Right about now, many NFL players would normally be preparing for offseason workouts at their teams’ facilities, but this year is different. During the lockout, players aren’t allowed at team facilities and aren’t permitted to have any contact with their coaches. Problem? Not for the Chargers. San Diego has a distinct advantage in that many of their players live in southern California year round, and their informal weightlifting and running drills during the lockout are led by their veteran quarterback, Philip Rivers. Those workouts will remain fairly light, but if the lockout festers into the summer, Rivers could foresee them breaking out the playbook to start working on plays.
Philip Rivers joined XX Sports Radio in San Diego to talk about how much time he would be spending at the team facility this time of year during a regular season, whether he is the leader of the team in charge of trying to get the local players to work out together, and if he misses talking to Norv Turner.
How much time he would be spending at the team facility this time of year during a regular season:
“I usually lifted with that 7:30 group so I would go and get in at 7:00 and leave probably. I mean this time of year I would be out of there 10:30-11 o’clock, so just the morning hours. Obviously that would grow as we got into May and June, but I think the thing is it is just such routine so you are just used to the whole thing and having it available, and now to have it completely not available is quite a change.”
What he has been up to lately football-wise:
“Well we are trying to get things going, work out together, at least have it available to have something for guys that are in town. Obviously some guys use their own trainers, some guys are out of town, and I think it is too early to think, ‘Hey we need to hurry up and get things started’, but I think you have to prepare for football to be here in the fall. I think there is no excuse. You don’t get to say, ‘Bare with us. We are not really playing good right now’ so we have to go with the mindset like we want to get better. Better than we were last year, and that is our job. So I think as the months progress, should this go throughout the summer, we are going to be more and more getting together to try to keep improving.”
Whether he is the leader of the team in charge of trying to get the local players to workout together:
“I think somewhat, and I think I should be as a quarterback, but at the same time we have got a good group of core guys that have been here that we are all kind of communicating through. They are able to spread the word and keep guys updated, obviously, Nick (Hardwick) being the player rep, Jeremy Cleary, keeping us filled in on things that are happening. So there is a lot of communication there that I think we all have. I think one big, positive we have here is, and I have said it for years, what a close group we have and what a close group we are. We have D-lineman that really enjoy being around one another, you have the offensive lineman they enjoy being around, all these position groups, the DB’s, the linebackers, so I think that will really help us because it is going to be a challenge to get 55 guys together…but the defensive line can get together and do some things football-wise as this summer progresses, the offensive line, the DB’s…so I think having that the tight knit groups within the position will help.”
If he misses talking to Norv Turner:
“Yeah that, not only Norv, but just in general, yeah that is crazy. I mean it is weird, it definitely is, even if you go a week or two or whatever, not having any conversations, the fact that it is completely cut off that is definitely strange. (HOST: Would you guys talk a lot during the offseason?) Yeah but mostly in-person because I would be up there, I would be up at the facilities, so it will definitely be not many ball plays discussed.”