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Del Rio Discusses Rivers, Woodhead

Posted Dec 11, 2013

A day before the Broncos take on the Chargers, Defensive Coordinator Jack Del Rio discussed the play of San Diego quarterback Philip Rivers and running back Danny Woodhead.

ENGLEWOOD, Colo. -- As his defense prepares to face a Chargers team that ranks fourth in the league in total offense and second in the NFL in average time of possession, Broncos Defensive Coordinator Jack Del Rio noted during his Wednesday press conference that San Diego quarterback Philip Rivers’ decision-making and accuracy have helped drive the Chargers offense this season.   

Rivers has thrown for 3,882 yards and 26 touchdown passes this season – ranking fourth and fifth in the NFL in each respective category – and Del Rio said that he believes the influence of first-year Chargers Head Coach Mike McCoy has benefitted Rivers on the field. 

“Playing really good football. Making good decisions,” Del Rio said. “He’s always – I think he’s always been a great competitor and I think Mike going in there, he’s done a great job of kind of getting (Rivers) to understand how the scheme works, how the system works.”

In the first meeting between the teams – a 28-20 Broncos victory in Week 10 at Qualcomm Stadium – Rivers completed 19-of-29 passes for 218 yards and a touchdown, good for a quarterback rating of 99.5. It was one of 10 occasions this season that the quarterback has posted a rating higher than 90.0, and his efficiency with the football is something Del Rio was quick to underline. 

“He’s making great decisions,” Del Rio said. “He’s not turning the ball over. He’s accurate. So he’s a good football player.”

Another versatile weapon for the Chargers has been running back Danny Woodhead. Dually capable in both the running and passing attack, Woodhead has totaled 330 yards rushing and a pair of touchdowns, while ranking second on the team with 65 receptions for 534 yards and six touchdowns – displaying versatility that Del Rio called “dynamic.” 

“He’s just a good player. He really is,” Del Rio said. “He may not be appreciated by others, but we look at him and see a really dynamic player.”

Woodhead’s widespread capabilities have been cogs that have helped the Chargers tie for the NFL’s best third-down efficiency – 48.2 percent, tied with the Broncos offense – and Del Rio ultimately identified the running back as a threat in all facets of the Chargers offense that his defense will have to account for.   

“He’s a playmaker,” he said. “He can run it, he can catch it. He’ll block a little bit – that is not his strongpoint, but he’s a good football player.”