Wednesday, December 26, 2007
Broncos' Bailey not a fan of Rivers after talk during game
SAN DIEGO -- It's on YouTube now, so it must have happened,
Well, San Diego Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers tried to
downplay his animated exchange with Denver Broncos quarterback
Jay Cutler on Monday night, which was caught by ESPN's cameras.
Rivers can be seen jawing from the sideline toward Cutler, who
had just thrown an incomplete pass on fourth down midway through
the fourth quarter of the Chargers' 23-3 victory. Chargers
linebacker Matt Wilhelm can be seen mockingly waving toward Cutler.
Asked what he was saying to Cutler, Rivers said, "Nothing.
There was really nothing said to him, to be honest with you."
The AFC West champion Chargers (10-5) returned to work Wednesday
for the first time since winning their fifth straight game and for
the ninth time in 11 games.
"I ain't really thought nothing more of it," Rivers said.
The QB said the trash talk Monday night was "no different than
any other game I've ever played in since I was 10 years old. There
was nothing unusual going on in that game. Just like anything that
gets on the TV, it can be taken any way you want it to.
"There's no animosity from me towards him, whatsoever. I don't
know if that's the same on his end," Rivers said.
It certainly wasn't in the Broncos' locker room.
Broncos cornerback Champ Bailey said there's no excuse for what
"And I don't really care for the guy, first of all," Bailey
said in a story posted on The Rocky Mountain News' Web site. "He's
not a respectable guy right now, because you talk too much trash
and do this and that, but you're really not a great player in this
league right now.
"You're surrounded by great players, but you're not a great
player. I think he needs to understand where he stands in this
league -- where he stands on his team first and foremost."
Cutler was more reserved when he met with reporters Wednesday.
"We've talked about it. I'm not going to get into it," Cutler
said. "It was an unfortunate situation. They talked a lot and the
talk got heated between the two teams. Personally I don't think the
teams like each other, which is fine. It's just going to add to it
next year. It's going to be exciting."
The Chargers swept Denver for the second straight year, holding
the Broncos to just a field goal in each game. San Diego won 41-3
at Denver on Oct. 7.
Minnesota Vikings safety Darren Sharper, who's preparing to face
the Broncos on Sunday, chimed in on Rivers. Sharper said it was
"surprising" to see Rivers and Cutler getting after it.
Asked if those kind of exchanges happen often, Sharper said,
"No it doesn't, but Rivers is that kind of guy. He likes to run
his mouth. He's going to learn he is going to have to stop doing
Sharper said Rivers mouthed off during the Chargers' 35-17 loss
at Minnesota on Nov. 4, when Vikings rookie Adrian Peterson
shredded San Diego's defense for an NFL-record 296 yards.
"He just runs his mouth a little bit," Sharper said.
Chargers coach Norv Turner said he discussed the matter with
"I talked to him and he understands where I'm coming from,"
K Nate Kaeding had an MRI on his bruised lower left leg and
it showed no structural damage. Turner said Kaeding should be able
to handle field goals but not kickoffs. The team will decide to
continue with P Mike Scifres handling the kickoffs, or to audition
other kickers. ... LB Marques Harris had surgery on his broken hand
and could miss Sunday's game at Oakland.