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What Are Coach Staley, Derwin James and Company Saying as They Shift Their Focus to the Vikings?


Here are top quotes from Monday's press conferences with Brandon Staley, Derwin James and Linval Joseph.

Brandon Staley on Justin Herbert's ability to 'throw on the run'

"[It's a] very big strength of his. He's a very natural thrower on the move. He can throw it short and intermediate-deep, and right or left. He's a guy that can go either way with it, too. It's an advantage for us, for sure. We want to be able to do that with him because I know, defensively, the amount of pressure that it puts on you from an edge standpoint. Then, from a coverage standpoint, that second level, it really puts a lot of pressure on you to match things up off of the play-action pass."

Brandon Staley on the Chargers' offensive line on Sunday

"Our O-line came ready to play. We knew it was going to be a fourth quarter fight and I think the way we ran the football on the last drive was a great example of that mindset that we're talking about. Running the football and protecting the quarterback is a team job and it's such a chemistry-type position, the offensive line. [G/T] Michael [Schofield III] and [T] Storm [Norton] just really responded as a tandem yesterday and those other guys on the left side and center really paved the way for a complete performance from our football team. It was a bloody kind of rushing game. We had 27 for 89; but that commitment really served us well throughout the football game...I felt like our O-line forced that defense to defend more plays [on Sunday]. That's what ultimately allowed us to have such a big day, offensively."

Brandon Staley on controlling the ball against the Eagles

"You can feel it. Conversely, I felt like against Baltimore that we didn't have it. I knew we were out there a lot on defense, and I felt it. I felt that in that ball game. And I felt that in the Kansas City game we really possessed the ball. We controlled that football game. In the Vegas game, we control the game. That's always a good feeling. It means, No. 1, you're playing well on early downs. You're keeping the chains moving, you're making first downs. Yesterday, we were five out of 10 on third down. But those 10 third downs weren't impossible — they were all makeable in a loud environment. I just really liked how we played offensively.

"I feel like there's another gear we can get to as a total team, but it's an advantage anytime you can dictate the terms of the game. I was really proud of the way we played offensively."

Brandon Staley on Austin Ekeler's performance

"Just the physicality he played with on the draw play, there was just a really physical finish on a run that was big time. And then, when we had to have it on a fourth-and-one, we were able to get it and he splits the big run there to get us in there tight. That's just the type of player he is, that's the type of competitor he is. He's got that mindset we talked about taking the field yesterday and it felt like he was a good embodiment of a complete performance yesterday for us offensively."

Brandon Staley on being 5-3 heading into Week 10

"I think we've earned the exact record we have right now. Our record is a reflection of where we're at as a football team. I think yesterday was a good example of why you can't look at any type of picture, except for what's in front of you this week. Because it's a week-to-week league, and it's a matchup league. You just have to treat each week like it has a life of its own and if you're trying to think beyond that, you're going to miss something.

"We won a game — a tough game, a hard-fought game. But there's so much to learn from that we need to take with us this week against Minnesota. In terms of where we're at halfway, we still have a lot of room to improve as a team, in all three phases. And we've seen some good improvement in all three phases; but we need to keep that coming to life by working hard and being really intentional on first and second down run defense, getting negative plays."

Derwin James on the defense stepping up with starters missing due to injuries

"The guys we had out there felt just as confident as the ones we were missing. I had a lot of faith in those guys. They practiced hard all week. They were communicating out there. They were confident. Nobody was panicking. The plays they did get off of us are very fixable. It really was just over routes. I was very proud of those guys for stepping in when their number was called."

Derwin James on his relationship with Brandon Staley

"It's going well. The great thing about it is it's both of our times; it's his first time as a head coach and it's my first time being a signal caller, being a captain of the team. We're both learning new challenges, new things, every week. I feel like we're leaning on each other and getting better and helping our team. He's leading and I'm leading. We're going to do whatever we can every week."

Derwin James on his relationship with Vikings running back and college teammate Dalvin Cook

"We just remind each other that we're both dogs and to stick with it. There were a couple times I was going through adversity and he reached out to me and said, 'Man, it's going to happen, DJ. Just keep fighting. Just keep going.' I thank him for that, for being that big brother that can give me that word of advice. I'm thankful to have a person like that."

Linval Joseph on the Chargers' run defense

"We're getting better. Every week, we want to try and get a little bit better. We took another step from the Patriots game to the Eagles game, now we just need to keep doing it every week and play a complete game...we're starting to play together and understand what we're supposed to do. We're starting to find our identity as a team."

Linval Joseph on Dalvin Cook

"He's an all-inclusive back. He can do it all. He's a very special player and he makes a lot of plays. We have to get after him. We have to hit him before he gets started, like you have to do with [RB Austin] Ekeler; hit him before he gets started or he's going to hurt you."

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