As the Chargers wrapped up their 2021 season, take a look at how Justin Herbert, Keenan Allen, Joey Bosa and others felt about the changing culture taking place in Los Angeles.
Quarterback Justin Herbert on the team 'fighting back' against the Raiders
"We never quit. That offense that went out there, we were in the huddle together. We believed in each other. Like we have all year, we believed that we still could have won that game. It took all three phases. Unfortunately, we fell short. That's a tough part about the NFL. I'm proud of the way that those guys battled.
"We believe in each other."
Wide receiver Keenan Allen on the first season with the new coaching staff
"l thought it was good. I thought the culture has changed. I think we're transitioning into a winning organization, getting back to winning the division and stuff like that. I think we're trending in that direction. [Head Coach Brandon Staley] is building a lot of confidence in the culture and the coaching staff. We just have to be ready and do better next year."
OLB Joey Bosa: 'I see a very bright future'
"You have to be proud of everybody on our team. I mean, we really gave it our all out there, which is what you ask for out there. It's great to see everybody fighting and clawing to the last minute out there. I'm upset, of course, but I still look to the future and I see a very bright future with a lot of young talent. I see a group that was in their first year in a system — it's a pretty complex system. It's going to take a while to master. The fact that we had the year that we did, which was a pretty successful year in my books, I'm pretty happy with it."
Running back Austin Ekeler on Justin Herbert and his mindset heading into the offseason
"'Yeah. That guy makes me want to play forever around him,' because he's a guy that, man, you just believe. If we're on the field, we have a chance to go score and we have J-Herb as quarterback and a great O-line that has been protecting him? Like, wow, this is something special. We have a chance. We're going to go get it done. I'm looking forward to coming and being his backfield buddy for as long as I can. I know that he's going to be a great player and I want to be a part of that for as long as I can.
"That's where my mind goes, Coach Staley says when one thing ends, it's a new beginning. Alright, let's begin again." "
Safety Derwin James Jr. on building upon 2021
"I feel like we have a lot of great pieces. If you look around at every position, we had guys break records — had a quarterback throw for 5,000 yards, had two receivers over 1,000 yards, Ek [RB Austin Ekeler] had 20 touchdowns. There are a lot of great players that we have around here and a lot to build around. I can't wait for us to come back stronger next year."
James Jr. on playing for Coach Staley
"We have his back. I run with my coach. That's my coach. We support all of his decisions. When we went for it on the fourth down, we didn't get it, but on defense, we held them to a field goal, so that didn't matter. We just have to be ready and execute. Whatever coach goes with, we're going to ride with him.""
DL Justin Jones on what helped him comeback after his injury
"Speaking on the identity of our team as a family, those guys really kept me in it, kept me up and really kept me motivated. To really come back and fight and come back and be the player I was when I came back. I owe it all to them because without them I probably would have struggled and had a harder time than I was already having."
Justin Jones on feeling like a 'family' this season
"I can say now this is probably one of the best teams I have ever been a part of that's including my career in football. The guys on the team, the coaching staff, I was just telling my D-line coach, 'Everybody talks about the business side of football, but those who really truly enjoy football, they don't see it as just football.' I see it as family. These guys are my family. Whether I'm here, or whether I'm somewhere else, these guys will always be my family. I've never had anything like this.
"We have some real ball players on this team. True ball players, like from the top to the bottom, and I stand by that."
Jones on Brandon Staley
"Honestly, I feel like Brandon Staley is one of our biggest fans on the team. If anyone is cheering for the Chargers, it's him. He is trying to put us in the best situation possible to make plays, the best situation for us to win the game. Whatever he decides is what's best for us, we are going for it because we know he has our best interest at heart. That's the biggest thing for us, we are on board. We are always on the same page."
Tackle Rashawn Slater on working with his offensive line coaches & teammates
"They've been huge. They have been a huge asset for me, them and the older guys on the O-line. I knew from the moment I was drafted that I was going into a room where I would have vets like, [C] Corey [Linsey], [G] Matt [Feiler], [T] Bryan [Bulaga], [G] Oday [Aboushi], [T] Storm [Norton] and [G/T Michael] Schofield [III]. Everybody there had years of experience that I was able to learn from. Ever since OTAs is when they started being mentors and teaching me the way things go. I think that was huge. Frank and Shaun were, too, as far as simplifying things and helping me build confidence in my technique. Those guys are very helpful to me."
Slater on Justin Herbert
"He's everything I thought he would be and more. You see it like last night. Are you kidding me? The things he's able to do is just unbelievable. There is never a situation were in where we feel like were out. Like last night, I don't think anyone for a second lost hope just because we know who we have. We know, as the Oline, if we give him time, or even if we don't give him time, he's going to do some freakish things. It's awesome to be able to play with a guy like that who competes hard every week. It's such a huge blessing, honestly."
Wide receiver Mike Williams on the relationships he's built on the Chargers
"I feel like I have built some lifelong friendships here with the guys in this organization, on and off of the field. I like the organization, I like the people that I come to work with every day. "
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