By Michael Hurley, CBS Boston
BOSTON (CBS) — Philip Rivers hasn’t had any luck in his career when playing against Bill Belichick’s teams. And as it turns out, the quarterback hasn’t had much success when playing for Belichick either.
The Chargers quarterback, in the lead-up to Sunday’s playoff game against the Patriots, spoke with New England reporters on Wednesday afternoon. And as he faced a series of questions about Tom Brady and the Patriots, Rivers shared a funny story from the 2011 Pro Bowl, when Belichick served as the coach for the AFC.
“My one interaction with Coach Belichick was actually at halftime, the one that stands out. It was a great week. I’ll just tell you a funny story, but it was a great week just being around him,” Rivers said. “I do remember at halftime of the Pro Bowl game we were getting killed. I think it was me and Peyton [Manning] and … [Matt] Cassel. So, me, Peyton and Cassel and we’re getting blown out at halftime and he kind of called us all up and said, ‘Hey, we can tackle. I know it’s the Pro Bowl and all of that but can we tackle somebody today? Let’s just go out and make this a little bit respectable in the second half.’
“And then he looked over at us quarterbacks and we had all thrown an interception,” Rivers continued. “Thank goodness I wasn’t the only one and he said, ‘It would help if you guys would stop throwing it to the other team.’ I got a kick out of that because I’m sitting there with Peyton Manning and Cassel and if Peyton’s not my all-time favorite, one of. I was glad I wasn’t the only one that had thrown it to the other team. I thought that was pretty good. I got fussed out at halftime of the Pro Bowl.”
It’s a perfect Belichick moment — facetiously critiquing the tackling in the hardly-any-contact exhibition while ribbing the AFC quarterback trio … perhaps not totally in jest.
It’s a story that is right in line with the one that soon-to-be Hall of Fame tight end Tony Gonzalez once shared of Belichick imploring Gonzalez (with some colorful language) that he should be blocking on kick returns in the Pro Bowl. “Why don’t you (bleeping) block somebody Gonzalez?” was the way that the tight end recalled it happening.
And for those curious, that quarterbacking trio was pretty bad that day in Honolulu, with Rivers and Cassel each throwing two picks apiece, and with Manning throwing another INT. The NFC led 42-7 at halftime, so Belichick was probably more than a little grumpy, even if the game meant nothing at all.