Take a look at some of the top quotes from the third day of Chargers training camp.
1. Brandon Staley on upcoming padded practices
"You evaluate real NFL players in pads. That's the thing that you're going to see. As much as we love to evaluate in the spring, and even in this first phase, where you can see a lot, real NFL football is played in pads. I think that you really find out the total player, because when you put pads on, it's a different game. Once we get those pads on, we'll be able to have the purist evaluation tool. We can see a lot, but there is that padded element that gives you that clear evaluation. What you may think, you can get confirmation on that. We're excited for that to happen."
2. Austin Ekeler on why you should draft him in fantasy football
"I'm gonna get the ball, I'm gonna make things happen. If you're gonna throw me the ball, I'm gonna make things happen. If you want to get fantasy points, you better have me on your team. That's all I gotta say. If I'm healthy, I'm gonna score you points."
3. Chris Harris Jr. on position versatility
"Playing in this system that I've always played for my whole career, and being able to give my knowledge to the young guys so that they can play fast, we've been working great. We have great communication. I'm playing three positions, so now I need to learn the safety position, too. That's something new for me that I haven't done in my career.
"I've just have to get comfortable with it. Usually, I come out here and just play corner or nickel and I'm thoroughly comfortable with that. Now, I have to move around a lot more, get the communication right, learn how my corners are playing and things like that. It's new to me, but it's been fun."
4. Staley on evaluating special teams at this point in camp
"Right now, it's a lot of fundamentals and technique, not a lot of scheme. What we're trying to evaluate is who can play. A lot of the initial phase of special teams, no matter what specific phase of it, is the evaluation process of who can play and mastering our fundamentals and techniques. Then, once we get through this initial installation, when we get into pads, then you'll see more scheme. But, we're just trying to rep as many guys as we can, in as many roles as we can, so that we can find out who can play for us on Sundays."
5. Ekeler on Justin Herbert's growth in 2021
"Confidence. Even for every rookie, particularly for Justin, who's got a lot on his plate [and] a lot on his shoulders, he knows what to expect coming into an NFL locker room [and] an NFL offense. He knows the expectation and now he expects that [he's] going to be the starter. I think he's just mentally prepared for that which is gonna help him out in his preparation and his confidence as well."
6. Harris Jr. on Staley's development from Denver to now
"He's grown a lot, being able to put his own stamp on his own defense. I've played with [former Broncos Defensive Coordinator] Wade's [Phillips] system with [former Broncos Head Coach John] Fox, then [Broncos Head Coach Vic] Fangio's. He brings something a little different; a few things are the same, but he adds his own sprinkle to it, too. You can see his growth from a defensive coordinator to a head coach, and it's been great to see. He's a great speaker in front of everybody. He brings great enthusiasm to us. That's what you need, that energy from your coach."
7. Staley on what Jared Cook adds to this team
"He's a really easy guy to throw to. This guy knows a lot. He really can think the game, too, so we can line him up in a lot of different places. That helps a quarterback, that helps an offense. You guys saw him today in the red area. He's a big target. Yesterday, he caught a really nice route up the seam. He has tremendous feel. Then, you can really get a feel for his size and body control and his hands. When you put that together, you see why this guy has played so long and everybody is dying to have him on their team. He's a great guy, number one, but, then, he brings so much to the table from a skillset in the passing game. Even in the run game, too. This guy has seen every look that you can give an NFL player. Just a great mentor for that room. We're just really thankful that he's here."
8. Ekeler on proving himself with a new coaching staff
"I feel like you have to prove yourself every year. That's how the turnover in this league works. That's why you see so many new people come in every year. It's not because we added more space, it's because people are leaving, people are switching. There's a turnover in the league, so you have to prove yourself every single day, every single year. Absolutely"
9. Harris Jr. on the defense's camaraderie
"We've had great meetings with everybody as a whole. Nas [S Nasir Adderley] is growing, the younger boys are growing fast, and communication has been great. I know from my time in Denver when we had number one defenses, we all loved each other. We loved playing with each other, and that's what you see from our group. We have a great group together, everybody wants to make each other better; and we're building off that, every day."
10. Staley on "cross-training" defensive signal callers
"We have like five guys working right now. Derwin [James] has kind of been our primary guy. We've had Drue Tranquill, [LB] Kenneth Murray [Jr.], [LB] Cole Christiansen, and our young linebacker, [LB] Amen [Ogbongbemiga]. It's by design because you just never know what it's going to be like if you lose a guy to injury, so we want to make sure that we have guys trained. That's the way I did it last year. That's what I'm accustomed to doing. We're just trying to cross-train guys. Both of those guys are excellent communicators. You guys all know the way that I feel about Derwin, being in the middle of our team — not just the defense, but our team. He's going to start out that way, but we're cross-training four other guys to make sure that we're secure during the season."
Take a look at some of the best photos from the third day of Chargers Training Camp 2021.
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