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Top Quotes | What the Chargers Said Ahead of Week 9

TQ Week 9

Take a look at top quotes from Chargers Head Coach Brandon Staley, quarterback Justin Herbert and more from their Week 9 media availability:

Head Coach Brandon Staley

On the Jets' defense:
"They're playing really well as a unit. I think that it starts up front with their front seven. They have eight D-linemen that they roll through there, and then three linebackers who can really run. [Jets LB] C.J. Mosely there in the middle, I think that he is of that mold of a guy that has been doing it at such a high level for so long. He is kind of the anchor there in the middle. They have good team speed. In the secondary, they play well together. [Jets CB] Sauce Gardner, he has turned into one of the top corners in the league. They're a team that really plays hard, too. Their playstyle shows up on tape. A well-coached group."

On the run game and how that compares to QB Justin Herbert's performance last week:
"Every game is different. Last game, the way that we threw the football was what we needed to do to win that game, with the way they were playing us. Chicago has a really good run defense, statistically. They engineer a lot of their defense to take away the run. I think it was one of those completion games for us. That's how we had to play the game. I think the mission was accomplished, in terms of how we wanted to play that game, getting Justin [Herbert] in rhythm. I thought that we protected the passer really well, so that's a sign that our front was playing well. But in the run game, there's room for improvement. I think everybody knows that. Sometimes there are just aspects of offense, defense and kicking game that just take more time than others. That's an aspect of ours that we need to keep working on."

On preparing to face teams with winning records three out of the next four games and 'if he likes that the Chargers have to go against some of the best teams in the NFL the rest of the season':
"I think we've had premium matchups to start the season. I look at our first seven games and I look back at a lot of premium matchups with teams that are going to be there at the end. That's how the NFL is. Every week, you have to be ready to play. You can't be looking too far in the future with your team. There are a lot that can change week-to-week in the NFL, based on the matchup. The NFL, to me, is about the matchup in front of you. It's not about the matchups down the road because a lot of things happen in the NFL down the road, so that matchup may change. The way it looks now, it may not be the same way later. We're focused on the New York Jets. This is a really good football team. They've beaten a lot of quality teams. They have a winning record. We have a lot of respect for them, coaching and playing. That's where our focus is right now."

Offensive Coordinator Kellen Moore

On the rushing offense:
"I think the run game is something that, obviously, we would like to improve on. At times, you're going to have different challenges in an offensive scheme. I think, for us, we just have to try and find something, just create some stability in it. So we can create some consistency. We're not going to rush for the 200 yards that we did in Week 1. That's not normal in this league. We have to find a way to create some stability in that world. You're just trying to navigate it to figure out what scheme we should maybe best utilize, based upon our structure. At the same time, you're going to face different opponents. We have to find a way to run a little bit better. Again, we're navigating that. If there was one simple solution, we'd hop right into that basket and go for it, but I think it's a combination of a lot of different things."

On the Jets' defense:
"These guys, when they create the turnovers, it has a huge impact on the game. It creates a lot of energy for their defense. It's a big challenge. They do a tremendous job. It's something they emphasize in a really phenomenal way. We have to do a really excellent job in that category."

On RB Austin Ekeler:
"Austin [Ekeler] has done a really fine job. Him getting back into the fold the last couple of weeks and just finding that groove. He's just done an excellent job. He's such a professional. He has great experience in the pass game and the run game. Certainly, it's something that we can lean on. He's done a really good job."

Defensive Coordinator Derrick Ansley

On Jets QB Zach Wilson:
"Well, I have got history with [QB] Zach Wilson [laughter]. When I coached at Tennessee, we played him at BYU, and he's kind of the same, really — he's athletic, he buys time. He's not an overly fast guy, but very instinctive. He can feel that rush and escape pockets. He's dangerous on the run. He has that gunslinger-like approach, he plays the next play. He's a good player. He was a good player in 2019 when we played him and he's a good player now."

On 'carrying momentum' into the next game:
"We talked about what got us to last week's victory, and that was coming out here and killing blocks, straining to the ball, taking the ball away in practice and doing the fundamental things our way. That led to us playing well on Sunday."

On if the defense has 'a different feel' following last week's performance:
"No, we're the same defense. We just have to continue to do the things that we stress on, which is running to the ball, practicing the right way. You get better out there on that field. Once put the work in out there, then, usually, you get the dividend returns on Sunday and Monday."

Special Teams Coordinator Ryan Ficken

On Jets returner Xavier Gipson:

"He's electric with the ball in his hands. He does a great job of getting guys vertical and making guys miss. He doesn't have to stop, he can accelerate and has great balance. And he does a great job catching in traffic. Obviously, he had the walk-off in the first game of the year so he's a dangerous returner."

Quarterback Justin Herbert

On the New York defense:
"They're really well-coached. They have a lot of really good players on that side of the ball. They're a good team. We have to watch as much film as we can. They're going to do what they do. We have to be ready for whatever they bring pressure-wise, coverage-wise. They do a lot of great things on defense."

On executing throughout games:
"Just knowing that we have the plan, we have the right guys, and going out there and executing. Knowing that we're able to play really good football when we want to and when we're able to. Just being consistent for all four quarters. I think that's a huge part of us playing well and a big part of when we want to play well. I think it's just taking each play as they come, one at a time. Knowing that we have practice reps that we treat like game reps and knowing that it's not all going to happen at once, but it's going to be each individual play that you take care of. If you do that enough, you're going to play consistent football."

On WR Keenan Allen:
"He's a pro. He's done such a great job watching film, taking care of his body and being available. He's as good as it gets talent-wise, but he's a professional off the field, as well. The way he treats people, the way he leads our team. We're not surprised at all by all of the success that he's had."

Safety Derwin James, Jr.

On 'looking to' the next 'stretch' of games:
"I feel like you don't look at it as a stretch. You look at it as day-by-day. It started today in practice, and we got better from that. Last week, we got a W and started 1-0. This week, we're trying to do the same thing coming against the Jets on Monday night. We're taking it practice-by-practice, game-by-game and we'll look up at the end of this thing."

On the importance of winning on the road:
"Definitely important. We lost two games moving back, so we just have to keep moving forward. Stacking the days and stacking the games. It was a good week last week, so keep stacking from that."

On WR Keenan Allen:
"Longevity. That's my guy. He's a baller. He works hard. He practices harder than any guy that you know. For him to be able to do what he's been doing, nothing but love for him, nothing but respect. He's going to go down as one of the greats, get that gold jacket one day, for sure."

Outside Linebacker Khalil Mack

On Chargers OLB Joey Bosa:

"Joey is Joey. As long as he's out there on the field and he's healthy, he's going to be himself. Just keep him in his groove however you can, making sure throughout the week we're getting the looks that he needs. He's a special player so he's going to make the plays he needs to make as long as he's out there on the field."

OLB Joey Bosa

On the team's mindset:

"What we're doing is what we need to do. We had a little bit of a rough start but there are teams that had a great start and aren't rolling too well. It's that time of the year where you can really cement yourself as a playoff team and a good team in the league. I think if our energy stays the same … guys have been really positive … just staying together and trusting each other and continuing to believe in the process."

Wide Receiver Keenan Allen

On approaching 10,000 receiving yards:
"10,000 is big. I remember seeing Cris Carter get 10,000 yards growing up watching the Vikings play. It was a big deal then, I think it's still a big deal now."

On Jets defense:
"They play well together. Obviously, the defensive line is pretty good, Quinnen Williams, they've got a great veteran in the middle, C.J. Mosley and on the back end they fly around. They play well together."

LB Eric Kendricks

On carrying the success of last week into this week:

"We had success last week, but there's a reason why. We have to trust our preparation and the way we do things. Just know that it's contagious. Now we know what we can expect and put it together for one game, it's about stacking the games. Can we do it for two, for three, for the rest of the season? Let's keep this thing consistent."

On celebration committee:

"You've got to have fun with it. We work too hard to not have fun. We want to win, but winning is fun. When you have fun on game day, it can give you momentum and a little bit of life. It can inspire your teammates. It's about celebrating the hard work you put in together."

Tight End Nick Vannett

On settling in with the Chargers:
"I'm extremely thrilled for the opportunity. I don't take it lightly, you know? It's my eighth year and I came here on the practice squad just trying to focus on giving the defense good looks and truing to improve my skills a little bit. Just trusting that my opportunity would come eventually. Just excited to be able to help contribute on offense. I think I can add an element to the run game and help out in that area."

On 'bringing energy' to run game blocking:

"I think you can call it that. Some grit, really just energy. At the end of the day, it's just how much fight you have. You have to get gritty in the trenches and that's obviously my strength, to be able to block in the run game. I think I can help out and I'm excited to bring that."

Cornerback Ja'Sir Taylor

On the 'good energy' in practice:

"Honestly in practice. We do good in practice, get that confidence just to play free on Monday night. We keep building in practice, hash out the mistakes in practice and when we get to the game, just play free."

On Jets WR Garrett Wilson:

"He's a good receiver, he's proven himself so far. He's quick, shifty, deceptive and he's dangerous with the ball in his hands. All we've got to do is get hands on early with him… just like every other week, just have got to cover him until the whistle blows."

OL Jordan McFadden

On getting plays at fullback:
"It's definitely fun, obviously getting to play the game I love. Super excited and just excited to be included in the game plan. To have the opportunity to go play is always fun for me."

On the difference of going in at FB compared to OL:

"I still kind of carry the same mindset of if I was pulling or something like that, a screen, just breaking down my feet and squaring up the smaller guys that are obviously more athletic. I still use my offensive lineman instincts so to say to help me in those positions."

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