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Transcript - Head Coach Anthony Lynn + Players (Nov. 5, 2018)

Monday, November 5, 2018 | Hoag Performance Center | Costa Mesa, Calif.


Opening Statement:

"Well, there's not much different than what I said last night, to be honest with you. It was another good road win. Guys found a way to pull out a close game in a hostile environment. The game really didn't have to be that close, but we — both coaches and players — found a way to get a win. It was good to see."

On releasing K Caleb Sturgis:

"It's always tough to move on from a player. I believe in all of these guys. We feel like we gave him a fair shot and we stayed with him as long as we could. It just came down to performances."

On K Michael Badgley:

"Yeah, we will bring Badgley up off of the practice squad."

On if the team will evaluate other kickers:

"We're not sure yet. I would like to give him the keys to the car and let him drive, but we have talked about maybe bringing in another kicker maybe to kick off and help in that area. It's something that we're just looking at. You hate to do something like that because you lose depth at other positions, but I think Mike is a young kicker that is going to improve in his kickoffs and the strength of his leg. Hopefully, this is a good start for his career."

On the kicker turnover in the past 18 months:

"At this position, [I probably haven't seen something like this before]. It is what it is. We have to solve this problem."

On if he has spoken with Badgley:

"No, not yet."

On P Donnie Jones:

"No, [the move at kicker doesn't affect Jones]. I thought our punter yesterday, Donnie, did an outstanding job. He's a veteran kicker. They had a three-time All-Pro back there returning the ball. I thought Donnie kept it out of his hands all day. I don't care if it was a knuckle ball or a ball kicked close to out of bounds, but he did a good job of keeping the ball out of that returner's hands. That's what we wanted him to do."

On the distance of Jones' punts:

"You don't want distance with a kick returner like the one we had yesterday. I don't want the ball in his hands. Donnie has that savvy to keep it out of his hands. He knows how to kick it close to the sidelines, he knows how to kick that knuckle-ball so that it'll hit and roll. That's what he did. I thought he did a good job with that."

On Jones' punts being part of the game plan:

"Oh, yes. When you get returners like [Seahawks WR Tyler] Lockett, he's a three-time All-Pro. You just try to keep it out of his hands. If you have to give up a few yards here, I would rather give them up on the kick than give them up on the coverage."

On DT Corey Liuget:

"Both of those guys [Liuget and DT Darius Philon] have played a lot. They've played equally, to be honest with you. Yesterday, we had to stop the run and I wanted to put a bigger guy in there. I thought Corey had an outstanding game. He's back. He had to work his way back in. He was out for four weeks, but Corey's back."

On the in-game adjustments made by the defensive coaches:

"We just changed some of the line stunts up front. We brought some different pressures. We waited to see the adjustments that we had to make. I wish that we could have made them a little sooner, but when we got there, those guys really executed the plays. I feel like moving forward after that first series, our rush defense was outstanding."

On the defensive coaching staff making the adjustments:

"We have good coaches and we have good players that go out and execute the plan as well."

On CB Michael Davis:

"He was solid. That call at the end of the game, some people wouldn't have called that. I thought Michael competed well. He's going to be a good, young corner in this league for a long time."

On what gave him the confidence to play Davis more:

"What you see every day in practice. He was getting better and better. [CB] Trevor [Williams] is still in the mix as well. He may be in there next week. I wanted to see Michael play and I thought he competed well."

On WR Mike Williams:

"It was really good [to see him get into the end zone]. That was a heck of a play. He's a play-maker. We try to get the ball in his hands as much as we can, but we only have one football. He took advantage of his opportunities."

On WR Tyrell Williams:

"He's become a complete receiver. His receiving skills, he's just taken them to another level. He's catching balls above his shoulder, he's high-pointing the balls. His route-running is better. I really like his development over the offseason. You saw him working on it. [Wide Receivers Coach] Phil [McGeoghan] did a good job with him, our receivers coach."

On Williams getting single coverage from defenses:

"When you have a No. 1 like [WR] Keenan Allen, Keenan can get the double-team and that's going to free guys up like Tyrell. If he keeps making the plays that he's making, people are going to start double-teaming him."

On the blocking of non-offensive linemen:

"Those guys in the locker room, they don't have to be in the limelight — they know the job that they do. [WR] Geremy Davis did a good job yesterday. He had one of his better games. [TE] Sean Culkin has been a good blocking tight end for us. He doesn't catch a lot of balls, but he does a lot of dirty work. You look at the rushing yards and the running game, it's because of guys like that blocking on the perimeter."

On keeping the team from overlooking upcoming opponents:

"This group, they have an understanding that we start over every week. What we did last week really doesn't matter. We're re-focused, we're going to re-group and come back Wednesday. We'll go back to work like we haven't done anything. That's what I like about this group, their ability to forget, stay present and move forward."

On if he emphasizes staying focused on the upcoming opponent after each game:

"Absolutely. This is the beginning of the third quarter of our season. We've put ourselves in position to finish strong and maybe make the tournament at the end of the season, but we have to finish. We have to finish."

On sealing the past two games with defensive stands:

"I think they know [how much confidence it provides]. [Defensive Coordinator] Gus Bradley says we protect every inch and then they protect every inch. They've been in that situation a couple of times and it's good to see them step up and execute. We put them in those situations in practice. They feel like, when they get into the games, that they've been there before. It's just the focus and the concentration that they have in those drills in practice that carries over to the games. We don't want too many games coming down to the last play. We would like to close some of these out earlier."

On LB Uchenna Nwosu playing more:

"We wanted to get him more involved. With [DE] Chris Landrum down, it gave Uchenna more opportunities to step up and play. I thought he had a solid game yesterday."

On T Joe Barksdale:

"Joe worked in. I think he played three or four series. He was solid."

On the defensive approach in situations like the final stand:

"You know, [Seahawks Offensive Coordinator] Brian Schottenheimer had a third-and-six earlier in the game and he ran the ball. He's an unorthodox play caller. You sure can run the ball in that situation because you don't expect them to do that. If you're going to pass the ball, I'd rather you do it from the one-yard line. You have less real estate. If you back them up to the six, you have a little more real estate to play with. Most of the time in that situation, you'd want to pass the ball or be in a run-pass option."

On the starting right tackle:

"I wanted to get [Barksdale] back in slowly. He's back, 100 percent, but [T] Sam Tevi has been doing an outstanding job. The chemistry of that offensive line right now is very important to me. Right now, we're going to roll with Sam, but we're going to keep Joe involved."

On what carried over from last season:

"I think the culture has carried over. I don't think the wins and losses can carry over. We have a lot of the same guys in the locker room that we had last year. I think that they understand what we have to do to win football games. I think it's a tough group."

On Barksdale:

"Well, Joe [Barksdale] is a professional. He's prepared and he's ready to play every single week."

On DE Joey Bosa:

"I know he's getting better. He's doing more football functional things. We'll just take it day-by-day and see where he ends up at the end of the week."


On the difference his performance between now and when first entering the league:

"I think the biggest thing is trying to get better every week. Generally, when I do these interviews, it's something I say — our goal is to get better each week. I think that's we've done as a [defensive] line. I think I've done that personally, but I feel like when you [approach it that way], you look up at the end of the season and can say, 'I'm a different player than I was in the beginning of the season.' I feel like our [defensive] line is starting to say things like that. We look a lot better now than we did at Week 1. The plan is to be saying the same thing at Week 17."

On whether the playing experience has attributed to playing faster:

"Yes, I mean in a sense, but I think again, it's just having the mindset of getting better. All of the other stuff falls in place — getting more reps, having more experience, getting used to the speed of the game. Whatever it may be. At the end of the day, I feel like if your goal is to get better week-to-week and day-to-day in practice, there's just a natural progression towards that."

On the confidence level of the defense to close out games:

"I think there is a lot [of confidence]. When you're in [last play of the game] situations, you just want to kill whoever you're playing and dominate them, but I think it's crucial for a defense and for a team to be in those situations, especially when you come out with a win. So, I think it just says a lot about us. We were down to the wire and our defense is holding up on the three-yard line for two weeks in a row — I think it's a testament to our mentality."

On any adjustments made following Seattle's first drive:

"I think the goal initially going into the game was to stop the run. I think that first drive, we didn't do that. They drove it all the way down the field on an eight-minute drive that was predominately [based on the] run. I think we re-evaluated what we were doing as a defense and re-emphasized that goal to stop the run. Coming into the game, they were running the ball 68 percent of the time. So, we just reemphasized our goal."

On whether Seattle's run-game approach was a test for the defense:

"It definitely was, but it's hard to call it a test because generally, teams don't run that much. It's just something that's out of the ordinary in the NFL. Generally, teams are passing about 70 percent of the game, but you have to win games like that. The out-of-the-ordinary games, you still have to win as they still count. So I guess, it was kind-of a test, but it's just a testament to us putting forth a goal and accomplishing that goal."

On the adjustments following the first Seattle drive:

"I don't think it was anything intense and it wasn't anything [meant] to freak out [about] and make a huge deal. It's just, 'Look guys, we need to stop the run.' We talk about [it] and get to look at the [game] pictures to see how different fits work and improve on those things. Then you just do what you need to do. [The coaches] do a really good job during the week of emphasizing those things so you don't freak out on Sunday. It's a matter of, 'We've talked about this and have repped this. You need to be in this gap and you need to be in this gap and let's stop the run like we've talked about.'"

On containing Seattle QB Russell Wilson:

"That was another point of emphasis. You know a guy like Russell is extremely mobile and does a good job on moving. So, the rush lanes and integrity while rushing is super important. We just emphasized on that and felt like we did a good job during the game."

On the effectiveness of a rotation within the defensive unit:

"I think we've been really fortunate to have such a good group of guys. I think we have great depth. Like when [DT Darius] Philon goes down, you know a guy is going to come in and do what he needs to do and dominate. [Defensive Line Coach] Giff [Smith] emphasizes it a lot. It's something we rep in practice — we're rotating in practice and getting used to it. I think Giff approaches every player on the [defensive] line the same and think that's the biggest thing. Just having the same mentality and [style when] coaching each player, but no doubt — it starts with him and does a good job."

On the momentum of the winning streak:

"I think the momentum is huge. I think it's more of just gaining confidence as you play. I think a more confident team is going to generally win more games and is important for us to win those close games that we've been winning. I think that builds even more confidence and builds more momentum. I think the momentum is real and it really matters."

On the expectation of winning each game:

"I think it's different this year, but I don't think especially in the NFL, and with a coach like [Head] Coach [Anthony] Lynn, that you're going into any game with doubt. I think you have more confidence when you go on a five-game winning streak. I don't think that it's a huge difference. No doubt, we're playing with more confidence and playing faster. Winning definitely makes your team closer. I think we're playing more as a unit and as a team. I don't know if the mentality changes that much though, but [the win streak] helps."

On the confidence in K Michael Badgley:

"He's a good kicker, but I think it's self-explanatory when you have a kicker like him who hasn't missed since he's been in the NFL. I think he speaks for himself. We definitely have confidence in him and at the end of the day, we just want to see [the kick] go through the uprights. Everything else, it just is what it is. We need a guy who can go in there and make the kicks when we need them. He has done that for us, so we're excited."

On Badgley:

"He's a cool dude and has been really fun to have around. This past trip to London and Cleveland wasn't the [most fun] because you're on the road and just want to be at home. It definitely gave us opportunity to get a lot closer. He was a guy in particular that I spent a lot of time with, so I'm excited. He's cool, I don't know how else to describe him. He's a guys' guy — you can hang out and talk with him. He gets along [well] with the team and think that is really important. Especially with specialists, because many specialists don't spend a lot of time with everybody else. They're usually doing their own thing [as a unit] and are always together. So, if you have a guy who really clicks with the whole team, it's important. You've got [P] Donnie [Jones], everybody loves Donnie. You've got [Badgley] now and you've got [LS] Mike [Windt], those are guys we all get along with. So, I think that's important."

On Badgley's confidence:

"He's got that savage mentality that you don't think about in a specialist, but I think it's super important when you have the game is down the line and it comes down to a field goal and you have a guy who says, 'Yeah, I'm not even worried about this. I can make this 10 times out of 10.' I'm excited for him."

On the kicking game on Sunday:

"I mean, it can be frustrating but it's not something we're sitting on the sidelines talking about. For us, the goal doesn't change. When the [opposing] offense is out on the field, we have the same goals and same mindset. So yes, it is frustrating, but it's not something we're talking about during the game."

On the temptation to look ahead in the schedule:

"I think the goal is to just get better day-to-day. I think if you have that short-term goal [mindset] to just get better day-to-day and a long-term goal of winning a Super Bowl, that's the best thing you can do. As far as who we play, it's not as important for us as the Chargers or specifically our [defensive] line. It's just getting better day-to-day."


On the victory:

"It was a lot of fun to be able to go back and be close to home — I had a lot of friends, family and old coaches there. It was one of my favorite games just being able to play in front of them and get a win. Obviously, it was a lot of fun."

On his touchdown celebration:

"I kind of took it back to [when we played] Oakland and I did the shush, but this time I wanted to switch it up a little bit and see if they were still loud."

On if any fans threw anything at him for his celebration:

"No, no throws. I heard some people yelling stuff, but it definitely quieted them down a little bit."

On if he plans his celebrations beforehand:

"No. That one I did think about — like I said, I was going to go back to the shush, but I decided to do that instead. I'm not a big dancer or anything, so it's kind of just spur of the moment."

On if he was the primary receiver on his touchdown:

"It depended on what coverage we got. We were looking for cover-2, but then it ended up being man to me, so we just took a shot."

On his performance in the past three games:

"I think it's really just been the coaching staff and seeing what the defense does, when to take shots, being able to get over the top and trusting my ability to go up and get the ball or run past the defense. That's kind of been the biggest thing. Seeing stuff that they run and taking advantage of it, and then [QB] Philip [Rivers] just trusting me to make those plays. It's been good. It's been a nice stretch, but obviously, getting the win has been the most important thing. It's just been a lot of fun these past three or four games."

On if he has noticed defenses playing him any differently:

"No, it seems that it's been the same. I still feel like they've just been kind of keying on [WR] Keenan [Allen], [TE] Antonio [Gates] and [RB] Melvin [Gordon III], and just hope their other guys can handle us — me and [WR] Mike [Williams]. I think that we can take advantage of that. Hopefully that stays the same and they don't switch it up. It's nice to get single coverage and Keenan still being able to go for 100 like he did, to be [firing] on all cylinders."

On having running backs that can catch the ball out of the backfield:

"I think it's big, espcially since [the wide receivers] like to go downfield. If [the defense] ends up getting on top of us, there's always going to be something underneath for [the backs] to be able to catch it. It helps a lot with them being able to be dynamic like that. It's big. [Those guys] being able to do that opens a lot of stuff."

On catching back-shoulder fades:

"It's all reactionary. My first few years, I was always just looking to get the ball down the field. I wasn't really prepared for back-shoulders. It was kind of a timing thing and getting used to that, but now I've kind of figured out how to be running fast but still be prepared for that back-shoulder stuff. It's another thing that I worked on in the offseason, just being able to react better to any type of ball thrown — it's been a big thing for me."

On the winning streak:

"I think the road trip was big, bonding and just getting closer together. I think that helped us a lot. Coming in right after a bye week and going to a tough play a team that's been playing well [was big]. Doing it on the road and having it come down to the wire and making those plays has been big for us. I think that's just adding on and building up how we've been playing. I think it's definitely going to help us as the season goes on."

On not overlooking opponents:

"Early on in my career, going against teams you might not be the favorite. I just think that anybody can get beat at anytime. That's what I'm starting to realize. You saw the Rams, last night, who were undefeated and probably were the favorite in that game — I assume — and then they get beat. I feel that any team can get beat any night so you have to go out there, prepare like you're the underdog and just know that they're getting paid, too. They're an NFL team, so they can turn it on at any point."

On how the receivers complement each other on the field:

"I feel like we can all do so many different things. We all have confidence and we build each other up. Through training camp, we're competing with each other and that makes us better throughout the season. We all have confidence that we can make plays. We're always prepared to have the ball come to us. Keenan [Allen] is one of the best route-runners in the league. I feel like Mike Williams and I are some of the best deep threats — Travis [Benjamin] also is one of the best deep threats. All of us, we all have confidence in each other. Geremy Davis is making crazy plays on special teams. I feel like we have one of the best receiving groups."

On the importance of starting the season fast:

"I don't think it was an emphasis, but obviously we know with starting 0-4 [last season], it was a big factor in why we didn't make the playoffs — that slow start. We came out and didn't let that happen. Obviously, this is a different team than it was last year, but we just wanted to come out — the goal is to win every game. The emphasis wasn't on the start, but just go out and play hard every time."

On RB Melvin Gordon III's effect on the offense:

"It's huge. If you can have a good running game, it opens up the play-action and if you have guys that can stretch the field, it's really big. The touchdown he had yesterday, I was on the opposite side — just seeing how fast he was running and how hard he was running to get into the end zone. I wasn't expecting him to score because it looked like there were so many people around him, but he just kept going by everybody. It's just awesome to see him playing well and having success. It helps us out a lot."

On the balance of the offense:

"I think [our production on offense] is 50/50 with having guys that can make plays and then just being balanced with running the ball and passing the ball. I think it's huge. It makes a huge difference. They never know what's coming. You have guys running speed-sweeps, you have Mike [Williams] running the ball — that's crazy. You have 6-foot, 5-inch guys running end arounds, I just have never seen it. He's still picking up first downs, getting 10 yards. Keenan [Allen] is running the end arounds, it's crazy. They never know what's coming."

On being able to start fresh on Mondays even after wins:

"I think it's being, it's just like a playoff mentality. Each playoff game would be a big game and, obviously, you can't move on if you don't win. Doing that throughout the season helps us get that mindset ready for the playoffs that each game, you want to think of it as your last. You want to win that game. I think that will help us later on in the season."

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