Monthly Archives: August 2013

Rivers Running Dry in San Diego?

Is Philip Rivers done? (Courtesy: The Score.com)

San Diego Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers was part of a heralded 2004 QB draft class that was to rival one of the greatest in NFL history. While his contemporaries have held up their end of the bargain, Rivers struggles to keep up and appears to be on the wrong side of the peak. As he enters his 10th season, several national pundits and even some Chargers are questioning if he has anything left.

Rivers was drafted 4th by the New York Giants and traded to San Diego for Eli Manning.

“With the 4 Pick in the 2004 NFL Draft to New York Giants select, Philip Rivers, quarterback, North Carolina State.” With those words, commissioner Paul Tagliabue welcomed Philip Rivers to the National Football League on April 24th, 2004. Later that day Rivers was traded from the Giants to the San Diego Chargers for Eli Manning. Manning had no desire to play for the Chargers – since they already had a quarterback in Drew Brees – and orchestrated a trade to the “Big Apple.” Rivers was the second quarterback selected in the draft. Ahead of Miami of Ohio’s Ben Roethlisberger and Virginia’s Matt Scaub. Both have gone on to have successful pro bowl careers. Several “draft experts” predicted the 2004 class of quarterbacks would be on par with the class of 1983, that featured Hall Of Famers John Elway, Jim Kelly and Dan Marino to name a few.

Brees won the battle, but Rivers outlasted him in San Diego.

When Rivers arrived in San Diego, he was immediately involved in a QB battle with Brees that ended with him only seeing limited action in 2 games in each of his first two seasons. Meanwhile, Roethlisberger struck right away winning 14 straight games before losing to the Patriots in the AFC Championship game. Manning was brought along slower as he watched Super Bowl Champion and 2 Time league MVP Kurt Warner, but he still manage to start 7 of 9 games his rookie season before taking over the reins in year two. Rivers waited behind Drew Brees, who at the time wasn’t the same Brees we are witnessing in New Orleans.

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Over the past 9 seasons, Manning and Roethlisberger have reached Hall Of Fame status. Between them, they have 5 Super Bowl Appearances, 4 Super Bowl titles, 2 Superbowl MVPs – both Manning’s. Even Schaub—a late bloomer—is quarterbacking a Houston Texans team that is a favorite by many (author raises hand) to represent the AFC in the Super Bowl after the 2013 season.

Rivers’ skills far out weigh his results.


While Rivers has had his share of individual success with 27,891 Yards passing, 189 TDS, 4 Pro bowls and 4 Trips to the playoffs (3-4 record), he’s yet to sniff the Super Bowl and in the past two season has failed to get his San Diego Chargers off to hot starts, while piling up 59 turnovers (Interceptions & Fumbles combined) in the ’11 & ’12 seasons; and it doesn’t look like his luck is going to get better any time soon. If it weren’t for Tony Romo and he played in a bigger media market than San Diego, he’d probably be verbally attacked in the national media more than any other QB, but he’s been able to flounder under the radar.

But what happened? Has he hit his peak? Charger fans have to wonder, “did management make the right decision when forcing Drew Brees out for Rivers?” There was a time when Rivers was by far the best QB in the AFC West, and the Chargers were consistently the favorite to win the division and did so, even after starting several seasons of under achieving. Now the new sheriff in the AFC West is Peyton Manning and the Denver Broncos are not only the clear cut choice to win the division, but many suspect the Chargers will fall behind the Kansas City Chiefs and the tandem of Head Coach Andy Reid and his new QB Alex Smith. The window is closing quickly on Rivers, if it hasn’t already.

Schottenheimer first fell in love with Rivers at Senior Bowl.

His career reminds me of former Cleveland Browns quarterback Bernie Kosar. Kosar’s Browns in the late 80s were always a play here or there from going to the Super Bowl. Rivers’ Chargers were always an injury away from playing in the Super Bowl. Kosar and Rivers even have the same side arm throwing motion and were hand picked by Head Coach Marty Schottenheimer. Kosar’s career ended unceremoniously in Cleveland after Schottenheimer was moved on. Schottenheimer stood by Kosar like he did Rivers and then Norv Turner after him. As more time goes on, you have to wonder if the new management and coaching staff will eventually decide to move on from Rivers.

So, what happened to this once elite QB?

Kosar’s career was never the same – Although he did earn a Super Bowl Ring with the Cowboys as Troy Aikman’s backup – and you have to wonder if Rivers’ will follow a similar path. He’s only 31 years old, so you’d like to think there’s still a chance he can have some success similar to his ’04 QB classmates. This season will go along way in him getting things back on the right track. He needs a big season, even if the Chargers as a team don’t, he needs to prove he still deserves to be in discussions about Top QBs. He’s rarely mentioned anymore and it leaves one to wonder, what happened?

**Check out this faux Philip Rivers Amazon page from Grantland.com. Seems the agree with me**

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Can Coach Meyer do it Again in Year Two?

Year Two, What Will Urban Do?

3 weeks. 21 days. That’s how long until the scarlet and grey kickoff in “The Shoe” against the University Of Buffalo. After a very successful first season, the question on the minds of Buckeye Nation is, can Urban Meyer do in his second season what he did at Florida and Jim Tressel did in his? Win a National Title!

Courtesy: Rollingout.com

The 2012 football season was what the Ohio State Football program, university and fans needed to wipe away the stench of the end of the Tressel era, but the scent of success in his second year at the helm is how Urban Meyer will be judged going further. Fair or Not!

Coach Meyer is a two-time National Champion from his days at Florida. Even with the services of Tim Tebow, Meyer’s Gator teams NEVER had back to back undefeated seasons. Granted that was in what I call the NFL’s unofficial farm system, the SEC. Now that he’s in the weaker Big Ten, undefeated seasons will be necessary in order to even play for a national title.

However, Coach Meyer has a very good track record in year two that fans in Columbus are well aware of. The Buckeyes were a victim of his first National Title in the 2007 BCS National Championship game in his second season in Gainesville. At the University of Utah, he led the Utes to a 12 and 0 record, leading the program to earn the first BCS bid by a non-automatic qualifying conference and the school’s first BCS victory. What year was this? You guess it, his second year there after leaving Bowling Green, where in his second season there, all he did was lead the Falcons to a 9 and 3 record. A huge accomplishment for a MAC Conference school that was a combined 60-50 and 2, a win percentage of 54% in the 10 years before his arrival on campus.

Courtesy: Columbus Dispatch

Tressel won National Title in his 2nd year in Columbus.

Coach Tressel set the bar pretty high in Buckeye Nation with the magical season in 2002 – Sidebar, many fail to acknowledge that “Sweater Vest” won his only national title with players recruited by the successful, but some times underachieving former Buckeye coach, John Cooper. The only key player on that 2002 team recruited by Tressel was Maurice Clarett. At the end of his time, many doubted whether Tressel could win the biggest game. But because he was dominated in “The BIG game” against Michigan – which his predecessor failed at several times – Tressel wasn’t as criticized or on the hot seat until the NCAA violations popped up.

Courtesy: Columbus Monthly

2013 and beyond is what Urban Meyer was brought to Columbus for. He has said Ohio State is the only job he would’ve taken to return to coaching, but we can also assume, he was the only coach Ohio State Athletic Director Gene Smith was interested in moving on from the Tressel era with. Why? His track record for winning the only game after the Michigan game that matters, the BCS National Title Game.

The Buckeyes start the season as the #2 ranked team in the nation. If they can go undefeated and hold that ranking or move to #1, it will lead to a similar one in the all important BCS Rankings that pair the National Championship game opponents. If the Buckeyes play for a national title, Coach Meyer will be expected to do what coach Jim Tressel failed to do in his last two title games and several other BCS matches. WIN!

Meyer gave us more than we expected and admittedly more than he expected in year one. Can he continue his track record and like his predecessor, win it all in year two? He’ll answer question number one of possibly fourteen on that test beginning on August 31st.

2013 OHIO STATE BUCKEYES FOOTBALL SCHEDULE

http://www.ohiostatebuckeyes.com/sports/m-footbl/sched/osu-m-footbl-sched.html