave and give Jackson a long-term deal any time soon.

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Posted on: August 22, 2010 12:15 pm
Edited on: August 22, 2010 12:15 pm

Rivers won't back down

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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Posted on: August 19, 2010 10:12 pm
Edited on: August 19, 2010 10:25 pm

Broncos extend Orton; Tebow fans gnash teeth

Posted by Josh Katzowitz

According to various media reports, the Broncos have extended QB Kyle Orton’s contract an extra year through 2011. The extension is for $9 million ($5.5 million of that is guaranteed, according to NFL.com’s Jason La Canfor a, and it speaks to the fact the club likes Orton quite a bit.

That might be because backup Brady Quinn was so bad in the first preseason game against the Bengals – he’s been pretty crappy throughout his career, come to think of it –  and Denver simply doesn’t trust him. It might be because nobody is sure what exactly Tim Tebow will become. Or it might simply be because Orton (62.1 percent completed, 3,802 yards, 21 TDs, 12 INTs last year) impressed the Broncos front office in his first season with the team.

I actually like the move quite a bit. I certainly don’t think Orton is the next John Elway, but he’s solid enough, especially in that division – only San Diego’s Philip Rivers is clearly a better QB.

While we wait to see whether Tebow can play QB in this league, the Broncos have a pretty good one in Orton who coach Josh McDaniels can feel comfortable with every week.

UPDATE (10:23 PM ET):
Kyle Orton's statement as released through the team. "This is the place that my wife and I definitely want to be. Considering the labor environment, I'm aware of how difficult it was to get this deal done and am extremely appreciative of all of the hard work and support from [general manager] Brian Xanders and Coach McDaniels during this process. I'm eager to get this season started and will do whatever I can to help this team be successful."

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Posted on: August 15, 2010 8:43 pm

LT not thrilled by Gates and Rivers' comments

Posted by Will Brinson

A few weeks ago, we discussed a feature out of San Diego in which Philip Rivers and Antonio Gates addressed the departure of LaDainian Tomlinson.

Neither Gates nor Rivers bashed LdT by any means, but their comments, which indicated that Tomlinson was the rough equivalent of a dark cloud floating around the locker room, weren't exactly filled with effusive praise.

In an article from Sam Farmer of the Los Angeles Times from Saturday, Tomlinson responded to their quotes.

"I thought they were my guys," Tomlinson said. "People always say, and my family has said it to me, that you know who your real friends are when you're at your lowest point and you don't have a job or whatever. And guys, they said what they felt, whether they were taking shots at me or really just saying what they felt needed to be said."

Tomlinson also addressed his leaving the Chargers, stating that he "started to see my departure out of San Diego way before" the media did ... although it was apparently only two years ago. (Which, you know, is when we ALL knew it.)

"Obviously, they had to start to build that team around Philip and get the guys they needed around him," he said. "I didn't fit that. That's why I kind of found myself on the outside looking in, and looking for work after this past season."

It's understandable that he'd be upset by the comments from Rivers and Gates -- even if it's their team (and it may have been before even this year), what they said is tough to hear regardless of how far removed Tomlinson is from San Diego.

That being said, though, Gates and Rivers were both honest and accurate and it's tough to fault them just for being candid. Just as it's tough to fault the Chargers for making a smart business decision and letting LT go, even if it was a year too late.

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Posted on: August 2, 2010 10:27 pm

Was LaDainian Tomlinson holding the Bolts back?

Let's be perfectly clear on one thing: LaDainian Tomlinson is a future Hall of Famer, a class-act of a football player (and a person), and -- most importantly to this subject matter -- he helped make the San Diego Chargers a dominant franchise of the 2000's.

However, in reading what is a fantastic piece by Kevin Acee of the San Diego Union-Tribune , one gets a very clear sense that Tomlinson's veteran/legend status was something that made many of the other players -- including equally high profile players like Philip Rivers and Antonio Gates -- on the Chargers' roster uncomfortable.

“I don’t know how everyone feels or if they felt it,” said Rivers, who answers questions about Tomlinson the way someone walks through a minefield. “Maybe it was a little bit of a relief. Maybe it’s a feeling of, ‘I can do a little more without wondering what he thinks.’ ”

"Sometimes you would get the sense that people felt bigger than the team,” Gates said. “Not to say it was an issue, but we know it’s not an issue for sure now.”

Acee makes it very clear that his story is not "about the Chargers being better off without Tomlinson" but instead about a locker room "metamorphosis" that wasn't happening with LT on the roster.

And really, I recommend reading the entire thing; not just because I'm an unabashed Rivers homer (I am), but because of the candor that comes through from some of the quotes, including this relative bombshell from the former NC State product:

“That got real touchy the last 18 months,” Rivers said.

Specifically, he's referring to Tomlinson's unhappiness at his reduced role in the Bolts' offense. But the full assessment of the quotes show that it wasn't just on the field where Tomlinson had drifted behind Rivers -- it was the locker room too. Apparently, playing in the AFC Championship Game without a freaking ACL (and you'll recall, LT was on the sideline for that one) will garner some respect from your teammates.

And that's why it's Phil Rivers' team now, and probably for a long time down the road.

-- Will Brinson

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Posted on: July 25, 2010 5:16 pm
Edited on: July 25, 2010 7:29 pm

Welker's return is nothing short of remarkable

Massachusetts radio station 98.5 The Sports Hub has been told that Wes Welker will be cleared to participate for the first day of training camp. The Boston Globe reported Saturday that Welker, who had surgery on a torn left ACL in January, is healthy and ready to go.

Needless to say, this is nothing short of remarkable. The last big name player to recover so quickly from a torn ACL was Philip Rivers. But there’s a stark difference between Rivers and Welker. Rivers, being a quarterback, plays a stationary brand of football (so to speak). Most of his movement is in the north/south direction. He must plant on his knee, but he rarely has to plant and then move.

A receiver, on the other hand, is required to make frequent east/west movements, with explosive cuts after planting their foot. This is especially true for a catch-and-run magician like Welker.

Steelers Hall of Fame defensive back Rod Woodson came back from an ACL within six months. As a corner, he was required to make those east/west movements. Woodson, however, only had to prime himself for one game (Super Bowl XXX against the Cowboys). The success of Welker’s return will be measured on his effectiveness over a five-to-six-month span. Because of this, expect the Patriots to bring Welker along slowly during training camp.

-- Andy Benoit

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Posted on: July 21, 2010 8:36 pm
Edited on: July 21, 2010 8:50 pm

Which NFL players make the most total money?

Sports Illustrated has published its list of the highest paid athletes in sports. Peyton Manning leads all NFL players with a salary of 15.8 million and endorsements of $15 million, totaling – can you guess? -- $30.8 million. Manning ranks ninth amongst all athletes.
P. Manning
In a sign that the NFL rookie salary system has truly spiraled out of control, Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford ranks second in the NFL in total earnings. Stafford is hauling in just $750,000 in endorsements, but his rookie contract is paying him $26.9 million.

Third is Eli Manning, with $19.5 million salary (part of the contract extension he signed last August) and $7 million endorsements. Manning ranks 13th amongst all athletes, which is 30 spots higher than he ranked a year ago.

SI writes:

Our findings consisted solely of salary, winnings, bonuses, endorsements and appearance fees. We consulted players' associations, tour records, agents and news reports. Our endorsement estimates for 2010 came from Burns Entertainment & Sports Marketing, other sports-marketing executives and analysts, and agents. Salary figures were based on current or most recently completed seasons (the upcoming 2010 season for the NFL).

Here’s the rest of the NFL’s top 10 (most of these players recently signed long-term contracts with rich bonuses).

4. Philip Rivers, $25.6 million salary, $250,000 endorsements, $25.85 million total

5. Terrell Suggs, $24.9 million, $75,000, $24.975 million total

6. Albert Haynesworth, $24.6 million salary, $150,000, $24.75 million total

7. Brett Favre, $17 million, $7 million, $24 million total

8. Darrius Heyward-Bey (yeah, seriously), $21.43 million, $150,000 endorsement, $21.505 million total

9. Jason Smith, $20.57 million, $75,000,$20.645 million total

10. Julius Peppers, $20 million, $75,000, $20.75 million total

-- Andy Benoit

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The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com