With time to study the film from Sunday's 20-17 loss to the Dallas Cowboys, Chargers head coach Brandon Staley broke down the things the team needs to work on and what positives they can take from that game.
Safety Derwin James and outside linebacker Joey Bosa talked about executing better on defense and what the team needs to improve on as they head into Week 3 of the NFL season.
Staley's reflects on Sunday's loss, focus on run defense and offensive scoring
After the Cowboys scored two rushing touchdowns in the first quarter of Sunday's game at SoFi Stadium, the Bolts defense locked in and held Dallas scoreless for the second and third quarters.
While the Bolts were able to stop the Cowboys from getting in the end zone for the rest of the game, the Cowboys registered 198 total rushing yards. The Bolts defense was without two key veteran players on Sunday in DL Justin Jones and CB Chris Harris Jr. due to injury. With those veterans out, safety Derwin James was moved to the play the 'Star' position on defense putting him in the slot and closer to the Cowboys' top receivers.
During Monday's press conference, Staley talked about what the Bolts need to do to tune up their run defense moving forward.
"There were plenty of instances of us playing good run defense yesterday," Staley said. "But there were far too many instances of us playing poorly. The good news is it's completely within our control. We knew that that was going to be part of their plan against us, and we were in good run defenses, good run structures. We were a little off with our mechanics and with our technique. That's going to be a point of emphasis moving forward."
When talking about the positive takeaways from Sunday's game, Staley likes the way the offense is 'distributing the ball evenly' amongst the talented weapons on the Chargers offense. Staley explained on Monday that it's just a matter of getting more game time as a unit in order to find the end zone more often.
"I feel like we're still at the beginning of that process," he said. "But I'm really pleased with how we're moving it. Now we just have to finish drives with touchdowns, and a lot of that starts with us playing penalty-free. If we can do that, then we're going to have the production I know we're capable of."
A big reason for the lack of success in the redzone was the number of offensive penalties, two of which called back touchdowns for the Chargers. Staley said it comes down to going back to the fundamentals of the game in order to clean up those penalties and unlock the full potential of this offense.
"As you saw offensively, we had a really productive day," he said. "If those ten penalties don't occur, who knows what type of day it's going to be. That's what we wanted to unpack [Monday], which is the truth of what happened. The main takeaway for me is that the Los Angeles Chargers are in control of what happened [Sunday]. We need to put the focus on us, that's what we're going to do moving forward."
Check out the best shots from the Chargers Week 2 matchup with the Dallas Cowboys at SoFi Stadium.
Derwin James and Joey Bosa talk execution of technique
Two of the Bolts' defensive leaders in Bosa and James spoke to the media on Monday as well. The two broke down what they need to improve and fix in the run defense as the team begins its preparations for Week 3.
James, who had seven tackles on the day, feels the defense just needs to make a few fixes to reach their potential. James explained the blame can't be put on any one group; the focus has to be on the defense as a whole playing better together.
"Just being tougher up-front, man," James said "We gotta be tough, we gotta set edges and we gotta come out ready to play on the outside if the ball does express itself on the outside, we gotta be ready. So, you know, it's a team effort it's not just the guys on the inside, it's everybody. We gotta tackle better…we just gotta be better all the way around."
Bosa also talked about executing plays better both personally and as a defensive group. He gave his takeaways from Sunday's performance and what needs to be done better.
"Obviously, we have to be better up front as a D-line and an EDGE group," Bosa said. "That will make the job on the linebackers that much easier and the secondary. We've got to tackle better, that's definitely a big point from yesterday. We just have to execute on every part of the ball."
The Chargers now have to shift their focus on preparing to face their first divisional opponent this season in the Kansas City Chiefs. James explained Week 2 is in the past, and the focus now is on the future.
"It's what makes the league so fun and competitive, James said. "So we gotta just come back and just bounce back from it, we can't dwell on it we can't be stuck on it."
Odds and Ends
- Staley plans to start Storm Norton at RT against Kansas City adding, "I have a lot of confidence in Storm and I'm hoping he can bounce back this week."
- Staley plans to use G/T Michael Schofield III as an 'inside player…can kick outside in an emergency.'
- Staley thought safety Nassir Adderley made a big leap from Week 1 to Week 2, "I think that he's continuing to understand how we want to do things. I thought that he was a bright spot for us yesterday."
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