Here's what Brandon Staley and Justin Jones, had to say during Monday's press conferences as they prepare to play the Houston Texans in Week 16:
Head coach Brandon Staley on the close AFC playoff standings
"I know that we feel really confident in the team that we have because I know that we're battle-tested...What we have to continue to do on this practice field, we have to continue to improve because I think that our team still has another gear it can get to. That's your goal, as a coach, is for your team to truly play its best at the end. There are a lot of obstacles in everybody's way right now. There are plenty of obstacles, depending on how you look at it. With obstacles, there is a lot of opportunity. We're going to try and have a great week of practice this week. We have full respect for the Texans. You know what they just did last weekend. They have a lot of quality players. It's going to be a tough game on Sunday."
Staley on OLB Uchenna Nwosu's development
"I think so much of his game is just confidence, confidence and the time on task. I knew that he was made for us. I did a lot of work on him in my first year in the league in Chicago. I really felt like, in our system, he could thrive because he can do all those jobs really well. Being with him every day in person, you know the character of the person. Uchenna has real toughness, real instincts, real play-making ability. He has that versatility that you need to play, that we like to play within our defense. I think his best football is still out there for him."
Staley on how many Chargers' players he expects to be added to the Reserve/COVID-19 list this week
"Everything is kind of hour-to-hour right now. We had our initial meetings this morning. We'll just have to wait and see as the week progresses how that list either decreases or increases. We're underway with all of the new protocols with the NFL. We've kind of spent most of the day today making sure that we're underneath that umbrella of enhanced protocols and that we're up to date on all the new protocols that are in place. We've spent the better part of the morning making sure, as an organization, that we're air-tight and doing the best we can moving forward this week. We're going to look forward to keeping this place as safe as possible."
Staley on plan at OLB with Joey Bosa out against the Houston Texans
"It's going to be a team operation. You're going to be borrowing from a couple places. You're just going to have to have a lot of hybrid-type groupings available. It's going to be all hands on deck. That's what the NFL is showing right now, that you need to have depth this time of year and you have to be able to figure it out. That's exactly what we're going to do."
Staley on tight end Donald Parham Jr.
"I talked to D.P. just a little bit ago. I talked to him twice over the weekend. Number one, he is safe and sound. His mom and his girlfriend, Brittany, were with him throughout the weekend. He was under great care at UCLA Harbor [Medical Center]. We thank them for everything. [Sr. Director of Player Engagement] Arthur Hightower and Dr. Herb Martin were by his side a lot of the time. Thankful for all of those people that supported him; his position coach, [Tight Ends Coach] Kevin Koger, and his wife, Tiffany, our entire organization. It's a great feeling to know that he's safe and sound. Now, it's just day-to-day. We'll have more updates as they become available, but I know that his spirits are high. It's been great to know that he's well and that he's on his way to recovery."
Defensive lineman Justin Jones on what he learned from Thursday's game against the Chiefs
"We learned a lot about our team. We are very confident. I love who I am battling with, that's one big thing. I love the guys who I go to war with, the guys that I go to the trenches with, the guys who take the field with me when we go to battle, when we go to face these top-tier teams. It's a really good feeling knowing that you have guys who have your back, just like I have theirs. That's some of the biggest qualities of this team that I love so much. I know that when it comes down to the fourth quarter and it comes down to the wire and both teams are tired and both of you guys are fatigued and exhausted, mentally and physically, I know that my team is not quitting. That's one of the most amazing qualities and I love that."
Jones on the AFC playoff picture
"We have Houston this week. They are going to have to go through us. We are going to Houston and they are going to have to beat us. They are going to have to play their best ball to beat us, and we're coming with our best ball, as well. We have a chip on our shoulder, obviously, from last week, with a tough loss and stuff like that, but we have to move on. We are focused on the next week."
Jones on the Chargers' identity
"We have some warriors on our team. All 11 guys on the field, everybody not on the field who are cheering us on, our coaching staff, our players who dress, our players who don't dress, we have some true warriors on our team. That's our identity. We fight through adversity. When things don't look good, we know that we have each other's back. That's a really good quality to have."
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