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Transcript - Head Coach Anthony Lynn + Players (Nov. 12, 2018)

Monday, November 12, 2018 | Hoag Performance Center | Costa Mesa, Calif.


Opening Statement:

"I think after watching the film, like I said yesterday, it was a physical game. It got a little chippy at times, but our guys hung in there. They fought hard. We started a little slow. I think the wind early in the game kind of affected the ball a little bit. Our offense has been all about explosive plays. I think that slowed us down some. Offensively, we still need to improve on third down. Defensively, I thought the guys did a heck of a job again on the goal line stand. It kind of set the tone, I thought, for the game because when the guys came off the field, you could just feel the momentum — that we did it again. It was good to see them continue to play good in the red zone. We held the team to two field goals, it was pretty good."

On LB Denzel Perryman:

"He went out yesterday in the game. We found out today that we were going to lose Denzel for the rest of the season. That was definitely a blow to our defense."

On if Perryman's injury will require surgery:

"Yeah, there is going to be surgery. He's gone for the year."

On the nature of Perryman's injury:


On the loss of Perryman and LB Kyzir White:

"It's a next man up mentality. We have guys that are on the developmental squad that know our system that we will look at bringing up. We're going to look at the waiver wire, but we're going to look within our team first for guys to step up. [LB] Hayes Pullard, he's back with the team now. He did a heck of a job stepping up last year and played the MIKE position when Denzel was out. It'll give him another opportunity."

On how Perryman's injury affects LB Uchenna Nwosu:

"He's playing well right now at end, so I'm trying to leave his role the same, but he has to know the outside linebacker position as well."

On if LB Kyle Emanuel could move to inside linebacker:

"Kyle Emanuel played inside in preseason for us and some in the regular season. The more he plays there, the better he looks. That's another option. We could move him inside."

On S Adrian Phillips:

"Adrian has been that MIKE linebacker in our dime package. He has done an unbelievable job as a linebacker, but he's not your every down MIKE."

On the run defense without Perryman yesterday:

"Hayes Pullard hadn't taken any reps at all at MIKE. He came in, he knows this system and he played well — but Denzel is the starter for a reason. Our rush defense is a lot better with Denzel in there. We want to pick it up collectively as a group now."

On Perryman's frustration missing the rest of the season due to injury:

"Injuries, you can't control those. He's very frustrated right now. All he can do now is get healthy, have a good attitude, come to rehab every day and help his teammates the best that he can."

On losing Perryman's mentality:

"Sure, [the defense loses that], but like I say, every man is going to have to pick it up and bring a little bit more to the table because when Denzel is in the game, he's a difference-maker."

On DE Joey Bosa:

"We'll see [if he can practice this week]. I'm really pleased with the progress that he made last week as far as moving towards getting back on the field, but we'll see when he's ready."

On if Bosa will be out this week:

"I don't put expectations on these timelines because I've been burned before. When those guys are ready, they're ready."

On the energy and mentality of the team:

"I don't know. Everybody feels something different, but I feel good about the team. I feel good about the men that we have in the locker room — the character that they have. I love the way they work. Every single week, I love the way that they hit the reset button and start over. They pay the price every single week to go out and try to get a win. They did it four weeks in a row in [four games away from home]. I think that says a lot about their character."

On winning the past four games away from StubHub Center:

"It doesn't exceed [what I thought] because I couldn't look at the schedule and figure out which one we wanted to lose. I wanted to win them all. We just emphasized and talked about it. The guys — I love the way they stayed locked in and kept their focus."

On if it's nice to be playing at StubHub Center this week:

"It's very nice. I miss StubHub."

On his impact on changing the culture:

"I don't think it's just me. We have an outstanding coaching staff. Like I said, we have an outstanding locker room — the character that is in the locker room. [General Manager] Tom Telesco, picking the players and bringing the right guys on the team — it's everybody as an organization. We've all made an effort — not to say the coaches were bad — but we just wanted to improve. I think we've done that, but we still have work to do."

On if the culture has become more even-keeled:

"That's part of it, no doubt. In this business, you have to stay in the present, man. You can't work on what you did last week and what you are going to do the week after because you'll go out there and get your butts kicked. There are great examples of that every single week in the National Football League."

On having veteran coaches on the staff:

"I would rather have a veteran coach's experience. It's great that we have young up-and-coming coaches — that's awesome, they're the future — but I like the staff that I have. I have a good mixture of veterans and a good mixture of youth. I think we relate to the guys and I think we get the most out of the guys."

On players getting chippy toward the end of the game:

"That was the only negative that I took from the game. We have some corrections to make, as always, but that right there is what I don't want to see. We have to be smarter. It was chippy. Some of it — our guys were playing good, clean football. It was both ways. It chippy from both [sides]. I saw some of the things they were doing. We just have to react and respond better than what we did — be smarter."

On how to respond differently:

"No doubt, [it's about walking away]. I think, in today's society, walking away is tough. Guys used to take the gloves off and fight, but those days are over. You'll get killed today if you take that mentality out on the streets in society today. I just believe — and we talk about stuff like that — toughness now is having the mental toughness to walk away from something like that."

On WR Keenan Allen getting into the end zone:

"He hasn't forgotten how that feels. He has a lot of touchdowns. It was just a matter of time."

On if it helps Allen's mentality to get back into the end zone:

"Yeah, so he can do his little dance. That's why he wanted to get back in the end zone."

On if Allen can have another stretch of success like he did late last year:

"Oh, no doubt about it. He takes care of himself. His weight is down to 203. He was 218 when he first got here. Shoot, this guy is hungry, man."

On if Allen is quicker with his lower weight:

"It's made him a lot quicker and explosive."

On if Allen is too light:

"No, that's just right. I like what he's doing"

On RB Melvin Gordon III in pass protection:

"You know, he has gotten so much better in that area. He was always capable. He's big enough, he's strong enough, but that's an attitude. That's an attitude of unselfishness and taking care of your quarterback. Those are the things that people overlook sometimes with runners. I think that's the biggest mismatch on the football field, a running back on a linebacker. When do you see someone that's 260 pounds take on someone that's 215 — that big of a difference in weight. These guys step up and do it all the time — not just Melvin, but [RB] Austin [Ekeler] does a good job of that as well."

On if Perryman's loss has an effect on the pass rush:

"I think the rush defense is where we're going to miss him the most. We didn't really rush him a lot, but he did a nice job of dropping in the zone and tipping balls, things like that. I believe it's going to be in the rush defense. That's where everyone is going to have to pick it up now."

On his mentality playing against Denver:

"It's a good team. They've lost a lot of close games. This team is dangerous. You look at those two edge rushers that they have and the running back that they have in the backfield that not a lot of people talk about. This kid can run the football. Like I said, they're in a lot of games that they've lost, so it's going to be a really challenging game for us."

On CB Michael Davis:

"I thought Michael took a step forward this week. He's challenging guys more and is getting more confident. That's all that is, he just needed reps. He has the size, the speed and he's playing more physical. I like what I'm seeing from Michael right now."

On Davis' confidence:

"You only get that, unfortunately, from playing. We can talk to him all we want, but until we throw him in the fire — they can have some success, failures and learn that they still have to get better."


On the impact that Head Coach Anthony Lynn has had on the team:

"Well, he's a player's coach. I say it all the time. He tries to keep it his way, which is good, but tries to give us a little leeway here and there when asking about uniforms and whatever. He gives us Victory Mondays and things like that — taking the pads off sometimes in practice. He's a player's coach, but has a strong demeanor to him. When he says something, you listen. When he says something, he means it. He's a good coach. He likes to have fun with the players at times, but you know when he gets serious."

On Lynn's presence:

"I don't know if it's just because he played and won a Super Bowl. I don't know, but there are just some guys that just have it. You can't really explain it, they just have it. That's the easiest that I can put it right there."

On the impact of Lynn having two Super Bowl rings from his playing days:

"It means a lot [to be] listening to someone who has been there and done that. He has what we all want to accomplish. He knows how that feels. By being there twice, he knows how to get there. He knows what to do and he knows the formula. That's why he's pretty headstrong about what he wants because whatever he has been through or done, it got him there and he won the Super Bowl."

On if Lynn has ever shown the team his rings as motivation:

"No, he's never showed us the rings. He doesn't need to. He'll put a picture of the [Lombardi] Trophy every once in a while, but he doesn't need to show his rings. I don't think he's flamboyant in that fashion, but I think he does a good job of getting his point across without having to show rings, idols or whatever."

On if he knows about Lynn's playing style:

"Not really."

On his health at this point of the season:

"No, [I'm not doing anything different this season]. It's pretty much the same. I'm just trying to lift heavy on the legs still and trying to get my extra conditioning in when I can. I feel good. I'm banged up like everybody else. I have little nicks here and there. I'll probably be good on Saturday. I'll probably be back to where I need to be and then, obviously, the next day you're back at war."

On if yards are harder to come by this year:

"I don't know. That's hard to say. I feel like I get hit every play. It's just what happens at running back. Whether you're blocking or you're doing something, I feel like I'm always making contact every play. It's just something I can't avoid."

On Running Backs Coach Alfredo Roberts:

"Just helping to make us in the room better players in our overall game. Sometimes, you can kind of just be focused on just running the ball. If you have a running backs coach — sometimes that's his primary focus, not always, or just blocking and running. He tries to make sure we're good at everything as far as receiving, running and blocking. I mean, he's really down to the T with details. You'll see it on Friday. Everybody will be running in and he'll be like, 'We need to get this drill in. Let's just do it because I didn't do it this week.' He's just that type of coach, but I think that's good for us — especially, like I said, he was a tight ends coach so he can see things differently as far as the passing game or little things we probably wouldn't get from a regular running backs coach. He and I catch pretty much every day. When the defense is up during their period, we're always catching. He has us doing something. We appreciate him. I feel like he's definitely helped make us better football players."

On getting more touches through the air this year:

"It is what it is. Coach Lynn especially told me this year, he said, 'Don't really focus on the carries. Let's just worry about the touches.' He made that big this year. I knew when I heard that, it's just an opportunity for me — whether it's catching or running [the ball]. As long as I'm getting the opportunity to help the team, I can take that."

On if more action in the passing game can help him stay fresh down the stretch:

"Yeah, overall it helps save your body. It definitely does. Sometimes, you would like the 20 carries so that you're able to get in a groove, but when you have a back like [RB] Austin [Ekeler] to help you out and take some plays off, the end result is that it helps the team because you're all fresh."

On getting the carries in the fourth quarter:

"It was good. We were just keeping them off the field and running the clock out. That's our goal. When you have four minutes left and you're in the four-minute offense, our job is to run that clock out and keep the ball on the field. As a running back, you kind of take pride in that last four minutes when it's to close out the game. It keeps the defense off the field and, at the end of the day, it's a chance for somebody to not get hurt. If you can run that clock out and do what you need to do when they know you're running the ball, it also shows the type of team that you are."

On the end of the game getting chippy:

"It's just the rivalry. I think [Raiders LB Tahir Whitehead], he and I were at it all game. We were chattering back-and-forth. It's just the rivalry. You can't take it personally. It is what it is. At the end of the day, we all have love for each other. We're all brothers, but we're trying to win and we're all competitive. Like I said, it was a rivalry game. You can expect that. It's expected. We have to be clean on some things and not cause penalties to hurt the team. We just have to be smarter in that sense."

On CB Desmond King II:

"He got up, [Raiders TE Jared] Cook got up and Des had walked away and then he hit [King] in the helmet. Any player is going to react to that. It is what it is, but that's just how stuff gets started. Maybe Des could have just walked away, but it's hard. It's a pride thing out there. It is what it is. Some guy hit me in the back of the head. That guy shoved me, our guys shoved him. You don't think sometimes, but we need to. We just have to be more aware and smart."

On smaller players trying to match the physicality of larger ones:

"I guess, but I think that's just who Des is. He's not one to [roll over]. That's just not his personality. He's going to stand up for himself regardless how big a person is or how small. It could have been a guy smaller than him that got up and did that — I'm pretty sure he would react the same. It's just who he is as a person. We can't get bullied out there, in a sense, but like I said, we do have to be smart."

On blocks downfield on his big plays:

"I'll be honest with you, I don't really watch other teams. I see it a little bit, but when we're in there early in the locker room the only time is on Monday. I try to watch games when I can. I can't speak for other teams, but I can speak for us. I definitely appreciate it. [WR] Keenan [Allen] made a joke today saying, 'I should get some of your paycheck the way I'm blocking for you.' I said, 'It's a two-way street. I got flattened by a d-lineman trying to block you, too.' We're all out there working for each other. It's all smiles."

On the momentum of the six-game winning streak:

"There have been more downs than ups for us — for me personally, starting off, it's a win, but we can't take anything for granted because you could also lose every game from here on out. It's just how this game works. We're not going to get complacent with the winning streak. We have Denver. We see the next team on the schedule and we prepare for them. We'll keep going and whatever happens, happens. We're not going to get carried away with the outside talk. We're just really focused on what we're doing in the locker room."

On the long stretch away from StubHub Center:

"When you're traveling like that, you just have to build a bond with your teammates. It's just dope, man, because I'm enjoying winning. I'm not going to lie to you. On the plane rides back — in previous years, guys are quiet on the plane and guys are in their own world. It's a different type of energy around here that's not good. Flying home [this time], I was just kind of soaking it all in, looking at everybody laughing. Everyone was just free and loose. I was just talking with [RB] Justin Jackson and I said, 'Man, we have to keep winning. This is just a good feeling. This is great energy.' We just have to keep that going. Being on the road, you have to be tight-knit, especially when you're away for so long, it builds your bond. It made us stronger and made us better, I feel like. We just have to continue it."

On the difference between the times when the team was struggling and now:

"We're just finding ways now. We're finding ways to win. I just feel like that Seattle game — I don't know if it's the football Gods or whatever, but somehow I feel like we would have found a way to lose that game. The Tennessee game, I feel like someway they would have gotten in or something, but the tides have turned. We're making the plays that we need to make. I can't explain how or why it's happening like that, but is and it's just working out for us. I'm loving it right now, to be honest with you. I'm feeding off of the defense's energy, feeding off the offense's energy. I'm just trying to have fun with it, man. Like I said, I've been around the past couple of years and the energy wasn't like this. I'm not taking this for granted. I'm going to feed off of these boys. I like the energy they're playing with. Looking at those guys sometimes, I'm like, 'Man, I can't loaf today. They're depending on me. I'm depending on them. We have to go get it.' That's just the mindset."

On if it helps to have guys who have been part of struggles to keep perspective:

"For sure. There's no doubt in my mind that they feel the same way that I feel. There are a lot of guys that have success that know how that feels. The guys that I've been with so far, at least since I've been a Charger, they know how it feels to have your back against the wall, be dug into a hole and try to climb out the whole season, trying to find a way. Like I've said, it's a ladder that we're climbing to get to the top, but we're not there yet. We're going to just keep pushing and fighting."

On the team's perseverance coming from the winless start of the 2017 season:

"Like I said, I don't know what it was, but we just couldn't figure it out. Maybe we had to dig in a little bit harder, but we're doing that now and that's all that matters."  

On K Michael Badgley:

"I talked to him today. I told him, 'You helped us win that game, so don't take anything you did for granted. You're making those points and changing the ball game for us.' So, I just let him know that I appreciated what he did and to keep working." 

On his confidence heading into the remainder of the season:

"I mean, you have to have all of the confidence in the world. If you don't have any confidence in yourself, or you don't believe that you can go out there and ball — who will? That's how I look at it. If I don't believe that you can go get, if I don't believe in the [Chargers offensive] line, if I don't believe in [QB Philip] Phil [Rivers], or the tight ends or receivers go out there to be great players with swag, then nobody is going to believe us. So, the confidence is high right now." 

On the balanced offensive attack:

"Everybody helps everybody. We've got a good run game that helps the passing game, and a passing game that helps the run game. They're hand-in-hand." 

On when the energy level change was first noticed:

"Just at practice, we're loose and not [as] tense. It's just a different feel. We're just playing with some swag and playing with some energy. You saw it at the [Seattle] Seahawks game at kickoff [where] I'm pumped up and everybody on the sideline is rocking, jumping up and down. I haven't really seen that [here] before. Maybe it's like that everywhere, [though] I don't know as I haven't been everywhere — but to say the least, it hasn't been like that here. It's just different. The energy and vibe with guys making plays — I'm feeding off everybody. I'm getting the energy however I can. Like, when [DE] Melvin Ingram [III] gets a strip-sack, then it's like, 'Ok, let's go boom. That's more energy for me to feed off of, so let's go take it.' Like I said, anytime somebody makes a play or anything, I'm feeding off those boys."

On whether any specific game moment led to the energy shift:

"I can't remember exactly what game, but I just remember being in the locker room thinking, 'Man, I'm kind of feeling iffy today.' I looked at a couple of players and Phil [Rivers] and thought I can't afford to feel like that. Even if I do, I need to tell my mind that you need to change the way you feel because these are guys that look focused and ready to go. They are depending on you to come out and play like you need to play. You can't come out here and warm yourself up. My coach told me that with every game, 'Don't wait. Just come out and go get it.' It's just a mindset, and when you see guys walking around with that mindset, you just feel it. If you are lacking energy, you can get it from other players. You're not in it alone. Anytime I'm lacking something, I can get it from another guy and it'll get me through." 

On the importance to carry over the current locker room culture into the future:

"It's big. We're going to need [the younger players] to make this stretch [for the remainder of the season]. We're still in the middle of the season and still have two more quarters left, that's how I see it. Then, it's a stretch to the big boy [Super Bowl]. You never know what's going to happen and when you're going to need a player. God forbid, someone falls — you need a guy to step up and be ready. It's big that those young guys be ready, including myself, and stay afloat. You never know when your opportunity will present itself." 


On the frustrations displayed by both teams at the end of the game:

"It is frustrating. It was a high-intensity game. We were winning, but they were frustrated. It's just part of the game."

On controlling the frustration:

"I mean, it's emotion. This game — there's a lot of emotions in this game. You're going to play with passion and going to play with emotion. You're not going to back down from anybody. It's just part of the game."

On any potential challenges surrounding the expectations of a winning streak:

"I just look at it as, 'Every week, continue to get better.' Just get better every week. Don't get happy and don't get settled. I was used to winning in college, so I'm pretty used to winning. [It's just a matter of] learning how to win and continuing to do it."

On the influence of veterans to manage expectations:

"Coaches have also been stressing to keep working hard and stacking the wins."

On the biggest improvement of the defense over the extended road trip:

"Third down. Getting off the field on third down is getting much better. Our red zone defense has been good. We're playing together as a defense and you can see that we're really coming together."


On any differences in the defense from the beginning of the season:

"I would say it's just how we take on a week-by-week [approach]. Just staying focused and not taking our opponents [easily], doing our job and just playing as a team each week. That's what we're doing a lot more this year. [Coming] out of the first quarter of the season [with a] 2-2 [record], it was a clean slate — we're going on to the rest of the season and taking it in the right direction. I feel like as long as we're doing that and keep [being] consistent in our jobs, we have something special coming up."

On his confidence on Sunday against the Oakland Raiders:

"It was a rival game and a divisional game. It's going to be [chippy], but you just have to stay focused and calm throughout the game. I feel like throughout the game, it was a tussle here and a tussle there. [Raiders TE Jared Cook] was going at it with other teammates, but it happens. It's football. It's competitive. That's what is going to happen throughout a game, especially during a divisional game."

On the need to match a physicality level upon bigger opposing players:

"I really don't know how to answer that, but for me, that's how I am. I'm going to stand on my own two feet and play as hard as I can for all four quarters."

On the mindset of the team coming out of an early 1-2 record:

"Just do our job. We feel like that in the beginning it was a bit chippy and not what we're used to. So, we just looked back at it and moved forward from it. From that point on, we said, 'We're going to stop the explosive plays. If we can stop the explosive plays, our defense can be so much better and the games will be in our advantage.' That's what we've be seeing throughout the season as we've stopped passes going over our heads or the big plays. Our defense has been playing a lot better and the offense have been putting up more points."

On how the adjustments were made to prevent the big plays:

"Just doing our job, that's pretty much it. Staying up top, doing the coverages, and dropping in your zones — just playing together — making sure you communicate and having everyone on the same page, that's what has taken us to the next level in our defense. We're getting turnovers and scoring on defense. That's helping us out as a team."

On the confidence of the secondary:

"It's just living up to what we do. We like to get the ball in our possession and make plays. That is what is going to help our team in the long run [as we] finish playing out November and head into December, playing a tougher [schedule]."

On the advantage to playing two explosive teams early in the season:

"I think that early experience helped us for the long run. We're going to see Kansas City again. Hopefully, we'll get to see the [Los Angeles] Rams again later. It shows what kind of players there are in the NFL. There are high-powered offenses like the Chiefs and the Rams — those who like to air the ball out and throw the ball. They also have great running backs as well. [With] playing two of the top offenses in the NFL, that helped us [against] several other teams [that we've played] as well."

On any momentum carryover from 2017:

"I think the way we finished last season, we had that long push that showed how it feels to win. Once October hit for us, it [felt around] the same time [we started winning] and said, 'Let's keep this going.'"

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