Will Rivers Create His Own Brees?

By Jason Muir

What to do with Philip Rivers? The Chargers find themselves in a hole once again, as the quarterback position proves to be a problem for them. Drew Brees proved himself as a pro bowler last year, while Philip Rivers proved was that he was capable of holding out. 2005, is going to be a big key in shaping the future of the Chargers. Who will we all be talking about next season as the Chargers quarterback?

With Rivers being drafted in the first round, Brees’s back was up against the wall. He had one choice, “get up”. Usually it takes a quarterback one to two years until he gets himself acclamaited to the NFL level. Brees proved himself beyond that point going for his fourth season as a bust. The Chargers gave Brees one year to prove himself. Which, he did with a quarterback rating of 105, along with earning himself a Pro Bowl selection.

By proving himself last year it was not a hard choice of putting a franchise tag on him for one year just to see what he’ll do. By not giving Brees a long term contract, they now have options. If Brees has another bad season they can give the bulk of the playing time to Rivers. That will essentially help him with his career as a Charger. On the other side of the spectrum, if Brees does have another pro bowl year than the chargers will have to go with their heart. Either trade Rivers and sign Brees to a long term contract, or let Brees go and take their chances with Rivers.

In years past the Chargers found themselves in tougher situations at the quarterback position. Recap, the year was 1998- Peyton Manning was the first overall selection in the draft… second to be drafted was Ryan Leaf…. by the Sandiego Chargers. After a year with a quarterback rating of 39 it was clear Ryan Leaf was a BUST. With the hype and the money Leaf was getting it was hard to give up on him so early. It took the Chargers three years to realize that Ryan was not the answer for their success, eventually letting him go to Dallas.

If Rivers ends up not getting any playing time this year, it will be his second season sitting on the bench making over five million. More importantly if the chargers expect this kid to be their future they have to share the time at the quarterback position this year. You can’t test drive a car without getting behind the wheel.

The Chargers need to see the capabilities that he has, otherwise who knows what his potential is. Rivers could have the abilities of a Ryan Leaf, or he might have the abilities of a Peyton Manning. One things for sure if Brees has another Pro Bowl year, it’s likely Rivers will be traded in the offseason.

Those who are banking on Brees to have another Cinderella season don’t count on it. This guy has a knack for making mistakes, throwing into double coverage, and trying to make off balance throws while under pressure. Not just picking on Brees but the Chargers don’t have a great offense nor defense either, plain and simple. LT and Antonio Gates is as far as it goes. The Chargers just got lucky last year and don’t expect them to have a record over .500 this year.

With a dismal record, the plan that would have happened last season will take place. That would force Marty to play Rivers the second half of the season. It’s no secret that the Chargers would have let Brees flow smoothly down the river of free agency if he didn’t have a stellar year.

It’s almost a similar situation as what happened with the Phoenix Suns in the NBA. Joe Johnson outplayed anyone’s expectations and became the Suns main option when an off the dribble play was needed. When a player skies their value up in a contract year, the team with the current right’s of that player is not going to let him just walk away. There is too much value in hand, and that’s an on going battle that will never change.

Business, that’s all this is. The Chargers are doing the right thing by currently having to pay mega dollars at quarterback this season. Even though it hurt’s the overall offense, the can be revamped after they get their answer this season. They can then add a big time receiver and tweak the defense a little bit as well.


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