Chargers offensive coordinator Ken Whisenhunt recently said that he believes quarterback Philip Rivers can get past 47 turnovers in the last two seasons and become a Pro Bowl player again in the future.
It’s no great surprise to learn that Rivers agrees with Whisenhunt about his ability to bounce back from the struggles of the last two seasons since you don’t often hear 31-year-old starting quarterbacks set to make a handsome salary say that they simply can’t play the game of football anymore. Rivers went a little further than Whisenhunt, actually, saying that his past heights are just prologue for the next phase of his career.
“I think my best football is ahead of me, I really do,” Rivers said, via Lindsay Jones of USA Today. “That’s being optimistic, because we’ve had a lot of really good years. I am probably on the second half of my career, the back end, but I think I’ve got a lot of good football left. To me, the bad is always magnified [more] than the good, and there has been some bad. But there has been a heck of a lot of good.”
Rivers doesn’t need to play the best football of his career in order to get the Chargers offense moving back in the right direction as something between the last two seasons and his 2008-10 peak would represent plenty for Whisenhunt and coach Mike McCoy to work with. Both those men have been consistent in their belief that Rivers is capable of doing that kind of work, although it remains hard to miss the fact that the talent level around Rivers isn’t the same as it was in his most productive seasons. That’s left him to try to do too much, often under heavy pressure, and the results have been dismal.
The Chargers have taken some steps toward remedying that, but there’s still an awful lot on Rivers’ plate heading into the 2013 season. McCoy and Whisenhunt can scheme around a lot, but another year of Rivers against the world isn’t likely to wind up with a particularly different result.