Take a look at top quotes from Head Coach Brandon Staley, quarterback Justin Herbert, safety Derwin James, Jr., running back Austin Ekeler and more following Sunday's win:
Head Coach Brandon Staley
On the run-game clicking:
"It was the story of the game for us. We came in here and certainly there were a lot of questions about us being able to run the ball in the first four games. We had a lot of confidence in the plan, a lot of confidence in who's running the ball and who's blocking for them. I just think our O-Linemen came alive today, and our runners – (RB Austin) Ekeler, (RB Joshua) Kelley. I mean, those guys were flying out there and just running with a purpose. I thought we had really good scheme in the plan. I thought (OL Coach) Brendan (Nugent), (Assistant OL Coach) Shaun (Sarrett), (TE Coach) Kevin Koger, (RB Coach) Derrick Foster – those guys had a great design. I thought (OC) Joe (Lombardi) called a really great game. It was patient. We needed to be with those two rushers. You can't say enough about our O-Line group. They got a game ball."
On Chargers wide receiver Mike Williams:
"The toughness. He lands on his back on the high wire act and he just comes right back out there. He just has so much toughness. I was disappointed that the replay took away the lob there. He has been our offense outside. He's there for us in every single game. He has all the competitive traits that you're looking for in a football player. Then as a receiver, as you're seeing, this guy can win one-on-one. He can win a lot of different places. Like I said, when Mike Williams touches the ball, it's good for us."
On the decision to go for it on fourth down late in the game:
"I just wanted to finish the game with the ball. I felt like we liked the play and we liked the matchup. We knew what coverage they were going to be in. We wanted to finish the game on our terms on third down. We felt like we had a good runup against that defense. We had a pass solution. They defended it well. Then on fourth down, it just really felt like the slant to (WR) Mike (Williams) was going to be the play call there. It just didn't go down for us, but I had a lot of confidence in our defense to go out there and get them stopped.
That was a big motive because we knew that they would have to throw the ball to beat us. We felt like we could cover them. I love the way that our team finished that game. Obviously, the storybook would have been just to finish it right there and walk to victory lane, but that's not how it went. We had to go play defense. We had to go defend and our defense ended up winning us the game with that takeaway and that stop at the end of the game."
Quarterback Justin Herbert
On Chargers Head Coach Brandon Staley's decision to go for it in the fourth down late in the game:
"I think it says a lot that he believes in us. Just like I believe in our offensive line, our receivers, and our running backs. I knew that we would go out there and convert. It did not go our way unfortunately, but we were riding with that play. The defense came with that big stop when we were down."
On RB Austin Ekeler's career high in rushing yards:
"He is a pretty special player. We've known that, and anytime we get the ball, something special is going to happen. We saw that happen today. He is one of the hardest workers on the team, he is a great leader."
On the impact of wide receiver Mike Williams:
"He is a competitor and the game changes when he is out there. Third down, you have to be alert for him. We think so highly of him in man coverage, finding the sweet spots in the zones because he is a smart player. He is super athletic and has done a great job stepping up and being a leader the past couple of weeks. It has been awesome to see."
On the Chargers defensive stop that kept the Cleveland Browns from getting close to their field goal range:
"I thought it was huge. The defense got some big time stops and forced the turnover down in the red zone, which was huge for us. While I would have liked to close the game out on offense, we believe one hundred percent in those guys."
Safety Derwin James, Jr.
On what he thought about safety Alohi Gilman's 4th quarter interception:
"MVP, I mean it was an amazing play, big play. Taking points off the board, I mean we were only up two points and they were already in field goal range, so to take points off the board that was so big."
On how he felt they played defensively overall:
"It was by far the best rushing attack that we've seen. We could've play it better in some spots because we gave up a lot of those explosive runs. In the second quarter we kind of settled in, third quarter we kind of played good. We just got to play better on defense, hats off to the offense for helping us out today."
On what was going through his mind when the offense went for it on fourth down at the end of the game:
"We are with them. We are going for it even though they didn't get it, so what we have to go out there and get a stop. It's on us to get the stop, we believe in our offense, we are going to go for it again. We don't care."
Running Back Austin Ekeler
On if the Chargers' run game made a statement today:
"We have been building. Last week, we had a little bit better production. This week, obviously more. I want to see us continue to do that. It is not necessarily a statement until you can continue to do it for a few weeks in there. To actually create an identity, it takes more than a couple of weeks of success. We are going back to work. We are going to try to do the same thing again next week."
On how the Chargers responded being down 14-0:
"That is what we do. It does matter what the score is, we have to go out and we are trying to put our best foot forward going down there to get more points. That is all we can focus on as an offense."
On if emphasizing the run game during the week helped create more holes today:
"I do not want to say we emphasize it like we have not emphasized it in the past, it has definitely been an emphasis for us. But today, the offensive line ended up getting the game ball for good reason because they were definitely moving some people out of the way. We switched up our scheme a little bit, some a little different than we have done in the past. We were able to exploit that."
Safety Alohi Gilman
On his goal-line interception late in the fourth quarter:
"It was one of those late downs, sprint out runs, [quarterback] got out of the pocket, kind of baited him into throwing it cause there in that field zone where quarterbacks like to stretch it out and dump it out, or run the ball. Like [Patrick] Mahomes is one of the masters of those. He kind of just did that, baited him into doing it. He took a couple of steps forward and me and him are looking eye to eye and I fell back in the window and he threw the ball [right to me]."
On how he felt like he played today overall:
"I have a lot to work on. That is part of football. It was good to get my feet wet and get out there and play ball. I have not done that in a while. Shout out to everyone else, they helped me. Shout out to all the safeties for helping me out. My brothers. All the defensive backs were a big part of this. Good start."
On making his first start at safety this season:
"I just know that it was a group effort. That's all that matters to me. Whether I was playing, [Adderley] was playing, we're all close, we're all brothers and we need each other throughout the rest of the season. Whether I'm playing, or [Adderley] or James, that's just how it goes in the secondary."
Running Back Joshua Kelley
On getting in the endzone :
"It's been a while. It felt good, our [offensive] line man, they were just moving some dudes. For me, it was my consistency, doing everything I can to make sure I'm doing the best I can."
On if he credits the running game to the offensive line:
"Yeah, those dudes were moving the ball. They were just coming off the ball, tight ends coming off the ball too, receivers. Everybody was over there was just making the effort today that we were going to run the ball. Shoutout to them."
On how he felt getting a bigger workload:
"Yeah, I felt good man. Honestly, it's just confidence, it's mentally. I feel like for me man, I knew I had the ability it's just mental. After once I get past that mental roadblock and know that I can play, let's go. After that, the rest will take care of itself."
Defensive Lineman Christian Covington
On his mindset on the 4th-and-1 play:
"My mindset was execute the call that was given to us and honestly man we all came alive. The entire defensive line came alive that play and we got it done, we got it done when we needed to throughout this game. It wasn't a pretty game, it was a nice little highlight for a 4th-and-1 stop, but throughout the game we already know that there were a lot of things that we need to improve and correct. That's just one thing that we all, myself included we all gotta get better after looking at the film after today."
On if the Browns run game was as advertised:
"Absolutely, they are who they are, and we knew that coming in. At the end of the day too sometimes we knew exactly what they were going to run, but hey they are a talented group, they are one of the best in the NFL at running the ball and we knew that going into it. At the end of the day we'll take this win and we're going to correct what we have to correct after watching this film."
On being able to slow the run down later in the game:
"At the end of the day you can never press the panic mode, you cannot press the panic button ever in a game. When we knew that it wasn't starting off pretty we all looked at each other and said hey, 'it's not about how we start, it's a about how we finish the game.' You know what, there were moments where it wasn't pretty, there were moments where it was looking really good from a defensive standpoint, but all know is we are going to take this win."
Tackle Trey Pipkins III
On the offensive line's mentality going into the game:
"I think there was an aggressive mindset because Cleveland is know for how they run the ball and we were sick of hearing about it and we were excited to go out there and show that we could run the ball too."
On the performances of Austin Ekeler and Joshua Kelley:
"I think that is back to our mindset for us. We knew Cleveland was going to come out and try to pound the ball against our defense so we wanted to do the same. So that was cool to see them do that."
On that game feeling like playoff football and stacking wins together:
"I feel like every week in the NFL it is playoff football. Everybody is playing hard. Most games are close and it comes down to the last five minutes of the game it seems like almost all the time. The wins are awesome we have to keep stacking them up and that's always the goal."
Kicker Taylor Bertolet
On making his NFL debut in Cleveland:
"It felt good to finally get an opportunity to come out and play. Josh [Harris] and [JK Scott] made it super easy. Had about one or two days of practice, for them to come out and snap be perfect operations, it was really easy to do my job."
On his dream of making his NFL debut:
"Absolutely. It's been about four or five years now going after it, trying to get [on a team]. I've been on, I think, six NFL teams, been in 10 preseason games so to finally get an opportunity, I appreciate it."
On when he found out he was getting the start at kicker:
"I found out this morning. Officially this morning."
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