Take a look at quotes from Chargers Head Coach Brandon Staley on Monday afternoon.
Head Coach Brandon Staley
On if OLB Joey Bosa 'came out of the game healthy and OK':
On an update regarding S Derwin James, Jr.:
"We'll have more of an update for you on Wednesday, but he's working through the protocol. You'll be able to know his practice status on Wednesday."
On TE Donald Parham, Jr.'s touchdown reception:
"A tremendous story of perseverance, of will inside of a player. Football has tested his patience. To see him go out like that and play a really complete game — I thought that he blocked extremely well yesterday, he was a factor in the passing game. To score a touchdown, a big red-area touchdown for us, it was a big moment for him. Everyone on the sideline, you could see it, the way that his teammates feel about him, his coaches feel about him. We have to continue to build off of that performance. Hopefully, he can continue to play with the confidence that you're seeing because he is a weapon for us."
On T Trey Pipkins III's example of perseverance through injury:
"You have to have toughness if you're going to play offensive line in the NFL, and I think that he has displayed that time and time again. From the onset of that initial injury to now, I think that this guy has really battled for us, and then produced, because the other thing that you have to be able to do is not only just be out there to play, to be available — it's one thing to be available — but then to produce, and show that you can also produce when you're not feeling your best, I think that he has accomplished both of those things. He's been a great example of that toughness that I'm talking about within our football team I'm really proud of him."
On OLB Kyle Van Noy's 'display of toughness':
"His durability. His ability to play down-in and down-out, the type of style that you have to play in the league. He's really physical. He likes contact, he's a contact player. He has the mental toughness. He's steady, mistakes don't bother him. He has experienced so much, he has lived through so much. He has the mental toughness, too, because toughness is physical and mental, and he has both of those. That's what makes him such a good player. You're seeing all of that help our defense and help our football team. You guys have experienced what our players think of him and the impact that he has had on them in all three phases. He's been a very impactful player, not just with his production on the field, but in the locker room. It's been a great season for him and we're looking forward to him playing even better down the stretch."
On if there were any additional injuries coming out of the game:
"Not really. In terms of the bumps and bruises, normal, but nothing to report just yet, in terms of practice for Wednesday."
On the importance of production in the run game yesterday:
"Very important. I think that everyone is aware of where we are ranked and stuff like that. These guys know, and they know that we have been working our way to a performance like that. I don't think that anyone believed that we were far away from accomplishing a performance like that. We just needed to stay together and find that rhythm in that right set of runs and get our guys doing the right jobs at a high level. I do think that it was the hardest we have played, yesterday on offense. I thought we finished our plays, run and pass, but particularly in the run game. I thought that our tight ends had, probably, their best game blocking. I think our receivers, probably, had their best game blocking. I thought that we were in the right runs, we had some good run-game checks to get us into the right play call. Then, our running backs did what you have to do in order to have a performance where you run for 192 [yards], as they broke a lot of tackles. I think that all of those things came together yesterday. It was awesome to see us get 31 runs off in that game for 192 [yards]."
On the 'discovery process' of 'finding rhythm' in the run game:
"It is a process, when you have the moving parts on the line at tight end and at receiver. That lack of continuity does affect you. I think what we've been able to do is lock into — yeah, you have to scheme for the matchup and who you're playing against, but we also know who our O-line is and we know who the tight end group is, and we know that we can really lean into this style of play. We had good mixture in our personnel groupings yesterday, which I thought really helped us. I think we had the right amount of inside runs at, what I would say, were more direct runs, power runs. Then, we had some good perimeter runs, as well, to balance what a defense would have to defend. We're going to have to continue to do that down the stretch here."
On the defense's performance against the run yesterday:
"The toss-crack was poor perimeter run support. If we just have the support, then [LB] Kenneth Murray [Jr.] is unblocked coming inside-out. We lost the support there, which was really disappointing. Then, on the touchdown run, [LB] Drue [Tranquill] gets pulled down. It's tough to overcome that, when you get pulled down at the point of attack. Our guys we're in the right defense for that. We were prepared for the run. That was just a tough one. Outside of those two runs, I thought we probably could have been more physical on contact. There were a couple of contact runs I didn't like. In this ballgame, you can sum it up in three plays; those two runs, and then the pass the [Rams WR Van] Jefferson off the loose play. I felt like [OLB] Joey [Bosa] and [OLB] Khalil [Mack] both got held. Those are really the three plays in the game. Outside of that, I thought that we played well."
On the deep completion to Jefferson in the second quarter:
"Regardless of what happened with Khalil [Mack] and Joey [Bosa], there was someone that had that tight end man-to-man. We should have had another guy being able to secondary contain that, never should have been able to get outside like that — the quarterback, that is. They made a good throw-and-catch. [Rams QB] Baker [Mayfield] threw a great ball to [Van] Jefferson, and [S] Alohi [Gilman] just was a little bit short. We have to learn from that because we are going to play against good mobility, starting this week, and then moving on. We have to make sure that we learn from that."
On what has led to CB Michael Davis' development:
"Mindset, a different mindset. More physicality. He's tighter in coverage. If you're tighter in coverage, you're going to be closer to the football. He's challenging much more consistently and playing with the proper leverage. You're seeing a player that's trying to make plays, not just trying to cover people. There are plenty of guys that can run with guys and stay close to them, and then there are the guys that make plays. He, I think, is gaining a lot of confidence in his ability to make plays. He's doing a nice job for us, for sure."
On how he built a close connection with OLB Kyle Van Noy despite having not coached him personally prior to this season:
"There's a close connection. It's actually a really pure connection, which is the game film. I've watched him. I've always respected how New England defends. I know a lot of people there, there a lot of John Carroll guys there. There are a lot of guys that I know that are in that organization. Just in watching him over the years, he just has a lot of qualities that I really value in playing defensive football. When I was at John Carroll, the story that, I think, is a cool one — you, obviously, know because you've interviewed some of these guys in the past — is that I used to show my inside and outside linebackers at John Carroll film of Kyle Van Noy and [former Patriots LB] Dont'a Hightower because that is the style that we played. [Former John Carroll OLB] Chris Rizzo, [former John Carroll LB] Andy Bryan and [former John Carroll LB] Mason McKenrick, I used to show them Kyle and Dont'a. I felt like I knew a lot about him before I even met him. The good news for him is that he has been better than advertised."
On his first interaction with Van Noy:
"I first met him on the phone when he was going through free agency, when he was kind of working his way through free agency. I felt like I had to get my recruiting hat on a little bit [laughter]. I was able to talk to him on the phone. We had, probably, about a 45-minute conversation, if I recall, it was a long one. It kind of started there. I did not know him personally, didn't really know his personality really that way, but I knew his playstyle. I also knew that the people around him that were in New England spoke really highly of him. I felt like it would be a really good fit for where we were trying to go."
On the team's approach to the upcoming game with a playoff berth already secured:
"Our approach is definitely going to get shot to win this ballgame and play as well as we can play heading into the playoffs. I think that there's certainly an advantage to be in the No. 5-seed [for re-seeding], from where I stand, so we're going to try and get there. Then, the case-by-case nature of the players, I think that that is the approach that we're going to take, in terms of whether or not to sit them. If there's something that we feel like that would be a good decision, we'll take that case-by-case. I think that going into the playoffs, you have to be playing football to get to where you want to go, so we're going to try and maximize our group heading into the playoffs, for sure."
On if he has any 'added interest' in watching tonight's Monday Night Football game:
"It's interesting that you say that. I think that there are some coaches that can concentrate, like get into game-planning and have another game on at the same time — I am not one of those people [laughter]. I have to have darkness. The whole multitasking thing is a total myth, in my opinion [laughter]. I just try to put my entire focus where it needs to be, whether that's on our team or the team that we're playing. That's my direction. There are some people that maybe can do that, I'm just not one of them. I'll make sure that I read the box score, and if there is something that I can learn from it, we'll be in tune with that, but our focus is going to be on us and on the Broncos this week."
On a play where Van Noy 'clicked' this season:
"The counter-spin on [Dolphins T Terron] Armstead against Miami was a pretty special rush. I think that you saw a confident player in that. That stood out to me because we were in a three-man rush on that play. Obviously, Terron is one of the top players in the league at tackle, so a lot of respect for him. For Kyle [Van Noy] to beat him that's a good win for him. I thought that, from a pass-rushing standpoint, that was a really nice play. There's a play in the Indianapolis game, it's a run play that you guys probably would see as a harmless play, but we really know where the run is going — you can see all 11 guys really know where it's headed — and then we stuffed the run, it's a really good stop, and he just gives a thumbs up to the sideline. The thumbs up was because that's the way it should look. That's what he was doing. Those are the types of things that are hard for people to understand, but they give you a lot of confidence, as a coach."
On DL Morgan Fox's contributions this season:
"When I think of Morgan [Fox], I think of a glue guy, I think of tough and rugged, a playmaker, versatile, do whatever it takes to help the team win. He just set his career high for sacks. He has been such an incredible addition to our locker room. You guys are all seeing what I saw back in 2020, except now he's just better. He's just an even better player. He's been a big factor in our ability to play defense at a high level."
On T Rashawn Slater's timeline for a potential return this season:
"He is still working through his return to play. He's working through things and progressing well. If he returns to play, I think that you guys will sense that momentum, in terms of how we will handle it."
On special teams improvement this year:
"Last year, I thought that we finished the season on a high note, from a return standpoint. I thought that there were some good things happening with our young core players, that you could see the development of them. What we did in the offseason, we put the investment where we wanted to, which was to become a complete football team. You guys heard me say that after last season, that we were going to invest in becoming a complete football team. I think that we put that into action with going to get [LS] Josh Harris, who is a Pro Bowl deep snapper, by improving our punter — I think that [P] JK was an outstanding addition. We knew the talent in the player. We have coaches on our staff who knew of the player or had competed against him. Then, we were able to bring in [WR] DeAndre Carter, who has been a quality returner, as you guys know, and a quality receiver. Then, we were able to get [K Dustin] Hopkins back. Obviously, fortunate to onboard [K Taylor] Bertolet and [K] Cameron [Dicker]. In order for those guys to thrive, we also drafted a bunch of young players that are killing it on special teams right now, with [DB] Ja'Sir [Taylor] and [S] Deane Leonard and all of these young guys out there that are playing at a really high level — [S] Raheem Layne, [LB] Nick Niemann, who we drafted two years ago, [LB] Amen [Ogbongbemiga], bringing in [LB] Troy [Reeder]. I think that we've really put the investment in special teams. Then, you can't say enough about the job that [Special Teams Coordinator] Ryan [Ficken] and [Assistant Special Teams Coach] Chris [Gould] are doing, coaching that unit. There's a lot of belief, in terms of the way things are being coached from a technique standpoint and from a scheme standpoint, getting people doing the right jobs. Obviously, being able to handle the kicker transition has been critical. I'm really proud. We have to continue to improve because, as you know, every possession counts in the postseason. You have to make sure that you maximize the hidden yardage and that you're getting an advantage from your unit. I think that that's what we've been able to do all year."
On 'teaching the 'skill of hard work':
"It probably goes back to me being the son of a coach and what my dad always used to emphasize. It's always going to start there with us, because that's something that we can control. The thing about playing hard, too, is that there's always another level that you can get to, there's always another level of playing hard that you can get to, that you can achieve. A lot of times, you need a group that really believes in that so that they can bring out the best in one another. I think that that's something that you have to constantly talk about within your football team, because this is competition. To the casual fan, or to you guys, perhaps, it's like that's what they get paid to do, like they should play hard. I hear that a lot. It's like, if it were only that simple, if you really knew what these guys go through. There are so many factors of the scheme and the matchup. There's so much in understanding their job and what to do and where to go and how to do it. Then, sometimes, you can forget that the most important thing is just going out there and playing as hard as you can play because these guys have a lot on their plate. Sometimes, you can focus on this play call that has 5,000 words in it, or these adjustments that are really, really tough, or maybe you're focused on, 'Hey, I have to freaking cover one of the best guys in the NFL.' You can forget that what they really have to do is play their tail off, play as hard as they can. I do think it's a skill because skills are something that you're not born with, skills are something you earn. I think that playing hard, you have to earn that. You have to earn that mantle. It has to be at the front of everything that you do. I think that we're working that way as a team. I think that we can play a lot harder, and we're going to need to."
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