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Three Takeaways: How are the Chargers Preparing for the Giants' Opportunistic Defense?


Below are three takeaways from Thursday's press conferences with Austin Ekeler, Renaldo Hill and Joe Lombardi:

Preparing for the Giants defense

While the Giants sit at 4-8 on the year, the Chargers have made it clear that this is a team they can't overlook. The Giants defense, led by defensive lineman Leonard Williams, cornerback James Bradberry, and safety Logan Ryan, is currently tied for ninth in the league in takeaways with 19 on the season.

Chargers offensive coordinator Joe Lombardi talked about what stands out to him the most when he turned on the film of the Giants defensive group.

"Man, they're strong inside," Lombardi said. "Like strong up the middle. Their defensive linemen are heavy, violent and hard to move. Their safeties are really good. I've had some experience with [Giants CB James] Bradberry. I know that he's a real solid guy. [Giants CB] Logan Ryan, I don't know what his health statuses. I know that he was on the injury report, but he's very good. A little bit like the Patriots, there's just all these different numbers you see rolling in -- who's the nickel going to be, who's the dime going to be?

Running back Austin Ekeler, who has 15 total touchdowns on the year, talked about how it all comes down to execution and being versatile to have success against New York. Ekeler also emphasized the importance of putting together back-to-back wins in this final stretch of the regular season.

"We have to find a way to put back-to-back games in, especially now," Ekeler said "We have some COVID[-19] stuff going around with the offense. We have guys that have to step up, as well. This is the NFL that we live in right now. It's fluid, but it comes back to how can I get myself in a routine to prepare myself so I can play well on Sunday?"

Chargers seeing growth of Adderley

Before the season started, head coach Brandon Staley talked about the different level of confidence he'd seen from safety Nassir Adderley. Earlier in the week, Staley talked about what he's liked from Adderley and the type of player he's capable of becoming.

On Thursday, Chargers defensive coordinator Renaldo Hill talked about how Adderley can take his game to the next level.

"Nas is probably the best player that I have seen in the meeting room, as far as asking questions and making sure that he gets it," Hill said. "He takes great notes. I wish that I could show you his iPad. He's a guy who wants to know all those little details because he knows that it's going to help his game. I made a few challenges this week because he does play with his hair on fire out there."

Hill further explained what Adderley can do in the near future that will help improve his game and how he too feels Adderley's ceiling is very high.

"I think he can play more calmly in situations because he is so explosive," he said. "I think he wants to just do everything like a Tasmanian Devil. You can do all those things and still be able to play under more control. I think he is nowhere near his ceiling. We still have a lot to tap into. The way he has approached it every week and every day, I am happy with the progress that he has made."

Success with the deep ball

Against the Bengals in Week 13, quarterback Justin Herbert was able to connect on a number of deep passes including a 44-yard touchdown to wide receiver Jalen Guyton.

Guyton had arguably his best game of the year with 90 total yards and that touchdown to go along with it.

Lombardi talked about Guyton's development throughout the season as a deep-threat and how he will need to step up if Keenan Allen is unable to play this weekend.

"I think when opportunities have come his way, for the most part, he's taken advantage of them," Lombardi said. "I think we have to keep understanding that he's a guy that can get deep. We have a guy that can throw it to him, so to keep giving them those opportunities is important."

Lombardi also talked about the success the Bolts offense had last weekend and what he saw from Mike Williams' big plays as well.

"On the first one to [WR] Mike [Williams], we kind of hurried up to the line of scrimmage and ran a play," he said. "It was really just Mike singled up, they were in a single-high defense and he was one-on-one with the corner. He got some leverage on him. [QB] Justin [Herbert] threw a perfect pass and Mike [Williams] positioned himself perfectly to catch it over the shoulder."

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