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What the New Guys Are Saying


A little over a week into free agency and the Bolts have made some splashes! Below are the top three quotes from each player's introductory press conference.

Center Corey Linsley

1. On the recognition as one of the top centers in football:

"Again, it really doesn't mean anything if I don't live up to the billing. It's about working hard, nothing changes. It never gets easier. You have to stay on your stuff year-in and year-out, day-in and day-out.

"The only thing that changes is being able to provide more than I could ever imagine for my family. I'm thankful for that, but when it comes to football, nothing changes. It's the same thing.

"All-Pro — it's awesome and I appreciate the recognition, for sure. There were a lot of guys who got votes. There are a lot of centers playing really good ball across the league. I'm thankful to be mentioned among them, for sure, and I'm hoping to improve my game this year."

2. On how his experience of working with Packers QB Aaron Rodgers can transfer over and help Herbert:

"I don't think I need to tell him too much. I don't know anything about actually playing quarterback, obviously. He seems to have that down pretty well.

"From my standpoint, the biggest thing is that every spectacular throw that you've seen Aaron make, it's talent, obviously — that's the foundation for all of that — but the work and the intelligence that he has for the game, that's the reason why he is the guy that he is, in my mind. He is ridiculously talented. He has every physical trait that you want for a quarterback. But, what puts him in the category that he is in is the intelligence, the way that he commands the offense, the operation.

"Hopefully, if I can give that perspective and that type of operation throughout the offensive line, that's kind of the center's job; set the huddle, get everybody on the same page, the communication, and everything. A lot of that I learned from Aaron; how to communicate effectively, quickly. That's what he is phenomenal at, amongst other things. That's, I guess, the unnoticed part of working with him.

"Hopefully, I can bring a lot of those experiences and share them so that we can all learn from them."

Take a look through the top photos of former All-Pro center Corey Linsley as he agreed to terms on a multi-year contract with the Bolts.

3. On if he was considering any other teams and what led to his decision to sign with the Chargers:

"What sold me is I don't get too complicated with it. The weather is obviously pretty cool. There are a lot of outside factors and benefits from coming here but I wouldn't have decided to come here if it wasn't for, again, the great things that Bryan [Bulaga] said.

"The vibe that he got from the coaching staff, everything he said. It meant a lot to me, it really did. Obviously the offense they run, the familiarity — it's going to be an easier transition, I guess, for myself. That played a huge factor into it.

"I was telling my wife when it was starting to ramp up, we were talking about teams that needed centers and I said, 'Look, we're going to a place that fits. This is a job. I'll be at the beach sometimes but I got to live up to the contract that the team will give me. It's a job first and foremost."

Tight End Jared Cook

1. On the factors that went into his decision to join the Chargers:

"I think (offensive coordinator) Joe Lombardi had a big part in it, and also (run game coordinator/offensive line coach) Frank Smith. I think it's important to have coaches that understand what type of player you are and who you are as a person.

"A lot of times in free agency that takes away some of the unknowns in visiting different teams, several teams. When you get in the door, they're like, 'Oh, you're a different type of player than I thought you were,' you know? Being with those guys was huge. Understanding what Joe Lombardi brings to the table as an offensive coordinator and offensive coach, he is really good at what he does.

"[QB] Justin Herbert, also, was a huge reason why I came here. He can sling the ball. He came on last year, unexpectedly, when nobody was expecting him to be the starter. I think he did a really good job at that. Various reasons, but all of them being reasons that are going to help me further my career."

2. On playing with WR Keenan Allen and WR Mike Williams:

"I'm a big fan of Mike and a big fan of Keenan.

"Keenan is a good friend of mine. I played against him for quite a few years. I've known him and have hung out with him ever since I was in St. Louis. We've been pretty close. I played in the Pro Bowl with him. He's a dynamic receiver, one of the best. His route running is impeccable and incredible. He's another person who I can learn from just like I did from [Saints WR] Michael Thomas, just like I did from [Packers WR] Davante Adams. I consider him one of the best receivers in the league.

"I'm excited to play with Mike, too. Big body-frame receiver. He is also a dynamic receiver that can go up and make highlight plays. He actually did that on us, ever since I've been playing against him. I'm excited to see these guys daily in practice and what the practice routine is like. In practice routines, that's when you learn a lot from a guy. That's when you learn a lot from a player. You see how they study their opponent and how they break people down. You understand how they set up their routes.

"A lot of times, as tight ends, those are the guys we learn from the most. It's not other tight ends; it's the receivers. The receivers, they're big like us, or either small like us, but they are able to take fractions of their game, and I'm able to take fractions of their game that will make me better — releases, starts, stops, tops of routes, out-breaking routes. These are all things that I've taken along with me my whole career. Releases like Davonte, running routes hard and strong like Mike. Playing big at the point of the catch like Mike. It's the practice situations that I'm excited about, where I get to learn from these guys day in and day out."

3. On being a mentor in the community:

"I think it's very important that black males, especially, have a vision on what exactly it is to be a man and have a vision on what success really is.

"A lot of times, they're fed these false narratives that aren't real. Everything's a façade. A lot of times, when speaking with them, you have to break them down a little bit and get them to kind of understand that everything you see and everything that you try to emulate isn't necessarily good.

"Just being a voice for people that need it, especially young men that really need that and need somebody to look up to in a positive light, I'm definitely here for that — and always have been. Each one, teach one. Bring one with you."

Guard Matt Feiler

1. On how entering the NFL as an undrafted free agent has impacted his career:

"You have to make a name for yourself. You just have to keep your head down, keep working, and just do all of the right things. I think it's made me mature pretty fast as a professional.

"My work ethic has kind of always been that way. You have to keep working hard and prove yourself to everybody. I've carried that with me throughout my career."

2. On what attracted him to the Chargers:

"The new coaching staff. It's going to be a younger coaching staff, so they can relate to us more. [Assistant offensive line coach] Shaun Sarrett being here, and being a familiar face to me, would make my transition here a little bit easier and smoother.

"And also, my wife was very excited about the opportunity to move out here, so that helped sway that decision a little bit, too."

Browse through photos of the Chargers new lineman, Matt Feiler, who spent his last six seasons in Pittsburgh.

3. On QB Justin Herbert:

"I haven't had the chance to meet him yet, but I know that he's a young quarterback with a big arm. Just seeing some of the highlights from last year, he has made some exciting players, some highlight-reel plays. I'm just excited to get the chance to work with him."

Guard Oday Aboushi

1. On why he chose to join the Chargers:

"The opportunity. I know that [QB] Justin [Herbert] is balling. He had a great rookie season, and he's building something special here. L.A. is a great place to be.

"Overall, I feel like the situation, moving forward with the Chargers, is something that is going to be great. It's going to be something that a lot of people are going to be proud of. I felt like it was a good opportunity to come in here and be a part of something special and to be a part of the process."

2. On the mentality he possesses as an offensive lineman:

"Physical. I was always attracted to football because you're able to be physical and play and have fun with the guys, and really not have to worry about the repercussions of being physical.

"For me, I've always wanted to be physical first. Establishing right off of the bat that it's going to be 60 minutes of a dog fight. It's what gets me going and fires me up. As far as my competitiveness goes, the athlete in me wants to dominate. Physicality is probably one of the better words to describe it."

3. On what he feels like he can bring to the team and offensive line:

"I'm just a big family guy. At the end of the day, I love to play ball. I'm all about my family. I love being selfless. I truly feel like one of the best things that you can do in life is help without being recognized, being able to go in and make a difference and not leaving a name — just leave the ticket and bounce, or do what you have to do to help and keep it moving.

"At the end of the day, we're all human. We're all in this thing together, believe it or not — white, black, Spanish, Mexican, Palestinian, you name it. For me, personally, I always try to bring that family vibe. I always try to bring that togetherness vibe with everybody.

"Football is family. I've always come from a big family, and then by playing football, I've always been a part of a big family. Bringing that family style of friendship, with the physicality in how I play the game, I guess you could say it's that New York type of vibe. I was born and raised in Brooklyn [N.Y.], and that's never going to change.

"Hopefully, I'll bring a little bit of that to the West Coast."

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