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Philip Rivers and Norv Turner Postgame Transcripts

Philip Rivers

Q: On that first pick by Vince Wilfork, did you see him coming at all?  

PR: There was no way I could ever see him coming. I'd throw that one again every time. He made a great play - I don't know if that was something that they looked at. If you don't get a pass rush and see the back free release… That's just one of those [things] where he made a great play. I don't know that I'd do anything differently on that play.  

Q: What about the second interception? It looked like it was going to Antonio Gates…  

PR: It was a little underthrown.  

Q: Was it the inability to finish drives or the turnovers that was a bigger factor?  

PR: Both. Obviously, turning the ball over contributed to not finishing the drives. Wilfork's interception down by the 35 [yard line], trying to get points before the half ... Gates' interception was obviously an interception that was on the 10-yard line that I was throwing to him. We knew going in that in the red zone we can't turn the ball over. That's the basic - those are the principles and keys to every game offensively: score touchdowns and don't turn the ball over. The team that does that the best usually wins the game. Obviously, they got points every time they were down there and didn't turn it over and offensively we did, so that was the difference of the game. With all that being said, you look up [and] with eight and a half minutes left when we're down by seven [points] and have the ball, we had a chance. The fact that we were out there with a chance considering all of that, it could have gotten out of hand. Our defense kept us in it and offensively we kept fighting.  

Q: How much does their offense amplify that?  

PR: Well, anytime you play a great offense you know that you're going to get limited possessions. Our defense gave us the ball three of four times right in a row in the second half - the defense stepped up huge. Even then, this offense is going to get some first downs, so it's not like you're going to have a ton of three-and-outs. So you're going to keep getting opportunities, so you know offensively every opportunity you get is crucial and important and we've got to make the best of it.  

Q: For the second straight week you've had seven points in the first half. Is there any explanation of why you start slow?  

PR: I thought we came out pretty good in the first drive and got to about the 40 [yard line] and had to punt... Yeah, I really have no explanation for it. Again, obviously, just not turning [the ball] over … I felt like we were in somewhat of a rhythm; they played us for the most part how we thought; there weren't too many surprises. The safeties were a little deeper than they had shown. The guys that were coming down and doubling Gates on first and second down were doing it from a little deeper so they could see it all in front of them and then drive on it because we obviously like to push the ball up the field. Obviously, that third-down stuff that mixed in doubling Gates at the line of scrimmage that made it harder for him to get off it. That's why the ball was going other places. We obviously we were trying to get Gates involved, but they were going to do all they could not to allow it.  

Q: It seems like a different year with the same receiver injury problems. You had a couple inactive guys and Malcolm Floyd got lost there early. How do you continue?  

PR: You just keep going. That's been a part of every season we've had and that's probably part of every team at some point. It's obviously unfortunate because Malcolm was rolling early and had to leave the game - hopefully he won't [be out] for too long. That's something you have to deal with and manage and obviously guys will have to step up. I don't know how bad it is, but the guys we have, the six receivers that we have on the roster, we have confidence in and whoever it is will step up and we'll continue to go.  

Q: You mentioned that when you look up with eight minutes to go you're still in it. Is it somewhat disappointing that you come all the way back and don't end up on the right side?  

PR: It's just disappointing to lose. Anytime you lose, you're disappointed. We're 1-1. It's disappointing to lose, but it's a long year and we're going to be a heck of a team. Really, the only goal that we have to scratch off our list right now is winning them all. We can throw that one out the window, but everything else is still there. We've got a long season ahead of us. We're going to be alright.  

Q: Is there something that your offense learns from this experience?  

PR: Yeah, I think that it's so funny because every game that you lose, for the most part, is very similar in the fact that you turn it over, don't convert down there when you get an opportunity or you miss a few throws. That's how you lose every game and the ones you win, you make a few more plays than the other guys, and obviously, they have something to do with it. They're a good team and this is a tough place to play. Obviously, we haven't won here in a while - not since '05. So, you hope you get the opportunity to play them again at some point.  

Q: When you look at your performance, do you second guess everything the day after or the night of?  

PR: Yeah, I don't know if it's so much second guessing but sure. I don't think there's anyone harder on myself than I am. I definitely feel like there are plays I could have made in this game that would have changed the outcome. Everybody else played the same game and I could have made the difference and that's why we lost. In most cases, that's how the quarterback always feels I think. I need to play better, I want play better and we win and lose together. That's one thing that I like about this team - there's nobody's head down in there that we lost the game. There're a lot of guys that hate losing, but we know what this season is. This season is a 20-week deal, at least that's what the goal is, to make it a 20-week deal. We're only two weeks in.  

Q: Mike Tolbert is pretty down on himself in there. What would be your message to him?  

PR: Mike will be fine. Mike is a guy that hates to lose. He wants to do everything he can to help his team win. That [was] one play of the game. I threw the ball to him twice to the other team. That's what makes Mike a great player and why Mike's a great player for us because he does care. Mike doesn't make those plays very often and we could go down the list - we all contributed to this loss in different ways. We'll get better and move forward.

Norv Turner NT:New England is obviously an outstanding football team and we didn't play well enough to come into this stadium and win today.  

Q: Most of your drives, I believe six of them, were into New England territory and only got 14 points out of it. How big a factor is that?  

NT: It's obvious, a key factor. Obviously, fourth and a foot – half a yard, whatever, we thought we had a chance to get a touchdown and we thought the touchdown was big there. And obviously, you are counting on getting it but if you don't, you got them on the foot line. You know, the interception, Philip's [Rivers] interception, I mean, he's got a guy running wide open and that's a once in a lifetime. Defensive lineman running a twist and taps it up to himself. You know, sometimes things like that happen. I am sure Philip never saw him, he saw Tolbert running free, where he thought he could get him out of bounds and kick a field goal there. Obviously, we have got to not only finish drives, but take care of the ball better.  

Q: Was their defense doing something to take away [Antonio] Gates?  

NT: I think so, yeah, I mean we would like to throw the ball to him every down we could. They did a great job on him and actually, in the game, we put Gates at Vincent Jackson's position and Vincent at Gates' position. And that's why he got open because they continued to double Gates and Vincent got single coverage. That's why he kept getting the ball open in the middle.  

Q: Looked like on the fourth and one that [Mike] Tolbert may have tripped over Hester's leg?  

NT: He got caught up, they did a nice thing, with their outside linebacker. They took an inside charge and freed the linebacker up. Tolbert had to block the linebacker instead of the safety. And he did get some penetration.  

Q: Their [The Patriots] no huddle seemed to give the defense problems…

NT: This is, obviously coming into the game, they are one of the top offenses in the league, one of the top 3 or 4 offenses in the league. I don't believe the no huddle was the issue. I think they got a couple plays out of it, I think they got a couple negative plays out of the no huddle. When you line up to play a lot of guys that can make plays, they obviously have a great quarterback and you know, you have to take advantage of the times, the opportunities that we had. And I thought there were a couple times that we came up with big stops. Obviously we came up with the biggest stop that you can come up with at mid-field and then we fumbled the ball back.  

Q: You are never going to stop Tom [Brady] all the way, but what was the strategy? How did you want to stop Brady?  

NT: Well, the biggest thing you have to do, the first thing, is to find pressure. We got around him pretty good, we hit him pretty good, we got him sacked, you know. And then, you want to minimize big plays. For the most part, we were able to do that, but obviously you would like to create some turnovers.  

Q: What you said last year was that some of the fumbles were the product of young running backs. Are you still seeing some of the same issues?  

NT: You know, the biggest fumble, was obviously, Mike Tolbert. He just second guessed himself. He had a five yard gain and then he stopped to spin back and got all out of whack and fumbled the ball. You know, I am so excited about our football team. And I have told them a number of times, I don't even refer to this group as to comparing it to anywhere with last year's team. This year's team is this year's team. And I am excited about where this team can go.  We have a lot of work to do, like every team in the league, but I can't wait until tomorrow and get back there with them and start working on things we need to get better at. And obviously, when you have a game like this, you can't wait to go play again.

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