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Kirk Cousins: Philip Rivers "Set the Bar High"


On QB Philip Rivers...

"If you start 200 straight games, you got my respect. If you play for one team for 16 years, you got my respect. You're a husband, and then a dad of nine kids, you got my respect. You go to the Pro Bowls he's been to, you've won the playoff games he's won. I think he played in one on a torn ACL It's a long list of reasons that he's set the bar high. He does it the right way. He's a pocket passer. He's not somebody that's gonna beat you with his legs per se, so he's gonna have to do it with his mind, his accuracy, with his decision-making both pre-snap and post-snap, and with the arm talent. Those are things I've tried to have in my game and say, 'How can I play like a Philip Rivers and beat you with my mind?' so he's a fun guy to watch." - Quarterback Kirk Cousins

"I think he should probably go into the Hall of Fame. He's a tremendous competitor, makes every throw, he's extremely smart and bright, he's very hard to trick. I think he's a heckuva player...You know, he's 38 years old, he's incredibly smart, he's always been a great competitor. You would think at some point the arm strength would go down a little bit, but he hit a couple bombs (last week), and he's going to throw the ball into tight spaces." - Head Coach Mike Zimmer

"A vet, man, a guy that's smart, makes great checks, (and) he definitely believes in his guys. He's going to give his guys a chance on the balls he throws…Rivers is going to throw the ball in tight coverage, but he's going to be accurate, so we just gotta have our hands in the right place, don't get penalized and have great timing when the ball is in the air." - Cornerback Xavier Rhodes

"He's always been a competitor. He's always been tough to go against as far as what they're trying to get accomplished. Understanding some of the things that we do, you're not going to trick him very much. He's seen a lot of ball during his days… We look forward to it, I think our guys look forward to it, and it should be an interesting contest this weekend." - Defensive Coordinator George Edwards

On Philip Rivers' trash talk...

"He's a talker, and he's done it his way for 16 years. He's got his way of doing things, and it works for him. If nothing else, it's entertaining. Most importantly, I think, his teammates respect him, and that's what matters. If you talk and have fun and teammates respect you, that's no problem. When it becomes something that teammates say, 'Eh, I don't know,' you would always want to be sensitive, but teammates love him it seems." - Quarterback Kirk Cousins

On RB Austin Ekeler…

"We've got to do a good job of leveraging (Austin Ekeler) in the coverage, understand what they're trying to get accomplished with him route-wise, and like I said, we have our work cut out for us this week." - Defensive Coordinator George Edwards

On RB Austin Ekeler and Melvin Gordon...

"They're different style backs, but not tremendously. I mean both can really hit the perimeter, (and) they both run hard. Ekeler's probably a little bit more of a receiver, but they use (Melvin) Gordon on screens as well. Sometimes they have them on the field at the same time… Similar backs, but they probably have a couple different plays." - Head Coach Mike Zimmer

On WR Keenan Allen...

"Ah man, great guy. In and out of his breaks. Gets you missed directions on his routes… (He) is smart in reading the coverages. He sits on the routes when he needs to sit on them. You can tell him and Philip are on the same page on all of the routes… He's just a good receiver, man. We just gotta be on top of him… he'll give you one move and go the total opposite (direction)." - Cornerback Xavier Rhodes

"Keenan Allen’s always been a great player, catches the ball well, knows how to get open, big-play receiver." - Head Coach Mike Zimmer

On Chargers Defense...

"Very good defense, I think they're in the top five against the pass and as an overall unit. They have big names, too, on their defense. You know they have guys who have played a long time and done it at a high level. I really respect not only their roster and their talent, but the scheme they play in. I think they not only have a great scheme, but they execute it really well. I feel like this one will be a big challenge for us, and any time you go on the road, it's also gonna add some adversity." - Quarterback Kirk Cousins

"For me, the three guys that jump off the page immediately are both of the edge rushers and getting Derwin (James) back is a huge lift for that defense… Derwin was an All-Pro safety as a rookie, so he's all over the field flying around making a ton of plays. They are a Seattle descendent, they bend and don't break. We have our work cut out for us." - Tight End Kyle Rudolph

"The defensive guys play really hard, (Joey) Bosa plays the run and the pass, (Melvin) Ingram has always been a really slithery guy. I think they do a great job defensively." - Head Coach Mike Zimmer

"They got a helluva defense over there, and they fly around." - Wide Receiver Stefon Diggs

"Going on the road here against a really good defense. Watching the tape, these guys play fast, it's a physical group, they're good against the run, good against the pass and they really have very good players at every level of the defense, so we're gonna have our work cut out for us." - Offensive Coordinator Kevin Stefanski

On S Derwin James

"(Derwin James) is a good player. He plays toward the line of scrimmage most of the time. I've always been a big fan of his. He's one of those game-wrecker kind of guys, where he's big, fast and physical. They've used him a lot in blitzing in the past. Maybe not as much right now, but we have to be prepared for it. You have him, Bosa and Ingram close to the line of scrimmage, and they can do some damage." - Head Coach Mike Zimmer

"He's arguably one of the top safeties in the league, from what I've seen on tape. Not having him probably hurt their defense a lot earlier in the year...I feel like he makes a big difference on their defense...He looks like a guy that's active, that flies around. From what I hear, he plays at a high level, (an) extremely high level." - Wide Receiver Stefon Diggs

"Very physical player, he's down around the line of scrimmage quite often. He can play the run, he can be a linebacker, (and) he can play the pass like a corner. A physically gifted player. What's really impressive about this player is that he plays hard all the time. So he's flying around there (and is) a quintessential ball hawk, and he's got our attention." - Offensive Coordinator Kevin Stefanski

On the Chargers as a whole...

"They beat Chicago, (and) they beat Green Bay. I think when they don't turn the ball over, they're pretty hard to beat. They've done a good job in those games, and they got some turnovers defensively. But they're good in a lot of areas, so we're going to have to be really effective in understanding what their defense allows us to do and the things they don't. Being aware of the protection with these guys. They don't have a huge amount of sacks, but they have a lot of quarterback hits. Offensively, they'll run the ball, but they like to hit big plays on first downs, so we're going to have to do a good job there." - Head Coach Mike Zimmer

On if the Chargers are better than their 5-8 record…

"Yeah, I do. But I think they are a lot healthier now too. They were missing Derwin James for a long time. (Russell) Okung, he's back. So they've had some guys who have been hurt. They missed Gordon for quite a while, so they have a lot more weapons now." - Head Coach Mike Zimmer

"You look back at all of the close games that they've lost. We talked about this a couple of weeks ago at Denver...everyone looks at records and records aren't often indicative of how good a team is." - Tight End Kyle Rudolph

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