Story and photos by Chris Stone
On the first day of the three-day Charger mini-camp, coaches and players Tuesday spoke of progress with draftees and veterans.
Rivers says he thinks the Chargers have had a good off-season and that the issues haven’t distracted the players from their work.
“Early on it was kind of like you hear this and you hear that but now it’s kind of like you never know what you’re going to hear,” he said. “And you can’t control it, so you just focus on what you can control.”
Rivers said he’s unsure which players will stay or go at the end of the 2015 season, but “you want to appreciate them every time you are with them because you never know if it’s going to be the end.”
As for his own future, Rivers said, “I feel that I have some good years left.”
Other views on newer players (and one veteran):
Head coach Mike McCoy: “He’s definitely on our football team. . . . He’s getting better every day. We’re very fortunate to have him.
Rivers: “He’s not there yet, but he will be when we need him to be. He’s coming along really good.”
Antonio Gates: “Unbelievable, that physical build, that skill level. I’m quite sure that he is willing to take on that challenge.”
Antonio GatesRivers: “He looked good as always.”
Gates on how long he plans to play: “It’s all about how I feel, how my body feels. Right now I feel great.”
“I’ll be honest. After the end of last year, because of the physical wear and tear it took me some time to recover and your mind fluctuates whether you should come back.
However, “When I got here today, I was still nervous,” said Gates, 35. “What that tells me is that I still care.”
Gates said he doesn’t pay attention to who might replace him — rather he sets new goals to motivate himself each year.
“The biggest motivation for me is a championship.”
Rivers: “I think he has the potential to be one of the best corners in this league. He has been one of the most impressive guys on the field in the off-season.”
Rivers: “He seems faster than he has ever been. He looks really good. I hope we all agree that he needs to be a bigger part of this team. He would be a good weapon for us.”
Gates: “I sense confidence and maturity right away. He’s a phenomenal athlete and a phenomenal person, and he is so physically gifted.
>> Subscribe to Times of San Diego’s free daily email newsletter! Click hereFollow Us: