Last year, Chargers HC Mike McCoy and his staff trained the entire offense to become adept at quick strikes, via options to counter pressure. Equipping the brainy Philip Rivers, coaches installed a no-huddle offense that could proceed at a variety of speeds. They also expanded the quarterback's freedom to call and change plays.
The previous year, McCoy worked with Peyton Manning, a master of the no-huddle and the quick pass. McCoy said last November that some of the system's components that worked with the Broncos and with Rivers also were effective in Carolina, where quarterback Jake Delhomme guided the Panthers to a Super Bowl.
It wasn't that Rivers encountered less pressure last season, but that he handled it much better.
This is the first time that we've heard the term "brainy" used to describe Rivers, but the proof is in the pudding. He was written off by many after a substandard 2012 campaign, but he bounced back in a big way with a #5 finish in 2013. In fact, he has finished in the top 10 in five of his last six seasons. Malcom Floyd has been cleared to play, so the receiving corps will get a boost. The only concern is the loss of OC Ken Whisenhunt, who assisted Rivers in his bounce back season. He should be a good value in the middle rounds for owners who want to wait on the position.