A quarterback's tale

All the hubbub this week has been about Philip Rivers and his ability to win a game and about a Tennessee quarterback - not named Kerry Collins or Vince Young - joining the San Diego Chargers after the game.

Let's predict that the Titans stone the Chargers' running game Sunday in San Diego's home opener. Could Philip Rivers win a game with his arm as well as his smarts?

If so, it would take more than 11 passes - the number he tossed in Monday's season-opener win over the Raiders. Rivers, in his second NFL start, expects to eclipse that 11-pass mark.

"I would be willing to guess it will be more than 11 times," Rivers said. "But if it is less, I would be happy as long as we won at the end and I mean that. That's always been my approach."

But the Chargers didn't make a blockbuster trade in 2004 to have Rivers hand the ball off nearly every snap to LaDainian Tomlinson. For one night, though, that is just what he did and the results were a 27-0 blanking of the Raiders.

"Whatever it takes for us to win," stressed Rivers, who had a nifty 133.9 rating after completing 8-of-11 passes for 108 yards and a score.

"There will be a time when we have to throw it a ton and I'll be ready when that time comes, too. But certainly you don't go in thinking you are going to have those few attempts, but hey it got the job done."

The Titans could prove to be a tempting target. No defense gave up more passes than Tennessee's last year, and the Titans' pass defense got punched for 319 yards and two touchdowns by the Jets' Chad Pennington last week.

Coach Marty Schottenheimer said he's at ease with Rivers' chances if he has to throw it more often.

"I was very comfortable with him going into the (Raiders) ball game; he only really missed one throw," Schottenheimer said. But he won't speculate how many times Rivers might throw it on Sunday.

"It's the flow of the game what drives any and all games. We have a plan, and we didn't go into the last game thinking we were only going to throw it 11 times and I wouldn't anticipate any time that I would look at those kinds of numbers. We really don't have a throw count. We just do the things we think can help us win a game."


The Titans' quarterback saga could wrap up as soon as Monday if the Titans deal Billy Volek to San Diego after playing the Chargers.

That's certainly a scenario Volek is hoping for. Volek said the Chargers are one of the teams who contacted the Titans about him after he asked to be traded last month and he believes something could happen next week, after the Titans and Chargers play on Sunday.

"I know that they have contacted Floyd Reese, and they contacted my agent (Drew Rosenhaus)," Volek said. "Drew right now is doing that stuff, though, and I am installing the game plan with the guys to go out there and compete against them. There is an opportunity for me there and it is a bridge I'll cross when it presents itself."

The Titans haven't traded Volek yet as they've not been satisfied with the offers they've fielded. They certainly and understandably were reluctant to ship him to the Chargers before the game.

The Chargers have only Philip Rivers, who's started one NFL game, and rookie Charlie Whitehurst. In Nashville, Volek ranks behind Kerry Collins and Vince Young.

"(The Chargers) have one start with their quarterbacks and I know that they want some more experience at the position," Volek said. "I also have to do what is best for my career and here, they are not going to put a guy (Young) who is making $57 million at the third spot.

"They are going to put him at No. 2 and put him on the field. With Kerry bringing in more experience and still being able to sling it down the field, let me move on and do what is best for my career."

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