Here's what defensive coordinator Renaldo Hill and offensive coordinator Joe Lombardi had to say ahead of Week 16.
Renaldo Hill on S Derwin James Jr. and OLB Joey Bosa being selected to the Pro Bowl
"It says a lot; obviously, switching systems and buying into what we want to do, but it also shows the effort and the work that they've put into being really good players in this National Football League. I'm happy about their accomplishment. It's a great accomplishment for this team, as well. Those guys do a lot for our team, and we ask a lot of them. I'm happy to see those guys get rewarded for their work."
Joe Lombardi on Rashawn Slater being selected to the Pro Bowl & his poise as a rookie
"I think it's a well-deserved honor for him. I think he has played outstanding, coming in as a rookie and just manning that left side for us. I think it's as good as you could have hoped, how he's played. I think he deserves the honor. I am very happy for him and proud of him.
"The guy you could compare him to is [Saints T] Terron Armstead, who we really didn't play until late in the season his rookie year. Once he went in, he performed really well. Looking back, I guess we didn't think he was maybe ready early in the season. He probably was, but we certainty didn't have that feeling. From day one we could see Rashawn was ready to go in and play, and I think that's rare. The way he approaches the game, his whole makeup lends himself to a guy that you will be able to rely on for a long time."
Hill on getting the defense to 'avoid looking past' the Texans
"We always talk about just focusing on us and focusing on our goals. Our goal is to be a playoff team sitting at the end of the year. We know that Houston is the next team on our schedule, and we have to do a good job of taking advantage of this opportunity. They're just coming off of a win. They're getting some guys back. We have to be ready to go. Regardless of the dates and the time and the situation, we have to be ready to show up on Sundays."
Lombardi on Justin Herbert's improvement in his second season
"He was pretty good last year, but I think you said it. He works so hard on the fundamentals and [Passing Game Coordinator/Quarterbacks Coach] Shane Day does such a good job with those guys in their individual period just refining their footwork, refining their eyes, refining their timing. He takes it so seriously. I think sometimes when you're as talented as him it's easy to be like, 'I don't need to do that, I can rely on all this talent.' He does not take that approach. He takes all of those details seriously and he's committed to getting better at it every day. Combine that with his talent, the kind of production you see out of him is what you'd expect when you combine those things."
Hill on Kenneth Murray Jr.'s development at EDGE
"He's just getting a little bit more confident. Obviously, working a little bit more with [Run Game Coordinator/Outside Linebackers] Coach [Jay] Rogers, working on his get-off, working on his hand movement, things that when you get thrown in the fire, you don't realize until you're lined up against a starting tackling this league. Now, I think that he's starting to recognize those things. He's an athletic guy and a talented guy. Now, I think he's starting to apply some of those things to where he can take advantage of it."
Hill on CB Essang Bassey and what he did in Denver
"Spending some time with Essang in Denver, he was a rookie who came in undrafted and was able to step right in and have some starting playing time early. Obviously, when you get late here in the year, you have injuries. It happened. With where we're at in the world, where COVID[-19] pops up, as well, guys can go down. We thought that he would be a good guy moving forward. He's been in the system. I think he'll fit great into the room and into this Charger family. It made sense when I brought it to [Head Coach Brandon] Staley. Seeing the [transaction] wire and our situation, it just made sense. A good player. A fast learner. He was able to step in as a rookie and perform at a high level. That spoke volumes to what we would be getting here in L.A.
"At the start of the season last year in Denver, he was the starter at the Star position because we had some injuries; we had [Broncos CB] Bryce Callahan go down early and he stepped right in. We were trying to keep Bryce on the outside lanes in Denver, and that allowed us, if Essang could step up and play inside, that we could keep Bryce out there, and that's what he did. He stepped up and played at a high level. We know that he can play inside at the Star, the Money, and also the outside lanes. It gives us a little bit more flex for what we can do moving forward, especially with guys getting injured and numbers going up and down each week."
Bolt Up for 2022!
Secure your 2022 Season Ticket Memberships today! Click here to learn more.