Take a look at top quotes from Chargers Head Coach Brandon Staley, quarterback Justin Herbert and others after Sunday's 24-19 win over the Raiders:
Head Coach Brandon Staley
On 'the depth of the team being put on display today':
"I think that is an excellent observation. We needed everybody on this team that was active in order to finish this game. I think, in all three phases of the game, you saw that depth expressed itself. Starting in the kicking game, us onboarding [P] JK Scott and what he was able to do for us in the punt game, netting almost 49 yards [per punt], a punt inside of the two-yard-line, the hangtime, forcing fair catches. The operation was really critical to our success. Then a couple of guys that stand out to me is when Keenan [Allen] went down, DC, [WR] DeAndre Carter, comes in and has a huge touchdown, has a couple of huge catches for us. He gave us a huge lift. Then, all of the receivers that had to step up when Keenan goes out, those four guys holding the rope for us, I thought that was really, really big in the game. I thought you saw all three backs carry the ball. I thought, you saw at the end of the game there, being able to finish the game with the football. I was really, really excited to see that. Then, on defense, I think you saw that it's going to take a village to defend against a team like that; in the secondary, at linebacker, rushing inside. I thought you saw all of that depth on display. It's just a credit to our organization, just talking to our organization ownership, personnel department, coaching staff, onboarding these guys. That's what you need in the NFL."
On the defense's performance overall:
"I was very proud of our group. There was a lot of confidence on that group, because there was that timeout, and I go out there and it's like, 'OK, well, what are we going to call here to bring us home?' I saw 11 guys that believe that they were going to close it, and they played like it today. I think, as a coach, that's what you're looking for, that they have that look in their eye, that confidence in one another that what we call, we're going to go execute and bring us home. What I thought you saw in two minutes there was our rush and our coverage playing together to bring us home."
On the offensive line not allowing a sack:
"Well, the reason why Maxx [Crosby] and Chandler [Jones] have a lot of chatter is because they've earned it. They're two of the top players in the league. Certainly, at the front of our minds. They both played really good games for them. They're just really tough play to against. Tt takes all 11 to be able to take on those two guys. I thought that our offense really competed. I thought that our O-line, Zion [Johnson] in his first start, just going out there against a group like that and being able to perform. Those five guys playing together, our protection plan, that was outstanding. Justin [Herbert] using his legs and the receivers and backs doing a good job of getting open. It was a tough game. It was just one of those tough NFL football games today. A well-played game by both teams."
On Herbert's performance today:
"Poise, composure, play-making, leadership, toughness, all the quarterbacking stuff that you need in a tight game. I think a lot of the little things that, to the casual fan, they may not notice, but being strong with the ball in the pocket when you're playing against a rush like that. Being able to make plays with your feet. That red area third down that he made, and then had the slide, making some plays with his feet to Create some space for the receivers. You know that when you play against a team like that, that you are going to have to use your legs. I thought that he did a nice job of that today."
On CB Asante Samuel Jr. and LB Kenneth Murray Jr.:
"Proud of Asante [Samuel Jr.]. That interception is about as good as you're going to see in the NFL. He's capable of that. He's playing with confidence. He's fearless. He got beat a couple of times out there today, but it doesn't bother him, which I love. There's going to be a lot of things on the film that he learns from because those are a lot of outstanding players that he's playing against, but he's a competitor and he can get you the ball. Those are two good things in this league. I'm proud of him. Kenneth [Murray Jr.], to come off the off season where he doesn't have a spring, doesn't have a training camp, to go out there and compete like he did today, hopefully, this is the beginning for him. I'm proud of his toughness, his resilience. He's going to learn a lot from this tape, as well. Just showing that competitive spirit and that toughness that we think is really important."
Quarterback Justin Herbert
On if he would describe today's game as 'tough and rugged':
"I think that's a good description of it. I thought the defense played really well all throughout the game. To cause three turnovers and a few sacks like they did, they came up big time when we needed them the most."
On WR DeAndre Carter's touchdown catch:
"It was an incredible catch by him. It was low and he went down for it and caught it. I thought Gerald's [Everett] catch was incredible, as well, kind of a broken down play. He's just a playmaker. He's a special player that when things break down, you have to find him out on the field and he makes a great catch, fights for a couple of yards and finds himself in the end zone. I thought his catch in the end zone was pretty impressive. That's a very tough catch for him to go so low, and still has to keep his eyes up for any defenders coming at him. Both catches were great by him."
On the defense's performance today:
"It was awesome. I've been seeing that all camp long. They make plays. They get pressure on the quarterback and that secondary is special. They are tough to throw on and when you get guys like Bryce [Callahan] and [Asante Samuel Jr.], [Michael Davis] and Derwin [James Jr.], [Nasir Adderley], it's really fun to watch them."
On today's win:
"It's just great to be able to go out there and finally play some football. We've been itching for a few months now and going through preseason, not getting any reps there, you're just excited to get back out to football and came away with a big win today, but it's quickly moving onto the Chiefs on Thursday."
On the offensive line's 'consistent' performance:
"That's a pretty good description right there. If I could just backpack on that, no sacks, we moved the ball well, we ran the ball well. We needed to be more consistent in the second half, but I thought the offensive line played really well today."
Outside Linebacker Khalil Mack
On adjustments after the first drive:
"We just had to knuckle up. Understand who they had on that side of the ball and what they're capable of. Especially that guy Derek [Carr], I've seen him do it many times in the 4th quarter, so I knew what it was going to take. We were able to get some pressure on him."
On relationship with Joey Bosa and how it played into what they did today:
"It's real special. Just being able to talk ball on the sideline, communicating about what we're getting on either side and trying to figure out what each tackle is giving us. We're able to bounce ideas off each other throughout the game. I feel like they switched a guy in at some point."
On getting last stop:
"It's team ball man. It's all team ball. The coverage guys were doing an excellent job. They did a lot. It's been a while since I got coverage sacks. They were balling. Whatever it took to get [Davante Adams], especially on those downs I knew [Carr] was looking for him, they had a special game."
Guard Zion Johnson
On his NFL debut:
"It was amazing. It's always great to start off with a win. Just how the stadium was, it was more than I could fathom. Just the amount of fans, how loud it was, the whole environment was amazing. But to go out there, get that win was amazing to start off the season."
On Justin Herbert's performance:
"It was awesome. His pocket presence, his throwing talent, everything. His leadership, something you don't usually see. When you play with a guy like that, it's just awesome."
On performance as an offensive line:
"Of course, after every game you look at the things you didn't do right and you want to get those things fixed. At the end of the day, the main thing we wanted to do is come out and get a win in our first game. We were able to do that and we're happy with that."
Right Tackle Trey Pipkins III
On how the offensive line played:
"It was a hard-fought game in the trenches. This game is going to be a good indicator of how tough and rugged this division is. Anytime you don't give up any sacks, you feel good, but there are some pressures and stuff we can avoid. You have to look at it honestly with yourself and make sure you can improve on it."
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Center Corey Linsley
On the offensive line:
"It was big. I felt like Rashawn [Slater] gets a lot of publicity deservingly, he's a dude out there. Trey [Pipkins III] for him to step up like he did, show out. Those are elite edge rushers. I'm sure if you watch the film, I'm sure we had some help on certain plays but there's going to be a time where you have to step up, and they did. It's awesome."
On Zion Johnson's performance:
"Zion has been a professional since day one. He's everything you want in a rookie. He studies hard, listens, asks questions and stuff. There was really no doubt going into this since we had all of camp with him. He's fitting in phenomenally, so just another day at the office for him."
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Wide Receiver Deandre Carter
On productivity of the offense:
"We had a great game plan. We came in and we executed. Justin played great, everyone on the offense played great, [offensive] line blocked it up well, we were able to move the ball pretty well."
On stepping up:
"For me, I've been in the league for a while. You always have to prepare. You never know what's going to happen. And my role is being able to fill in when somebody goes down so you have to know all the spots in the offense, know the game plan and be able to step in when your number is called."
On how 'friendly of a quarterback' Justin Herbert is:
"Yeah I mean they talk about us receivers being friendly, but Justin makes it easy on us. He's throwing the ball in places a lot of people can't get it to, hitting us in the numbers. When the ball is right there in the sweet spot, it's hard to drop it. That's all Justin."
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