Just four days remain until the Broncos' season opener. (Photos by Gabriel Christus)
ENGLEWOOD, Colo. —** Philip Rivers knows he needs to be careful with his trash talk on Monday.
Maybe that means he won't call Derek Wolfe a crybaby, which Wolfe found more confounding than enraging.
"It just doesn't make any sense," Wolfe said Thursday. "He called me a crybaby one time, and I was just like, 'What? … What are you trying to do?'"
Rivers' intention with this kind of chatter is simply to have some fun, but occasionally that produces unintended consequences.
"It's fun, because I play better when I'm angry," Wolfe said. "So keep saying it, keep saying stuff to me."
Unfortunately for the veteran defensive end, Rivers cleared up his intentions during his conference call with Denver media.
"I honestly think that, like many things, the [trash talk] kind of grows way more, gets exaggerated than really what it is," Rivers said. "It's really an all-in-fun banter with the defense, just like we have in training camp with our own guys. There's really not much to it.
"This is a front you want to be careful of getting too mad or too angry. They're already tough enough as it is. It's really all in fun. It's all the way I played in the backyard growing up and just happen to be doing it here at the highest level. But I would say it's definitely, too, tapered as I've grown older."
Still, Wolfe and the rest of the Broncos can count on Rivers' competitive fire to remain, even if he is more reserved. Rivers will still be the dangerous quarterback he's always been, and now he has a healthier offense than in previous seasons.
"They're healthy now, and they've got all of their guys and all of their guns are on deck," cornerback Aqib Talib said. "They have Philip Rivers as their quarterback, so [if] you have a future Hall of Fame quarterback, you're probably going to be pretty good on offense."