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Bosa Praises Bolts Tight Bond Ahead of 2nd Career Playoff Appearance


Below are three takeaways from Chargers Head Coach Brandon Staley, outside linebacker Joey Bosa and linebacker Drue Tranquill from Thursday's media sessions:

Bosa 'more excited' heading into 2nd playoff run

The Chargers took the field for their final practice before Saturday night's playoff game against the Jaguars.

Only six players remain on the current roster that were on the 2018 playoff roster — one of them being Joey Bosa. The outside linebacker will be playing in his third playoff game on Saturday, but as he has mentioned since his return from injury, this time it feels a bit different.

In 2018, he also missed games with a foot injury, but his closeness with the team this year makes him feel more excited for the playoffs this time around.

"Feels like another week," Bosa said. "For me, it's been a pretty short year. It's crazy to think about this is only my second time in the playoffs. Doesn't feel like that but it's the reality. I don't know, I feel like I'm a lot more excited this year.

"Kind of how I talked about coming in after my foot injury, I guess I felt a little separated from the team," Bosa added. "This year, I feel like I'm a lot closer to the guys. I just feel like we're one big unit and I think we're just getting tighter as the year goes on. It's exciting to be able to play a playoff game with your friends and teammates."

The team shares the excitement, as they hope it can bring the best out of them with everyone watching.

"It's a new beginning. It's a chance to prove yourself," Chargers Head Coach Brandon Staley said. "You're playing against the best of the best this time of year.

"You really get to show the world what you're about and that level of competition is going to increase, it's going to demand a lot more from you because every play, every possession is at a premium," Staley added. "It brings out the best in your team and we're excited to compete."

The tight bond feeling around the team is something that has been talked about throughout the year, as the group has stuck through the adversity of the season. Even with Bosa missing a large portion of the season, he still felt it.

And when it comes to fellow outside linebacker Khalil Mack, their bond is something Bosa relates to a relationship with another former Chargers defensive lineman.

"I see him in a similar light as I do [former Chargers defensive tackle] Linval [Joseph], he just kind of holds me to a standard," Bosa said. "Khalil doesn't really do it as intentionally as Linval did, but I just have a ton of respect for him. Me personally, I don't want to let him down."

Week 18 in Denver marked Bosa's second game in his return from his groin injury suffered against the Jaguars in Week 3.

It's been a long road to recovery, but Bosa said he felt more comfortable in this game, as he continues to feel stronger with each game, he plays in.

"I'm feeling good," Bosa said. "A little sore obviously, after the game last week but I think it's getting stronger every week.

"I'm feeling good, I'm gaining confidence. I think last week, I had some better rushes than I did the week before," Bosa added. "I felt like I was a little more comfortable."

Check out the best photos of the Chargers Thursday practice at Hoag Performance Center

Williams questionable for Saturday night

Chargers wide receiver Mike Williams is questionable for Saturday night's game in Jacksonville.

Staley said the Bolts opted for rest with Williams on Thursday given that they are playing on a short week against the Jaguars.

"He's progressing, getting treatment," Staley said. "Trying to get him as must rest as possible before Saturday. We're hoping he can make it to the game."

Staley later added: "We're at that point of the season where the reps aren't what matters, the rest is."

Staley said the plan is for Williams, who is dealing with a back injury, to work out before the game and then make a determination on his status.

"We have a long time between now and the evening on Saturday," Staley said. "Just trying to maximize all that rest time for him and get him all the treatment necessary."

Staley also noted that he has trust and respect for Williams in this process.

"I've been with Mike now for two full years," Staley said. "I've also been with Mike through some injuries, so I think we trust Mike and his toughness.

"Again, there's a long time between now and game day," Staley added. "We're going to take advantage of all that time. Mike is as tough as they come. If he can play, I know he will."

Tranquill earns Media Good Guy Award, Ekeler named MVP

The Los Angeles Chargers Chapter of the Pro Football Writers of America handed out an award in the locker room Thursday.

Associated Press reporter Joe Reedy, the President of the local chapter, presented linebacker Drue Tranquill as this year's Media Good Guy Award.

Reedy told Tranquill he earned the honor for "your cooperation with the media and your professionalism, and also, you had a hell of a season," Reedy said.

Tranquill was accessible after every game and spoke during the week, sometimes doing multiple interviews a week in order to help reporters get a better understanding of certain topics.

"I really appreciate it," Tranquill said. "You guys give us the unique opportunity to use our voice as players. What you guys do with your writing and storytelling means a lot to us as players and I know it means a lot to the organization as well.

"Thank you for all your following of us," Tranquill added. "Hopefully we can keep you guys busy for a few more weeks."

Running back Austin Ekeler was the recipient of the Team MVP Award after posting a league-best 18 touchdowns and 1,637 yards from scrimmage.

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