Below are three takeaways from Chargers Head Coach Brandon Staley, wide receiver Mike Williams and safety Derwin James, Jr., on Wednesday.
Bolts face quick turnaround on short week
Just two days after defeating the Denver Broncos in overtime on Monday Night Football,the Bolts preparation for their next opponent is in full swing. The Bolts will take on the Seattle Seahawks (3-3) at SoFi Stadium in Week 7 for a chance to win their fourth straight game.
As the Bolts quickly turned the page to preparing for Seattle on Wednesday, Chargers Head Coach Brandon Staley talked about what it says about the resiliency of the team to have a 4-2 record despite dealing with injuries to key members on both sides of the ball.
"There's a lot that happens and you have to be ready for it," Staley said. "It's just part of the job description. I think our guys have done a really nice job of playing together in all three phases and figuring it out.
"You treat each week like it has a life of its own," Staley added. "Each week, the injury report changes, you subtract some guys, you add some guys. Whatever that group is, you take it to the game and do the best you can. I think that this locker room believes in one another. I think that it's been on display through six games so far."
Wide receiver Mike Williams, who leads the Bolts with 409 receiving yards, talked about how the team is feeling as they look to improve to 5-2 on the season.
"It's good," Williams said. "We work hard during the week to come out with the W, so for us to be on a three-game winning streak, it's amazing. But right now, we just have to focus on the next win and that's Seattle."
As the Bolts prepare to host Seattle on short week, Williams explained in the locker room on Wednesday what the key is in order to get back into rhythm following a Monday night game.
"Let's get back to work, let's come in here this week and get the plan together," Williams said. "You know practice the plan, put everything together by Saturday and get to work."
Williams said the Seahawks secondary is "tall,fast and can run," and noted they offense will have to do their jobs as a unit and "take care of the ball" to have success against the Seahawks defense.
Check out the best shots from the Monday Night Football overtime win over the Broncos in Week 6
Bolts facing old friend in Geno Smith
The Bolts will welcome back former Charger Geno Smith on Sunday, as he is now the starter in Seattle. Smith spent time in Los Angeles during the 2018 season as the backup quarterback where he appeared in five games.
In his third season in Seattle, Smith is having a resurgence as a starting quarterback as he is tied for ninth in passing yards (1,502) and is tied for eighth in touchdown passes with nine.
Staley talked about what factors have gone into Smith's success of late, including a leading leading completion percentage of 73.4.
"I think that [Smith] is playing with really good rhythm, rhythm and timing," Staley said. "You don't see him hanging on to the ball for very long, in terms of knowing exactly where he wants to go with the football.
"I think that [Seahawks Offensive Coordinator] Shane [Waldron] is doing a great job getting that guy in rhythm, allowing him to progress quickly. He's doing a great job, like Shane always has, with the keeper, play[-action] pass game, RPOs," Staley added. "Then, they have a lot of playmakers that get open, that create separation. Geno is doing a good job of playing and rhythm and timing.
"He's been very accurate with the football," Staley added. "He's one of those, I think, really cool NFL stories of a guy that has really taken the road less traveled and is making the most of this opportunity."
Williams, who was drafted by the Bolts in 2017, spent time with Smith during the 2018 season. Williams talked about his time as Smith's teammate and the type of quarterback he knows Smith to be.
"Oh yeah, Geno is cool peoples," Williams said. "Yeah, me and Geno, Geno was cool people. I mean obviously you can see the work he put in over the years to be in the position he's in now to you know leading their team to a lot of wins. And he's making plays, so yeah Geno is a testimony of putting in the work, staying grounded and waiting your turn."
Saftey Derwin James, Jr., also spent one season with Smith. Smith's performance this year as the Seahawks signal caller comes as no surprise to James.
"Oh, I'm not surprised," James said. "He works hard, he always puts in a lot of work preparing his stuff in the right ways.
"I feel like he's just doing everything within the system and making the right play…they are definitely more dangerous because Geno is just not a guy that can pass, he can run with his legs and extend plays with his legs so we have to respect that," James added.
Hopkins Wins AFC ST Player of the Week
Kicker Dustin Hopkins on Wednesday won the AFC Special Teams Player of the Week for his heroic performance under the bright lights of Monday Night Football. During the game, Hopkins battled through a hamstring strain to hit an extra point and all four field goal attempts, one of which was the 39-yard game winning field goal to secure the win.
Staley said Tuesday during his media availability that Hopkins will likely miss two to four weeks with the injury.
With Hopkins out this weekend, Staley talked about the importance of the Bolts kicker, who leads the team with 39 points scored, and his ability to impact games.
"Scoring the ball, your job is very impactful in terms of winning and losing," Staley said. "I think we've seen around the league this year, there has been a ton of kicking situations that have been in flux. I think you guys have seen that and you've seen it impact games."
Along with the award, Hopkins received a lot of praise from his teammates and coaches for battling through the injury on Monday night to finish the game. Staley talked about the impact of Hopkins performance especially knowing now that Hopkins be out for at least the next two weeks.
"You can't say enough about Dustin and what he did the other night," Staley said. "You guys see it. I think when you go back and watch the game copy, you can have more appreciation of kind of the pain that he was in.
Taylor Bertolet, who signed with the team ahead of the Week 5 game in Cleveland and is currently on the Bolts practice squad, will take over as kicker for the Bolts in Week 7.
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