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Transcript - Offseason Program Phase 1 (April 15, 2019)


Monday, April 15, 2019 | Hoag Performance Center | Costa Mesa, Calif.


On the start of the offseason program:

"In my opinion, it's back. We have a lot of guys here working today that were on the field now and working with the strength and conditioning coaches. They're in the classroom with the position coaches. There was a lot of good work today."

On WR Artavis Scott:

"I expect to see him take the next step. He was a highly productive player in college. He was doing some good things for us last year in spring ball and training camp. I'm just looking forward to him staying healthy and take the next step."

On Head Strength and Conditioning Coach John Lott and the rest of the strength coaches:

"John Lott, [Assistant Strength Coaches] Jonathan [Brooks], Tyler [Judkins] — they do an excellent job. If you look at this team over the last couple of years, I know we've had some injuries, but not as many as we had in the past. I like what they've been doing with the guys. I believe the guys have a lot of confidence in them and trust what they're doing."

On when the coaching staff views a new start in the offseason:

"We got mostly everyone back. We kind of started that today a little bit, to be honest with you. Of course, the first day of training camp is when they get the State of the Union address from me. We bring them in today, introduce everybody to each other and get them out on the field. Like I said, we get them in the classrooms. It's a very important part of our season right now — phase one and two of the offseason, just learning our system and our schemes. When the season starts, you don't have time to slow down and work with a guy like you can now. The coaches, they have a lot of time on their hands right now to work with these guys."

On the proper timing to discuss team goals and individual goals:

"Right now, we talk about some things — [team] identity and some goals, but we'll get to that when our roster is final. We still have a draft to go through. When we get all of the guys on our team and finalize our roster, then we can start talking more in-depth about team goals and identity."

On the roster at this point in the offseason:

"We signed our players. We brought [NT Brandon] Mebane back. I thought that was a good move. He's a good player. We brought in [LB] Thomas Davis [Sr.], that's a good move. We brought in [QB] Tyrod [Taylor]. We're getting a healthy [LB] Kyzir [White] back. Some of these guys that were with us last year and didn't play or got re-signed — I thought those were all good moves."

On the attendance of the voluntary workouts:

"For the guys that are here and showed up today, absolutely I'm pleased with that."

On QB Philip Rivers:

"Philip is with his family on vacation. He does a family vacation around Easter every year. Easter was pushed back this year, so I didn't want him showing up here just for today and tomorrow, and then going back with his family in Florida. That's why he's not here."

On the additions to the coaching staff:

"I don't mind guys coming from different systems. They don't have to be familiar with this system. I'm just looking for the right guys and guys that I believe will get on the same page with the rest of the coaches. That's what I look for first. We can teach a guy another system, but I'm just looking for the character and a guy that can teach, relate and communicate with players."

On TE Hunter Henry and LB Denzel Perryman:

"It's good to see Hunter and Denzel out there, especially Denzel. Hunter came back at the end of last season, but Denzel was out at that time. It's good to see those guys running around."

On the importance of the second-year players having a full offseason program:

"It's huge to get a young player back like that and get him here for a full offseason and regular season. It should be good for [their] development."

On Perryman's physique:

"He's in great shape, man. Denzel, when I first get here he [weighs] 205. I'm looking for my MIKE linebacker and he's standing right in front of me and I didn't even know it. He was like 205 or 210. The next year, he was 245 and then he's 220 this year. Denzel, he has that discipline to be at whatever weight he wants, but he looks good at all of those weights."

On being the Grand Marshal at the Long Beach Grand Prix:

"It was pretty cool. That's my first race. It was pretty exciting. Mario [Andretti], he's one of the best drivers of all time. I had the chance to drive around the track with him a couple of times. That was pretty intense."


On how he's feeling:

"I'm feeling good. I'm just still trying to get strong and make sure everything is good. I'm excited. [My knee] is feeling really good."

On if he is limited at all in his workouts:

"No, I'm pretty much a full-go. Everything feels good. It still gets sore every once in a while, but it's nothing too bad. It's nothing that's crazy. It's just a workout soreness."

On the psychological importance of playing in the AFC Divisional playoff:

"It was definitely big. It was good for just my spirits and pushing me this offseason, too, to get back out there and get a little taste of it. It was definitely big for my confidence."

On the 2018 season:

"It was a long year [for me]. I was really happy to see — obviously, the season that we had. It was awesome. At the same time, it was kind of grueling to kind of have to sit out of that. Just to be able to continue to work and be around the guys the whole year, it really pushed me throughout the whole process."

On if he's excited to be talking about him playing football again:

"It's been too long. It's been a long process. This thing is crazy how long it takes. I'm just excited to get back out with the guys and get going."

On if last season taught him anything:

"It taught me a lot. Just patience, how to really grow and who I am. [It taught me] what everything was about, taking it day-by-day. One day could be good and one day could be bad. I'm really excited to get back out here. It definitely kind of gave me more of an appreciation for what we have out here with just really missing the game so much last year."

On his approach to phase one of the offseason program:

"It's just the camaraderie I think, being with all of the guys and kind of building a relationship with everybody. I think that's big. I think we have a pretty close team. Just being around the guys again, working out together and going through some hard times together — it's just fun to be around for this phase one. You know, you work out, run, get it good shape and just kind of hang out with guys."

On if he wondered how some games may have turned out had he been healthy last season:

"I wouldn't say that. Obviously, I think highly of myself and I think I can help out a lot — but I never really was [like that]. Our tight ends did a great job of picking up [the slack] and our receivers played great. Our offense was tremendous all year. There wasn't a time where I was — I knew that I could help in a different way, but I was very supportive and excited for the guys out there."


On being in a full offseason program:

"It feels different. It feels like I've been here before. I kind of know what to expect coming in and getting that experience last year. Like I said, I'm ready to work and push my teammates."

On what he has done since the end of the season:

"I kind of rested a little bit and got my body back right because it was a long rookie season. It went by fast. As you can see, it's almost — we'll be back in OTAs stage one. Like I said, it went by fast. I enjoyed a little time off and getting the body right. I had some good workouts to get my body back into shape."

On the importance of the first phase of the offseason program:

"It's just really getting to know my teammates. We have a couple of new faces coming in. It isn't about killing yourself right now. It's like [Head] Coach [Anthony Lynn] said, it's building a base — starting somewhere. Like I said, it's a long season. It's a marathon. It's really just coming in, trying to learn the new faces around the building and grow within each other. Like I said, get in shape and push each other."

On his offseason training:

"It's just working on my core, keeping my body right and like I said, getting the treatments and the massages. It was a long rookie season, so I'm trying to make sure that I don't come out here and tweak anything or pull anything. I'm just working on my body, making sure that I'm staying healthy and staying in shape."

On LB Thomas Davis Sr.:

"That's a big piece. He's a vocal leader. A great guy as I can see having been around him. He's a good guy to help mentor me, especially a young guy coming in trying to lead. He's been doing it a long time — 15 years. He's a guy that's willing to help, already I can see. It's good to have people like that added to the locker room."

On his first impressions of Davis:

"Great guy. Like I said, he works hard as you can see by some of his videos that he's posted. He works hard and you can tell that he's a competitor. I can see that in him. From the get-go, we were in [the locker room] shooting [miniature] basketball and he told me that I can't beat him. It's good having guys like that added to the locker room."

On his competitive nature coming out in conditioning drills:

"I take pride in everything I do, no matter if it's — like I said, we could be over there just playing tug-of-war — anything, I don't care what it is. I want to come in first. That's just the way I'm built. I don't settle for last. I just want to come out here, get better and push these guys the best way that I can."

On if the playoff loss to New England left a sour taste in his mouth:

"Oh, yeah it did. Like I said, we got blown out. It showed us where we were as a team. Just to be in the playoffs and two games away from being in the big dance, so we got a little taste of it last year, but we want to get there this year. It's going to start right now."

On if losing to the eventual Super Bowl winners is motivating:

"It's big motivation because it lets you know that you're not that far off. Like I said, we lost to the team that won the Super Bowl. If you're going to lose anyway, you'd rather have it like that [than not make the postseason]."

On if he keeps close track of the roster moves made by the team:

"Yeah, I get the updates on my phone. I see when they're posting this stuff. I'm excited that we got [QB] Tyrod [Taylor], that we got Thomas [Davis] and a couple of guys coming in. I'm just excited with what we're bringing in. With all of the guys that are already in the locker room, I feel very confident in what we already have. We won 12 games last year [in the regular season]. I'm very confident in this team and what we already have."

On where he can improve:

"Just coming out this year and being more consistent. Every game, coming out and knowing what to expect from me every play and every rep. I just really want to come in here next year and help guys around me get better, not just focus on me. Just help the team elevate to another level."

On how he can help his teammates get better:

"Come in to work every day and learning my teammates, like I said. If I can't trust you or you can't trust me to have a conversation with me, I can't help you get better. It's really coming in and helping everybody get better."

On his rookie season:

"It worked out, but I have to do it again. Last year is in the past. Now, it's a new year. I don't have an All-Pro by my name this year. I have to come out and do it again. That's how I look at it — it's a new season."

On his time at Coachella:

"I had fun. Now, it's time to work. It was my first time going."

On not being named Defensive Rookie of the Year:

"It kind of was disappointing. I felt like I deserved it, but [Colts LB] Darius Leonard is one hell of a player. He deserved it. The numbers he put up and the way that he helped his team fight back, I say that if anyone deserved it — I had already said that it was him. I was just happy to be in the conversation for it. I just want to come out and be better this year."

On his video of him dunking earlier this offseason:

"[Coach Lynn] was sitting there and he said, 'I saw your dunk. Stay out of the gym, but I like it. It was [a] nice [dunk].' He'll tell me to stay out of the gym all the time."

On if he's still playing basketball:

"No, I'm done with the ball right now. It's football time. I'm just trying [focus on] football."

On bringing back LB Denzel Perryman and S Adrian Phillips:

"That's why I said the guys that we already had in our locker room, I'm very happy with. We won 12 games last year, so there's not much that we really need to go out and get. Just having guys like AP [Phillips] and DP [Perryman] back — DP kind of got injured, but he was a big help at the beginning and middle of the season. AP, he's a guy that's been there since I came in as a rookie, helping me not only on the field, but with film study and different stuff. Having him back is really big."

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