Here's what Brandon Staley, Justin Herbert, Derwin James, and Mike Williams had to say during Sunday's postgame press conferences following the Bolts' 35-32 loss to the Las Vegas Raiders.
Head coach Brandon Staley on setting a 'foundation for the future'
"I am disappointed because I feel like we are one of the best teams in the NFL. This team is not only good enough to be in the tournament, but to win it. I know who is in the tournament, and I felt like we have a good enough team to be in it. It was a fight this season. It was a fight, and we just couldn't create enough separation. We had to have this game, and we just couldn't quite finish it out.
"We laid it on the line. Tonight was a great example of the way that we played all season, the belief that we have in one another, the belief in this place and how we do things and we set a big time foundation for the future. I hate it for this team that we are not in the tournament. I feel like we are good enough, but it didn't go down for us tonight."
Staley on Justin Herbert
"That is why I hate that we are not in the tournament because he is one of the best players in the NFL. I hate that he is not in the tournament competing against the best players in the NFL. I hate it for him. I hate it for Derwin [James], Keenan [Allen], Cory Linsley, a lot of these guys who has given us so much, but this is just the beginning for us. We are going to have a tremendous offseason together. We are going to learn from this. We are going to grow from this and come back in a really big way together. Justin was fantastic tonight he gave us a chance and as you guys know, he is really special."
Staley on his decision to call a timeout with 38 seconds left in overtime
"We needed to get in the right grouping. We felt like they were going to run the ball, so we wanted to get our best 11 personnel run defense in. Make that substitution so that, you know, we could get a play where we would deepen the field goal...we wanted to make sure we got our run defense in there. We obviously didn't execute there, but we wanted to get our premium run back defense in there and that's what we did."
Quarterback Justin Herbert on his touchdown pass to Mike Williams on the last play of the fourth quarter
"That was one of those plays that we kind of talked about, all week of this is what we're trying to get hopefully and that's the coverage we ended up getting. Mike ran a great route, came back to me and you know, kind of defeated the leverage of the quarterback on that one. He ran a really good route on that one."
Herbert on looking back on the season
"The whole goal is to get to the playoffs and to eventually win Super Bowl and it didn't go our way tonight. That's the unfortunate part. I'm really proud of the way everyone's battled this year, and we never gave up. It's an honor to be apart of this team and apart of that locker room because everyone cares a lot and they left everything on the field tonight. It didn't go our way. We gave it our best effort, and that's the tough part."
Herbert on his touchdown pass to Joshua Palmer on 4th-and-21
"Yeah, held my eyes to left and Josh went up and made a big-time play. He's the second read in the progression, and I'm really thankful he was there. He ran a really crisp route and made a really big play on it."
Wide receiver Mike Williams on Herbert's touchdown pass
"I was expecting it and then when I came off the ball I saw [Raiders cornerback] Casey [Hayward Jr.] and the safety, Casey was underneath and the safety on top. Justin put the ball the only place that it could be in and I made a catch...that was big. No time left, last play of the game, to get a touchdown that was huge for the offense you know to get into overtime."
Williams on the Chargers' comeback to force overtime
"That just shows the type of guys we have on this team, down two touchdowns and they did score, put points on the board. We were able to do that, take it into overtime and give ourselves a chance to win."
Safety Derwin James Jr. on Herbert
"Herbert's amazing, he's been amazing all season and I just hate we didn't get it done for him today. I feel like just having a guy like that always gives you a chance and we are fortunate to have him. You see what he did going down the field in the fourth quarter. Giving us a chance and we just didn't get it done today"
James Jr. on the Chargers going for it on fourth down
"We believe in every guy we have in this huddle...I feel like every guy in this room and all year long everybody has been seeing what we've been doing all season going for it. I mean when they did get stopped they only got three points right there so we still had a chance to win the game, that didn't really matter."
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