Espn: Inside Charger's Camp

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Well-Known Member
Jul 5, 2006
Rivers inherits talented team
By John Clayton

SAN DIEGO -- Drew Brees and LaDainian Tomlinson had a secret pact. After entering the league in the same draft class (2001) with picks the Chargers got from the Falcons in the Michael Vick trade, Brees and Tomlinson vowed to stay together until they won a Super Bowl.

The final hopes of that partnership snapped on New Year's Eve, when Brees' right shoulder was dislocated when Gerard Warren fell on him going for a fumble in the Chargers' last game of the season. General manager A.J. Smith's big decision was made. With Philip Rivers waiting in the wings, Smith no longer could offer franchise money to Brees coming off surgery.

"I was kinda in denial at first," Tomlinson said of the beginnings of the transition. "People would say Drew won't be here. I'd say, 'No, he'll be here, he'll be here.' It was like, 'Wow.'"

An outsider would have had a hard time taking over this team. Brees meant that much to the Chargers. He was everyone's friend. His mental toughness and tenacity captured the heart and soul of this team. But because Rivers invested two years in the same locker room soaking up everything from Brees, he was able to step right in. The transition was natural. The Chargers believe Rivers can get the job done.

Here's the link for the rest of the story....