Since the 2010 season, when Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers threw for 4,710 yards, 30 touchdowns and 13 interceptions, there have been questions about his slipping productivity. In 2011, he had 27 TDs vs. 20 INTs, and was good for 27 TDs and 15 INTs last year. Now 31, the preseason questions remain: How can the Chargers fix Rivers? This does not sit well with the quarterback entering his 10th NFL season.
"The thing that's gotten to me this off-season is, 'Who's going to fix Philip?'" Rivers told the Los Angeles Times. "That phrase, I almost laugh it off. That drives me nuts, really.
"There's no question I'm responsible for some of the plays and some of the games we haven't won," Rivers admitted. "I'm not going to shy away from that. But we can go sit in there and watch a lot of tape from last year, and I'll ask you, 'What do you want to fix?' It's just about eliminating some of the bad plays."
New offensive coordinator Ken Whisenhunt, who previously worked with Ben Roethlisberger in Pittsburgh and Kurt Warner in Arizona, remains impressed by Rivers' football IQ.
"From the standpoint of having been in this league for a long time and having seen good quarterbacks," Whisenhunt said in June, "this guy is up there, as far as his ability to process things, his ability to make all the throws that he needs to make and his ability to be a leader and rally these guys around him."
The biggest problem facing the Chargers isn't Rivers, it's that he'll play behind one of the worst offensive lines in football, and two of his best receivers -- Danario Alexander and Malcom Floyd suffered injuries during the preseason (Alexander's done for the year, although Floyd hopes to play in the regular-season opener).
The solution, obviously: Rivers needs to wear gloves. (And we're only half-kidding.)