COSTA MESA, Calif. — Philip Rivers and Los Angeles Chargers offensive line coach Pat Meyer nevertheless share a chuckle about their very first meeting.

They met 20 years ago at NC State — Rivers a spindly correct-freshman quarterback and Meyer a newly hired 20-a thing strength coach.

“I under no circumstances neglect meeting him for the very first time,” Rivers mentioned. “Shoot, I had just turned 18. He was almost certainly 28 — I never know — he was beneath 30. I met him walking up the stairs, and he was walking down [to the weight room]. And I don’t forget the head strength coach, Todd Stroud, introduced him to me. We laugh about it now, but Todd introduced him to me and mentioned, ‘This is our correct-freshman quarterback.'”

Meyer recalls the conversation with Stroud afterward: “I mentioned to him, that guy’s going to be our quarterback [laughs]? He was a buck ninety soaking wet.”

Of course, Rivers went on to commence 51 straight games for the Wolfpack and is now in his 16th NFL season.

Rivers mentioned he spent a lot of down time in the NC State weight area workplace in involving classes and in the summer time for the duration of the lead-up to two-a-days shooting the breeze with Meyer. The two also got soon after it in one more sport.

“He hasn’t changed a bit he’s nevertheless fiery, competitive and normally wanted to win at almost everything he did,” Meyer mentioned. “Shoot, we utilized to play racquetball in the offseason, and he’d normally get upset mainly because I’d normally beat him.”

Chargers coach Anthony Lynn mentioned one particular of the causes he hired Meyer in 2017 was his connection with Rivers, along with his acumen as an offensive line coach.

Pat Meyer and Philip Rivers have recognized each and every other for roughly 20 years, considering that Rivers was a freshman at NC State and Meyer was a strength and conditioning coach. Los Angeles Chargers

“Pat is an superb teacher,” Lynn mentioned. “We have some related philosophies and ideas. He had a connection with Phil back at NC State. It was sort of like a great marriage.”

Immediately after Rivers went to the NFL, he and Meyer stayed in touch more than the years. They have children who are about the exact same age, and that connection forged 20 years ago helped to develop a trust the two now share on game days.

With this week’s news that veteran Pro Bowl center Mike Pouncey is out for the year with a neck injury, Rivers and Meyer will lean on that close connection even additional.

“For the reason that I’ve recognized him for years, the trust issue is there,” Meyer mentioned. “Definitely, I’ve got to earn his trust and he has to earn my trust. And that is a massive, massive portion of it.

“If I inform him it is what it is, he’s got to trust that that is the truth. The exact same goes for me on what he sees out on the field. We get in disagreements, like something else. The group is like a household. But at the finish of the day, you are there for one particular prevalent objective, and that is eventually to win.”

Rivers often talks to Meyer in involving series and appreciates his offensive line coach’s frankness.

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“With possessing a prior connection, there is trust,” Rivers mentioned. “I know he’s going to do what ever it requires, even so we have to make it to be profitable in the operating game and to enable protection, and the exact same way with me to him. When you have a connection and are about each and every other a lengthy time, it tends to make you want to fight even tougher.”

Meyer is in charge of an offensive line that has been maligned at occasions for uneven play.

Now that Pouncey is out, only one particular lineman has additional than 3 years of NFL knowledge — sixth-year appropriate guard Michael Schofield III.

The Chargers commence an inexperienced blindside protector in Trent Scott. Scott is playing in location of Russell Okung, who’s been out considering that coaching camp mainly because of a pulmonary embolism brought on by blood clots.

Dan Feeney will move from left guard to center, replacing Pouncey. In addition, Forrest Lamp, a second-round choice in the 2017 draft, will get his very first profession commence against the Pittsburgh Steelers, playing appropriate guard.

The Chargers are averaging just 90 yards rushing per game, No. 24 in the NFL. They are averaging just 20 points a contest, No. 18 in the league.

Having said that, they have performed a decent job in pass protection, enabling 11 sacks by means of 5 games, tied for 13th in the league. According to ESPN Analytics’ pass block win price, the Chargers’ offensive line is No. six in the NFL. Having said that, Pouncey was ranked as the No. three center in the league in PBWR.

Schofield mentioned Meyer is various from additional conventional line coaches mainly because of his willingness to perform with players’ strengths inside the scheme.

“I’ve had 3 or 4 coaches in the NFL, and Pat is almost certainly one particular of my favorites that I’ve ever had,” Schofield mentioned. “He’s so open. Most O-line coaches stick with tradition — we blocked this way back then, so we’re going to block like this now — but Pat’s so open to undertaking it a new way if it functions. If you can prove that it functions with you, he’s like, ‘OK, you have proved that it functions, so you can do it that way.’

“He realizes that absolutely everyone is various and can not do it the precise exact same way, so he’s extremely open-minded about that stuff, and that is what I like.”

Added Scott: “He’s a super technician. He’s extremely detail-oriented on the modest issues, fine-tuning our game and assisting us get greater that way.”

With the group off to a two-three commence, Meyer knows his O-line is nevertheless a perform in progress. Having said that, even with the injuries to essential players, he sees greater days ahead for the Chargers.

“We’ve got some young guys in there playing, and they’ve stepped up to the point with what I’ve asked them to do, so I’ve been pleased with it,” Meyer mentioned. “Can we do greater? Heck yeah. You can do greater in almost everything that you do. But they are attempting. They are prepared to do it, and they are taking the coaching of it. … We’ve just got to figure out a way to get it performed, close out games and finish drives with points on the board.”