Chargers school in session for Rivers

The Philip Rivers era has officially begun. Well, sorta. <br><br> Rivers has missed a significant part of training camp but he <b>will be</b> in Carson for the final three days before they break camp. The starting job will have to be put on hold…

…for now.

A grade behind. That is what the rookie quarterback is. His playbook is neatly tucked under an arm and his reading glasses have been put to full use, but the application of formations, coverages and passes has been missing.

Having physical education without the physical part.

All is not lost for the signal caller out of North Carolina State. The intangibles that he displayed throughout his career, including the Senior Bowl, explain the tale of Rivers.

Remember, Byron Leftwich signed late last year and was starting by week three. There is little stopping Philip Rivers from doing the same.

He will enter camp third on the depth chart. There does not need to be any more pressure put on Rivers at this point. In the eyes of the coaches he will be running first string. It is the moment that coach Marty Schottenheimer has been waiting for.

The coach has had his own ups and downs on the signing status. He clearly wanted his first round pick in camp but replied, "I coach the ones that are here." He was also frustrated by the pace of negotiations.

His poster child has arrived to be coached.

Schottenheimer wants his new toy to take the huddle early. He has seen the command and respect that Rivers demands when he sets up camp in the huddle. He has an air of confidence that Schottenheimer loves.

Just a week ago we heard word that Rivers could start by week three of the season. Drew Brees has since proven to be a preseason award winner. Does it factor into the equation? Certainly. Schottenheimer wants to go with whoever he thinks will give his team a chance to win.

The whispers out of the front office are still the same according to one member of the organization. "We think he can start at some point this season."

It is still early and how he progresses in camp and at home will be the determining factor. It is still up in the air on whether he will play on Friday. Schottenheimer didn't even quell the questions of whether he could be ready to start the year, "I am not going to stand here and say unequivocally that it can't be done."

Give it a month of practice, the same as training camp would have afforded him. It won't be under the watchful eyes of fans or the press but in the backyard of the Chargers' Murphy Canyon complex. Based on what the coach says, you have to believe he wants nothing more than to get Rivers in the lineup – and quickly. Perhaps he views it as a way to save his job or perhaps it is just the right decision for a team still rebuilding.

Rivers does have some work to make up. He will be held after school and will gladly accept that fate. He still has a real shot at starting this year and that may not be far off. If he dives in as expected, Rivers could be the starting quarterback for the San Diego Chargers by late September, early October.

"It's going to be exciting," Rivers would only comment.

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