Indianapolis Colts quarterback Philipp Rivers drew attention to himself last week when the microphone caught him trash-talking Chicago Bears linebacker Roquan Smith. Colts rookie running back Jonathan Taylor beat Smith on a route earlier in the game and Rivers wanted to acknowledge to Smith that everyone saw the play.
“He turned the corner on you,” Rivers repeatedly told Smith, per ESPN. Rivers, the fourth overall pick of the 2004 NFL draft, has never been backing down from trash-talking his opponents on the field. Seeing Rivers trying to provoke Smith by trash-talking was nothing new nor surprising.
"Obviously, much was made over the last weekend,” Rivers reflected. “I think a lot of it had to do with the atmosphere, being in an empty stadium. It really did feel like we were in the backyard."
Rivers says it's simply a part of the game
When trash-talking, Rivers is careful not to cross the line.
Also, Rivers doesn't see it as a big thing as trash talk is simply a part of the game and there are no hard feelings with it. "Regret is probably a little strong, but there are certainly times where you go, ‘What am I doing?’ I think there is certainly a line there not to cross in terms of not getting consumed at all,” Rivers said.
“I think much more was made of it in my 20s even. I’ve played the game ever since I was a kid in the backyard and I’ve always played it that way. So I think there is an element of that you can’t get rid of and it’s in an element of that where I’m really at my best.
Had anything not been ever caught on video, I wouldn’t had even give it two thoughts' worth, because after the game it’s a 'Good game. Man, that was fun.’ Then you move on to the next one”. Colts coach Frank Reich loves to see Rivers being competitive but he doesn't want to see his quarterback cross the line.
"I tell the guys all the time, ‘Hey, everybody has their own personality. We’re a team. We do what is best for the team, but within the team setting, everybody is free to express themselves in their own unique ways,’” Colts coach Reich said.
“We love and appreciate Philip’s competitiveness and fire. It’s good for our team and I think it’s good for the game. Philip is also professional enough to know how to draw the line on it. I think he’s come up close to that line a few times in his career, but I think he does a good job of staying on the right side of the line”.