Since Philip Rivers is on my mind and it happens to be (NFL) Sunday (if we were in season), I thought I’d take a quick ACC-related diversion for hard core football fans who like to stay fresh.
Philip Rivers ‘now he’s a folk here’
How awesome is this story on Philip Rivers?
The guts and passion that Rivers exhibited by playing in the AFC Championship game one week after tearing is ACL in a win over the Indianapolis Colts has worked to turn some of the mounting criticism of PR into massive praise. This article paints a lot of the picture. We will highlight a few quotes below:
“I don’t know what ‘it’ is, but PR has it,” San Diego center Cory Withrow said. “He loves his teammates and we all give it back to him. The guy is going into his third year playing and he acts like he’s a 15-year vet. He didn’t need to be out here for a May camp with that injury, but he loves it. The guy is all football all the time. He just gets it.”
Make no mistake, the San Diego Chargers are Rivers’ team. Yes, this is a roster glowing with Pro Bowl players, even a future Hall of Famer or two. LaDainian Tomlinson, Antonio Gates, Shawne Merriman and Jamal Williams make the Chargers special.
Philip Rivers injured the ACL in his right knee in this Jan. 13 game against the Colts, but he played a week later against the Patriots.
Rivers makes the Chargers tick.
While he is still growing into the position, the No. 4 overall draft pick in 2004 is the leader of this team. That was abundantly clear Friday morning, when Rivers was leading the team in its first minicamp practice. The guy just won’t stay off the football field.
Never bet on Rivers missing a play. While working in a practice under a perfect San Diego sky on the second day of May wouldn’t be considered heroic by most, what Rivers accomplished Friday was stunning. It was exactly 100 days since his January surgery to repair the torn anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee. Rivers celebrated the landmark day by practicing.
That shouldn’t be. Rivers shouldn’t be running with his teammates these days, either, but Withrow marvels that he’s there daily, grinding it out with the rest of the Chargers.
People aren’t supposed to play on a torn ACL, either. Rivers did. On Jan. 13 in Indianapolis, he injured his right knee in the Chargers’ upset win over the Colts in the AFC divisional playoffs. On Jan. 14, he had arthroscopic surgery to clean out the damaged cartilage. He was told all week leading up to the Jan. 20 AFC title game at New England that there was no way he could play. Somehow, Rivers did.
He had surgery Jan. 23 to repair the torn ACL. Less than four months later, he’s back on the field — and wearing a heavy brace on his right knee.
“He’s the guy,” Chargers receiver Vincent Jackson said. “He’s an animal. It’s been three months and he’s at a minicamp? We’ve known all along how tough he is and what he means to this team.”
Rivers, whose regular-season record as a starter is 25-7, laughs at how he is now looked at nationally after his performance in the Chargers’ 21-12 loss to the Patriots. Prior to that game, Rivers was known as an average quarterback who has a tendency to get lippy on the field, directing his zeal toward opponents and opposing fans.
Now, he’s a folk hero.
Peter King has written one of those NFL draft post-mortems that the junkies love. It shares with you some of the developments on draft day that ‘might have been’.
The text message arrived on Falcons general manager Thomas Dimitroff’s cellphone around noon last Saturday, three hours before the start of the 2008 NFL draft: trust your instincts. you have been training for this all your life. It came from Patriots vice president Scott Pioli, Dimitroff’s close friend, former boss and mentor, and he took the encouraging words to heart. This was the first draft that Dimitroff, 42, would run, and the job ahead of him was monumental. Atlanta held six of the first 98 picks and had 10 holes in its starting lineup to fill, including quarterback. “This draft will be a milestone in the history of the Falcons,” team owner Arthur Blank had said on Friday. “We’re not starting a new chapter here. We’re starting a new book.”
Thirty minutes before the draft began, the Rams, holding the No. 2 pick, one spot ahead of Atlanta, called Dimitroff to tell him they’d received strong interest in their pick from the Ravens, who were sitting at No. 8 and also needed a passer. Would Dimitroff like to trump that offer by giving St. Louis a second-round pick in return for swapping positions with the Rams, thus assuring the Falcons that they’d get the QB they wanted, Matt Ryan of Boston College? The Atlanta brain trust huddled, but in the end it was Dimitroff’s decision. “I don’t want to say we were calling their bluff,” Dimitroff said later, “but I just didn’t think Baltimore would trade a lot of their draft for this one player.” He was right. The Falcons stayed at No. 3 and got Ryan.
As the top quarterback taken in the 2008 NFL Draft, Ryan’s career will forever be watched with more scrutiny than the rest of the bunch. But, Pat Forde at ESPN offers some thoughts and warns before you annoint Matt Ryan to future star status that you need to remember the likes of Tim Couch. This article is interesting.
In parting, we want to link this fantastic post from EagleinATL who actually was invited to cover Ryan’s first press conference in Atlanta by the Falcons. This is fantastic! He provides the kind of observations and thoughts that the ‘average fan’ enjoys and values.
Post-Script: I just noticed that SFN has been dropped by EagleinATL’s Blogroll. Ouch!! Is that any way to treat the ACC’s Best Blog as recently voted by the fans? As a little insight, EagleinATL got steamed at us a few months ago because we would dare link to his site and highlight factual items that he was posting. (See this link) We think EagleinATL is one of the best bloggers and most rational analysts out there. That is why it was so confusing to us that he reacted so irrational as to demand that we take down links to his posts that highlighted negative things about BC. The dude wrote the stuff himself, but was mad at us for discussing it?
I noted that the fantastic Section Six gets to remain on the Blogroll. That’s ironic in light of the fact that the only way that we became aware of some of those items about which we criticized Boston College during the bowl season was from Section Six!