Time will tell if Philip Rivers can reassert himself as one of the better quarterbacks in the NFL, but the Indianapolis Colts certainly believe he can. That’s why they gave the 38-year-old a hefty $25 million in free agency in 2020, but he has just one year to make good on their hopes. A familiar face in Indy could help the cause though, which is a big reason Rivers opted to take his talents to Lucas Oil Stadium after parting ways with the Los Angeles Chargers, and that countenance belongs to offensive coordinator Nick Sirianni — who isn’t afraid to shout his expectations in the deal.

Sirianni, who served as Chargers quarterbacks coach for two seasons and then the team’s wide receivers coach for two years after that, has now reunited with Rivers and couldn’t be more thrilled with what he’s seen in camp ahead of the Week 1 battle against the Jacksonville Jaguars on Sept. 13. 

“I expect him to be the guy that leads the offense,” Sirianni said, via the team’s website. “We know how accurate he is and how he’s a great decision-maker. He’s accurate. He makes good fast decisions. So I expect that out of him in the pass game. 

“Getting us into the right protection call, because he studies blitzes and the opposing team more than anyone I’ve ever been around, then in the run game — just running the show, checking when he needs to, getting people in position to make plays. So I just expect the same from what I’ve [experienced]. Obviously, we have a lot of years and a lot of history with him. 

“Just, I expect the same Philip Rivers that we had when we were in San Diego together.”

If this is to be, Rivers will have to pull a complete about face from what the world saw on the back end of his career with the Chargers. For while there’s no disputing the eight-time Pro Bowler will go down as one of the best quarterbacks to ever play the game, he devolved into a turnover machine in 2019, nearly matching a career-worst interception tally (21) by tossing 20 of them last season to only 23 touchdowns, en route to a disappointing 5-11 finish that nailed the coffin shut on his time in Los Angeles. Now back with Sirianni, Rivers hopes for rejuvenation fueled by familiarity and a drive to prove Father Time wrong.

He’ll be 39 years old before the season concludes, and this could very well be his swan song, regardless of how well or badly things go in Indianapolis. If it’s to be his last hoorah, the Colts and Sirianni believe he’s going out with a bang as opposed to a wimper.


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