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Rivers knows Chargers changes get bigger if they don’t deliver

Philip Rivers, Norv Turner AP

Philip Rivers doesn’t need to look at last year’s record, or two straight years without the playoffs, to know the end could be near for the Chargers as we know them.

Rivers told Alex Marvez of FoxSports.com and Gil Brandt on Sirius XM NFL Radio that the retirements of former teammates LaDainian Tomlinson and Kris Dielman were a clear sign to him.

“What hit me right in the face was this doesn’t last forever,” Rivers said. “This does come to an end.”

That could be a theme, as general manager A.J. Smith, coach Norv Turner and a lot of folks are sitting on hot seats if the Chargers don’t turn things around in 2012.

Rivers said the Chargers have taken on a “backs-against-the-wall mentality.”

“We’re driven by not making the playoffs, not playing to our standard and not playing consistent,” safety Eric Weddle said. “We love our coach. We love this organization. But we don’t know what the future holds. All we can worry about is each day, each meeting, each practice and getting the most out of now.”

That’s why the Chargers are doing business differently this year.

Previously uneasy about free agency in general, Smith signed 17 free agents this offseason, while keeping with his previous tack of keeping core players such as left tackle Jared Gaither and center Nick Hardwick.

Smith described the depth additions as “layering” as he hopes to avoid the kind of injury fueled collapse that marked last year, during a six-game losing streak. The fact their 8-8 record was still nearly enough, losing playoff tiebreakers to Denver, made it sting that much more.

“In hindsight, maybe if I had done a better job in some backup situations, instead of six (losses) we do three,” Smith said. “You do the math.”

There were other problems, as they’ve changed defensive coordinators, added pass-rushers and made up for the loss of Vincent Jackson by buying receivers in bulk.

All those adjustments better pay off, or the more significant changes are still in the Chargers’ future.

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24 Responses to “Rivers knows Chargers changes get bigger if they don’t deliver”
  1. jman667 says: Aug 1, 2012 4:44 PM

    This is a no excuses season for the Bolts. They had a great draft, they did will in free agency, everyone appears to be healthy, Matthews will be a 3rd year back. Everything is set up for success, now it’s just time for a little execution.

  2. bhorn1240 says: Aug 1, 2012 5:19 PM

    I’m expecting a big year from Rivers.

  3. 4thquartermagic says: Aug 1, 2012 5:37 PM

    Heard the same ol story for years with this team. “Most talented team” that always starts slow then comes on late and chokes in the playoffs. Yawn.

    Last year this team missed Darren Sproles.

    This year they’ll miss Vincent Jackson.

  4. brassknuckles47 says: Aug 1, 2012 6:08 PM

    I bash the Bolts whenever I can because of their ‘c’est la vie’ attitude. But this year…….something good just might happen. My concern is they are putting all their running hopes into RM, when he has never had a full season, always getting nicked up. And, the need for CB help.

  5. kuta82 says: Aug 1, 2012 6:17 PM

    this team didnt make the playoffs two seasons in a row but they still have a good RB, one the top TEs in the league and good Wrs (minus VJ this time)and one of the best QBs in Philip Rivers..I dont understand why they havent won a Championship yet.

  6. bucsfan5000 says: Aug 1, 2012 6:25 PM

    Turner will be the first coach fired during the season, and they’ll miss the playoffs again. Smith will be gone after the season.

  7. quiltedgerm says: Aug 1, 2012 6:31 PM

    All we can do, year after year, is watch it all play out. If they don’t win the division and make a good showing in the playoffs, Norv should be gone. Seems like an easy decision for the higher ups.

  8. stoogy says: Aug 1, 2012 6:37 PM

    Week 1 in the bay area all the excusses are going to start as the raiders destroy this team. The secondary is getting burnt by gates how are they going to keep up with the young recievers of the raiders. They are getting more comfy with CP3 and with Mcfadden in the game he can take it to the house on any play. The front 7 of the chargers are going to get pushed around by this O line that oakland is putting on the field this year. This is be a fun game to watch for raider fans and the start to a long season for the chargers.

  9. boltdaddy says: Aug 1, 2012 6:39 PM

    AJ and Norv are not the only tandem whose jobs are on the line, theirs happens to be public. I like the fact that they are on the “hot seat”. I like the fact that the consequences of a mediocre or poor season will be on their mind each week, each day.

    Other GMs/HCs will be replaced following the end of the coming season the fact that ours is public now creates a sense of urgency that will benefit the Chargers. Everyone plays better under an ultimatum.

  10. nflhof says: Aug 1, 2012 6:56 PM

    Looking forward to the games being played so all the talk can be spoken on the field. Every group of fans can say all they want about their group of players on the field. The AFC West is going to be very competitive between every team. Every fan base won’t be able to say “I told you so”. In the end. Then the talk will be fun. Right now the talk is nothing but that.

  11. rayguyreturns says: Aug 1, 2012 6:58 PM

    There is no question the Chargers have the personnel to win games. The question has always been: Do they have the hearts?

  12. sdbolthead612 says: Aug 1, 2012 7:19 PM

    This guy is hilarious, first of all what have the Faiders done this offseason? Their first pick in the draft was in the third round, and didn’t do much in free agency! Raiders also lost Bush, and Wimbley! Second, even when Gates had a bum foot (healthy now so watch out) he still demands double team, and is way better then any chokeland faider recevier wishes they could be!!! Third their the Chokeland Faiders, so try again Stoogy!

  13. ambitoos says: Aug 1, 2012 7:41 PM

    The Chargers have made a lot of changes this year. Too many to be succesfull. They still need some key players, big running back and secondary is just so so. I expect 8 and 8 again. Too many changes.

  14. rubicon202 says: Aug 1, 2012 8:10 PM

    Man, that Rivers is a genius! I would have never thought that…perhaps now that you look forward too PM that should help! Where is the cheese? I can tell the WHINE should be ready soon…

  15. raiderapologist says: Aug 1, 2012 8:58 PM

    Lots of pressure on the Chargers this year. Norval would probably already be gone if Philip had not spoke up for him.

  16. yelix says: Aug 1, 2012 9:05 PM

    As long as Rivers can hold on to the snap late in the 4th quarter of a very important divisional game with playoff implications, the Chargers should be fine this year.

  17. despinosa8 says: Aug 1, 2012 9:08 PM

    As a Raider Fan I love AJ, Norv, and the Chargers! They make bad draft selections, mismanage a team, and the fans are no where to be found once they are losing!! I’m hoping ownership signs them both to a extension…

  18. bolted4life says: Aug 1, 2012 9:11 PM

    The Chargers will do better than expected (not many are expecting much) which is a good thing. This would be the perfect year. I’m not a big fan of Norv but I do want him to win.

    Go Bolts!

  19. joetoronto says: Aug 2, 2012 6:22 AM

    The Chargers underachieve every year, this year will be no different.

  20. stoogy says: Aug 2, 2012 6:33 AM

    sdbolthead612
    Wimbley only had one good game last season it just so happened to be against the chargers… so loosing him isnt a bad thing he was over paid and not good against the run or pass coverage he is only good at pass rush and he has one move…. the raiders team has beat the chargers 3 out of the last 4 times they played them… so this team that is assembled in oakland is a solid group of players and i would take the raiders WR squad anyday over the chargers.. Under new management the raiders defense will be better, Look at the skill of the raiders on D compared to SD. Better safetys better CB’s better Dline with alot of dept added this year… With miles burris’s high motor along with a better coached mcclain and a beast aaron curry the LB are better then the chargers,,,, The raiders will beat the chargers twice this year……

  21. krank00 says: Aug 2, 2012 10:10 AM

    A.J has squandered (run off) more talent than any GM in Pro Football. I admire his effort this year but I do not think you can undo a decade of wasting the most valuable resource in the NFL in one off season.

    Yes they will be competitive in the West but that is an 8-8 record.

  22. ripseau says: Aug 2, 2012 12:37 PM

    Stoogie,
    So how did the raiders get BETTER? The Raiders were a crap team last year and theyll b a crap team this year.
    The chargers were crap but made some changes to get depth and better leadership in the lockerroom. At least they trying to get better, unlike the Raiders who think as long as they put a product, any product, on the field theyll make money.
    And you look at 2 of the past 3, ehy dont you look at our head to head since 2003. Youll prob need some kleenex

  23. stoogy says: Aug 2, 2012 2:33 PM

    Btw who did u add other the ingram that is any good? meachem is a down grade to VJ. u got rid if tolbert for a washed up ronnie brown. Wat free agent pick up was brought in 4 leadership to this team? i cant find one. The teams leader is the cry baby rivers that just spikes the ball at his feet if things dont go his way.

  24. stoogy says: Aug 2, 2012 2:34 PM

    ripseau

    The raiders got slaughtered by chargers from 2003-2010 ur coach leatherface had some blame 4 that. but this is a new decade and a different raiders team from then. they have new leadership that is going to take this organization to the next level. the raiders have more skill at every position on the team. wats sad is when the raiders go to qualcom stadium there is more raiders fans then the chargers… i blame it on aj smith and his poor management skills. rumor is ur moving to LA so enjoy your team while u have them.

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