Print and Go Back ESPN.com: AFC West [Print without images]

Monday, August 3, 2009
Rivera's defense is catching on in camp

By Bill Williamson
ESPN.com

Posted by ESPN.com's Bill Williamson

SAN DIEGO -- Even though Ron Rivera finished last season as the San Diego Chargers' defensive coordinator, this is an important time in his tenure with the team.

This is his first training camp as San Diego's defensive boss. With that in mind, this is the time that he is implementing his full scheme with the team. Rivera took over at the midway point last season after Ted Cottrell was fired.

The move to Rivera, who was San Diego's inside linebackers coach prior to being promoted, ignited San Diego's defense. It helped spur a late-season hot streak that resulted in San Diego winning the AFC West.

Rivera's first full season as defensive coordinator has centered on teaching and having his players concentrate on not making miscues. So far in camp it seems to be working. The Chargers' defense has looked strong and very confident.

It's a big difference," safety Eric Weddle said. "You see a lot less mistakes out there. He is really emphasizing that. We spend all day on getting it right. ... I think you'll see a better overall defense from the very start of the season."