Here's what Brandon Staley, Justin Herbert, Keenan Allen and Austin Ekeler had to say during Sunday's postgame press conferences following the Bolts' 34-13 win over the Denver Broncos.
Head coach Brandon Staley on the defense's performance on Sunday
"It felt great to play with our starting secondary for one of the few times this season. I think our run defense directly impacted our third-down defense. We were able to play the way that we started out this season playing. I'm just excited about the way our group competed today. I thought our coaching staff prepared our players extremely well. Then, those guys came to play today. I think our secondary performed at a high level, with [S] Derwin [James Jr.] leading the way. I felt like, in the run front, you can't say enough about our front seven and our secondary and the way we attacked the run front today. We tackled extremely well, set edges. I think that had a direct impact on the way we played on third down."
Staley on Justin Herbert breaking the franchise record for touchdown passes in a single season
"If you're a fan of history, it's not just any record because of the quality of the quarterbacks that have played for this football team, when you're talking about [Pro Football Hall of Fame QB] Dan Fouts, a Hall of Famer, you're talking about [former Chargers QBs] Stan Humphries, you're talking about Drew Brees, you're talking about Philip Rivers — Drew Brees and Philip Rivers are going to be first-ballot Hall of Famers. Stan Humphries is a Super Bowl quarterback. When you think about the caliber of players that have played for this franchise, I think it says an awful lot. Justin has worked extremely hard to earn that record. It's not a coincidence that these records are happening for him; it's because of the type of person he is, the type of competitor he is and the type of player that he is."
Staley on wide receiver/returner Andre Roberts' impact
"This guy has an impact beyond just the production on the field. He's been an outstanding teammate. He's been able to come right into our culture, our way of doing things, and just fit right in. Then, really, take these younger special teams guys and really help bring them along with our coaching staff. He's like having another coach on the field. He's seen a lot. He's lived through a lot. This guy's been a Pro Bowl-caliper player. He's meant a lot to me. I'm just really proud of him. Game ball to him today; he was fantastic."
Staley on his message to the team heading into the final week of the regular season
"Each week has a life of its own in the NFL; it's had a life of its own since the beginning. That's the way we need to treat things around here. The longer that we're here, the more people will realize that every week is going to feel like this coming week. When you have that type of intensity, that type of focus to treat each week like it has a life of its own, and you pour your full energy into that week, then you can be proud of what goes down. This week was a similar week, and next week, obviously, there's a lot at stake. We're excited to compete. We're going to have to rest up and learn from this tape; there will be plenty to learn from. Then, we have to keep it moving to the Raiders."
Quarterback Justin Herbert on 'joining the quarterback legacy' of the Chargers:
"I think it's special because I was a Chargers fan growing up. I knew about all of those guys. I watched them all. They're football legends. To be able to be even in the same conversation with them is a huge honor. We're not done yet. We still have a big game coming up on Sunday. We're going to need to have a good week of practice heading into it."
Herbert on his excitement after breaking the record and what he saw on the play
"I thought it was just a big play for us, especially at that time during the game. The corner kind of sat on him, Mike released inside on him, got to his landmark, got enough width on it, and made a great catch. For us to be able to go down there and score as quickly as we did, I thought it was huge for our team."
Wide receiver Keenan Allen on Herbert's record breaking day
"He's been playing lights out all year," Allen said. "Offensive line has been playing great all year, I think that the wide receivers, tight ends, running backs you know we've all been doing a good job of just making plays. Executing and just doing a good job of helping him out…just allowing him to consistently get ops."
Allen on the boost the defense provided by getting stops in the redzone
"Major, for them to get those stops when the game is on the line and before the game is on the line they are getting stops. Just for them to get stops all day long and special teams to show up is major for us to play team ball like that."
Running back Austin Ekeler on how the run game has improved throughout the season
"It's kind of been a work of art, I've been really enjoying working with Frank [Smith] our offensive line coach and [Derrick Foster] running back coach and obviously the O-line. Just getting more familiar with how our guys are blocking, different schemes, really understanding what defenses are doing. I think it's really helped just slow the game down mentally for us, just playing together for as long as we've been playing now…and it's great to see it coming together at the end of the year."
Ekeler on Herbert's success in his second season
"My guy, he takes it personal man I love it. I love how personal he takes just the success of the offense, success of himself. I think that's really going to help him out as long as he's continuing to play just because he really, really cares. Really, really cares about the team doing well and about how guys are feeling and that's going to help him be a great leader and a great player. Then obviously on the field he's been tremendous…he's in his second year, I think people don't understand this man has literally only played one year. This is his second year and he's already having this type of success, really looking forward to being his backfield buddy and protecting him back there."
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