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Perry Fewell: Philip Rivers taking advantage of all coverages

Perry Fewell discusses health of the secondary, Damontre Moore and the problems Philip Rivers presents

Stan Liu-USA TODAY Sports

Philip Rivers is in the midst of a resurgent season for the San Diego Chargers, who like the New York Giants sit at 5-7 and remain in the hunt for a playoff spot.

With Mike McCoy now at the helm of the Bolts, the Chargers own the No. 4-ranked passing attack in the NFL, averaging 292 yards per game through the air. This week, they'll face a Giants' defense ranked 13th against the pass.

Despite what coverages Big Blue can throw at Rivers, Perry Fewell expects the Chargers' signal-caller to be difficult to contain.

"The system that he's running right now with the weapons he has, (Rivers) is doing a nice job of getting the ball out," the defensive coordinator said. "He knows where he wants to go with the football. He's taking advantage of either man coverage, zone coverage, double coverage. ... He's got some good weapons that he uses and he's really a smart quarterback."

One of Rivers' weapons is Danny Woodhead, who has come out of the backfield to tally 61 catches for 482 yards and five touchdowns, which ranks first among running backs.

The Giants have held the likes of LeSean McCoy, Matt Forte and Jamaal Charles in check, but with Woodhead they may have to pay even more attention.

"It's going to be a challenge for us," Fewell said. "They have several good backs, and Woodhead is a change-of-speed back. That's something we haven't seen as much this year, so it's going to take us a lot of focus and concentration on him being able to dart in and out and getting hats to the ball to control him."

One key reason why the Giants have been able to stifle opposing backs is the presence of Jon Beason in the middle. Despite playing in eight games with New York, Beason ranks third on the team in tackles, including his 17-tackle effort against the Washington Redskins Sunday night.

Beason has taken on the "quarterback role" with the defense, Fewell said, and there's still room to improve.

"Jon has been a great voice for us," he said. "On defense you don't think that you need a quarterback, but you need a quarterback. You need someone that can go in and command the front and relate to the back row, and Jon has been able to do that.

"It's remarkable that he's been able to come in midway through the season and learn the terminology. We're not all there yet; we're still communicating and working. ... but he's playing at the level he's playing at, (and) my hats off to him."

Also making strides on the defense is rookie Damontre Moore, who had a greater workload against the 'Skins.

Fewell said he'll try to increase Moore's snaps going forward, and down the line he sees the pass rusher as a major contributor.

"It's good to see (Moore) play and it's good to see him get the game experience. We'd love for him to get more experience, so he'll take more snaps this week," he said. "There's a lot of things we want him to improve on because he has a lot of potential as a player."

In the secondary, the team has yet to make a decision about who will start at cornerback. Trumaine McBride practiced Wednesday and Thursday, but Jayron Hosley has impressed while filling in.

Friday's practice will go a long way in determining who gets the nod, Fewell said, though whether it's Hosley or McBride it's a positive the team is getting healthier.

"I was very proud of Jayron with the way he came in and played in the football game (Sunday)," he said. "He covered well and so he did some things that we saw in the football game that he was ready to come back and play, and I thought his quickness matched up with some of the quickness that the (Redskins) receivers have.

"Be it Hosley or be it McBride or be it (Corey) Webster, those guys are getting healthy enough and we're getting strong enough that we've got some options."