In nine NFL seasons, Eddie Royal played for several quarterbacks, including Jay Cutler, Tim Tebow and Philip Rivers: three guys with three completely different reputations.

What are those guys really like, you wonder? Well, Tiki Barber and Brandon Tierney asked Royal that very question from Radio Row in Minnesota on Monday.

“It’s kind of what you would expect a little bit, but he was more of a leader than he gets credit for,” Royal said on Tiki and Tierney, referring to Cutler. “I’ll give him that. Because there’s been a lot of times where he’s playing with young receivers, and sometimes you call the play and a guy doesn’t know where to line up. But Jay knew where everybody needed to go. He’d send you over there. There wasn’t any dirty looks or anything. He was a pretty good leader, and guys actually liked him.”



Wait, people liked Jay Cutler? Really?

“I know there’s some stories out there about him,” Royal said, laughing, “but a lot of the teammates liked him.”

Royal, who played with Cutler in Denver and Chicago, thinks Cutler’s non-verbals led to his not-so-great reputation.

“I think it’s his facial expressions,” Royal said. “He doesn’t give off the best facial expressions. I can see it when I’m watching it. He gets a bad rap because of that. Everybody’s looking for positive body language, and he doesn’t give off much of that.”

Tebow, meanwhile, was the exact opposite. What he lacked in ability, he made up for with heart and grit.

“We loved the guy,” Royal said. “We’re winning, and so you had nothing to complain about. As a thrower of the football, yeah, you wish it was a little bit better, but we won football games and he was a likable guy.”

The same could be said for Rivers – at least if you’re on his team.

“I loved playing with Philip – and coming from Denver, I didn’t like the guy at all, so it was hard for me to even sign there,” said Royal, who played for the Chargers from 2012-14. “When I first met him, he had a bible, a kid’s toy and a playbook in his front seat. That tells you everything you need to know about Philip Rivers. It’s family, it’s football and it’s faith. Just the intensity that he brought every day, competing in practice – what you see is what you get. I hated to keep competing against him, but when you’re on his team, it’s like, ‘I’ll run through a wall for this guy.’ You hear that a lot about guys, but you really mean it when you say it about Philip Rivers.”

Barber believes that Rivers, 36, is unlikely to win a Super Bowl but that he’ll still be considered one of the top quarterbacks of his generation – even without a ring.

Royal, 31, isn’t so sure.

“I feel that way, but I don’t know if everybody else will,” he said. “Everybody’s judged by how many championships you win and winning the big game, and for him not having that, it kind of hurts his legacy a little bit. I wish it didn’t, but I think it really does. I just wish that he could do it. I wish they could have gotten to the playoffs this year, especially with a healthy Keenan Allen this year. I wish he would have got that opportunity.”

Comments (17)
  1. Rusty Smith says:

    Please spellcheck. Thanks

  2. Dan Eddy says:

    Rivers in my opinion is the kind of may everyone wants their kid to be like. Truthful, positive, reliable, talented and a leader of men. He has a clean image and walks the walk and his faith just ads more value to the man. Rivers is what you see, there is no falseness in him and that comes from his faith. He is a family man and his personal attitude towards things in life are great. Can’t respect him enough.

  3. Joe says:

    Philip Rivers is a real family man and a great QB ………………

  4. Terrance Phillips says:

    Philip Rivers is one of the greatest QB’s to play the game, PERIOD! His individual generalship on the field is as good as any QB has ever displayed, and more much of his career, he had the gun, but didn’t have the ammunition that many other teams had. In spite of the lack of talent on his team, he excelled and WAS the team all on his own drive and effort. The team looked fantastic the later part of the year 2017 and they were far better than many teams that made it into the playoffs. As they say, “Maybe Next Year.”

  5. Joe says:

    Phillip Rivers is this generation’s Dan Marino. I’m not suggesting he’s as good as Marino. He’s not. But he will be the best QB of this generation to not win a ring and will go to the HOF.

  6. JoeS says:

    Royal was the go to receiver during his years at Virginia Tech. Beamer should have use him more than he did. Felt he went too low in the draft and was the bargain pick in his class. Always liked Eddie.

  7. Get some proofreaders.

  8. crazyhorse says:

    Yeah,Spanos will never make the super bowl because he can’t spend the money…

  9. Robert Douglas says:

    I have followed P. Rivers since he arrived as a Bolt. He is everything Royal is spot on. Some missing elements since his arrival has kept him and the Chargers from a SB win. Brady has gotten lucky, very lucky. Defense wins SB’s & the Chargers are snake bitten by lousy Defenses, Fouts 1st, Humphrys & Rivers now. A lousy FG Kicker kept the Chargers from going 11-5 & winning the AFC West. They’ll be back this year, and look out its going to be a wild, wild West with Chargers, Raidus, Chiefs dueling it out…Sorry Broncs/ponys, you still don’t have a Qb, so last place is yours.

  10. Chuck says:

    Philip Rivers IS a GOOD MAN. His intensity for perfection playing football is indisputable. But his commitment to his favorite charity – housing for un-wed mothers to be is commendable. So much so that it’s easy to pull out the check book and make a donation to that charity. We go to the same barber. He is Vietnamese by birth and immigrated to the USA as an adult. Philip drives from Rancho Santa Fe to Poway just to have his hair cut by this nice man. There are many barbers much closer to home than that. Philip is a very loyal man to what he believes in. He is a”class act”. A great role model to the youth of America.

  11. FIREMAN DOC says:


  12. Mike Keenan says:

    Rivers will never win a Super Bowl as long as current Charger management is running that team… I think Rivers is one of the best of this generation. They need to get back to SD and get the new stadium. But like Fouts and Humphries Rivers will have to settle for what hand he’s dealt. They need another “Air Coryell” era with that quality of players

  13. Susan says:

    I cannot agree more! He’s funny and dedicated not only to the game but to his family as well!

  14. Dave Siegel says:

    Jay Cutler is a team player. A leader and just a Good guy! He lasted longer than any quarterback in his draft class.

  15. Dom says:

    hey…. what’s the name of that barber/barbershop in Poway?


  16. jon smith says:

    No one ever mentions that Rivers sat for the first 2 years of his career unlike Roethliberger and Eli who have started every game of their careers since the first game of their rookie year. Rivers missed 32 games!

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