After spending the first four years of his career with the Denver Broncos, catching balls from quarterbacks varying in skill level from very good (Jay Cutler) to mediocre (Kyle Orton) to we're not really sure what to make of this (Tim Tebow), wide receiver Eddie Royal is in a very different offense.
Well, kind of.
"A lot of the routes in the NFL are the same," said Royal. "It's just, the terminology is different. Learning the way Norv and Philip want me to run routes is important because everybody has a little different thing they want you to do, and I'm learning that."
Robert Meachem is in the same boat. He's spent most of his career playing with Drew Brees. Even though both Rivers and Brees are elite NFL quarterbacks, they do things just a bit different. Both are extremely accurate, but Rivers has more raw arm strength while Brees has better natural touch on his passes.
For a wideout, learning those subtleties can be the difference in a touchdown and an interception.
Of course, every receiver has his specialty, too. Vincent Jackson was a master of going long and out jumping the defensive backs for big gains, and Rivers lofted a lot of balls deep, trusting Jackson to come down with them. What is Royal's favorite route?
"Whatever one Philip likes throwing," he says. "You've gotta be versatile in this league and be able to do everything. That's what I pride myself on, not putting limitations on myself."
If everyone gets on the same page in training camp, there may be no limits to what the 2012 Chargers offense can do.