As the Chargers try to get the most out of quarterback Philip Rivers when it counts, they’ll be getting less out of him when it doesn’t.
L.A.’s other team plans to go easy on the 37-year-old Rivers in training camp and the preseason. Even if Rivers isn’t a big fan of the concept.
“As a competitor, as someone who enjoys practice, it’s always hard,” Rivers said regarding the plan, via NFL.com. “You almost need them to protect you from yourself. It can be positive. You have to find that right recipe so that you are ready and prepared to go have a great season, but also to be fresh and be smart.”
It worked last year for the Chargers, who won 12 games — and in Rivers’ opinion could have won 16 (or six).
“I think he wants to do everything,” offensive coordinator Ken Whisenhunt said. “But last year we did a good bit of [limiting him] during training camp and we’ll probably do the same this year. He started off the season hot last year and a lot of that was part of the plan.”
The overriding plan is to keep Rivers healthy for as long as possible.
“When you talk about reps, he’s always been one of the hardest working guys on the team,” coach Anthony Lynn said. “When he’s out there, he works hard. That’s what makes him one of the best — his preparation. He’s going to prepare the same, but we just want to take some of the physical toll off of him.”
As Rivers gets older, it makes sense to keep him fresh. He’s in that phase of his career where he has seen it all; the challenge is to retain the physical ability to take advantage of the things he sees.