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Transcript - Minicamp Day 1 (June 11, 2019)


Tuesday, June 11, 2019 | Hoag Performance Center | Costa Mesa, Calif.


On addressing injuries:

"We go through a thorough process. We don't put our players back on the field until we feel like they're ready. Our doctors look at our players, as do our trainers and our strength and conditioning staff. I'll have a conversation with the player one-on-one. Sometimes, we have to protect players from themselves. We won't let a player go back out even when he wants to go out there. We've bee pretty good about that since I've been here."

On RB Melvin Gordon III:

"I thought he looked fine. He didn't do much, but I thought he looked fine."

On Gordon attending minicamp:

"It's good to see him. These three practices — I'm sure he will shake off some of the rust — but it was good to see him out here running around today."

On DE Melvin Ingram III:

"Melvin Ingram, he looked good, too. I don't think they're in quite the shape that some of their teammates might be in, but they looked good today."

On trusting veterans to handle their business before minicamp:

"I don't worry about those guys taking care of themselves. Yeah, I'd like to have those guys here with the rest of the team, but when they're not here, I don't worry about it."

On the importance of minicamp:

"It's just everybody getting on the same page before we go to training camp. We have a lot of new members of this team that need the reps out on the field. They need the support of their teammates. Like I said, you still see veterans coaching younger guys right now. That's why we're here. We're just trying to get better scheme-wise."

On S Nasir Adderley:

"I'm not really worried about that [injury] lingering. He's getting close. He's not there yet. He did some things in practice today, but he didn't go full speed. He's still getting himself healthy."

On if the approach is to prevent further injury:

"It's definitely more preventative. We don't play anybody next week. We have time to let guys get completely healthy before we get too aggressive with getting guys back on the field right now."

On S Rayshawn Jenkins:

"You saw Rayshawn's growth last year on scout team. I coached the heck out of that scout team and Rayshawn was one of the stars last year, I felt like. Now, you see it on the field. I see him making better decisions. That's been really impressive."

On T Russell Okung:

"Russell is dealing with something. This time of year I don't have to talk about injuries, so I don't really get into what the injuries are. When he's ready, he'll be back."

On if Okung's injury could be long-term:

"We don't know yet."

On bowling as a team-building activity:

"I thought they had fun. Some guys can bowl really well. There are some guys like me who don't bowl a lot, we just are throwing the ball around and getting gutter balls or whatever. We had fun. We had lunch, got on the buses and came back. I thought it was a great team bonding experience. The guys love being together while being away from football. It's a special group. It really is."

On any good bowlers that surprised him:

"You know, the offensive linemen, they're pretty good bowlers. They threw it with some spin and knew what they were doing."

On looking into strategies regarding playing time in preseason and training camp:

"I just looked at our team and I thought — I've said it before — I just think we could have finished stronger. I thought we were fading a little bit at the end. I think there are some things that we can do in the beginning. First of all, it depends on the personnel that you have. Do you have an experienced team? Do you have an inexperienced team? We have a lot of young guys. We have guys that need to be playing and getting those reps. There is a fine line between doing enough and not doing enough. We're still trying to figure that out. I said that already, going into this preseason, I plan on resting more of our veteran guys."

On if the team could rest veterans for three of the preseason games:

"Yeah, I don't see our veterans playing a lot in preseason, but that could change. If I feel like we're sloppy and we need more reps — it's just the timing. If we need more full-speed reps, we'll get them. We have to get ready for Week 1. Whatever it takes to get ready for the Colts is what we're going to do."

On the importance of health:

"I think health is important for any team that wants to compete for a Super Bowl. I like our depth. We do have some depth on this football team. I don't want to see anyone getting hurt. I definitely want to try to take care of guys a little bit better than I did last year and see if that helps in December and January — see if that's when we can play at our best."

On if depth has improved this offseason:

"I think every year that I've been there the depth has improved. I really do. I think you start seeing that on special teams. As the depth improved, you see better special teams. Our coverage units last year, they were pretty good. They were all in the top-10, I do believe."

On Gordon's contract:

"Melvin Gordon is extremely important to us. When he's out here on the field, he works his tail off. He has gotten better every year that I've been here. I think he's headed in the right direction. If he just goes out and does what he has been doing, the contract stuff will take care of itself."

On relating to players in contract years:

"You control what you can control. That's what you do on the football field."

On the running back depth:

"I think they've looked outstanding. You can tell those young kids, they've taken another step. I'm looking forward to seeing those guys in preseason and the regular season."

On if the running backs made the most of the reps with Gordon missing OTAs:

"Absolutely, especially the younger guys — [RB] Detrez [Newsome]."

On the young players:

"They're getting better. As they learn what we're doing, you can see them flying around and making plays, finding themselves in the right position. I think this [S Roderic] Teamer, he's all over the place right now. I think he has six interceptions in the last four practices. It's just good to see."

On if minicamp is run like the first couple days of training camp:

"You do what we call slide and glide — you change the tempo. You don't want guys coming back going full speed that have been off for five weeks. I know they're training and I know they're working, but we don't know what they're doing. When we get back, we like to ease into it. We don't even go into the pads until the third or fourth day. That's a decision that I'll probably make after day one or two. We ease them back into it."


Opening statement:

"I think the way that we handle it, we have OTAs and a lot of our work was done there. We looked at different things scheme-wise and player-wise. This gives us a chance to kind of put it together. We still have situational football that we're working on, but just looking and combinations of guys and really getting a chance to look at some of our younger players as well."

On DE Melvin Ingram III:

"I think it's big [to get him back]. We have a lot of players. You hope that you have it in each position group — spirit, that love of the game. I think that we're pretty fortunate that there are a lot of guys that display that. Melvin is one of those guys that, when he's back, he kind of lights up the room. He's a guy that sits right in the front row, right by me. We have our conversations up there before the meetings start, so it's good to have him back here."

On DT Jerry Tillery and S Nasir Adderley:

"You always would like to have guys practice, but I think for those guys what is cool is how much they're getting out of meetings and practice. The extra time that we can spend with the rookies in the afternoon — go through film sessions and things like that — I think is beneficial. Ideally, you want them to practice, but that's the way I think. I think I mentioned that before about 'be anxious for nothing.' Just make sure that you don't miss anything today. I think, for a lot of times and guys, if they go through this and do it the right way, the game will slow down for them in training camp. That's really what we're hoping for."

On CB Trevor Williams:

"I think health is the big part of it. We're starting to see him — I think we saw him in Phase 2 move around. We were cautiously optimistic. Then, we saw him in practice and we're seeing that same speed that he had. It's a great sign for him. If a guy works hard like that and you're seeing him progress, to give him a chance with the ones, I think is important. He's earned that opportunity. It'll be a great, competitive situation come training camp."

On S Rayshawn Jenkins:

"Rayshawn, I think, was a guy that [you asked], really what position was he going to play? We looked at strong safety and then we also looked at him as a linebacker — maybe put on some weight, get up to 220 [pounds] and play linebacker for us. Then, towards the end of the year, he played free safety. I think what he has done now is he feels that free safety opportunity is there for him. He's dropped his weight. He's under 200 pounds. He's faster. I think he has a really good focus now with where we want him to play, what we're anticipating and what we're hopeful that he does bring to the table. I think he's really bought into that. It'll interesting to see how he handles it in training camp. He has had a good [offseason]."

On the linebackers:

"That's the group that I think, specifically, that we're looking at and moving some guys around just to see how it fits. Thomas Davis [Sr.], I'm getting to know him each and every day that we're together. Just his professionalism, you hear what he brings to the table as a player and his demeanor and his work ethic. Then, to experience it [is another thing]. It's hard when you're learning a defense to create a standard of what's acceptable. He's done that from day one. He's great in that room, awesome. I think as he has a better understanding — and that's what we're seeing. That's what I think with minicamp for him now, where he is starting to have a really good understanding and hold all of the other guys accountable, it just comes naturally for him. He's been a big get for us."

On linebackers returning from injury:

"Kyzir [White], to see where he is playing. He's playing multiple positions for us. Denzel Perryman is still limited, but we're seeing him come back. [Same with] Jatavis Brown. I think the big thing is the competition within that group. I think if you look from top to bottom that it's a stronger group and there's a lot more competition. That's a good thing. Now, it's compete and stay healthy."

On if the defensive personnel:

"Yeah, I think this is probably our fastest defense that we've had as far as a group of guys. This was a good roster before I got here. I [inherited] a group of guys that really like to play football. I give a lot of credit to the players here and the coaches. They've done a good job with what we're looking for, what we're trying to accomplish and then I think they get on the same page with [General Manager] Tom [Telesco] and the scouting department so that they know how we're going to utilize the talent and what we're looking for. Sometimes, that takes some time. I think we've been kind of on a race to get that done right. They've done a beautiful job of that."

On the importance of speed on defense:

"The game now is really where they're trying to spread you out. There are teams that will try to load you up and try to pound [the run]. You have to be ready for that and have defenses for that. I think it's trying to spread you out and trying to get more space. When offenses are operating with more space, you have to have more speed. I think that's where we're trying to utilize multiple personnel groupings whether it's nickel, dime or base. I mean, sometimes we'll be in base in three-wide [sets] depending on what a team likes to do. To have that versatility where we can put different guys in based on situation, I think is big. That's what we're trying to develop now."

On young players that have impressed:

"[LB] Drue Tranquill I think has done a really good job. I think we always felt like he was a strong leader, a strong presence on the field. How fast he's picked things up, [Linebackers] Coach [Richard] Smith has done a great job having these guys play multiple positions, just attacks them to see what they can handle. I think he's a guy, as we see him he's caught our eye with how he's progressed. Again, there will be good competition for him. I think he's healthy. I know last year that he had some injuries. I know watching his college tape and watching him out here that you see some things carry over, but there are some signs here that I didn't see when he played in college that really jump out at us. I think he's a guy that I think has done a nice job for us."

On developing undrafted players:

"It starts off in OTAs and how fast they pick things up. The faster they pick things up, the faster they can play. I think that's our whole objective — to install enough to where training camp it's the second or third time they hear it. The whole objective is that they understand it so that we can see their true speed and how fast they can play. We have a free agent that's making a lot of plays right now out there. He seems to be around the ball quite a bit. That's what you hope to see, the guys that understand the defense so that you can see their instincts. You're right, the [organization] has done a good job [historically]. I think we're closer to being on the same page with what we're looking for personnel-wise and Tom's [Telesco] vision."

On balancing giving the vets rest but getting enough reps:

"You know coaches are always pushing for more. We want to make sure we're ready for that first game. The only way you can do it is more reps. I think [Head Coach] Anthony [Lynn] has done a good job of pulling that back. I think one of the benefits of going against another team in training camp is that you can get a lot of the work done there, too. Maybe in the preseason games, you can get a look at some of the younger guys and see for them making the team. It is a delicate balance, I think, that you have to strain them enough and make it uncomfortable enough to when you show up that first game that we're prepared and we feel we're ready to go, but also knowing that, as the season goes on, you hope to get better as well."


On his offseason:

"It's been great. I've been enjoying it, working and grinding."

On what he does for fun:

"Work out. I'll tell you a typical day. I get up, work out, come back and nap. Then get up, probably go bowl or just watch Netflix all day."

On changing to No. 25:

"It's my favorite number. I've been wanting it for a while. I wanted to get it last year, but I was a little late on the timing and they wanted a little bit too much for it. I just said I'll wait so I can get it for free."

On sending some fans replacement jerseys with No. 25:

"I just know that jerseys are expensive. It's hard to just give up $100 to buy a No. 28 jersey and a couple of months later you find out that I'm switching to No. 25. I know I won't be able to get a jersey out to everybody, but the fans do a good job of making it to the games and buying tickets regardless of how expensive the tickets are. They're there. It's the least that I can do."

On why he didn't pick No. 23:

"I don't like the number. It just doesn't look good on me. 25 looks a little bit better."

On being back in the building:

"It feels good, man, just to be with some of the guys and be around the locker room chatting it up. Those conversations are the best. It's just being around them, I missed the boys. It's good. I missed the running back group, hell I missed [Head] Coach [Anthony Lynn], too. It's good getting back with everybody."

On being connected while he was away:

"You have to. I try to do a good job with texting the offensive linemen and receivers, the tight ends. I really did a good job on texting the offense. I hit a couple of defensive guy up, too. I was checking in on [LB] Kyzir [White] here and there. You have to keep in touch. You can't just be going M.I.A. and then get back here and think you can just walk in. You have to stay in touch with the guys because we are teammates and we all are close."

On his health:

"I feel good. I've been grinding to get back right. I wanted to do what I can and do my best to help this team win. I kind of felt later in the year and in the playoffs that I wasn't my best. It kind of sucked not being at my full potential and not giving it everything I have even though I did what I could. I'm good. I've been working on everything. I want to be an all-around back. I say it every year. Even the things that I feel I'm good at, I want to be great. Things I'm average at, I want to be great. That's just who I am. I just want to keep working, keep grinding and just be the best running back out here."

On working out in the offseason away from the facility until minicamp:

"I just have a plan. I felt before I got hurt that I was balling. I was doing my thing. When I find a plan that works for me, I just like to stick to it. It's nothing against anyone here or what they do here. I feel [Head Strength and Conditioning Coach John Lott] gets our guys right. I definitely believe in [Lott's] plan and what he has the guys doing in the plan out here. I just like my plan a little bit better and I kind of went with that."

On how training last year has allowed him to do more things this year:

"I guess so. A trainer will tell you anything. Anything that I find or do that can help me on the field, [I'll do]. I'm doing everything. I see something that works and that I like, I'm using it and doing it. If I see something that I don't feel like helps me, I probably won't. That's how that goes."

On how long it took to get healthy after the season:

"It took a couple of months to kind of just chill a little bit and actually start doing drills. I kind of slowly worked my way into it. I kind of just went from there, doing little cutting drills here and there. As [time] went on, I just progressed and started cutting harder and harder. When I started, I didn't use any braces or anything like that. I didn't want to baby anything so that when I got out here, I was comfortable cutting and doing what I needed to do."

On if he took more time off this offseason that previously:

"Not this year. Actually, when I went to the Pro Bowl, I was talking to [Broncos OLB] Von Miller and a couple of those guys — [C Mike] Pouncey and his brother [Maurkice]. They were just telling me as a professional, this is your job so you really shouldn't take months off or things like that. You should always work out, even if it's three times per week. When they told me that, I kind of just kicked it in gear. Kudos to those guys for putting me on."

On his contract:

"I'd be lying if I said I didn't want a deal done. That's not going to stop me from coming out here and doing what I need to do. We're going to see. I would like to go out there and have it done, but we're talking right now and that's where I'm going to leave it."

On if he would rather have a deal done before the season:

"Heck yeah. I would love to have it done so that I don't have to worry about that. I could just come into work and do what I need to do. I just don't want any problems or anything like that. I don't want to miss football. I don't have time for any of that going back-and-forth. I would rather just get it done and out of the way. Like I said, we'll revisit that when we do."

On not negotiating during the season:

"I don't know, man. I'm just trying to not talk about it. Like I said, if it's going to happen, it's going to happen. When it does, I'm sure you'll know."

On the willingness of teams to invest in running backs:

"I mean, it's an issue with everybody else. I know my value and what I bring to the team. I'm sticking with that. I can't help with what [Rams RB] Todd [Gurley] is paid. Todd doesn't care what anybody says right now, him or [Cardinals RB] David Johnson. They can say what they want to say, they signed the dotted line. Unfortunately, I haven't yet so I have to take the heat for some of the stuff that they're going through, but I'm not them. Like I said, I know my value. That is what it is."

On knowing when he's ready to return from injuries:

"You go out and do the drills and feel like yourself, you know. You can't lie to yourself. If you go out there, you're cutting and you don't feel right, then you know you're not ready. I don't know that the trainers are going to force you to go out there. They can't force you to go out there and do some things. There is some pain that you'll have to push through. I feel like us football players are tough enough to be able to push through that. You know your body better than anybody else. We have a hard time with just saying nothing is wrong and going out there. I feel all of us by now, especially at this level, know our body and know when we're healthy and when we aren't."

On DE Melvin Ingram III saying the Chargers are the team to beat in the NFL:

"That's Melvin. Mel is going to talk that talk. It's just what Mel does. I like to talk that talk, too, but I'm going to be cool and we will just see what happens."

On the importance of a championship mentality:

"I feel like if you ask any player from any team, that response should be the same around the league. If you're not confident in yourself and your team, then who will be? If you don't believe in your team and yourself — you won't believe it if I don't. That's just how I feel. It's a thin line between cocky and confident. I feel like when we talk that it's that we feel like we're cocky. I just feel like we're confident in what we can do. We see guys out here making crazy plays all the time. I feel like we have a really good team. It's not us being cocky when we come out and say that we're the team to beat and things like that. You get put on the spot. All of the fans that are watching and I say we're not the team to beat, how are they supposed to feel? You don't want to get in that battle. I feel like that feeling is mutual throughout the league. Everyone feels that they're the best."

On if that mentality translates individually:

"It has to. You have to feel like you're the best. You have to walk around and act like it. You don't necessarily have to be just walking and saying, 'I'm the best thing out here since sliced bread.' You don't have to take it that far, but if somebody asks you, you should be confident enough in your ability to say, 'I'm the best.'"

On the value of running backs:

"Oh, we're definitely devalued. We definitely are. That's just kind of how we're looked upon in the league right now."

On if he's comfortable playing out his contract:

"I don't know, man. It's something to think about."

On how much work he will need to be ready but healthy for Indianapolis:

"I'll let Coach [Lynn] decide that. Whatever he says he wants us to do, we go out there. That's just what we do. I don't know what his thoughts are on [sitting players in the preseason], so I can't really answer that question. All I know is when my coach [Running Backs Coach Alfredo Roberts] yells, '25, go in,' that's what's going to happen."

On training in Florida for the second offseason:

"I think we have a really good plan out there. [Chiefs RB] Carlos Hyde is out there, [Patriots RB] James White, [Bengals RB] Giovani Bernard, [Texans RB] Lamar Miller, [Jaguars RB] Alfred Blue. We have a lot of backs out there. [RB] Jeremy Hill will pop in every once in a while. Same with [RB Orleans] Darkwa. We have a lot of NFL running backs out there — starters. It's good to compete out there. There are a lot of guys out there competing. That's what I like to do, compete. Not saying the place that I have been to previously aren't as good, but I just feel like that plan suits me well there."

On what from the training can translate this year on the field:

"Everything. It's a wide range of speed, power, explosiveness. We're going catching drills. There are a lot of guys outside that I work with, too. I'm trying to expand my game a little bit. [I work with guys] that don't do running back stuff, but receiver stuff. I don't mind working. I'm trying to be well-rounded and work on my all-around game. There are a lot of guys outside of what I do there that can help benefit my game."


On how he feels at this point in the offseason:

"Same way I look — amazing."

On having a second baby:

"It's a blessing. Definitely a blessing. Another motivation, really. Another motivation to go hard — another boy. Major Ali Ingram. It's a blessing to having him. [My boys can] rough each other up. That's what it's all about. Make each other tougher; watch out for each other."

On the additions to the defense:

"Great players. [LB Thomas] TD [Davis Sr.] is one of the best to do it for a long time. His knowledge of the game, his leadership and everything he brings to the team is going to help us out tremendously."

On if he admired LB Thomas Davis Sr.:

"For sure. I knew him way before this. He always played a leadership role to me anyways without even being on this team, so being here he's going to have an even bigger impact on me."

On how he knew Thomas Davis before he came to the Chargers:

"I knew him from previous relationships. I knew him as a man not as a football player and he's always had an impact on me."

On working out in the offseason away from the facility until minicamp:

"It helps me a lot because I focus on certain things at certain times. Then when I come back to this three-day minicamp and moving forward, it's strictly focused on the aspects of football. When you're away from it, you can focus on the knowledge, the conditioning of your body, lifting more weight, getting stronger. Critiquing the aspects of that every day. When you come back, it's strictly the mental part and doing the on-field drills."

On if he feels like he's missing out on the team building aspect during OTAs:

"No. I probably missed out on some, but I don't think a lot. I'm so tight with some of the guys — [NT Brandon] Mebane and I FaceTime all the time, [RB] Melvin [Gordon III] and I FaceTime all the time, [QB] Philip [Rivers] and I will text. We have great relationships on this team."

On the most important part of minicamp:

"Starting the chemistry. You start the chemistry all over again. I don't care how long you've been playing with a player when you take some time off the chemistry gets a little off, so you're just starting the chemistry over again. You start all that over and get to know each other again so maybe when you were gone, you worked on this. When I was gone, I worked on this. So when we get back, we share that with each other. Look, I worked on this, I'm trying to do this. You're just starting the chemistry right now."

On what he is working on to improve for this season:

"Every aspect. My get-off, my hands, my vision, my mental aspects to the game. I'm trying to become more and more a student of the game. It's like knowing if you know I'm going to punch you, you're going to duck. So I'm trying to become an even better student of the game."

On if becoming a student of the game comes with age and experience:

"It comes with age and experience and it comes with having people like TD [Thomas Davis] that can tell you, 'Here's a certain thing you have to look for.' [Brandon] Mebane tells you, 'This is a certain thing you have to look for.' Philip [Rivers] will tell you as a quarterback, 'This is a certain thing I look for.' It's having leaders on your team like that and me, getting older as a player, coming with reps and all that."

On the Chargers were having a Super Bowl mentality:

"That's what it still is. We're definitely going to win the Super Bowl. Still ASAP — Any Squad Any Place. That's what we're about. It's about what any pressure anybody wants to be about."

On why it's important to have that mentality:

"That's how I live my life. That's how I live everything that I'm about. Whatever obstacle that gets in front of me, it's whatever with me and that's how we all look at it. We don't care who we play or where we're playing. We're about whatever."

On RB Back Melvin Gordon III saying the Chargers are the team to beat in the division:

"We are. We're the team to beat in the NFL, not just the AFC West, it's the NFL. We feel like when we're going against our offense that we need to beat them because they're the best. They need to beat us because we're the best and that's how we're going to get better."


"That's what it is. I'm not surprised because that's what we were and that's what we still are. It's not something that we just make up, no. We created that by going out and performing no matter where we were. That's what it was and that's what it still is."

On playing with a chip on their shoulder because they tied the division with Kansas City:

"No. We don't have a chip on our shoulder. We don't care about any of that. We just care about what we're doing. We don't have a chip on our shoulder because of somebody else. We have a chip on our shoulder because we didn't win a ring. It isn't about New England, Kansas City or anybody else. It's about us in this locker room, on this field, that's what it's all about."

On getting older and turning 30:

"Amazing. I feel like I'm 21 again, to be honest. I feel great. Like a kid in a candy store. [30] doesn't mean anything to me. I'm not human so it doesn't mean anything to me."

On the best pass-rushing duo in the NFL:

"I don't think about any of that. We know who the best pass rushing duo is. You do — that's why you asked me that question. I don't think about any of that. What's understood doesn't have to be explained."

On the pass-rushing summit:

"I learned so much from a lot of great players. I learned a lot. It's definitely something, what [Broncos OLB] Von [Miller] put together there, money can't buy that. Money can't buy you being around some of the greatest players in this league that are doing it right now and just learning from that. That's what it was. A whole day of us on-field just doing stuff. In the classroom, watching filming, telling us what you were thinking right here. It was priceless."

On what he's trying to teach some of the younger guys:

"Teaching them a winning atmosphere. It's all about us. Leave it all out there. Play every play like it's your last play. Trust the man beside you. You know that if you're down an alley and I got my back to you and you got your back to me, you don't have to look back here because you know I have you. I'm not going to look back there because you have me. That's the mentality we have around here."

On the Chargers draft picks:

"It was great. Every pick we picked up was great. It's going to help us. It's definitely going to help us. It's going to show when we start playing, we start practicing more, we start playing, it's going to be fun to watch."

On being excited for this team:

"I'm always excited for football. With this team, how could you not be excited?"

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