Jeff Smith 2 p.m., Dec. 18
Philip Rivers to Coach Turner: "Please Stop Making Me Throw All Those Interceptions"
Unsubtle, Earnest Quarterback Begs Coach-Provocateur To Be Allowed to Throw to Teammates
"Frankly, I don't understand it. What kind of playbook has interception patterns?"
DAWN OUTSIDE OUR LADY OF EXCELLENCE CHURCH, AFTER SPENDING ALL NIGHT IN PRAYER - In a rare outburst, San Diego Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers has complained publicly about Coach Turner's decision to have him toss multiple interceptions in nearly every game this season. "I mean, I know Coach is scary-smart and everything," said Rivers, "and I would trust him with my professional life. But it's been hard, you know? Some people are even suggesting that I'm not doing it on purpose. I'd like to remind those people that in 2010, I was a Pro Bowl selection - for the third time since 2006. This year, I had two interceptions in week one, two interceptions in week two, two interceptions in week three, two turnovers in week five, two interceptions in week seven, and two interceptions plus a fumble in week eight. Do you imagine - do you for one second imagine - that all those interceptions are just happening?"
Rivers looked down, clearly emotional "It's hard, and it's harder when people ask if there's some way for me to stop releasing the ball like I'm sending a wounded butterfly on its noble and doomed migration to Mexico. Sure there is. Coach can call for a completion, and I'll fire it like a gosh-darned RPG right into [wide receiver Vincent] Jackson's breadbasket. But every time I ask Coach about it, all he does is smile that cryptic smile of his and say, 'Big picture, Philip. Big picture.'"
More like this:
- Exeunt Turner, stage left — Dec. 31, 2012
- Turner on Ryan: "Spoilsport!" — Dec. 19, 2012
- Coach-Provocateur Turner: "It's all part of the plan." — Oct. 10, 2012
- Seven (Sun)days of Darkness? — Sept. 24, 2012
- Chargers Coach Norv Turner: "I'm The Only Trickster God This Team Needs, Thank You Very Much." — Sept. 19, 2011