Take a look at top quotes from Head Coach Brandon Staley, RB Joshua Kelley and DL Breiden Fehoko before Tuesday's practice:
Head Coach Brandon Staley
On what 'factors in' when keeping three quarterbacks on the active roster:
"I think it's just what your team's makeup is. I think every team is different, what you would do with that spot for somebody else, whether it's position players, a special teams player. But, I ultimately think it's about the value that that person brings to the team, and that's where it starts for us. We feel like we have three quarterbacks that bring an awful lot of value to our team, and that the dynamics of this team really fit three quarterbacks. I think they all played very well in the preseason. We're happy to have all three. We feel like we have a very healthy quarterback situation. I think if you talk to the other 31 teams, or any of the teams that are in football, regardless of the level, when you can have a quarterback situation like ours, I think you would take it, to feel this strongly about it. I'm glad we have all three, for sure."
On where he is in his 'learning curve' of being an NFL head coach:
"I think it's an excellent question. I think you know, like, today is a beginning, but there's so much to do between now and the first game, let alone the 20th. You know how much changes in an NFL season. I think you're aware of the change that happens throughout an NFL season. If you just take a look at my first season, the changes that went from this day last year to the end, and what we went through, you have to be prepared for an awful lot. I think that that's what we're trying to do, is build a complete football team, try to create a team that's deep enough, that's good enough to win that particular week, whatever week it is. We know that there's so much work to do and that nothing is set, nothing is ever finished in the NFL."
On his approach to preparing for two games within five days to begin the season:
"The timeline, definitely, is interesting to start out with, just having to off the get-go. I think, number one, it has your full attention. I think you see a lot of times in college where you have that big kickoff game, whether it's like Alabama, USC, Ohio State, one of those big kickoff games. That has your players' full attention, for sure, so that's an advantage. But I think that now that the NFL is put the extra week in between, I think that's helpful, just to get you another week before your first game. Then, that's what you spend your offseason doing, too, making sure that you're prepared. Then, there's the other element, too, that you can't get ready for something that you don't know about, like those two teams are going to be different come Week 1. What we were studying last year with them, it's not who they're going to be. There are so many changes that both teams are making. You have to take each week as it comes, I think, and that's certainly my approach. Just take each week as it comes and not look too far ahead. To me, in the NFL, the week that's in front of you demands your full attention. That's what we're going to do for this week."
On the amount of time dedicated to preparing for Week 1 this week:
"Not much preparation for them, more about us, more about getting into our rhythm, our work week rhythm. I think that's a big goal for us, to kind of establish that work rhythm within our football team. Get our guys back really focused on the fundamentals of what it's going to take; blocking and tackling and takeaways and all those things that are kind of the essence of football, and then making sure that we're still developing our schemes. I think this is another week where we can continue to experiment, push it a little bit schematically, see if this play could fit or if this defense could fit, this coverage, whatever the case may be. You still have some time here to push it schematically. I thought last week we had three quality practices, and I see it very much the same this week."
On which player will start at right tackle:
"Trey Pipkins [III] will be the starting right tackle for us. I told you that I will tell you when that expressed itself. Trey had a very quality camp, as did Storm [Norton]. It was a really good competition for our football team. Trey definitely earned that position. Storm is going to be a guy that we lean on heavily. We feel like the offensive line, as you guys covered throughout the league, it's tough to field a deep, quality offensive line. We feel like we're much closer to being that, as a football team, and Storm's gonna be a big part of it. We know that we've won a lot of football games here and played a lot of high-caliber offensive football with him starting for us, so we're going to need them both. I'm really proud of Trey. He's come a long way since one year ago, today. It's what the NFL means to me. That's why you stick with players. You don't ever stop. You don't give up on anybody, you stay with them. You keep at it and you keep competing together. Trey deserves full credit because he's the one that invested so much in his game. His coaches, his teammates on the O-line, have really helped him get to where he's at today. Really proud of him."
Running Back Joshua Kelley
On his role on the team this season:
"For me, I think it's simple. I just want to impact the game. It could be offense, special teams, that's just what I want to do. It doesn't matter if I'm getting 20 carries, two, I'm going to make the most out of it. On special teams, just go out there and handle my business. I've been playing this game for a long time. This is my third year now, so I'm just trying to impact the game."
On if the battle for the number two running back spot changes after the establishment of the initial 53:
"I think that's one of those things where it's always going to be there. For me, I'm a competitor, so it is what it is. I've been used to battling, competing for a while now. So, I embrace it and just want to impact the game any way I can."
On contributing on special teams and 'how many units' he hopes to be on:
"Hopefully, as much as I can, all four. That would be great to be on all four. I've made a lot of progress. I think, for me, the biggest thing was just being more confident in my ability to play special teams. I didn't play much in college, at all, so my first couple years were like, 'OK, this is a bit different.' But now it's like, 'Alright, I went through a whole training camp, preseason, I feel good.' I know that I can do it. It's just like, let's go. I'm excited about it."
Defensive Lineman Breiden Fehoko
On making the initial active roster:
"I feel like I have not made it yet because every day, you are still trying to earn the respect of your teammates and your coaches and everybody in this organization. Until you win a Super Bowl and until you become a made man in this League, I feel like I've never really made it yet. So, I'm still a long way from where I want to be as a player individually, but more than grateful to be a part of this organization another week."
On why the 'peer pressure' of the teammates is more meaningful than getting coached:
"Because I never want to let the guys in my room down. Like I said, they are like brothers to me. They are brothers. Not like. They are brothers to me. Jay Rodgers is another father figure to us in the room, along with the other defensive coaches. But, I take a lot of pride in not just playing good for myself, but we represent something more than just the defensive line. We represent the Chargers. We represent a defensive line unit that was trashed on last year for some of our performances. Personally, we take a lot of pride in that. Whether it's a practice out here in helmets or camp in a scrimmage at Jack Hammett or a preseason game, there is a lot of pride being taken. When those guys tell me that I need to pick my [expletive] up — excuse my language, my mother may be watching. But when I need to pick my behind up and play to the standard of what they know I can do and what we should do, that's what I take a lot of pride in."
On how much the defensive line has talked about the outside commentary about how they played last season:
"A lot of it goes hand in hand. As a defensive unit, you work together. But as a defensive line, we feel like if there is a play in that box, in that tackle box from the left tackle to the right tackle, we should be making that play. That's the mentality we have going into every week. That's the mentality we have every practice is we should dominate the line of scrimmage and that's the identity we've formed this offseason. And we've always had it, but you just have to learn to mold it together in the right way, and this offseason with Jay, even with the EDGE guys with [Outside Linebackers Coach] Giff [Smith] and what he's done with those crash nine's, Khalil, Joey, Chris Rumph [II], all of those guys, we've worked so much at just, 'Hey, this is how the run fit has to be.' Walkthroughs have been to the T. We're treating our walkthroughs like game days because it's how it's going to look in the game. What you do on the practice field, what you do when the lights are off is what you do when the lights are on."
On if the defense is 'coming together' with the new additions:
"We'll see today. We're going to practice today and we're going to focus on the Chargers. I won't sit here and tell you, 'Hey, we're going to be a Super Bowl defense,' because that's kind of cliché talk. Everybody kind of wants to say good things in a press conference or so, but I know I'm around a bunch of guys that want to play good football. I can guarantee you that, whether it's the DBs, the linebackers or the defensive line or the EDGE guys we have. And I know that everybody has a sick taste in the way that last game ended. We were just watching film on it not too long ago and we know we want to put a better product out for not just the organization, but everybody who has been a believer in the Chargers."
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