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Top Quotes | What the Chargers Said Ahead of Week 4

TQ Week 4

Take a look at top quotes from Chargers Head Coach Brandon Staley, quarterback Justin Herbert and more from their Week 4 media availability:

Head Coach Brandon Staley

On LB Eric Kendricks:

"It's been good to have him back. Noticeable. He's fit right in. But, again, with him out of the lineup, we've been able to really learn a lot about [LB] Nick Neimann, and I think gained so much confidence in him. Then, we've learned a lot about [LB] Kenneth Murray [Jr.], we've learned a lot about him. That's what we expect on our team — when we do have injuries, and it doesn't matter to whom, but especially an important player, a captain, that you have your depth emerge. I think those are two good examples of it. Eric [Kendricks] has worked really hard to get back. It'll be good for us to have him back out there for us."

On if he has 'noticed a change' in Murray since Murray has 'been the green dot':

"No, Kenneth Murray [Jr.] has been steady since he has been here. He's a competitor. He has improved, again, every year since he's been here. He's off to a really good start to the season. I think he's gained a lot of confidence and trust with his teammates. The last two weeks, he's had really, I think, winning performances — certainly, a game ball in the last game. He just needs to continue to make the progress. He puts in all the right work and I think you're seeing all the results from all that hard work."

On this week's game against the Raiders and the first AFC West game of the season:

"Your division is the most important thing in your ability to make the playoffs, and, ultimately, become a Super Bowl champion. You have to make sure that the division, you get to play those teams six times a year, and you understand that these traditions go back a long way and that there's a lot of pride in each franchise. There's going to be a lot of energy in the stadium. All of the division games, there's just a different caliber of energy. You know each other a lot better — certainly, with this group, with the same head coach, we've played these guys and they've played us. It's going to be a really big-time environment on Sunday."

Offensive Coordinator Kellen Moore

On WR Quentin Johnston:

"I think like any young guy, it's just going through the process. Training camp, you introduced a lot of different language, concepts and all of that sort of stuff. I thought he did a good job of just continuing to build, continuing to grow each week. You're at point where he's got a few games underneath his belt. His rep count will certainly go higher and higher. I think he just needs that moment where he'll go catch a couple of balls in this game and go from there."

On the rushing attack:

"I'm not overly concerned about the run game. Again, it's a simple math equation. Minnesota had more guys [coming], we're not going to run the ball. We're not going to bang our head and try to run it 30 times against that defense. It's not going to help us. We threw it a lot. Again, every week in the NFL is a different season. We'll see what the equation is. Certainly, we'd like to run the ball — maybe more and more efficiently. Each game will dictate itself."

On the Raiders defense:

"I think they do a really good job. They're really sound, schematically. I think they do an excellent job. [Raiders Defensive Coordinator] Patrick [Graham] was in New York when I was in Dallas. We faced them a number of times. They're always going to be a really sound football team. They're going to be really well-prepared. Obviously, they have some premier players in this league on that side of the ball. It'll be a big challenge."

Defensive Coordinator Derrick Ansley

On two defensive stops at the end of Week 3 and the 'confidence that it brings' to the defensive unit:

"It gives us a lot of confidence because you have a lot of guys that have played a lot of football making some of those stops, and you have some newcomers — like [LB] Nick Niemann and [S] JT Woods — being a part of some of those stops. It gives us a lot of confidence in some of the younger players that can go out there and perform at a higher level. It was really good to see those guys get a chance to play, and then go out there and make those players."

On the Raiders' offense:

"They have really good personnel. It starts with the ground game, with [Raiders RB] Josh [Jacobs]. I know Josh very well, coached him at Alabama. He's a unique talent, very competitive. He's hard to tackle in space. One man can't really get it done a lot of the time. He's going to be a challenge. He has our full respect and our attention. Then, you have [Raiders WR] Davante [Adams] outside. He's a matchup issue, one of the best players in the league at his position — 100 catches every year. Then, [Raiders QB] Jimmy [Garoppolo] at quarterback. [Raiders Head Coach] Josh [McDaniels] does a really good job of mixing the run with the pass and getting his best players the ball in space so that they can make explosive plays. We have to do a really good job of respecting that and going out there and trying to calm it down."

Special Teams Coordinator Ryan Ficken

On preparing for former Chargers WR and returner DeAndre Carter:

"He presents a lot of challenges. This guy, obviously we know, he was third in punt return last year in the NFL and he's a dynamic returner. He does a great job because he's a veteran. He's savvy as a returner, so he has a lot of confidence with that. He's a violent runner, he can break tackles. He's got that acceleration and speed so he's a very dangerous returner and he's definitely got our full attention. We've got to do a great job covering him."

Quarterback Justin Herbert

On not committing a turnover:

"I think having a great plan. It starts with [Offensive Coordinator] Kellen [Moore] and our quarterbacks coach [Doug Nussmeier]. Everyone in that quarterback room has done a great job in preparing me and treating every rep like it's a game rep. To have receivers that go up and fight for the ball, and an offensive line that has done a great job of protecting us. I think our running backs, as well, have done a great job in protection, picking up blitzes and extra pressures like that. A lot goes into it, but I think practice is one of the biggest things, too."

On winning close games:

"I think you're trying to win every single game. Whether it's through the air, or on the ground. Whether it's offense or defense. It takes all three phases. I thought as an offense, a defense and as special teams, I thought we all stepped up big-time. The defense came up with big stops when we needed it to. The offense went down and scored the ball when we needed it to. It's not going to always be pretty. To have three phases that fight for one another, for each other. I think that's big for our team."

On facing the Raiders:

"Every game in the NFL is important. This is the most important one because it's our next. The Raiders are a really good football team. It's going to require all of our attention and a great week of preparation, of practice, to have any shot on Sunday."

Wide Receiver Keenan Allen

On what they need from Quentin Johnston:

"We're going to need him to be him. Be the guy that we drafted. We don't need no more or no less. When you get drafted [as a] first-round talent, we need first-round talent."

Outside Linebacker Khalil Mack

On defensive improvement in Week 3:

"I wouldn't say we fixed things but like I said when it's time to play winning football, situational football, we've got to be on all cylinders. Those penalties hurt us again for a third week in a row on third downs especially. Now it's different things that we got to fix this week understanding who we're going against. It's just constantly learning from the mistakes being made on the field, whether you win or lose."

Linebacker Eric Kendricks

On his return to play:

"I'm excited man. Like I said, these boys have embraced me here. I love playing football, I'm excited to go out there and play."

On Kenneth Murray, Jr.'s performance so far:

"Outstanding. I feel like he's definitely picked it up. He's a beast, let's see where he goes from here. Sky is the limit [for him]."

Wide Receiver Quentin Johnston

On stepping in:

"I'm ready for it. I feel like I came into a great situation in the first place, coming behind guys like Mike [Williams], Keenan [Allen] and Josh [Palmer]. Just watching them all the time and taking what they know from past experiences and applying it to my game, it's been good."

On plan for him on offense:

"We're keeping everything how it was. Just putting me in more of a position to go out there in certain sets and get more playing time."

Guard Jamaree Salyer

On the Raiders:

They play really hard and very physical team. Obviously they have [Crosby], really great player, elite player. They play to the whistle every snap and that's just something that we kind of have to match and set tone for, just playing with that same intensity, the same speed, strength. Obviously they have great pass rushers, great players. I'm excited to see how match up against them. It's going to be a physical game, a division game, so it means a lot to us. But also just being able to go into the bye week 2-2 I think would give us a good chance to reset."

Tackle Trey Pipkins III

On comfort level along the offensive line:

"For sure. I think it's an every week kind of thing and as long as you can continue to play next to somebody on both sides, we're going to continue to grow and our communication is only going to get better and better, our chemistry is going to get better and better. I think it's just going to be a continuing process."

On how you feel the growth in chemistry:

"It sounds kind of weird, but the more you get to the point where the less you have to obviously communicate about double teams and things like that. You don't necessarily want to call out what double teams are going at the line of scrimmage, but sometimes early on, when you're playing with somebody you want to make sure you guys are on the same page and things like that. The less you have to make that obvious communication, it's like, 'Alright, we're starting to get into a groove. We both know where each other is going to be at'. Stuff like that."

Linebacker Nick Niemann

On his pass breakup in Week 3:

"It was big. Making a play like that makes you feel good for sure. Awesome for the defense, the linebacker room and once again, being able to show the coaches that you can go out there and compete with some of the best guys in the NFL when the money is on the line in a hostile environment. Definitely big."

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