After Khalil Mack's introductory press conference, head coach Brandon Staley gave his thoughts on the team's latest additions.
Below are three takeaways from Staley's conversation on Thursday.
Mack Leads by example
The start of the new league year brought exciting news to the Chargers fanbase as six-time Pro Bowl OLB Khalil Mack was officially traded to the Bolts on Wednesday.
Among those excited for Mack joining the Bolts is head coach Brandon Staley, who coached him when they were in Chicago. After Mack's introductory press conference, Staley talked about the type of player the Bolts are adding to their roster.
"He's an outstanding pass rusher from a lot of different locations," Staley said. "He's versatile and he's a consistent performer. Durable, he has the type of toughness that we really value…that's what makes him one of the greatest in the game."
Mack explained during his introductory press conference that he's more about action rather than talking when it comes to his game. Staley echoed that message when he went into more detail about Mack's impact on a team and the style of leadership he brings to an organization.
"[He leads] by example," Staley said of Mack's leadership style. "He is going to show you what it should look like and that's why he's so special. When he got to Chicago, our entire team changed, our entire team. We were a top-10 defense [before] he got there and when he got there, we became a number one defense. We had a good defense, but when he came, we became the best defense and it's because of who he is on a day-to-day basis."
Staley described Mack as a superstar player and talked about the presence that he has on the field and in a locker room.
"It's not what they say to you," Staley said. "It's how you feel when you are around them, it's what you see from them. That's why he's one of the great players in the game."
Excited to be 'back in the fire' with Mack
Staley's departure from the Bears after the 2018 season meant his time working with Mack came to an end after just one year. Despite the two being on different teams after that, Staley explained the pair remained in touch. Now as their careers collide again, this time in Los Angeles, Staley reflected on the opportunity to team up with Mack for the second time.
"It was bittersweet in Chicago," Staley said. "It was an amazing year and then all these great things are happening, but it was like man, that didn't last long enough. To be able to go do it again is very special and I'm very excited about it for sure…it's just going to be great being back in the fire together."
Staley explained how important it was to have personally coached Mack and the advantage that brings when trading for a player you already know well.
"We know everything about this guy," Staley said. "You know exactly what he's bringing to your team and you know how to bring out the best in him and vice versa, and the cost was very minimal for a player of his caliber."
Staley also talked about the importance of working together with Chargers general manager Tom Telesco to get the deal done.
"You partner up with a GM that believes in what you do and you have a vision for how you're going to build a team and what you need," Staley said. "So it was just exciting to see it all come together. We felt like this was a really smart deal."
Jackson brings versatility to Bolts defense
The Bolts made another big move in free agency earlier this week by signing former New England Patriots cornerback J.C. Jackson. Staley talked about looking for playmakers during free agency and how Jackson, who goes by the nickname "Mr. INT" for his league-leading 25 interceptions since entering the league in 2018, brings that and versatility to the Bolts secondary.
"The more coverage players you have, the more variety of coverages you can play," he said. "That's certainly something that we're looking for and somebody with his coverage ability against number one receivers. He's one of the few guys in the league that actually travels with number one receivers. When you look at the data, when you look at Cooper [Kupp], [CeeDee] Lamb, you look at Mike Evans, [Stefon] Diggs you know he's following those guys."
Staley talked about the "ball skills" that Jackson possesses and how adding a corner of his caliber will help make the Bolts defense more connected on gamedays.
"It gives you a lot more depth in your secondary, it gives you a lot more coverage possibilities against premium passing attacks," he said. "A lot of it is predicated on matchups' backside because that's normally where the action is…the fact that he can play both those places and handle it, that's what you're looking for. "
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