Quarterback spat makes it to YouTube
Vail, CO Colorado
SAN DIEGO ” It’s on YouTube now, so it must have happened, right?
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 Rivers did.
“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 that, too.”
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 Rivers.
“I talked to him and he understands where I’m coming from,” Turner said.
Notes:@ 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.
AP Sports Writers Arnie Stapleton in Denver and Jon Krawczynski in Minneapolis contributed to this report.