Rivers on Sam: It's about performance

February, 18, 2014
Feb 18
4:45
PM ET
San Diego Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers joined Darren Smith on the Mighty 1090 AM radio on Tuesday to discuss a wide range of topics, including draft prospect Michael Sam recently disclosing that he is gay.

Rivers said that Sam’s sexual orientation would not be an issue in his team’s locker room.

[+] EnlargePhilip Rivers
Christopher Hanewinckel/USA TODAY Sports"If [Sam] can help us win, then we want him to help us win," Philip Rivers said.
"The NFL is a performance-based business," Rivers said. "And if you can play football at a high level, then you’ll be on a team. If he fits the mold of an NFL player -- linebacker, pass-rusher or whatever he is -- then he’ll be on a team somewhere.

“As far as the Chargers go, I know [general manager Tom Telesco] and Coach [Mike] McCoy -- those guys spend a great deal of time evaluating and trying to find guys to help us win a championship. And if they think he’s one of those guys that fits the mold that will help us win a championship, and he’s a part of our team, then he’ll be a part of our team. If he can help us win, then we want him to help us win.

“That’s my approach. And anything that can, or may be or has been a distraction in our locker room over the years, we’ve handled it very well. And there hasn’t been an issue that we haven’t been able to handle, or had the leadership in that locker room or coming from the coaching staff to make us have a great locker room and go out there and play.”

Rivers also said that his younger brother, Stephen, has been cleared by LSU to transfer. At 6-foot-7 and 230 pounds, Stephen Rivers will have two years of eligibility, and can play next year because he graduates in May.

Rivers said his brother is transferring because he’s more of a dropback quarterback, and LSU’s offense will feature read-option plays that require more a runner at quarterback.

Rivers mentioned the possibility of his younger brother transferring to San Diego State, and both brothers playing in the same place at Qualcomm Stadium come September.

“I’ve always joked to him about that,” Rivers said. “Ever since he didn’t know if it was going to pan out at LSU, I’ve always kind of said, ‘Hey come out here to San Diego State, live with us and lets go share Qualcomm for a few years.’”

Eric D. Williams

ESPN San Diego Chargers reporter

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