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Top Quotes | Chargers Full Steam Ahead Before Thursday Night Football

Updated TQ 09.13

Take a look at top quotes from Head Coach Brandon Staley, safety Derwin James, Jr. and running back Austin Ekeler on Tuesday:

Head Coach Brandon Staley

On Chiefs QB Patrick Mahomes:

"He's just a very complete player at the position. He has outstanding football intelligence, smarts, command at the line of scrimmage. He can really hurt you post-snap. He has outstanding field vision, so he can really see the field. He's accurate at all three levels of the field, both from inside the pocket and outside the pocket. I think people are aware of his creativity outside of the pocket and his ability to conduct a completely different play outside the framework of the first one, and I think that's a real gift of his. I think he really sees the game like a point guard. When I think of him, I think of a guy that can really distribute the football. He's a lot bigger guy than anyone realizes. This guy is a really hard guy to tackle because he is bigger than people think. He's a winner. Since he's come in the NFL, he's won a lot of football games. He has real toughness. They follow him. He's as tough of a cover as there is in the NFL."

On OLB Khalil Mack's impact:

"You need a team to be able to defend an offense like this, and certainly a player like Patrick. Any time you are facing an offense that has weapons — running backs, receivers, tight ends — and that has an outstanding offensive line, you're going to need the same thing on defense, that same type of formula. What Khalil does is he gives you that chance up front, both in the run game and the pass rush, to be able to impact the game. You need a lot more people than just your starting 11 to be able to defend a team like this."

On similarities between QB Justin Herbert and Mahomes:

"They are two of the special players in the league. They are as good as it gets. I think you are seeing, in the NFL, the quarterback position is in a great spot for the NFL. It's exciting for the league when you have this many good quarterbacks all at once, and a lot of them are really young. The future of the league is really bright. It makes it really tough to cover them, but the future is really bright. These two guys being in the same division, both being young players, it's great for the game. Any time you have rivalries within a division, and then two quarterbacks like this, it's really good for the game."

On the challenge that the Chiefs' offense presents in the red zone:

"They're definitely a good red zone team because you have to defend all five people and the quarterback. Any time all five people are a legitimate threat to do something with the football down there, and you have to account for the quarterback, you're maximizing your chances of being an outstanding red zone team. They run the football well down there because they can run it and they can get the RPO version of the game, so they can change the math, even the math out down there. They're an outstanding screen team. A very, very tough cover. That's why they're such a good football team."

On 'being in the spotlight of the NFL' with the first regular season game exclusively on Amazon Prime Video:

"I feel like every game we're in the spotlight, in the NFL. You better feel that way when you're in the NFL because you are only one of 32 teams playing. I feel like every time we play, we're in the spotlight. I think what Amazon is doing for the game is going to make the NFL even a better product, it's going to create even more competition, which brings out the best in everybody. As you see who's joined up with Amazon, they've been able to join up with a lot of, the most successful people in that industry, and there's a reason why. I think it's going to be great for the game, two great teams playing, and it's going to be exciting for the NFL."

Safety Derwin James, Jr.

On how they approach Mahomes:

"Man, making sure we keep him in the pocket and cover the guys we need to cover."

On how they approach Kansas City without WR Tyreek Hill:

"Tyreek is different, but they still have guys that can get down the field if you're not careful with Mecole [Hardman] and [Marquez] Valdes-Scantling, so we have to play it straight."

On Mahomes' ability to throw outside the pocket:

"He's definitely his best on the scramble drill. We've got to be ready for all that."

Running Back Austin Ekeler

On the vibe around the team heading into the short week after a win:

"I would like to say our vibe will hopefully be the same after a loss or after a win, but it definitely feels better after a win. It's just a better feeling. Regardless of win or lose we're going to come back and get ready for the next week. That's how the NFL rolls. You keep transitioning into the next game and then the next game. Definitely opening up with a win makes you feel some kind of way."

On OC Joe Lombardi wanting more consistency in the run game:

"I put that on myself not reading looks as clean as I should have. Things like, 'We should have a gash right here,' and instead we have an 8-yard gain. That's still a good run, but there's so much left on the bone. I think just getting into a rhythm, this is the first time together that we've actually been on the field going full speed, tackling to the ground. We're going to have to work through some stuff but now no excuse. We got a game under our belt. Got to get it going again."

On splitting the running back carries in Week 1:

"I didn't really know how it was going to play out. We just brought Sony [Michel], he's been around about a week and a half. We have [Joshua Kelley] who's getting in the mix as well so that's just how it played out that week. I don't know if it'll be the same this week or a little bit different. I know I have to get myself more efficient in the run game or I'm probably going to lose reps there. That's how this goes. Make sure I'm locked in and make sure I taking advantage of the reps that we get."

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