Norv Turner, Antonio Gates stand behind Philip Rivers

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After another costly interception from San Diego Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers in a loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Sunday, head coach Norv Turner was asked if he’d consider sitting his starting quarterback.

Turner had benched running back Ryan Mathews and wide receiver Robert Meachem for struggles during the season, the question was, would Turner do the same to Rivers.

According to Bernie Wilson of the Associated Press, Turner shot down any thought of benching Rivers.

”The thing about Philip is there’s no one who works harder at it, there’s no one who cares more about it, there’s no one who tries harder,” Turner said. ”He wouldn’t be going out there and completing 82 percent of his passes over the last two weeks if he wasn’t spending an unbelievable amount of time in his preparation and helping other guys prepare. He obviously is trying as hard as he can to go win and in a couple of those cases he’s trying to do too much. It’s not 20 plays. It’s one or two plays in two or three of the games.”

Turner wasn’t the only one standing behind Rivers. Tight end Antonio Gates backed the sentiments of his coach. Rivers and Gates have connected for 53 touchdowns in their nine years together in San Diego — an NFL record for a quarterback-tight end tandem. According to the team’s official site, Gates was also adamant in his support of Rivers.

“One thing about playing quarterback in this league is that you definitely take all the heat, and I can tell you this, he’s the first person in here and he’s the last person to leave,” Gates said. “There’s not another person on this team or in this league that I would rather play with besides Philip, because I can depend on him and I know I can count on him.”

The Chargers may have one final chance to revitalize their season Sunday as they travel to play the division-leading Denver Broncos. A win would get the Chargers within a game of the division lead while a loss would drop San Diego to 4-6 and give the Broncos a three-game cushion with both head-to-head victories on the season.

22 responses to “Norv Turner, Antonio Gates stand behind Philip Rivers

  1. Clueless coach. How do you not hold Philip Rivers, who’s been a turnover machine over the last season and a half, accountable?

    The Chargers are getting worse, and are in total disarray. Too bad for them they can’t play the Chiefs each week. Pathetic franchise.

  2. Most San Diegans are calling for Whitehurst. I believe in Philip and think he is capable of gettin the job done. Not all the blame lies on him, although he deserves his fair share. The o line has went to crap after losing our pro bowl tandem on the left side of our line. He is our guy

  3. What AJ Smith did to Rivers is no different from what Mike Brown did to Palmer. Gives them a massive contract and expect them to the lack of talent that is put around them, then to rub salt into the wound you take whatever talent that was on the team and you toss it again expecting the guy you just gave a massive contract to to make up for it.

  4. Philip Rivers throws interceptions because he has no protection from the O line. Ryan Mattews can run like heck but he can’t block worth a darn. There’s nothing wrong with Philip that a better supporting cast would fix. I feel kinda bad for Turner because AJ has destroyed the chargers with bad drafting and letting good players get away because Spanos doesn’t want to pay the going rate for players. Spanos should just sell the team.

  5. Don’t worry Norv. It’ll be over soon. They’ll probably have to say “You’re fired” three or four times before you even get it though.

  6. What the hell happened to P.Rivers? The guy WAS a top 10 QB. All you homer Charger fans can make an excuse about his O line or his receivers being bad…but so is Jay Cutler’s. This is coming from a Chargers fan and a football fan…PR you need to leave town!

  7. Turner and Gates have to stand up with Rivers. They each have contributed to the failures of SD Chargers. Chargers as an organization have failed to plan ahead and expected Rivers to be THE one. While Rivers has singlehandlely lost 5-8 games himself during the past 3 years by his poor decision making, he is the only quarterback on the roster that gives his team a chance to win. What about the other 52players, perhaps one of them could step up ?

  8. “There’s not another person on this team or in this league that I would rather play with besides Philip, because I can depend on him and I know I can count on him to throw a pick when he’s under pressure.”
    Gates said.

  9. Maybe it’s splitting hairs, but as a Cowboys fan – I always scratch my head when Philip Rivers a former FIRST OVERALL PICK (kind of) – gets less scrutiny and criticism than Tony Romo, who maybe you don’t realize, was an UNDRAFTED FREE AGENT.

    Just saying.

  10. Is Norv allowed to say Philip Rivers is the hardest working man in the NFL? I thought NFL rules required all media to only say that about the Jets backup qb and failed personal punt protector!

  11. …and they’re both going to be standing behind him in the unemployment line as well, closely followed by A.J. Smith.

  12. There are many other things about the team that aren’t helping Rivers succeed for sure. He does have skill. But the problem is he’s making things WORSE and not BETTER with his bad decisions on the field. As Steve Young would say, he’s not “stopping the bleeding”. No amount of bad OL play and lack of skill players excuse throwing an INT like he did Sunday to #29. It’s a mental thing with him I am sure. What will snap him out of it I don’t know, but it’s in top QBs natures to be “control freaks” and think they have to or can fix everything. That can lead to making dumb decisions on the field. It’s a double edged sword, that mentality.

  13. I’m as big a Rivers supporter as the next Charger fan, but the O-line can only be blamed for so much. All he had to do was take two more steps, run out of bounds and secure field goal position to tie it at 24. Instead, he threw a stupid interception and cost the Chargers the game.

    He should have been sat at that point to both protect him, since the game was essentially over, and to teach him a lesson.

  14. Agreed. Last year or 2 years ago when he was hurt they put whitehurst in, i dont see why you dont jus bench him like did mathews when he turned the ball over. It may be that Phillip is costing $15M per game..And AJ would absolutely flip Norv benched him. They want to get every dime out of him!!

  15. Smith and Turner are gone at the end of the season, Rivers will likely be traded to a team desperate for a QB and the rebuilding of the Los Angeles Chargers will begin.

  16. “There’s not another person on this team or in this league that I would rather play with besides Philip, because I can depend on him and I know I can count on him to throw a pick when he’s under pressure.”
    Gates said.


    Nice paraphrase amigo. Didn’t Palmer do the same when the raiders tried to close out The Falcons and tried to comeback vs the Bucs?
    Keep doing what you do.

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