Take a look at what Broncos Head Coach Nathaniel Hackett, Broncos Defensive Coordinator Ejiro Evereo and cornerback Pat Surtain II said throughout the week about the Bolts ahead of their Week 6 matchup:
Head Coach Nathaniel Hackett
On the challenge quarterback Justin Herbert presents:
"First and foremost, he can just drop back and play quarterback. Then when things don't work out or the pocket collapses, he can take off and he can run. He's an elite runner. He's got very good speed, and he also has the ability to keep his eyes downfield and find explosive plays down the field. I think that's what really stresses a defense more than anything. You want to try to keep him in the pocket as much as you possibly can. Because when he gets out, sometimes—and that's not necessarily how we draw it up. Whenever there's a scramble, it looks really cool. His ability to create when things aren't perfect—I think—is the thing that he does best."
On Chargers OLB Khalil Mack and S Derwin James, Jr.:
"Khalil is a dynamic player, and we've all known that. He's been that way for a long time. It's funny coming here. I figured that you weren't going to have to see him twice a year. Then he goes ahead and goes to the Chargers. He is an elite player right now, both playing the run and playing the pass, and being able to rush the passer. He's so elite at that. [It's a] challenge because we have to be able to work as a team to be able to block him. It's not just one man. You can't just say it's the right tackle, the left tackle. It has to be a lot of people. He's just that good and you don't want him to take over the game. [S] Derwin [James]—with him, I think he's done a great job playing in the box. He's a physical player and he's got amazing athleticism to be able to cover, to be able to drop in coverage. Really, it's just his ability to play in that box and be a force in the run game. That's pretty impressive."
On the Broncos-Chargers rivalry:
"I remember the first time I got to meet [Pro Football Hall of Fame LB] Junior Seau. I was so scared of him. He was such a dominant player when I was a kid. When I got to meet him at one point, he was one of the nicest guys I've ever met. Just thinking about those days—[Chargers Hall of Fame DE/OLB Leslie] O'Neill and [former Chargers QB Stan] Humphries. That was kind of my time. Then as they developed, they had all these great players. [former Chargers TE] Antonio Gates—he's the epitome of all tight ends. Watching just the West in general is such an amazing division to watch. Then you add in all those teams, and all those teams that have been good throughout it. It's a great rivalry, and it's one of those things that we need to start competing better in this rivalry, in this West. They are all very solidified and they're doing a good job."
Defensive Coordinator Ejiro Evero
On the biggest challenges of facing a quarterback like Herbert:
"I think most people would agree he's one of the best players in this league. His ability to play in the pocket, play outside of the pocket, the mobility, the arm strength, you know smart beyond his years. So he's a good player and a tough challenge for us."
On Herbert's ability to avoid sacks:
"It's a combination of his athletic ability and their scheme. You know they do a good job of getting the ball out, a lot of quick game."
On running back Austin Ekeler's versatility as a receiver:
"I mean yeah, you've got to view him as a runner and a receiver. You know in those run situations he's got the ability to find the open ends and he's got the lateral agility to start here and then end up over there. Then in those pass situations obviously he's a real threat, so yeah he's a good player."
On the key to containing wide receiver Mike Williams and Keenan Allen if he's able to play:
"This team, it's funny we are going through all the players and it's just like there are a lot weapons everywhere. You know they are good players and we got to understand what their strengths are, how they are being utilized and get ready to deal."
Cornerback Pat Surtain II
On the challenge Chargers WR Mike Williams and Chargers WR Keenan Allen present to the defense:
"They bring us a lot of challenges to the table. Obviously, they have great receivers within the offensive scheme. They both make plays, and they are tremendous playmakers on their own."
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