Given a second chance with the Giants, Rivers is hoping some adjustments he made to his offseason training regimen helps keep him on the field this year.
Q: Obviously, your career has not gone the way you probably would have liked it to go, thanks to the injuries. When it’s one after another, after another, what have you done to make sure you just don’t throw up your hands and say, ‘That’s it, I quit.’?
A: It’s tough. At times you do go through that but you have to remember that guys are counting on you and depending on you so you can’t go ‘Woe, is me.’ There are a lot of guys around you who try to pick you up and who make you feel needed around here. So you have to realize that it’s bigger than you and just keep on going. I mean if you look at it, there are bigger issues in life to worry about so if you keep that in perspective and realize that you’re going to get better, you’ll develop that mental toughness to overcome most anything.
Q: I believe you once said you were planning to cut down on the amount of time you spend working out because you theorized that perhaps that was leading to your injury issue. Have you done that and has it helped?
A: Yeah, I think last season due to the previous season when I was hurt, I got a little over zealous and just worked out 2-3 times a day. I felt good , and I felt like I earned the right to win, but I also think I worked harder and not smarter. So this offseason, I worked a little smarter in preparing for the season.
Q: What exactly did you change in your training?
A: I didn’t do two or three workout a day. I mean on one day I might go workout on the beach in the morning, then hit the weight room in the afternoon and yoga at night. That’s a lot of work on my body. So this time I didn’t do more than two workouts a day, and if I did two, I’d do weights and yoga as opposed to doing two heavy cardio or conditioning programs. So that’s how I cut back.
Q: Did you adjust your diet as well since you didn’t need as much in the way of calories to keep yourself going?
A: I kind of had the same diet as I did last year because last year I had the food delivery service, so I didn’t change that. I just cut back on the physical workload because it was a lot on the muscles.
Q: There are three positions up for grabs this summer at linebacker. With such a wide-open , anything-can-happen scenario in front of you, how have you gone about focusing on what’s ahead?
A: I’ve kind of been taking it day by day. I’ve sort of taken like an approach I take in college – take it one day at a time, go to sleep, get up and then work your butt off the next day. So I’ve been doing that and focusing on my assignments instead of trying to spread myself too thin. I’ve amped up the studying part of my assignments so that I can have a better u=understanding of what I’m called to do as well as what everyone else around me is called to do.
Q: Communication is key in football, no matter what the position. When you have a situation though like what you have at linebacker now where you have no idea where you’re going to line up or who’s going to be next to you, how much does that put you behind the eight ball as far as the nonverbal communication aspect of things?
A: We’re all in the same room and (linebackers coach Jim Herrmann) Herm does a great job of clarifying everything so that everyone, as far as assignments go, has a great understanding. So it doesn’t matter who’s out there – you have faith that they’re going to communicate with you and be where they’re supposed to be.
Q: I understand that, but it’s rare that a play goes down the way it’s drawn on the chalkboard. There are adjustments that need to be made. So with that said, what about the nonverbal communications aspect of it and being able to anticipate what to expect from the guys around you?
A: I don’t think so. If someone makes a mistake , we talk about it. I think Coach Herm does a great job of getting everyone on the same page. Obviously everyone plays things a little differently because it’s football, but at the end of the end of the day, it all comes together.
Q: You’ve mostly been an inside guy your career. Here you’ve been mostly working on the outside. Has it been an easier transition for you since coming over here?
A: It’s not bad. I think the job and the responsibilities are a little less per say (on the outside) but I think where it balances out is due to the fact that you are working with bigger guys you don’t have anyone lined up over you to protect you, so it’s a little more physical of a position.