INDIANAPOLIS — Indianapolis Colts quarterback Philip Rivers spoke to local reporters today via video conference. What did he have to say about his "trash talking" tendencies during games, why he's not worried about a shootout against the Cleveland Browns, how he still enjoys the in-depth nature of preparing for a game and more?
You can catch that entire session above, but here are some top takeaways:
» Rivers isn't giving much credence to his "trash talking" in last Sunday's win over the Chicago Bears: With no fans in the stands, Rivers was picked up by a nearby microphone clear as day chumming it up with members of the Bears' defense during the game, including linebackers Roquan Smith and Danny Trevathan.
"2-8 turned the corner on you," Rivers is heard telling Smith, referring to running back Jonathan Taylor, after the quarterback was unable to draw the defense offsides on a 4th-and-1 attempt midway through the fourth quarter. "He turned a corner on you!"
Smith clearly disagrees with Rivers' assessment of the situation:
Now, if you've been following Rivers' illustrious NFL career even casually over the past 17 seasons, you know this is just part of his game. While he always seems to keep the language PG, he definitely has gotten under a defender's skin a time or two.
So while this isn't really a new development, the fact that he's in his first year with the Colts certainly makes it notable when you're seeing it for the first time with the Horseshoe on his helmet.
Rivers, of course, doesn't think it's that big of a deal. He said in his younger years he might've gotten close to crossing some lines from time to time, but now it's mainly just about having fun.
"It's funny, because really there's been fewer and fewer interactions with the defense over the years," Rivers said. "Obviously much was made over the last weekend. I think a lot of it was the atmosphere, being in an empty stadium. It really did feel like we're in the back yard. So it's gotten less and less. It kind of depends, most of the time it's you either know guys or have a history with guys, and it's all in good fun. So I try to keep a healthy balance there and not let it obviously get carried away. But I don't really go into games with plans; there's been plenty of games where there hasn't been a word said to the opposing team. You just kind of go with the flow."
So, in other words, while Rivers doesn't give much credence to his "trash talking," we'll all hope that the mics remain close to No. 17 the remainder of the season.
» Rivers isn't going into this Sunday's game against the Browns expecting a shootout, but is ready for whatever is thrown the offense's way: Sunday's game in Cleveland really does feature one of the better strength-on-strength matchups across the entire NFL landscape in Week 5, with the high-powered Browns offense taking on the Colts and their top-ranked defense.
The Colts, certainly, hope they're able to corral the red-hot Browns offense, which has averaged almost 40 points a game the last three weeks, all Cleveland wins. That's easier said than done against the likes of Baker Mayfield, Kareem Hunt, Odell Beckham Jr., Jarvis Landry and Austin Hooper, but Indy likes the weapons it has on the defensive side of the ball, too.
So whether the Colts can limit the damage done by the Browns' offense, or if Cleveland proves to be tough to stop, Rivers knows it's his job, and the offense's job, to stay one step ahead.
"I think it works both ways," Rivers said. "Certainly the way our defense is playing and the confidence in our defense we have, it would be crazy for me to say I expect our D to give up a lot of points. So I don't necessarily expect it to be that, but I think as an offense — we're all one team — but as an offense, our job is to score one more point than the defense allows. And if that were to be 35, 38, 41 — whatever it is — then our job is to socre one more than that. And if it's 11, then we better get 12. And so I think having that approach is probably the best way to go; be ready to go with how the game goes."
» Rivers still very much enjoys the mid-week grind of preparing for an opponent: Rivers was asked if when he entered the league back in 2004 if he ever gave thought to how long he wanted to play in the NFL.
He said because he was a fan of quarterbacks like Dan Marino, John Elway, Peyton Manning and Brett Favre, he knew it was possible to play at a high level for many, many seasons, though he "didn't really have a number on it" at the time.
Now 38 years old and in his 17th NFL season, however, Rivers by now has certainly had moments where he's at least thought about the next step in his life. But for now, he enjoys his job too much to walk away from the game of football — even those Wednesdays and Thursdays, which always seem to drag on as you put in a bulk of the gameplan and get ready for your upcoming opponent.
"We're in the midst of a Wednesday; Wednesdays are always kind of a heck of a day; there's a lot going on from all the installs and stuff And we're kinda in the middle of changing from an offensive meeting to a quarterback meeting, and we were just kinda going through a lot of the bulk of the plan, and I said, I think that's one thing you'll really know is when you dread these Wednesdays and Thursdays. And I still love that part of it; I love the preparation part of it," Rivers said. "I think sometimes you may lose it physically before that happens, but I think when you still enjoy the work week from a preparation standpoint, that's always a good sign."
Rivers said he still gets great value out of "preparing yourself to go out and to compete and to be confident in what you're doing and to go out and execute at a high level."
"I mean, the ins and outs of the plan and why, and, 'Here's this and this adjustment,' and, 'Ooh, we can do this and do that,'" Rivers said. "I mean, shoot, that's just a passion and a love for the sport in its totality, and I love that part of it. And I sure as heck love trotting out there here at 1:30 and getting in a practice at 38 years old with a bunch of buddies. So it's a pretty good deal."