caption=Philip Rivers in practice.
currentteam=San Diego Chargers
birthdate=birth date and age|1981|12|8
debutteam=San Diego Chargers
Pro Bowlselection (2006)
Senior BowlMVP (2004)
ACC Athlete of the Year(2004)
* Tangerine Bowl MVP (2000, 2003)
Gator BowlMVP (2002)
* Tangerine Bowl Offensive MVP (2001)
* ACC Rookie of the Year (2000)
college=North Carolina State
San Diego Chargers(2004-present)
Philip Rivers (born
December 8, 1981in Athens, Alabama) is the starting quarterbackfor the San Diego Chargers. He was drafted by the New York Giantswith the fourth overall pick in the 2004 NFL Draft. However, Eli Manning complained that he would not sign with the San Diego Chargers if drafted by them and insisted that he be traded to another team after the draft, and the N.Y. Giants draft-day trade sent Rivers, plus some extras, to the Chargers and Eli Manning to the Giants.
As a youngster, Rivers worked as a waterboy at Athens High School in
Athens, Alabama, where his father Steve was the head coach of the football team. As part of a fifth-grade project, he had to make a poster about his dreams and aspirations. On the poster, he pasted his face over that of a Minnesota Vikingsplayer who had appeared on a cover of Sports Illustrated. [ [http://www.jockbio.com/Bios/Rivers/Rivers_bio.html JockBio: Philip Rivers Biography ] ] He wears the number 17 in honor of his father, Steve, who wore the same number in high school. Rivers has worn it since the ninth grade. Rivers' number was retired before his final home game at North Carolina State.
After high school, Rivers attended
North Carolina Statein Raleigh, North Carolina, where he played for coach Chuck Amato. During his collegiate career, Rivers shattered almost every NC State and Atlantic Coast Conferencepassing record. His career culminated with his record 51st college start, establishing a new benchmark for consistency in college football. Rivers was a reliable quarterback for the Wolfpack, starting all four years. The Wolfpack went to four consecutive bowl games under the leadership of Rivers, winning three of them, including a New Year's Day victory over the Fighting Irish of Notre Dame in the 2002 Gator Bowl.
Rivers was named
ACC Athlete of the Yearin 2004and was also named the game MVP of 4 bowl games, 2 Tangerine Bowls, a Gator Bowland the 2004 Senior Bowl. Rivers was even named the "Offensive MVP" for NC State in a losing cause to Pittsburghin 2001's Tangerine Bowl. He was considered a Heisman candidate by some journalists, [" [http://nl.newsbank.com/nl-search/we/Archives?p_product=AT&p_theme=at&p_action=search&p_maxdocs=200&p_topdoc=1&p_text_direct-0=0FDFF24744B1A485&p_field_direct-0=document_id&p_perpage=10&p_sort=YMD_date:D&s_trackval=GooglePM GEORGIA TECH 29, N.C. STATE 21: CONTAINING RIVERS: Heisman hopeful battered in defeat,"] "The Atlanta Journal-Constitution," October 5, 2003.] but he was not invited to the Heisman Trophypresentation. Rivers finished his career with 13,484 passing yards, 4th all-time among quarterbacks. He also threw 95 touchdown passes, which ties him for eighth all-time with Kliff Kingsburyand Brady Quinn.
2004 NFL Draft
After a spectacular senior season at North Carolina State and in the running for the Heisman trophy in 2004, Rivers was projected to be a mid-to-late first round pick in the
2004 NFL Draft. Rivers was viewed by prognosticators as the second or third best quarterback in the draft, behind Eli Manningand Ben Roethlisberger. Despite Rivers' record of success in college and remarkable accuracy (72% completion percentage for his senior season), questions about his lack of arm strength and his unorthodox side-arm throwing motion put him behind Manning and Roethlisberger on most NFL Draft boards. The pre-draft consensus was that Rivers would be selected by the Pittsburgh Steelerswith the 11th pick. The Chargers coveted Eli Manningand wanted to select him with their first round pick, which was also the first overall pick of the draft. However, after Eli Manning indicated before the draft that he would not sign with the San Diego Chargers, the Chargers were forced to adjust their plans. Rivers was their first alternative to Manning because the Chargers head coach at the time, Marty Schottenheimer, had coached Rivers at the Senior Bowland he liked what he saw from Rivers. The Chargers agreed to a trade on draft day with the New York Giants, who possessed the fourth pick of the draft. Rivers was selected with the fourth pick by the New York Giants and his draft rights were traded to the San Diego Chargers. Rivers was deemed to be a reach selection by San Diego by many draft experts.
an Diego Chargers
In August 2004, after his trade from the Giants, Rivers signed a 6-year, $40.5 million contract with the
San Diego Chargersthat included $14.5 million in signing bonuses. However, due to a protracted contract negotiation with the San Diego Chargers, Rivers reported to the team during the last week of training camp. As a result, the Chargers gave incumbent quarterback Drew Breesthe opportunity to retain his starting job at the beginning of the season. With almost no training camp time under his belt, Rivers was unable to wrest the starting position from Drew Brees during the 2004 preseason. Rivers began the season as the Chargers' third QB option, behind Doug Flutie, but ahead of the #4 QB Cleo Lemon. Unfortunately for Rivers, Brees went on to have by far the best season of his career up to that point. By the end of the season, Drew Brees was named to the NFL Pro Bowland won the NFL Comeback Player of the Year Award. Rivers received very limited playing time in the 2004 season, playing in only two games. He only threw passes in the second half of the last game of the 2004 season (a win over Kansas City), by which time the Chargers had already clinched a home playoff spot and the AFC West division title.
He was promoted to the #2 QB position after the Chargers released Doug Flutie, who later signed with the
New England Patriots.
Rivers was unable to beat out Drew Brees for the starting quarterback job in the Chargers' 2005 training camp and preseason, thus remaining the backup QB. In the Chargers' final game of the 2005 season, at home in
Qualcomm Stadium, Rivers entered the game after Brees dislocated his right shoulder late in the second quarter due to a hit from Denver Broncossafety John Lynch. Rivers completed 12 of 22 passing attempts for 115 yards with one interception and two fumbles. The Chargers lost to Denver, 20-7. However, Rivers led the Chargers on their only scoring drive that game, which culminated in a 4-yard TD run by RB LaDainian Tomlinson.
After the 2005 season, Drew Brees was not re-signed (partly due to the injury suffered in the Denver game) by the Chargers, instead signing a large contract that included sizeable guaranteed money with the
New Orleans Saintsduring the 2006 free agency period. Many doubted the Chargers' decision to change quarterbacks as they were a Super Bowlcontender, believing that Rivers' inexperience would hinder them. Rivers was named the Chargers' starter going into training camp. Expectations were high for Rivers due to the large amount of talent on the San Diego Chargers' offense and the performance of his peers from the 2004 draft ( Eli Manningand Ben Roethlisberger) as starters. Football Outsidersprojected that Rivers would become an NFL star before the 2006 season due to his spectacular completion percentagein college (72% as a senior). After just 5 NFL starts, Rivers was named the second best NFL quarterback under 25 years of age by Sports Illustrated[ [http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/multimedia/photo_gallery/0610/gallery.nfl.top10youngQBs/content.9.html SI.com - Photo Gallery - Ranking Top 10 Young QBs:
25 and Under ] ] and drew numerous comparisons to
Dan Marinofor his quick release and pocket presence. [ [http://www.statefansnation.com/index.php/archives/2006/09/28/focus-on-philip/ Focus on Philip at StateFans Nation ] ] .
On September 11, 2006, Rivers made his first start in pro football against the Oakland Raiders. Rivers managed the game well despite only passing 11 times, but completed 8 passes as well as one TD in a 27-0 rout of the Raiders. After his first game, Rivers led the NFL in QB rating with 133.9. [ [http://www.nfl.com/gamecenter/recap?game_id=28875&displayPage=tab_recap&season=2006&week=REG1 NFL Game Center: Game Recap - San Diego Chargers at Oakland Raiders - 2006 1 ] ]
The fifth week of the season, the reigning
Super Bowlchampion Pittsburgh Steelerscame to town and Bill Cowher's defensive game plan revolved around stopping Ladainian Tomlinson. This game marked a turning point for Rivers, who aided by head coach Marty Schottenheimer's opening of the playbook, proceeded to take the game on his shoulders and lead the team in a come-from-behind victory throwing 24-of-37 for 242 yards and two TDs, winning 23-13. [ [http://www.nfl.com/gamecenter/recap?game_id=28930&displayPage=tab_recap&season=2006&week=REG5 NFL Game Center: Game Recap - Pittsburgh Steelers at San Diego Chargers - 2006 5 ] ] This was LT's favorite "Rivers Moment" from 2006 remarking, "It was just the simple fact that we couldn't run the ball and he had to win the game for us, and he did." [http://www.sportingnews.com/yourturn/viewtopic.php?t=257188 SportingNews.com] "
On November 12, 2006, Rivers had the best game of his short career and led the San Diego Chargers to an improbable comeback against the Cincinnati Bengals. Down 28-7 at halftime, Rivers led the Chargers on six drives culminating in touchdowns. After driving in for the Chargers first touchdown after halftime, Nick Hardwick, River's center, reminisced about Rivers, mimicking his southern drawl, "He's yelling 'Y'all don't think we're out of this' to the Bengals. When he said that, I said, 'Shoot, I guess we ain't out of this. Right on.'" [ [http://www.sportingnews.com/yourturn/viewtopic.php?t=257188 SportingNews.com - Your expert source for NFL Football stats, scores, standings, blogs and fantasy news from NFL Football columnists ] ] Rivers himself threw for 337 yards and three touchdown passes, while LaDainian Tomlinson scored three of their four rushing touchdowns. San Diego outscored Cincinnati 42-13 in the second half winning the game 49-41, matching the biggest comeback in 23 years for the Chargers. [ [http://www.nfl.com/gamecenter/recap?game_id=28990&displayPage=tab_recap&season=2006&week=REG10 NFL Game Center: Game Recap - San Diego Chargers at Cincinnati Bengals - 2006 10 ] ]
Then the very next week against what was considered at the time to be a strong Denver Broncos defense, the Chargers became the first team in history to win back-to-back games after trailing by 17 or more points and also the first team to win four straight when allowing at least 24 points in each game. [ [http://www.nfl.com/gamecenter/recap?game_id=29018&displayPage=tab_recap&season=2006&week=REG11 NFL Game Center: Game Recap - San Diego Chargers at Denver Broncos - 2006 11 ] ] Rivers led several 4th quarter comebacks in 2006, and posted the league's highest 4th quarter quarterback rating. As a result of a stellar performance throughout the season, Rivers was selected to the
2007 Pro Bowl. After a 14-2 season the Chargers were set to play the New England Patriotsin the divisional round of the playoffs. The Patriots won 24-21.
For the 2007 season a new coach,
Norv Turner, took over the Chargers, and after a 1-3 start, the Chargers found their groove and finished 11-5, winning the AFC Westfor the second straight year. The Chargers also won their first two playoff games since the 1994 season, beating the Tennessee Titansand the Indianapolis Coltsbefore falling to the Patriots in the AFC Championship Game21-12.
Following the playoff loss, Rivers revealed that he required surgery to repair his
Anterior cruciate ligament, an injury he'd played through during the Chargers' playoff run - this operation would require 6 months recovery. However, Rivers promised to be back in time for training camp before the start of the 2008 season [ [http://www.skysports.com/story/0,19528,12118_3070418,00.html Sky Sports | NFL | News | Rivers set for surgery ] ]
* [http://www.chargers.com/team/roster/philip-rivers.htm Philip Rivers at the San Diego Chargers website]
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