Still no word on Chargers starting QB

Updated: November 5, 2003, 8:30 PM ET

SAN DIEGO -- So, will it be Doug Flutie or Drew Brees who starts at quarterback for the lowly San Diego Chargers on Sunday?

Stay tuned, because word has yet to come down from Mount Marty.

Sounding as much like a politician as a football coach, Marty Schottenheimer refused to say Wednesday whether Brees will keep his job or lose it to Flutie when the Chargers, desperate to get just their second win of the season, host the Minnesota Vikings.

It seems like Schottenheimer has made a decision, but he wouldn't acknowledge even that much. Brees and Flutie said they're in the dark, too.

It's hard to fathom that a team with a 1-7 record would attract much attention with a quarterback controversy. But Flutie remains incredibly competitive -- and popular -- at age 41, and he did come off the bench last Sunday to lead the Chargers to their only score in a dreary 20-7 loss at Chicago.

Schottenheimer would only say that he'll name the starter "in the next day or so."

Asked if he had made a decision, Schottenheimer said: "I haven't gotten to the point where we're ready to make an announcement.

"I understand the interest that everybody has, and it's certainly with good reason," Schottenheimer said. "However, it doesn't really benefit the Chargers in any way to make that announcement right now."

Flutie had an ice bag on his right elbow, which could indicate he got a majority of the snaps in practice. He said, though, that it was due to throwing several individual routes. Most players said they thought Flutie and Brees got an equal number of snaps.

And Schottenheimer?

"I wasn't counting," he said.

Asked how many snaps Flutie will get on Sunday, Schottenheimer said: "We'll have to wait until Sunday. I don't know."

He then laughed at his obfuscation.

"I was going to say I'm not being evasive, but I am, so I can't say I'm not being evasive," he said.

It was just another day in the life of a team that's lost 14 of its last 17 games and, with eight games left, is one loss shy of clinching its eighth straight non-winning season.

At the very least, Schottenheimer said the Chargers are preparing both quarterbacks to play, to keep the Vikings guessing.

"We have to," he said. "We have two different styles of quarterback."

Brees is a pocket passer -- who's thrown five interceptions and no touchdowns in the last three games -- and Flutie is a scrambler who can brings a spark to the offense.

Schottenheimer spoke with his QBs on Wednesday but didn't tell them which one would start.

"It's very tough," said Brees, who's 9-15 since beating out Flutie for the starting job at the start of last season. "Obviously I come into this week with the assumption that it's going to be me. I have to do that."

Brees said Schottenheimer wasn't specific when he spoke with the QBs on Wednesday.

"I'm sure he doesn't want us going out there thinking, `Gosh, he's watching this.' He just wants us to go out and relax and be able to come out here and play.

"Obviously we want to know as soon as possible, but we understand he has a very hard decision to make."

Flutie didn't want to guess how good of a chance he has of starting.

"Honestly, nothing surprises me anymore, so I just don't even try to speculate," said Flutie, who's in his 19th season in pro football. "I just sit back and wait. I just work here, do what I'm told."

Flutie was embroiled in a divisive dispute with Rob Johnson during his three seasons with the Buffalo Bills. But he and Brees have a good relationship off the field.

Wide receiver Tim Dwight said Flutie and Brees threw well in practice.

"Flutie played today like he played in the game, and Drew was kind of letting it go. It was kind of neat to see that, because that's the kind of player he is," Dwight said.

This story is from's automated news wire. Wire index