Take a look at top quotes from Chargers Head Coach Brandon Staley on Friday afternoon.
Head Coach Brandon Staley
On QB Justin Herbert's injury status:
"Justin has a fracture to his rib cartilage. It's good news, better than having a fracture of your bone in the ribs, but the CT scan did confirm that. He's day-to-day. I think that we'll know a lot more about practice and stuff like that on Wednesday. Going to take the weekend, certainly, and the beginning of next week — Monday, Tuesday — to learn a lot more, but day-to-day."
On the injury status of C Corey Linsley and T Trey Pipkins III:
"I have good news on Corey. He should be ready to practice at some point next week. He just had a knee, kind of near the quad part of the knee — the bottom of the quad where the knee meets. He had to have an injection to calm it down, but he should be able to practice at some point next week. Then, Trey Pipkins, it was not an ankle, it was more of a foot, like a lateral foot sprain. He is also day-to-day, but good news on him. It's similar to [OLB] Joey Bosa's deal last year, is what I'm told."
On TE Gerald Everett's 'effort displayed' on the interception returned for a touchdown:
"That was just a tough moment. That's all it is. It's just a tough moment. It's one of those unlucky plays in a ball game. I think that we'll learn a lot from it. In that sequence, we're trying to push the pace, force them to communicate after a big player. We're just trying to get down there and force that defense to respond after a big play. When the play doesn't express itself right away, I think that we can learn from it on both sides. Just a tough one. Obviously, that turned the tide of the game. That was a big momentum swing, but we'll learn a lot from it and we'll move forward. I thought Gerald competed at a really high level last night. He gave us a real chance in the game and I'm really proud of how he is playing for us right now."
On Everett's assignment on the interception returned for a touchdown:
"Gerald has a route to the flat, and if he's matched to the flat, which he was, then what we teach him is to snap back in and try to get a box out, outside-in, on the guy. That's what Justin was anticipating. It just didn't happen as quickly as I think either one would have hoped. That's where the miscommunication was."
On if he 'would like to have seen more attempts and completions of 20-plus air yards':
"What you have to look for in a game plan is how many plays are called that the intent is to get to the deep part of the field, which there were plenty of those types of plays yesterday. They were playing very soft [coverage] yesterday. They played a lot of quarters [coverage], palms [coverage], roll coverage to [WR] Mike [Williams], which is a variation of split-safety. If it's not there, then you're going to have to check it down. Air yards, it's a popular topic, but it's more about design, not actually what's actually thrown. That's where we're at is we're trying to get as much designed to attack level three, level two as possible, but I felt like we had a good mixture in the plan. We're always searching for the explosives. I felt like we got off to a good start yesterday, but you have to, certainly, go with the flow of the game and how the defense is playing you."
On the thought process following QB Justin Herbert's injury and 'the decision to keep him in the game':
"Talking to the medical people and then talking to Justin [Herbert]. We have full trust in one another. He's going to tell me, he's going to show me, and the medical people are going to tell me, if this isn't something that should happen. But, as you guys saw, he is as tough as they get. He showed a lot of fight. I'm really proud of him, how he battled and gave us a real change in that game at the end."
On if he was 'comfortable' with how the injury transpired:
"Yeah. It's football. You're going to have some moments where you're going to feel like that, and that's not just exclusive to the quarterback position. I'm out there. There's nobody that cares about Justin [Herbert] more than I do, more than we do. You know that that is part of the game. It's a tough game. As long as he feels like he can go in that moment, then that's what we're going to roll with. I think he did a good job of protecting himself. I think that that's what you saw, that he's a really smart player. He's not going to put himself at risk. In that moment, he's not going to take one more extra hit than he needs to, and that's what he did last night."
On CB J.C. Jackson's performance last night:
"It was great to have him back out there. I felt like his conditioning was good enough. He's a really good athlete, I think he worked really hard to get back, but I thought that he got into a pretty good flow in the game. That's what we were trying to do was get him in rhythm. I thought he competed in the game. He gives us a real element to our defense that is going to really maximize our group. It was great to get him off the ground last night in a big game like that. I really liked the way that he competed in the game."
On Jackson's coverage responsibility on the Chiefs' third-quarter touchdown to WR Justin Watson:
"There should be a middle-of-the-field safety. He's playing it exactly how he should. There should be a post safety that should be making an interception on that play. The field safety didn't rotate to the post. J.C. Jackson was not beat on that play. He was playing the perfect leverage. He should be lag underneath the guy and the middle-of-the-field safety should be making that interception. The ball, probably, wouldn't have even gone there. it probably would get thrown away, but we were in the wrong rotation."
On the thought processes behind the decision-making on fourth-down last night and how that has 'changed' since last season:
"They have a different team on offense, too. We have a different defense. We have a different kicking game. I felt like, early in the game, what you want to do is be able to take a crowd out of the football game. Early on, that was the thought process; we get a good stop, we have a really productive drive. What you don't want to do is get the crowd back in it, so I wanted to make sure that we got off to a good start and everyone was feeling good about the drive. That's really how the beginning of the game started off. That was a big part of our process, taking the crowd out of it. Just really felt like we were aggressive. 4th-and-inches, on the [quarterback] sneak, when it's 4th-and-inches, you feel really good about your chances. Then, in the second half, on that first drive, it's 10-7, we get the ball and I felt like in that drive, that's the perfect time to be aggressive, where the crowd's out of it because of the way the end of the half went, two-minute. You have the momentum, and that's the perfect time to be aggressive. I thought, with that, we did a nice job of converting, pushing that thing to 17-7. For all those factors that you mentioned, two different teams, and, again, where the game is, how our defense was playing in the game, how we were competing in the game, I think that's why we decided to play it that way."
On QB Patrick Mahomes 'being kept contained in the pocket' and the performance of OLB Joey Bosa and OLB Khalil Mack:
"Excellent job. [Mahomes] is as tough as it gets. I thought our guys really competed and gave us a chance in the game. I love the way that we defended in that football game. I thought our execution, outside of a couple of plays — I'm talking about a couple of plays — our execution was really good, and then our physicality and toughness was where I expect it to be. I thought that we really defended at a high, high level last night."
On if the team will 'send to the league' CB Bryce Callahan's illegal contact penalty in the second quarter:
"I think that we all have the game copy. I think Amazon does a great job of providing all of those angles where all of us could take a look at it."
On if he will seek 'clarification from the league':
"That's a fair assessment."
On if he is 'optimistic' that Herbert will play in Week 3 vs. Jacksonville:
"I think that we received good news, in terms of what the CT scan expressed. I think that that's good news. Playing quarterback, you don't want it to be to the bones, you don't want it to be a fracture of the bone. The fact that it's cartilage is a good sign. But, again, it's just going to come down to comfort. It's such a rotational position, we're just going to have to make sure that he's comfortable. We're not going to know more about how he feels until later on in the week. Let the weekend calm down, then the first couple of days [of next week], and then we'll get into game week. I think that we will have a lot better sense of how he is feeling."
On if last night's performance 'can serve as a catalyst going forward':
"After the game, I told the team, I told you guys, that I love the way that we competed in the game. I felt like we showed the type of competitiveness and the type of togetherness that you need in an environment like that. At the same time, we didn't make the winning plays that can close that game out. There were just a handful of plays that we're capable of making where you get close that game out. To play the way we did, particularly in the fourth quarter, I really love the way that we competed. I think that our takeaway is that we just need to keep improving. We need to keep improving, keep working at it. At the beginning of the season, you're still in that discovery phase. We just need to keep working at it as a group, keep improving. That's where our focus is going to be moving forward."
On WR Jalen Guyton's 'limited snaps' last night:
"There are always players like that. [OLB] Chris Rumph [II] was another guy for us, on defense, that we would have liked to play more. I think that you look back on it and you say, 'Man, we didn't get him enough playing time,' but we're definitely trying to look to get Jalen more involved, same with a guy like Chris Rumph. Sometimes, how the plan goes, and then the possessions, it just didn't quite work out that way, but definitely not indicative of anything that Jalen is doing. Jalen is doing really well for us, so expect to see a lot more of him forward."
On his evaluation of the run game through the first two weeks offensively:
"I think it's just been tough sledding early on. We haven't been able to get the explosions. There have been a lot of just bloody runs. We just haven't been able to create the air yet, so far. Just a work-in-progress with our group, in terms of featuring the runs based on who's blocking for them, I think that's a big part of it. I think that we're going to keep working hard at it to keep improving as we go."
On the recovery window following two games in five days to commence the season:
"That stretch is really tough on these guys. No matter when that Thursday [game] comes, it's really tough on these guys. If you just see what these guys have to go through to get ready for an NFL game, let alone when you have to travel, it's a tough one. I thought our guys responded well. I thought we took the plane in a good frame of mind, and I thought we took the field last night with a great frame of mind, but rest is going to be big over the weekend, making sure that we're around our families, making sure that we get recharged and that we're ready for Monday to get on to Jacksonville. Rest is such a big part of this profession, regardless of who you are — journalist, coach, player. We're trying to get our guys recovered, and we have to get our minds right for Jacksonville."
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