QUARTERBACK PHILIP RIVERS
(on the chances of being overconfident due to their winning streak against the Titans)
No. You know, it’s funny because I got asked that here by our media as well. I think the thing is, it’s a streak that exists, obviously, between organizations. But there’s a lot of guys on this team, this Titans team, that had nothing to do with those eight in a row, and there’s a handful of guys on our team that don’t have anything to do with them either. It doesn’t mean anything. This current team has never played this Titans team, and vice versa. It’s kind of a game that stands on its own. That’s the last thing that any of us will be thinking about. We know it’s a tough team, a tough opponent that’s 1-1 like we are. We have to come to their place, and we’ll have to be good to get a win.
(on how different the Titans defense looks compared to last year)
A considerable amount. They’re very multiple in what they do, in their looks. I think they have a super-active defensive front and front seven. Their linebackers fly around; they’re real active and they’re good pass rushers. The secondary is an experienced group, and it’s a good defense. The way they played both teams—they played Houston really well, and Pittsburgh, holding them to nine points—it’s a good group.
(on how different San Diego’s passing attack is from last year)
In some ways we’re very different, and in some ways we’re much the same. If you just looked at the balls that our receivers caught last week, a lot of them are on routes that they’ve ran a million times. Certain concepts are brand new to us that are in that game. Some of it is very different, and some of it is not. The area that we were really solid in last week was in the pass protection, the guys up front. We dropped back 48 times and only had one sack, and that’s a credit to those five guys up front and the running backs, the heck of a job they did.
(on how much better the offense’s production is this year versus the last couple years)
It still remains to be seen. We’ve won one game. It’s early in the season. We have a long way to go. I think we’ve done some things to set the foundation for what we want to build on. But we have a long way to go, and the Titans are our next challenge.
(on how much losing Malcom Floyd would hurt the offense and who could replace him)
Malcom’s been a staple around here and a big-play threat down the field and just a really good receiver for us for, you know, it’s his 10th season. It’s a big loss for us. Keenan Allen stepped up last week and did a nice job in Malcom’s place, and we’ll certainly lean on him again this week to step up and keep us going until hopefully Malcom gets back here soon.
(on how difficult it is to defend running backs like Ronnie Brown and Danny Woodhead in the passing game)
Yeah, I think we’re so diverse in the backfield. You’ve got Ryan Mathews, Le'Ron McClain, Ronnie Brown and Danny Woodhead, all who are a threat back there. I think they all can do a little bit of everything. Danny is not just a receiver. He showed last week how good he is in pass protection, and he’s also ran the ball. Ronnie ran it last week, and he also catches it well, as does Ryan. I think it’s a real positive to have the depth and diversity we have at running back.
(on how the LP Field atmosphere compares to other places around the NFL)
It’s a tough place to come play. It’s a good place to play. It’s a tough crowd. They’re loud, but it’s a classy place. I’ve always felt like it’s a first-class place to play. The fans are tough and loud and good, but it seems to be a very respectful place. I always appreciate that. It’s definitely a challenge. We’re both 1-1 and trying to fight to get our second win. It’ll be a heck of a game.
(on what the biggest challenge is for a young quarterback trying to take the next step in his career)
Experience to me, just playing. I’ve always felt that every game I can play, I feel like I improve. So the more experience you get—game experience is the best way to continue to grow as a player. I thought that’s the number one thing. People always used to ask me, ‘How much (more) comfortable are you now? Why are you comfortable now?’ I was like, ‘Well, because I’ve played a bunch more games than I played five years ago.’ I think just game experience, and keep going.