Below are three takeaways from Wednesday's press conferences with Brandon Staley, Joshua Palmer and Drue Tranquill.
Palmer reflects on his first NFL touchdown
Chargers rookie wide receiver Joshua Palmer reeled in his first NFL touchdown on Sunday but it didn't come easy. Palmer hit the brakes in the end zone and made an incredible play, high-pointing the ball in double coverage to grab the touchdown. Despite the incredible mid-air acrobatics to make the catch, Palmer knew in his mind he would come down with the ball in his hands.
On Wednesday, Palmer talked about what was going through his mind as the ball came sailing his way.
"100 percent sure," Palmer said. "When the ball's in the air, I don't think receivers think about the possibility of not catching it, you know we want to catch every ball. We put in a lot of work every day after practice just high-pointing the ball so that's what I wanted to show."
Staying after practice to build chemistry with Justin Herbert has been something Palmer has done since day one and will continue to do until his playing days are over. The rookie receiver talked about his favorite thing about playing in the NFL heading into Week 9.
"Just being around professionals," Palmer said. "I'm at the highest level of the game so every time I come into the building, I have the best route runner in the NFL. So, every time I come in, I'm going to learn something new. I wake up every morning understanding that and I look for things to improve on every day."
As for what it meant to bring in his first career touchdown, Palmer explained that play is one he'll 'remember forever' as he continues to grow in the Chargers offense.
Preparing for Jalen Hurts
For head coach Brandon Staley, consistency is key in keeping the team's energy up after back-to-back losses. Staley explained on Wednesday that 'our approach and our philosophy and how we do things, that's going to stand the test of time' and talked about the challenge that lies ahead in Philadelphia.
This week's challenge features second year quarterback Jalen Hurts, who leads the Eagles in both passing and rushing yards this season. Staley talked about the type of player Hurts is.
"Jalen's a really tough cover, number one, the guy's a winner." Staley said. "You go back to his high school days in Texas, 'Bama, Oklahoma, the guy's a winner. There's a reason why he's a starting quarterback there. They're coming off a really big win and he's a guy that can really elevate the performance of people around him. I think people believe in him and what he can do."
Linebacker Drue Tranquill, who also spoke to the media on Wednesday, talked about how the Bolts defense can scheme to face a quarterback like Hurts on Sunday.
"It's tough," Tranquill said. "He ties in a lot of the elements you see in college football with RPO and the zone-read game. When you have an 11th guy, the quarterback running the ball, the math gets a little funky and you really gotta be on your P's and Q's. He's a competitor more than anything and he's going to certainly have his team and his offense ready to play, we are going to have to show up and play physical and stop the run early."
Facing close friend and Eagles defensive coordinator Jonathan Gannon
Before Staley and Eagles defensive coordinator Jonathan Gannon were making a career as coaches in the NFL, they were going head-to-head on the basketball court as fourth graders where they built a bond as close friends.
Gannon and Staley's paths will cross once again on Sunday, and Staley talked about what Gannon has meant to him over the years.
"He's one of my very, very best friends." Staley said. "He's one of the best men I know, he's one of the best coaches I know. I certainly wouldn't be here without him. We started competing against each other in the fourth grade playing AAU basketball…we kind of grew up on the basketball court together, competing against one another, we were both point guards and kind of similar type players and similar type competitors. Just got to know one another and stayed in close touch when we were in college when we were both playing."
Their bond grew on the basketball court, but what really bonded the two according to Staley, was entering the 'fraternity' of coaching and taking on the challenge of making a career in the NFL.
"He's always meant a lot to me," he said. "He's been around a lot of great coaches, he's coached a lot of great players. He's the godson to my youngest boy…he's one of the best guys I know, I know Philly is really, really lucky to have him because he's one of the best coaches I know and he's one of the best people that I know."
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