The Indianapolis Colts made a bold move this offseason when they signed Philip Rivers to a one-year deal to be the team’s starting quarterback.
The hope in Indy is that the 38-year-old Rivers can help elevate the Colts back to contending status. He’s certainly being well-paid to do so: his one-year contract is worth $25 million.
The major concern surrounding Rivers is his age and his physical skills. He still completed 66 percent of his passes and threw for 4,615 yards in 2019, but only tossed 23 touchdowns while managing 20 interceptions. To an outsider, Rivers’ arm strength seems to have declined as well, which is natural for a quarterback of his age.
Colts head coach Frank Reich is hoping his insider view is a better one. From 2013-15, he worked closely with Rivers in San Diego, first as his quarterbacks coach and then his offensive coordinator. He knows what Rivers was capable of in his prime and thinks he can still bring that to the table.
In an interview with the Colts’ team website, released last night, Reich addressed Rivers’ skill set and was adamant that he still has enough “left in the tank.”
“Obviously, when it came out that Philip was going to be available, it was an easy discussion to see that it was a fit with us,” Reich said. “Does he still have it all left in the tank at 38? What does he have left in the tank at 38? Just having been there on the inside for the three years I was and knowing the quarterback position like I do, I was so confident that physically he was the right player and that he had not lost anything. All of the throws I saw on film and as I go back and studied him compared to previous throws, I really didn’t notice any physical gifts diminishing at all. I really didn’t.”
We’re not going to deny that Reich knows more football than us, but it is tough to agree with him that Rivers hasn’t declined at all.
Time will tell who is right though.
The Colts went 7-9 in 2019 with Jacoby Brissett as the team’s primary starter. Brissett took over after Andrew Luck’s abrupt retirement in late August.