Chargers Roundup

Philip Rivers chimes in on the Nike commercial controversy. Ron Rivera teaches some old tricks to his new dog. Shawne Merriman plans to make a splash without the flash. All of this and more in the Chargers roundup...


--The Bears are grumbling about being the victim of LaDainian Tomlinson in a current Nike TV commercial. Tomlinson spins through the defense for a touchdown.

"Somebody sent me something that (Brian) Urlacher said in their paper," Tomlinson said. "He said to ask me how many yards I had last time I played them four years ago."

Urlacher was making reference to Tomlinson's 16 carries for 61 yards and a touchdown during a 20-7 loss at Chicago in 2003.

--QB Philip Rivers is also in the commercial -- with Shawne Merriman and Antonio Gates -- but he doesn't think the Bears are upset over it.

"They're going to play harder now?" Rivers said of the Bears. "I think as much hype as there has been on this game, it's the first game of the year. There's so much buildup. I doubt that they need any more incentive to want to get after us than they already have."

--Chargers LB coach Ron Rivera is well-versed in the Bears defense as its former defensive coordinator. Rivera, who also played for the Bears, had an interview for the Chargers' head-coaching job when Marty Schottenheimer was canned. But the team went with Norv Turner. Rivera has declined to speak this week in the days leading up to the game.

"I think he's been a good insight to both sides of the ball," Turner said. "He's been there, and he knows the personnel. Now, obviously, once the game starts, the players decide the game. If it gives us a little insight into what they're thinking, then it is a help."

--OLB Shaun Phillips was talking about Merriman's toned-down act -- or the promise of such, anyway.

Phillips said "image or no image, because he's still a hell of a football player and he's going to go out there and do his job and just prove his point always, like he has done."

Despite being suspended four games for steroid use, he led the NFL last year with 17 sacks.

--It's the 10-year anniversary of the debut of another successful offensive coordinator as the Chargers head coach. Kevin Gilbride got thumped 41-7 in 1997 in his season opener. He was fired six games into the following season.

That said, Turner tries to become the fourth straight Chargers head coach to win his opener. The others are June Jones (1998), Mike Riley (1999) and Marty Schottenheimer (2002).

According to reports, a relaxed, content and retired Schottenheimer -- still being paid some $4 million this year -- has his golf handicap down to a 5.

BY THE NUMBERS: 2 -- Number of Turners coaching on Sunday. Norv Turner is the Chargers' head coach and Ron Turner, his younger brother, is the Bears' offensive coordinator. The two have split two previous meetings.

QUOTE TO NOTE: "After everything came up, I just figured that I'm going to go out there and just play. That's it. I don't have to do nothing else, but just go out and play. Don't worry about who's thinking or saying what. You go play and show people what kind of person, what kind of player you are, and leave it at that." -- OLB Shawne Merriman, about ditching his Lights Out dance after sacks this season.

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