Skip to main content

Chargers Official Site | Los Angeles Chargers -

Top Quotes | What the Chargers Said Ahead of Week 16


Take a look at top quotes from Chargers Interim Head Coach Giff Smith, quarterback Easton Stick and more from their Week 16 media availability:

Interim Head Coach Giff Smith

On emotions for him leading into Saturday:

"We're all in this because we're competitive people. I think it will be the same competitive spirit. It's just a different role that I'm tasked with. As far as the gameday feelings, it's going to be the same. You get to go out there and compete. That's why we all do it. How awesome is that? Every man strives to compete. Shoot, it will be fun."

On the 'message' to the team following last Thursday night's game:

"We flushed that game. It's embarrassing. It was embarrassing to everybody involved in it. I take that with me, since I'm the man in charge now. We're moving past that. We have three weeks to show the character of the men and the coaching staff that we are, to go out there and compete. That's what we're looking to do, compete, right there, and try to win these next three games. The ownership is totally on board, wants to win, right there, and that's huge. That message was relayed to the team. That's everything that we're doing, our focus is on the Buffalo Bills."

On OLB Khalil Mack 'having the season that he is having at 32 years old':

"It's amazing, isn't it? 32 and 15 sacks, dominant in the run game. But, I want people to understand, he is a better man than he is a player. He's a natural leader. He's a warrior. Obviously, God had a great day with Khalil [Mack]. We're proud to have him. The man is the one that's doing it. He's been awesome. Couldn't ask for anything better."

On preparing for the Buffalo Bills and QB Josh Allen:

"He's a great player. He gets paid a lot of money for a great reason. We have some stuff in the plan think can help. I don't know if you every stop [Bills QB] Josh [Allen], you have to limit Josh [Allen] and try to create some situations where maybe he can make a mistake or two. But we feel like we have a good plan, moving forward, into the game."

Offensive Coordinator Kellen Moore

On QB Easton Stick:

"I thought he did some nice things. Obviously, the turnovers ultimately had a huge impact on the game. I really respected the heck out of him for continuing to battle. I thought he started moving the ball as the game went on. The turnovers kind of got us early. Again, it's a great opportunity for him to continue to keep building on this thing. I'm excited for him this week. He has these three weeks. I'm excited for what he's going to present."

On OL Brenden Jaimes:

"It's something that he's waited on for a while here. He's earned this opportunity just from continuing to be patient, continuing to develop as a center. He hopped in there this past game. He'll finish this season off the right way. I think it's going to be a huge opportunity for him. We have a lot of guys like him, like [Easton] Stick. Sometimes you wait a long time for opportunities. These are opportunities that you have to take advantage of. They have huge impacts on your future. I'm excited for him."

On the message to the players:

"I think [Interim Head Coach] Giff [Smith] was awesome. Three weeks. Just go for it. Go for it as a group. Be there for each other together. Giff has obviously handled it from a leadership standpoint really well. We've tried to echo his message from a coordinator perspective. I thought our guys have responded well."

Defensive Coordinator Derrick Ansley

On if he has 'had time to reflect on the last couple of seasons':

"No, I wouldn't say that I've reflected over the last two years. We haven't really had time to unpack those kinds of emotions. That will probably happen after the season. The Thursday night game kind of got away from us early. We flushed that game. We didn't do enough as coaches to get our guys ready to play. It was unfortunate that the outcome happened the way it did."

On calling the defense:

"Under the circumstance, there's mixed emotions there. Obviously, we don't want this to be me calling plays in this situation where Brandon [Staley] is no longer here. But I am excited about the opportunity to lead our players. It's very similar to what I've been doing. Now, I just get a chance to call the plays on [Saturday]. I'm excited about that, but definitely am disappointed in the outcome of why I'm calling the plays."

On potential changes to the defense:

"I don't know that. We're two different minds. We have similar philosophies. We're going to call the things that our players can execute well. We're not going to wholesale change anything. We're going to do what our 11 guys out there can do at a high level. Whatever that looks like, that's what it looks like. We have to slow down one of the best guys in the league coming in here [Bills QB Josh Allen]. He's a big engine. Run, hit. He can run you over. He can throw it past you. He's smart. We have to put together a good plan, which we have, that our guys can go digest and play fast."

Special Teams Coordinator Ryan Ficken

On his message to the special teams unit this week:

"We have to make sure we stay focused because we have a job to do. We have to stay focused. Buffalo is coming in here, they are a very good unit – one of the top units we're going to see all year. We have to make sure that we get back to the basics, the fundamentals. We had two penalties this past week, we have to clean that stuff up and still make sure that the focus is the focus and that's going out there and winning this ball game."

Quarterback Easton Stick

On 'looking forward to the team bouncing back and responding':

"You have to, and we are. You can tell with the guys in there, we came back with good spirits today. [Interim Head Coach] Giff [Smith] has done a really good job of organizing the group and making sure everybody understands what we're playing for, that's each other. The guys had a good practice today. We're really looking forward to play. That's all you have, you don't get to do this forever, so I think everybody understands that."

On Interim Head Coach Giff Smith:

"Giff [Smith] is great. He has been here a long time. This place matters to him. People in the building know him, and they know him well. They know that he cares. Sometimes, as a position coach, it's easy to kind of lock in on your group, and there's a reason to do that, but Giff has one of those personalities that has a relationship with everybody, and that's going to serve him really well. Guys are looking forward to playing for him."

On preparing for the Buffalo Bills:

"They're really good. I think that goes without saying, especially as of late. They've played really good football defensively, obviously. They have a bunch of guys that have played together for a long time in a system that, I know it's a different guy calling it, but it's the same system. You can tell that they're really connected. There's a lot of air out there. They play really, really hard and physical, and they're connected. It's going to be tough."

Outside Linebacker Khalil Mack

On rallying around Giff Smith:

"It's natural. Everybody likes Giff, everybody knows the type of man he is, the type of leader he is. Very honest, very blunt, forthcoming so it's definitely what you want in this situation. Not sugarcoating, nothing, letting us know what it is and what we have to get ready for."

Safety Derwin James, Jr.

On Interim Head Coach Giff Smith's message to the team:

"That we're going to stick together. Control what we can control. As a team, I feel like everyone knows who Giff [Smith] is, we all look to him as a leader. Like I've said he's going to do a great job."

On Bills QB Josh Allen:

"He's dual threat. He can run it, one of the best running quarterbacks in this league. Also, he can throw it out wide to his receivers — [Bills WR Stefon] Diggs and [Bills RB James] Cook in space. We have to be ready, in that aspect."

On 'how the team will react' on Saturday:

"I feel like we're going to respond well. I feel like we're going to come out and compete. We have no other choice but to do that."

Running Back Austin Ekeler

On Interim Head Coach Giff Smith:

"He's been a guy that's been here since I've been here as well. Another guy I have a ton of respect for as a man to man and has always been here to help me pick me up, open door policy with me. We've had some talks just about life at the lunch table, so for him to come and be in this leadership role now and seeing that expressed, where he's got some of that old school mentality where it's like everything is time ship, making sure that everything is on time and he wants everything buttoned up… We're seeing that spilled into the leadership and he's putting pressure on us, which hey, we'll take it."

Outside Linebacker Tuli Tuipulotu

On what stands out about Interim Head Coach Giff Smith:

"I think the good thing that he's always done, even before he became the interim [head coach], is that he had a good relationship with everybody. Saying hi to everybody, checking up on everybody, how they're doing. I think that just built on his relationship with everybody and made it easier to buy in to him and listen to what he says. I think he's doing a great job creating a relationship with everybody."

On getting back on the field Saturday:

"I think it's going to be good for us. A lot of people are waiting to put the pads back on and go out there and play another team because what we did last week was not acceptable. We're excited to go out there, let the anger out and let the frustration out and just go play ball."

Guard Jamaree Salyer

On Smith's first message to the team:

"He just kept things pretty simple, that we're going to play hard, we're going to play fast, we're going to play physical. We're going to practice the same way. Obviously he wants everything to be done the right way and that was his big message to the team. We're going to try to win these last three game, we're not playing for draft picks or anything like that. He said we're going to do things the right way. I'm excited about it."

On getting back on the field this week:

"We all felt pretty fresh out there [at practice]. Practice was crispy, we were excited to get back on the grass. Everyday we practice is a good day in this league so everybody was excited to get back out there. We got three games in front of us against three good teams, excited."

Running Back Joshua Kelley

On getting back in the building this week:

"We had some time to reflect over the weekend and recharge and get reset. When we came back, we were more juiced up to get ready to go and practice and get ready for Buffalo. We know we have three more games left and we have to finish."

Offensive Lineman Brendan Jaimes

On preparing for his first NFL start:

"I would say I'm more anxious just to get out there, play a full game and show what I can do. Moreso excitement than anything. It's been a dream of mine to do this and now that it's finally here, I'm super excited for the opportunity. I'm blessed to still be able to be here and to do it with the guys I'm doing it with is pretty awesome."

On moving along the offensive line:

"It really makes me appreciate every position now that I've played pretty much every position on the O-Line. Being able to play center, I kind know what everybody is going through. I know when to help who, when to help someone if they have this look or if this look is happening then I need to give help to this guy because it's difficult. Just gives me a greater appreciation for everybody who's on the field with me. It's funny because I started playing center when I was a little kid and now it's full circle because I'm at the highest-level playing center. Definitely blessed to be in this position and super excited of playing Saturday."

Long Snapper Josh Harris

On Interim Head Coach Giff Smith:

"He's an incredible human being. Whether it's on the field, off the field, he knows what it takes to be successful in this business. He knows what it means to play professional football. He expects us to do our jobs and I know he'll be prepared on his end as well. He's a tremendous person as a whole and I'm excited for the opportunity that he gets to go out there and coach us for the last few games."

Related Content

From Our Partners