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Flutie Gets the Start for Chargers

November 08, 2003|Sam Farmer

The San Diego Chargers, desperate to salvage their season, said Friday that Doug Flutie, 41, will replace Drew Brees as the starting quarterback for Sunday's game at home against Minnesota.

"I'm pretty excited about it," said Flutie, who went in for Brees in the fourth quarter at Chicago last Sunday and directed the Chargers' only scoring drive in a 20-7 loss. "I'm looking forward to getting on the field and trying to put the ball in the end zone, see if we can score some points."

Flutie hasn't started since the 2001 season when the Chargers were 5-11, losing their last nine. They are 1-7 this season, one loss away from their eighth consecutive non-winning season.

"There's not always a quick fix," he said. "But hopefully a change at the quarterback position can maybe instill some confidence in the other guys and get them to play well."

In the last three games, Brees, who is 9-15 in his 1 1/2 seasons as a starter, has been intercepted five times and has no touchdown passes.

"Of course I'm angry, I'm disappointed," Brees said.

"I was actually leaning toward thinking I was going to get the start. But a decision has been made and I support Doug 100%. I just want us to win."

Coach Marty Schottenheimer said Flutie will play the entire game, barring injury, and that the change was made because of Brees' lack of passing accuracy.

"Drew is a very, very self-confident young man," Schottenheimer said. "I think right now he'll have an opportunity to step back and look at it and see it from a different perspective."

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