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Transcript - Organized Team Activities (June 3, 2019)


Monday, June 3, 2019 | Hoag Performance Center | Costa Mesa, Calif.


On S Nasir Adderley:

"He'll practice when he's ready. This time of year, I think it's important that you're 100 percent before we put you out there. Right now, he's still a little sore."

On Adderley's soreness:

"I don't like to talk about the injuries. Not until I have to."

On what he wants to see out of the guys this week:

"I'd like to see these guys keep progressing and learn our scheme. The younger players moved around a lot faster today. It just tells me that they studied over the weekend and that they're getting more familiar with what we're doing. I thought it showed up, especially those young defensive backs."

On Commissioner Roger Goodell's desire to shorten the preseason:

"When you have 90 guys and you shorten training camp, you do have to evaluate them. I've always used those preseason games to evaluate the roster. Can you get it done in two games? Yeah, I think you can. I think you'd do some things differently in practice. I think you'd see more teams practice against one another — like you're going to see us do this year. We have the Rams coming and the Saints. You can get some evaluation done in those practices. We can make it work. Whatever the League wants to do, we can make it work, that's for sure."

On if joint practices can serve like preseason games for evaluation:

"You're going to see them against good competition and you'll see them against another opponent, which is going to take it to another element in practice. You can get good evaluations during that week of practice, for sure."

On teams not playing starters in the preseason:

"I studied teams last year. I wanted to see how they started that first week and first month. Some teams that didn't play their starters started slow, some teams started okay and some teams finished strongly at the end. I'm definitely looking at doing some things like that this year."

On if the starters could play less this preseason:

"There's a good chance that they'll play less. There is a really good chance."

On what teams he evaluated that held starters out during the preseason:

"I looked at Rams. I looked at the Colts. I looked at the Texans. A lot of teams did it last year. I did my research. The results speak for themselves. I think all of those teams were in the playoffs at the end of the season. I think they were playing their best football at the end of the season. I think we're going to do some things differently this year."

On Packers Head Coach Matt LaFleur getting injured while playing basketball:

"Head coaches don't have to go out and play. I guess you could [enforce that harder on players]. If you want to keep everybody accountable, I guess you could put it on head coaches as well. You've always had those examples [for players] of guys skiing, motorcycle riding. You just want guys to be smart. You can go out and play and easy pickup game, but you have to be smart when you do that. That's all we want. We don't want anyone getting hurt. It's unfortunate, but head coaches get hurt, too."

On the last time he played basketball:

"With my knees, it's been a while. It's been a while since I've been on a hard court. I can still dunk it, don't get me wrong. Don't get it twisted, now."

On if he uses stories of upsets in sports to motivate players:

"No doubt. There's always some Muhammad Ali film upstairs, some Mike Tyson tape, Evander Holyfield. We've used all of those guys. Just to show how you can be down early and then come back and win. Just showing resilience and perseverance. I've used all of those examples before."

On the amount of time rookies should spend studying:

"Really, all of their time. I told them, 'You're here to learn football right now.' They're so far behind. If you're going to leave an impression on myself, a coach or anyone in the organization, you have to know what you're doing. I believe when knowledge, you can play with more confidence. When you play with more confidence, you can play faster and you can make plays. That's what we need to see as soon as possible. I think they're doing a good job. I think they're adjusting well."

On having to place that studying impression on rookies:

"Not everybody in this league wants to be the best, unfortunately. You don't know who that is right now. I just got to meet some of these kids, but if you want to be the best, you have that passion and you're driven already. You're going to be doing those things without someone telling you. Right now, I don't know who that is and it's my job to tell you."

On FB Derek Watt:

"He had shoulder surgery a couple of weeks ago. We're not in a rush to get him back on the field. I never put a timetable on a player's injury. He's getting better, but no rush at all."

On RB Melvin Gordon III:

"We've [spoken] on the phone. I vaguely remember what he looks like. He'll be here Monday."

On players staying on the field to get extra work:

"This time of year, it means a lot to me because they don't have to be here. The ones that are here and working hard, it means a lot. It just tells me a lot about their character and the type of teammate that they are in that locker. The ones that are not here, it's not that I'm [upset] at them or that they have bad character — I'm not saying that at all because they're working. I guarantee you, [DE] Melvin Ingram [III] and Melvin Gordon are working. When they get here, they'll be ready to go."


On if he can dunk:

"Yeah, I can dunk. My layup package is better. My dunk package, I'm a rim-grazer."

On the last time he dunked:

"Last year. I don't really try to hoop too much. I don't really try to go out there and just yam on people. When I'm hooping, I'm usually just laying up and maybe staying on the arc, showing my little jumper."

On utilizing upsets in sports as motivation:

"Yeah, never judge a book by its cover. They thought [Anthony] Joshua looked the part. [Andy Ruiz Jr.] might not have looked like him. I felt like a lot of people thought [Joshua] was going to walk over him. [Ruiz] went out there and proved him wrong. When you get the opportunity, you're either going to stand or you're going to fold and he stood tall."

On returning to the Chargers:

"It means a lot. It's my third year going into [this system]. A lot of the stuff that I've picked up over the last two years is [natural], left and right. We're able to do a lot more things now. Our team is running a lot more fluid now with it being three years. Just being here, we're about to take the next step. I wanted to be part of taking that next step. I'm just grateful to be back."

On the rookies:

"They're dogs. They were dogs in college, we expect them to be dogs here. You get to see a little bit. At OTAs, it's kind of hard. You just kind of see if they're fluid or not, but when we get to training camp, we really are going to see what they're about. We expect them to do the same thing that they've done here. [S Nasir] Nas [Adderley] was picking the ball off in college, it's what we expect here. He's already shown some great ball skills and some great range out in the middle of the field. We can't wait."

On the foundation that is set at OTAs:

"For me, it's being a cohesive unit. Everybody being together, finding out what works, finding out what doesn't work — this is your time to see and try something new. Try a new technique and see if you like it. The stuff that you've been working with your little 'guru,' as [Head] Coach [Anthony] Lynn calls it — the stuff you've been working on with them, apply it to the field. When we're out there in practice, it's just competition. When you compete with each other right now, it gets easier down the road when you're going against somebody else. Phase 1 was just a building phase — getting everybody bigger, faster, stronger. Phase 2, we start incorporating some football in there. Phase 3, right now, the practice is just applying everything that you've learned to the field. I think we're gelling pretty well right now. We don't want to peak too fast, but we're looking good."

On LB Denzel Perryman:

"He's a thumper. When he first came into the league, we called him, 'Baby Thump.' I don't know if you all knew that. Seeing him back on the field and running around, he looks a lot better. You can tell. A lot of guys, when they get hurt, blow up. He actually went the other way. He trimmed down a lot because he knows he has to be able to run with everything. Seeing that commitment, seeing him take advantage of the opportunity just to be able to get his body right and seeing him back on the field — he's flying around right now. It's great seeing him back out there. When he gets back out there full-time, he's going to be in command again. It's just great right now to see him be able to make some moves out there, make plays on the ball."

On the energy Perryman brings:

"A lot. The thing is with our team, we have a lot of energy. When Denzel comes back, it'll raise up another whole notch. That's how vital he is to our defense. You know any time that he's in there, he's destined to knock somebody's head off — legally. It's great to have him out there."

On his free agency:

"All of that stuff is behind me. I don't really want to talk about it. I did want to be here, though. It ended up working out that way. Right now, I'm just focused on the season. I don't want to talk about all that."

On his youth camp this past weekend:

"It was great. One of the big things is that I've always wanted to give back to the community, give back to the city that raised me. Being able to go back out there [to Garland, Texas] and bring some friends that are successful and in the League, just having them show the youth that if you want to make it to that next level, these are the steps that you have to take — and just having fun with them. Seeing [youth] have fun with people in our position, it's great. We're impacting those kids' lives. A lot of kids never get to really see that. I just wanted to bring that to my city. Being able to do that, it's one of those feelings that you can't really describe. You love it."

On sharing the story of his journey:

"Yeah, I talk to them about that all of the time. A lot have their stories where Coach may not be giving them the chance that they want. I just kind of tell them, 'You have to keep knocking on that door. Keep knocking it down because you never know when that opportunity will arise. You just have to make sure you stay prepared. Sometime you're going to fail, but if you fail, just go full-speed. Take a chance. If you fail, that's okay. Just try again.' I like telling them those stories. They want to know what happened with me, why I didn't get drafted and all that stuff. I just take time to talk to them. A lot of times, we just talk about life and what's going on with them. They don't always want to talk football all of the time."

On if he had mentors like he is providing youth:

"No, I didn't. That's why I wanted to bring it back to [Garland]. A lot of my friends, we've always wanted to have the opportunity to go to a camp like that, but no one really ever brought it around. Dallas is big, we didn't want to drive to Cedar Hill or DeSoto and pay for camps. We wanted it to be in our own city. It was something that we talked about for a long time. Just to see it come to fruition is a real blessing."


On being back on the field:

"It means everything to me. I'm happy to be back out there with the guys. It was a dream come true to be on an NFL team, so I'm just trying to take full advantage of it."

On how it was to deal with the injury:

"It was tough, but I have a lot of good people in my corner. I was able to get through it and I was good mentally. I'm just happy to be back now."

On who he relied on through the injury process:

"My big brother and my dad, for sure."

On his health:

"Yes. I feel good, I feel really good."  

On what it feels like to be back on the field:

"I feel good. I feel like my old self again. I feel like I'm moving pretty well, so overall I feel pretty good."

On if he worked on anything in the offseason:

"I worked on a little bit of everything. I wanted to put on a few pounds, then, I think I want to drop a little bit now. I feel good overall." 

On his weight:

"233 pounds. I'm comfortable right here. I gained about three to four pounds. Nothing too major."

On initial takeaway from his rookie season:

"I think there's always room for improvement. I definitely feel like I'm a lot better now as far as the mental aspect of the game. It definitely moved faster for me just with playing a new position. I'm closer to the ball. It was definitely faster, but I think I adjusted pretty well."

On wanting to be out there helping his team last year:

"It was tough, but if I could've been out there, I would've been out there. I just tried to control what I could and I had to get myself back healthy."

On learning from LB Thomas Davis:

"He's a great help. He's been in the League for 15 years so I'm always in his ear asking him a lot of questions. Even [LB Jatavis Brown], [LB] Denzel [Perryman] as well as [LB] Nick [Dzubnar]. I'm asking everybody a lot of questions. You can always learn something from everybody."

On questions he's asking veteran players:

"What they see on a certain play, what can I do better, what they think my weaknesses are so I can strengthen my game. Just every little thing I can possibly ask." 

On being with Thomas Davis in the film room:

"He's just been around the game so long he's pretty much seen everything that's going to come our way. That's an extra coach on the field. I have to use that to my advantage."

On how he expanded his mental game:

"The playbook. I had all that time away so I was able to look at the playbook, learn from other people's mistakes, ask a lot of questions — I feel like I'm a lot better mentally."

On the mental game being a confidence factor:

"Definitely because now I can just play fast. I don't have to do too much thinking. I feel like last year I was thinking a little bit too much sometimes. This year, I feel way more comfortable just as far as my preparation and I know what I'm doing. I'm definitely going to make some mistakes still but that comes with it." 

On at what point he realized he was done for the season on injury last year:

"It was something I talked about with the trainers and the doctors. It felt like that was the best thing to do to get myself 100 percent healthy and be ready for this year. I'm happy to be back."

On what it means to have LB Denzel Perryman on the field:

"I'm happy for him. He's a hard worker. Very good player. I know he's been through a lot as far as injuries. I can kind of relate because my big brother has been through a similar trail. I'm just happy for him. I hope everything pays off for him."

On leaning on his brother during his injury:

"Every day. He was hurt for his first three years coming into the NFL after being a top-10 pick. He could definitely relate to what I was going through last year and he was a big help for me."

On what his brother said to him during injury:

"He pretty much said, 'It's life.' Not everything is going to be on an uphill slop. You're going to have some battles in life and just keep fighting, don't give up and you'll be alright."

On the first four picks from 2018 being more comfortable this year compared to last year:

"I think we all realize that we can play at this level. I think we all made plays last year so it gives us that confidence boost that we need. We can really do this thing. Keep working hard and just let the chips fall where they may."

On this draft class:

"I think it was a great draft class. We have some guys and I'm looking forward to them contributing to win more games."

On what his role is here:

"Be the best player I can be. Be a better man on and off the field. Whatever the team needs me to do, I'm willing to do."

On gaining a leadership role:

"Definitely now that they have me playing some MIKE. I have to be more vocal and know what everybody's doing so definitely."

On how he feels at MIKE:

"I feel pretty comfortable. Still learning as I go, day by day, but I'm definitely feeling a lot better than I did when I first got put out there."

On the transition into his second year:

"It's major. I think every time I have a second year under my belt, I feel like it helps me out a lot. In junior college, my second year was always better. At West Virginia, my senior year compared to my junior year was a lot better. This year, I feel like my second year is going to be a lot better than my rookie year even though I only got to play three games last year."

On balancing relaxation time and football:

"I don't think it's hard to balance. It's definitely an adjustment though, but I wouldn't say it's hard to balance."

On his expectations of the defense this year:

"Keep improving in every category from last year and be the best defense we can be. Hopefully be the best defense in the NFL."

On players playing and continuing to practice on the field even after practice is over:

"It's great. Everybody is doing the extra stuff to put them a step ahead, so I think it's all going to pay off. That's hard work. That's the stuff people don't see behind the scenes that pay off."

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