LOS ANGELES CHARGERS vs. SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS
Sunday, September 30, 2018 | ROKiT Field at StubHub Center | Carson, Calif.
LOS ANGELES CHARGERS HEAD COACH ANTHONY LYNN
"First, I tip my hat off to the 49ers. [49ers Head] Coach [Kyle] Shanahan had his team ready to play. They came out the gates fast. We knew this was going to be a four quarter football game, so our guys had the mindset of playing for four quarters, and they did. It was good to see the resilience of this football team and how they bounce back and how they finish. I thought all three phases kicked in and made plays when we needed a play. It was good to see that. Good complimentary football."
On CB Desmond King II being the punt returner:
"He did a nice job today. He really did. We've seen Desmond do that before, so I wasn't surprised. He broke two or three tackles. He's a strong, young man. He's not as explosive as you would like, but I tell you what, he can move the sticks. He can do everything you need in a punt returner and a kick returner."
On what they did differently on offense to start moving:
"We had to convert some of the third downs. First half, we were awful on third downs. We just had to stay on the field."
On the performance of RB Melvin Gordon III:
"He ran outstanding. His effort — there were times he could have stepped out of bounds but stayed between the yard lines. He made plays."
On how Gordon's performance motivated the team:
"I think when you see a young man make an effort the way he made today, I think it gives the whole sideline juice. He inspired me on the sidelines seeing him run."
On shutting down the San Francisco rushing offense:
"That was one of the things we focused on all week. Their front seven they have is salty. Very salty in stopping the run, and we put five on four on them today. They had the number two rushing attack in the league and we held them to under four yards a carry, so those are two areas we had to stop in this game and we did."
On if they are going to make some kicking changes:
"I can't say that. We have to wait. It's a whole operation. Not just the kicker sometimes. It's a whole operation, so we'll take a look at that. If we can't get it better, then we'll have to do something. Right now, I can't say that."
On if he's disappointed in K Caleb Sturgis' performance:
"Yeah, I'm disappointed. Absolutely. No doubt."
On playing smart football to avoid penalties:
"That's a big emphasis on this football team—to play smart football. I think right now, before this game, we were number three in this league with the least amount of penalties. Our goal is to be number one. That's been an emphasis from our coaches and our players are executing."
On S Derwin James' performance:
"I thought he made some plays. He looked pretty good."
On the team's defensive performance:
"I thought our defense stepped up when we really needed them to. They created some turnovers, got some pressure on the quarterback and just slowed the 49ers down. Their offense is pretty explosive. They have some players and some wide receivers, one of the best backs in the league — two of the better backs in the league — and I knew that [49ers QB] C.J. Beathard would come in and move the sticks because I watched him last year and this young man plays with his legs. They want more quarterback driven runs, but that's hard for a defense to focus all on that. It was a great effort by them, but our team stepped up and executed."
On the back-to-back rushing the passer penalties:
"I have to watch the tape before I can make a comment on it because I thought [LB] Kyle Emmanuel was waist high and slid down. [DE] Melvin's [Ingram III] was probably one they would call. I think he landed with his weight on top of him [C.J. Beathard]. It is what it is. We have to do a better job of understanding the rules. We work on that. Our defensive line coach Giff Smith does a heck of a job [explaining to guys] wrapping guys up and spinning them to the side [and] trying not to put your weight on those guys. That's going to happen from time to time."
On if it's a relief they won:
"It's big. It's not a sigh of relief because we have so much work to do, and we're sitting here 2-2 after the first quarter of our season. I feel like we could be better than 2-2. We come out of this game .500, we start the second quarter next week and we start it new. Hopefully we can learn from this first quarter. All of us grow — coaches and players. We grow together and move in one direction. We'll see what happens."
On if the second quarter interception changed the momentum:
"Anytime you get a turnover it's going to change the momentum. It did a lot for our sidelines, and it did a lot for our team. We needed that turnover."
On if Gordon is injured:
"He'll be okay."
On T Russell Okung's injury:
"It's his groin. I think it happened in the play right before the half. He wasn't able to come back. I'm not sure where he is."
On the performance of the wide receivers:
"We have a good wide receiver group. They bounce back. They made some plays today. They did well in the run game too as far as blocking on the perimeter. That's one of the things they do really well. Any time you rush for 5.4 yards per attempt, you have some good perimeter blocking."
LOS ANGELES CHARGERS QUARTERBACK PHILIP RIVERS
On the game's comeback:
"I think it was just a gritty team win. It wasn't the best day, but at the same time, we showed some of the traits that we always talk about having — toughness, togetherness, the fight. Shoot, the defense stepped up big in huge ways, obviously. We struggled, obviously, coming out of the gates, threw an interception for a touchdown and not doing a lot. Then we settled in and kind of got a groove there for awhile, and then kind of got in a little bit of a rut. We found a way to win. There's no game in the NFL that should be easier or harder than the other — they're all hard, and we found a way today."
On RB Melvin Gordon III today:
"He hit it awfully hard, and the guys in the front did a nice job. They're one of the top rush defenses in the league and I think we averaged five yards a carry, which is awesome. Melvin ran super hard. I know it gives the whole sideline, everybody, a boost when they just see the effort that he gives, that he always gives. [RB] Austin [Ekeler] mixed in there ran well, too. I thought we made enough plays in the passing game, it obviously wasn't one of our best day. If these are our bad days, then I guess we can live with it, although I'd like to have the turnovers back, obviously."
On being 2-2 at this stage when last year they were 0-4:
"We've got to go. We can't keep going win for loss the whole way there. We know what that does — that usually leaves you on the outside looking in. We don't even think like that now, we just need to try to win another one. Today we were just trying to get on a roll, when you can't get on a roll, just win one. Now we have a chance to win two in a row next week with the Raiders coming in."
On TE Antonio Gates being wide open for his touchdown:
"I wasn't sure how they were going to play it. The corner was out there with Melvin [Gordon], which usually the linebacker is on Melvin, and the linebacker was on Gates. I wasn't really sure what they were in. They kind of did that to us all day, playing some man stuff with different guys to not let us get a feel for what they were in. I wanted to stare at Melvin first, thinking I wanted to throw him that quick slant and they both drove Melvin, and then Gates just popped open. It's not [often] when he's that wide open."
On struggling to get going early:
"Obviously, we talked about it all week, getting off to a fast start. We have to do that until we do it. Until we do it, we don't have it figured out. I don't know if there's any magic play call or magic formula to that. We just have to execute better, early."
On the second quarter when they got the touchdown and the 2-point conversion:
"It was huge, we stood over there and it was almost 11 minutes. We knew that drive was big. We knew it was probably the last possession, at least we felt, the last possession of the half. It was a huge drive finishing in the end zone with a touchdown and then getting a quick three-and-out. I wasn't sure what they were going to do. We had two timeouts. I thought they might play it a little conservative, but they went for it. [CB Desmond] Des [King II] did a great job running the punt back. Where we were on the field, they were super soft prevent type, because they know probably we only have two plays, realistically. So there was nothing there really to take a shot to get in the endzone and getting three there. Getting ten points in a matter of two and a half minutes was big before halftime."
On how much the offense benefits when Gordon is running aggressively:
"It's huge. Like we've always said, we're our best when we're balanced. I think last year when we were rolling, we were balanced. We've been that this year for the most part. Lack of some execution in some of our losses, lack of some execution in some of it today. There was lack of execution in the second half against Buffalo. That's football. It's not going to always go perfect. I thought our guys hung in there together and fought. The guys up front did a nice job but I think they would tell you too, when they see Melvin running like that and fighting for every single yard, it adds even more juice to the huddle and the sidelines when they see a run like that."
On being 2-2 at this point in the season:
"Shoot, not where we wanted to be, we lost to two teams that that are going to win 11, 12 football games probably. There's no consolation in that other than you know those are the types of teams that you have to beat if you get to January. We can all agree they're good football teams. We finally get to 2-2, I've said this at the beginning, but we can't be going win, loss, win, loss. We know where that leaves you at the end of the year. It's time to win two in a row and that starts next week."
On the wide receivers improving from the beginning of the year:
"They're going to be just fine, I have no doubts. Even I could have made some better throws early too in the season. Today, I didn't throw it great, I don't need to say that, it was probably obvious watching. The receivers are going to be fine. It's one of those deals you're going to get in a rhythm and Tyrell [Williams] made some huge plays today, Mike [Williams] didn't have many opportunities. Keenan [Allen] ended up getting a couple there in that drive, I don't know if he finished with six, seven catches maybe. It's such a dynamic group. We have so many guys. It's just going to be kind of week to week. I can't tell you who is going to get the ball and I think that's what makes us tough to defend. Although San Francisco, I thought they did a heck of a job today, they had us a little off balance a few times and they played us well."
On if he said anything to K Caleb Sturgis after the game:
"I did not. I don't know the best route to take there. I threw an interception for a touchdown today and I don't like anybody saying anything to me. It's one of those, 'Hey we're fine, we're fine.' It's like, I know we will be fine but it's not okay. I don't know kicking, what it feels like. I know it's a mental deal. You spray one with water, I guess, off a tee. I don't really want to say anything. I really don't know where the next is going. Not to make light of it, it's a serious deal and I know the work that the Caleb has put in. He's been consistent really, through practice, I haven't seen him miss one in a while. It is somewhat frustrating, it just puts a damper on the drive, but we were able to overcome it today, like we were able to overcome an interception for a touchdown. We would never have been in that situation had I not thrown it to the other team, as well. Hopefully it gets ironed out."
On facing the Raiders:
"They got the first win and they've been in some close games. They were 13-13 I think against the Rams. I don't know all the scores, I know in Miami they were close and then obviously to win the one today, and the third one they lost, I can't remember all those games — Denver, in game two. We know it's a division opponent and we know the Raiders and us, it's always been a heck of a challenge, heck of a game. Obviously, they've made some changes there so it will be a different defensive scheme and some things like that, but excited. They're going to be fired up after winning an emotional game like that. We'll be ready for those guys and then flip the tape on, flip the sides and watch Cleveland next week. We're here to get above .500 and hopefully get on a little bit of a roll. Oakland comes in here and it's our chance to get to 3-2 and catch back up. It will be a heck of a challenge."
On passing Hall of Fame QB John Elway for eighth-most passing yards in NFL history:
"I think it's hard during the course of the year, and at the end of the game I'm excited we won the game. It didn't really feel like I played very [well]. It's one of those when here in a couple hours you can appreciate it and how many guys contributed to those things, all of that. Those are guys I had posters of on my wall, so just to be mentioned with those guys is definitely special."
On Gordon's run giving him a spark:
"It was awesome. I give credit to the guys up front, there was room to run. Then credit to him, I think he runs like that it gives juice to the huddle and the offensive line, when they see him running back there and scrapping for yards like he was. I think it gives juice to the whole team. He ran awfully hard and obviously gets in for another touchdown. He seems to find a way to do that. He catches and runs it every week. It was all around a gritty performance by him."
On if he understands the new rules about hitting the quarterback:
"Not really. Flip a coin."
On S Derwin James:
"He's been great. He has the demeanor, and he's made the plays obviously, but he has the demeanor of one of those double-digit year safeties. That's what he is. He will ascend in a hurry to that kind of role. That's just his demeanor and the way he plays, the passion he has and the aggression he plays with. He was a heck of a pick. I'm glad he's on our side."
LOS ANGELES CHARGERS RUNNING BACK MELVIN GORDON III
On today's performance:
"We just started out slow as a unit, I felt like, in the first half. In the second half, we came out a little bit more focused. We still missed some plays, but I feel like we were locked in the second half more than the first."
On his role in the passing game:
"Any way to get the ball. What [Head] Coach [Anthony Lynn] talks about is touches. With [QB] Philip [Rivers], you have to be great in the passing game. It just makes me a better football player. It is all about making a man miss and getting open."
On coming back from a 14-point deficit:
"We have been through so much adversity. Being down 14 [points] is nothing to us. We have been at rock bottom. It's only up and we know how to respond when we go down. We never fold. We never turn the cheek. We never look back and think the game is over. We always feel like we have the players to be in the game regardless how much someone goes up. Until that clock hits zero, we got a chance."
LOS ANGELES CHARGERS SAFETY DERWIN JAMES
On the defense forcing turnovers:
"I feel like the turnovers are starting to come."
On how to eliminate big plays:
"Just tightening up some of the coverage. I feel like sometimes we are too deep on our coverage, especially me. A couple of times, I was too deep off the tight end."
On special teams play:
"Special teams played well. A lot of times when we punted, special teams did a great job of covering. Kickoff did a good job. Collectively, it was a good team win."
On game preparation:
"I think it's my coaches preparing me, they have a lot do with it. Also, for God blessing me with my ability. Like I said, when I mix that together, you see what happens."
On the grit of the team and being able to finish:
"Coach always says let's play a four quarter game. He wants to see us play a complete game and, I feel like, today we played a complete game as a team. We're going to look at the film, correct the mistakes, move on and get ready for Oakland."
LOS ANGELES CHARGERS CORNERBACK DESMOND KING II
On momentum swings:
"Yeah, I think there [were] big momentum swings today. I'm glad that we came out on top, that's a good thing for us — finishing the first quarter of the season 2-2. Now [we're] just going into next week with this momentum."
On the feeling following the game:
"One thing we talked about is finishing — we have to start fast, finish faster. That's one thing we want to keep preaching. We've had a decent start to the season and we just want to finisher faster. That's going to be our mindset for the rest of the season."
On when he knew he would be returning punts:
"Yesterday I was announced to do it, it was pretty last minute. I believe that they really trusted me back there, I did it — I was a little rusty, but I'm going to get back to what I'm used to doing."
LOS ANGELES CHARGERS DEFENSIVE END ISAAC ROCHELL
On the interception:
"It almost feels like a dream right when it's happening. When it's in your hands, now it's time to go find the end zone. I've never had an interception in my career, so it's really cool."
On having a 2-2 record:
"Our goal was to get to .500 going out of the first quarter. We'll just evaluate and move forward. We have three more quarters in the season."
On RB Melvin Gordon III:
"Him and [RB Austin] Ekeler both, they don't get tackled by the first defender. It's a little juice to us when we're watching him play. If he's going to fight, we need to fight. I think he also looks at us and says the same thing."
On the team continuing to fight:
"I just don't think anyone stops. We were down and I remember looking up the scoreboard and I didn't even feel like we were down because we just played with such a confidence. It says a lot about our team."
LOS ANGELES CHARGERS CORNERBACK TREVOR WILLIAMS
On his interception return:
"Yeah, it was a long drive. I think we had just had a penalty and I just kept trying to encourage the guys that we were about to get a turnover — just [spoke] it into existence. Once the play presented itself, I tried to take advantage of it."
On his performance in the first half before his interception:
"It was a little sloppy — a little sloppy for me. I just try to be long on my confidence and short on memory. You have to play four quarters, so things happen. Like I said, I just kept my confidence and took it one play at a time."
On how the victory builds team character:
"This is a resilient group. I think we've shown that the last couple years with everything we've been through. It's a brotherhood. Win, lose or draw, we have each other's back."
SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS HEAD COACH KYLE SHANAHAN
On QB C.J. Beathard's performance today:
"I thought he played well. We came up short there at the end. The last play was unfortunate. Wish we would have solved that and got rid of it. He gave us a chance to win today. Played very tough. Made some big plays, especially in some of the situations with guys going in and out. He handled a little adversity well, and a lot of chaos with some of the injuries. I was proud of how he played."
On if he felt Beathard performed differently today than he did last year:
"I thought he looked the same way. I thought he did some good things last year, too."
On if Beathard could have protected himself more on the play where he got the wind knocked out of him:
"Yeah, obviously if you slide, you don't get hit."
On if he has talked to Beathard about not putting himself in harm's way:
"Yeah. You talk to everyone about it and hope for the best."
On the team's performance when they were hit with adversity today due to injuries:
"I thought the guys fought hard. I know it wasn't perfect. I know we need to play better. I was happy when I watched how hard the guys battled. Losing both of our tackles there for a while was scary. We had to finish the first half without them. [Joe] Staley wasn't able to return. I was happy [T Mike] McGlinchey toughed it out there. His obviously wasn't as bad as Staley's [injury], but I know it was hard for him to go that second half. Real proud of our center. He got hurt on the first play of the game and had to come out. He battled through that entire game and we needed him to because there weren't many guys left. Guys were going down, especially losing both [WR Marquise Goodwin and WR Dante Pettis] also. [WR Kendrick] Bourne and [WR] Trent [Taylor] stepped it up and played some positions they hadn't played yet. They did a pretty good job on their assignments, just being ready for that. When you lose guys like that — I haven't been around too many of them — but I was glad the guys still battled and gave us a chance to win there at the end. Just came up short."
On the resilience of the team:
"I appreciate you pointing it out. We have good guys in our locker room. Our guys aren't going to fold, they are going to try their hardest every week. We are disappointed we came up short and upset that we didn't get the win."
On what is the most disappointing part of not being able to close the game out and get the win:
"That is what we are all working for, to get wins and we only have one of them right now. We had an opportunity to win that game. There were lots of ups and downs throughout the game in all three phases. We had a chance [to win] at the end and we came up short. That's disappointing."
On what he thinks about the defense's performance:
"I think it was similar to the offense and special teams too. We had some misses [on both sides]. There were a number of three-and-outs like that on defense, they got a score for us with a pick six. We started the first couple of drives playing at an extremely high level. On offense, it seemed like we had a number of three-and-outs and we had a number of drives where we went down the field extremely fast. I think we are close. We have people who have the ability to do it and we are showing that at times but we have to be a lot more consistent. It can't be hit or miss and I think it's been hit or miss on both sides."
On his thought process about rotating through cornerbacks:
"We had a plan to put [CB Greg] Mabin in going in. It was more about Mabin and how he has been practicing the last couple of weeks. He had a great week at practice and we thought he deserved it. We planned on him going in the game spelling [CB Ahkello Witherspoon] inward a little bit. When he did go in and got his opportunity, he was playing at a pretty high level so we kept him in."
On why DB D.J. Reed Jr. started at free safety:
"Just because [DB Adrian] Colbert didn't practice much throughout the week, was limited throughout the week and had to take some of his reps off, which he didn't get many of at all. We wanted to go with the healthier guy."
On why DB Adrian Colbert was still on special teams:
"He did get, I don't know how many plays, but we did use him on special teams and he was going to have to go if D.J. [Reed Jr.] went down."
On why he chose to play Colbert on special teams:
"Just because you only get a certain number of guys up on game day and we try to use all of them. He was good enough to go but he's been banged up these last couple of weeks and didn't practice for almost two weeks, he practiced a little bit but not as much as [DB] D.J. [Reed Jr.]. You want to put the guy in who has had the reps and is a little bit more prepared. Colbert felt good enough to go towards the end of the week but he wasn't as prepared for safety as D.J. was."
On if he was disappointed with the team's tackling after emphasizing it as something to work on last week:
"Of course, it's disappointing and I'll watch the tape to get a better idea, I don't see all of them. From what I saw, I was pretty happy with it in the first half. I thought we were scoring on the ball, hitting well and wrapping guys. I did see a number of times when we bounced off of them and they got some longer runs than they should have in the second half. We will address it again and keep trying to get better."
On his thoughts about the number of injuries and if it is just bad luck:
"I would guess so, I am not God so I don't know why injuries happen but they have been legit injuries. I think we have tough guys who try as hard as they can to play when they are hurt. It's tough when you're injured and you just can't go. It's happened to a number of guys, it happened to us a little bit last year too and unfortunately, it's happening again so far. Fortunately, it is a long year and hopefully these guys will recover. I don't know how bad they are right now, hopefully we will get a number of them back for next week but we will have to see tomorrow."
On if he was worried QB C.J. Beathard was not going to go back into the game:
"When he was laying there after the hit he took, I was extremely worried. By the time we got to him, I saw on the replay that he didn't get hit in the head. When I got out there you could tell he got the wind knocked out of him pretty badly which takes a little bit of time to recover, but he was good."
On if they will be looking into signing another quarterback:
"Yes, we are going to have to look into all of it. We are banged up at offensive line, safety, receiver and quarterback — so it all plays out but we are going to try to get enough guys out there to play."
On what was the correct play on the final play that resulted in an interception:
"We just had five guys out, scat protection, I think we need to see that he is blitzing and get rid of the ball."
SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS QUARTERBACK C.J. BEATHARD
On overall feeling of the game:
"We just lost a game. It doesn't feel good. We just have to get back to work and watch the tape to correct our mistakes so we can fix them for next week."
On what he saw on the field today compared to last season:
"I felt a lot more comfortable being out there in control. I definitely felt a lot more comfortable than last year."
On his interception in the fourth quarter:
"I was trying to see if I could get it out before, but [S] Derwin James is a good player and made a nice play."
On when he was hit hard:
"I knew I was okay. I just couldn't breathe because I got the air knocked out of me pretty bad. I knew it would come back eventually. I knew I was going to be fine."
On losing LT Joe Staley:
"It wasn't on my mind. Joe is a really good player and he is out, but it is the next man up mentality. You don't really think about it when you are in the pocket."
On losing a number of teammates due to injury:
"I think we have a lot of guys who battle through little injuries like [WR] Marquise Goodwin. He was tough to keep playing even though he was hurting. It is also great to have guys who play different positions."
On concussion protocol:
"They just checked out my head. It was protocol and they just made sure I didn't have a concussion."
On if he was too aggressive putting himself in harm's way:
"Not really a debate, especially in a situation like that on third down when you're inches away from converting, you know it could change the game if we get that first. If I could do it again, I would do the same thing."
On his chemistry with TE George Kittle:
"We've gotten even better. I know the guy and his tendencies and what he's good at running. I know how he gets open and it's just kind of a feel thing, we gel together."
On what kind of communication he had with QB Jimmy Garoppolo this week:
"He was in meetings and stuff, so I talked to him. He was really positive and I just assume he wishes he could have been here, but unfortunately with the surgery coming up, they won't allow him to play. He was really supportive and he's great."
On if he texted with Garoppolo last night:
"I didn't get to text him last night, but throughout the week I talked to him."
On his 82-yard touchdown to Kittle:
"I just felt like we were moving the ball, converting on third downs and if it's working, you just keep doing it. You get a nice drive going, we decided to take a shot on that one drive and we had a big play."
SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS RUNNING BACK MATT BREIDA
On the offensive performance:
"I feel like we could have done a lot better on offense. We just have to clean some things up and be able to execute better."
On QB C.J. Beathard:
"He is a tough competitor, as you can see. He'll take the ball and run it, take big hits and get up and get back in the game. It is going to be hard to get C.J. [out of] the game. That is what is going to make him a great quarterback."
On Beathard taking hits and making throws compared to last year:
"He is going to be a great quarterback in this league. Especially the one he threw to [TE George] Kittle, he was able to get the safety off all the way to the side of the field and Kittle was wide open."
SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS DEFENSIVE BACK ANTONE EXUM JR.
On his pick-six:
"It was just a really good call by our coach. He saw [QB] Philip Rivers looking that way and just by the grace of God I was in the right place at the right time. I tried to bait him a little bit to make him think I was not there and he threw it right to me."
On pick-six effecting rest of team:
"Any time you have a turnover or a big play happens, it is kind of a momentum change. I hope that is what it did to the team. I think it did. Everybody was excited."
On earning a starting job:
"I just tried to step in and do the best job I can. [S Jaquiski] Tartt got hurt. He is a great player. I did not take his position or anything. I just stepped in and am just trying to play the best that I can to help the team win. [We] fell short today."
SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS LINEBACKER REUBEN FOSTER
On what he can improve on:
"I've got to work on a few things and just get better. One thing is tackling and reading our keys better, and just having that mentality to just go out there and be a dog, step on some toes."
On the energy of the defense:
"There was a lot of energy in the first half. We have great defense, but at the end, it was slow motion. That's not our defense, so we have to sharpen the iron really and just go out there and play our ball really."
On how else he can improve on tackling:
"We need to just do our job really and play the sport we love. I can say we've got to work on tackling, but at the end of the day, that's what we do, and we've got to really harp on that."
On Chargers RB Melvin Gordon III:
"Gordon was playing well. He opened up in the second half. In the first half, he was kind of stumbling, but he still did great at the end of the day. It's not how you start, it's how you finish and that's what we need to do. We need to finish better."
On the performance of C.J. Beathard:
"There ain't nothing sweet about C.J., so that's why we have faith in him and we believe in C.J. At the end of the day, that was really not surprising. It was surprising, [too], because I could see it in his eyes every time he came to the sideline about defense needing to go and jump back, saying we run with you all. Just by him saying that means a lot to me and the defense because we know where their heads were."
SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS TIGHT END GEORGE KITTLE
On if he thought 82-yard touchdown run was a comeback play:
"After I caught my breath, yes. I was ready. The defense got a three-and-out and we got a field goal the next time to put us in the lead. I was pretty excited about that."
On the touchdown:
"It was something we've been practicing all year. We finally got it called. Safeties playing on the opposite hash, the guy drops me because he thinks I'm running vertical, [QB] C.J. [Beathard] finds me and got a good cut on the safety, he kind of stumbled, and just got a run from there."
On QB C.J. Beathard:
"C.J. is one of the most competitive people I've ever been around. He hates losing more than anybody I know. He played the game angry, that's just how he plays it. It's awesome. I feel like he is more mature. I feel like we all are after getting a year under our belt. The guys responded to C.J. being out there and I think we responded really well. We're looking forward to having C.J. lead us from here on out."
On Beathard taking hits:
"He's a bad ass. He's good. C.J. has more grit than anyone that I know."
On Beathard's build:
"He's got a severe 'dad bod.' He can run longer than anybody I've ever known — which is kind of crazy — and he can take any hit. It's pretty cool. Don't know how he does it."
On his shoulder:
"I was fine, perfectly fine."
On the interceptions:
"I didn't see either of them because I was running a route. I came on the sideline and I didn't know what happened. It's even more frustrating when I don't know what happened and the ball is going the other direction. It's not fun. You can't make those mistakes and expect to win a game in the NFL."