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Transcript - Postgame at Arizona Cardinals (Aug. 8, 2019)

LOS ANGELES CHARGERS at ARIZONA CARDINALS

POSTGAME TRANSCRIPTS

Thursday, Aug. 8, 2019 | State Farm Stadium | Glendale, Ariz.

**Transcripts provided by Cardinals Media Relations**

LOS ANGELES CHARGERS HEAD COACH ANTHONY LYNN

Opening statement:

“I thought the guys played hard, but didn’t necessarily play smart all the time. Too many penalties, turned the ball over twice in scoring territory and teams were finishing drives on us in two minutes, so we have some things to clean up, some things to work on. This was our first preseason game. Two weeks left in training camp to find the right 53 guys and to get better.”

On his thoughts on the offense with QB Tyrod Taylor:

“I thought the offense was really efficient with Tyrod. He’s a luxury to have on this football team. He’s a starter in this league. It didn’t surprise me at all for him to move the ball down the field.”

On Taylor’s running ability:

“He gets around OK, yeah.”

On his initial read of the young offensive lineman:

“That’s something I’ll have to go back and watch the tape on. I think some of those guys played pretty solid. The run game was clicking early, and they were in the game. They played a lot tonight. We’re just looking at different combinations. Late in the game, I didn’t like the fact that Trey (Pipkins III) gave up a little on the inside. He got a sack there. It was just some penalties. That was disappointing to me was the penalties because that goes back to technique work. I’ll look at our conditioning and see what type of shape we’re in and the things we’re doing in practice because we have to get better fundamentally.”

On how playing in Mexico will affect his team:

“We just love playing football, we don’t care where we play. Mexico is a great place to play. I’ve played there before. It was a great turn out and we’re looking forward to it when the time comes.”

On if their preparation will be different because of Mexico City’s high altitude:

“We may do something a little different because of the altitude. We may go train in Colorado or somewhere like that. We’ll see.”

On how the players feel about playing in Mexico:

“They go where we tell them to go.”

On LB Drue Tranquill’ play tonight:

“Well he had the only takeaway on defense tonight so that was nice. I’m going to have to watch the tape to see exactly how he played tonight but it wouldn’t surprise me. He’s been practicing well, and he was in position tonight. He’s a former safety so his coverage skills did show up and it was a good thing to see.”

On if resting so many starters made it hard to get into a flow:

“I don’t think it was hard to get into the flow. I love the way the offense went down the field. We just can’t fumble at the two, but we bounced back and went back down the field and we scored. I thought the offense was fine resting some of the starters we sat down.”

On how the defensive ends and pass rushers performed tonight:

“They put some pressure on the quarterback at times, but obviously when I watch the tape to see how they played the whole entire game versus the run and the pass, we’ll see. I thought they put some pressure on the quarterback. I thought Peace came in, Chris Peace, and brought some intensity to the field. Uchenna Nwosu had a couple nice rushes. We’ve got to see what the young guys can do because you’re only as good as your depth, later in the season when those guys are going to play, I need to know we can count on them.”

On if RB Austin Ekeler’s fumble took away from his performance tonight:

“As long as he learned from the fumble. Looking at the stats sheet, he had a really good night but that’s something you just don’t like to see on the two-yard-line.”

On the key to their long plays:

“I think it’s a combination of everybody on the field. You know the blocking was there. We had hats on hats. Those guys did make some plays, they broke some tackles and that’s what they get paid to do.”

On what he liked about their first two drives:

“It was efficient, the passing game, the completions, the runs. If they covered us, then Tyrod was able to use his legs and come out and run a little bit to extend some plays. That’s why you play football, you have to rely on that sometimes. I thought those were two efficient drives that he led us down the field on.”

On how QBs Easton Stick and Cardale Jones performed tonight:

“I thought Cardale made some nice throws tonight. At the end, I don’t like the fact that the ball came out, but he was down and overturned the touchdown. He’s got to learn to step up in the pocket sometimes versus going backwards. Easton goes in down a field goal and throws an interception, but he came right back, and he made some nice throws. Those kids are battling and they’re going to make some mistakes, but as long as they learn from those mistakes, that’s all we care about.”

On if WR Keenan Allen traveled:

“No, he did not.”

On why CB Trevor Williams didn’t play:

“He had a minor injury before we left. We’ll show the guys that didn’t play. Some didn’t play because of injury, some didn’t play, we wanted to look at our young guys.”

On Stick’s touchdown:

“I saw him do it in college. He has that element to his game where he can create, throw on the move and he can run. He can run.”

LOS ANGELES CHARGERS RUNNING BACK AUSTIN EKELER

On how well the offensive line played:

“It’s a team game. It comes down to everybody. Everyone has to play their part, but that definitely helps when you’re running through bigger holes. It makes it easier on us, and it makes it easier to get play-actions in there. Now we’re getting out playing the run a little harder. It starts with them, O-line, that’s where everything starts.”

On playing with a quarterback other than Philip Rivers:

“We’ve been rotating through quarterbacks all camp, so it’s not any different. Tyrod (Taylor) knows what he’s doing out there. That’s who I was out there with today. We were pretty confident.”

LOS ANGELES CHARGERS TACKLE TRENT SCOTT

On how he played in his first game:

“I think it was pretty solid. I had some plays that I’m going to look at on film and get better from but other than that, it felt pretty good.”

On the offense’s early production:

“We just came out and got rolling early. Everybody was on the same page across the board and we came out and had a good drive…It definitely feels good, especially for me, being a young tackle coming out, going against some good guys like Terrell Suggs. They were good reps; it was good for me. It made me feel good going in there and having good drives against those guys.”

On the attention of being a left tackle:

“It’s different. Coming from Grambling [State], it’s a small school but I just try to stay locked in and stay focused on what I’ve got to do, and make sure I do my job right.”

On the comfortability in his role on the team:

“I’m pretty confident. I have confidence in myself, I think my coaches have confidence in me and I’ve been working really hard at it. Coming out and getting those good reps against Joey [Bosa] and Mel [Melvin Ingram] every day gives me no choice but to get better, it makes me ready for gamedays like this.”

LOS ANGELES CHARGERS QUARTERBACK EASTON STICK

On his performance: 

“Obviously, the turnover kills us, you can’t have it, especially in that territory going down to score. That hurts. We’ll learn from it and move on. I’m just proud of the guys that were in there. They just kept battling, there were penalties and such things, but just overcame it and found a way to move the ball at the end, so I’m proud of that fact.”

On his ability to run the football and how that impacts his confidence: 

“I think it’s just part of my game. If something’s not there, having the ability to tuck it and move the chains when we have to, it’s just another thing that people have to defend and it’s the way I’ve always played so, yeah it’s cool.”

On the difference between camp and tonight: 

“Live bullets. They can hit you, you’re not wearing a red jersey anymore and you’re out there on your own and making calls and playing football, and that’s exciting. I was looking forward to it and I had a lot of fun.”

LOS ANGELES CHARGERS LINEBACKER DRUE TRANQUILL

On how he feels he played in his first NFL game:

“Yeah, you have a lot of anxious nerves and just desire to go out there and make a play. The starters are out there, and then the coaches are like, ‘OK, now it’s your shot.’ You’re just running in there and so excited. Obviously, I made the big interception. I made a play on kickoff. I had some other tackles. We’ll evaluate the film and really be able to critique the technique and fundamentals and do better this week.”

On whether his first play was on special teams:

“It was. On a kickoff.”

On how it felt to be out there for the first time on that play:

“Well, it was great just to represent our team on the first team kickoff. I was really proud to be out there with those guys. We’ve just been protecting our team and haven’t really been able to tackle or hit. So to actually lay that first lick in the pads was awesome.”

On how it felt to run the defense in the second half:

“I thought it went well there. In the second quarter, I thought they had a long drive on us. I wish we would have been able to make some plays there. We settled down a little bit in the third quarter and made some plays and came up with some stops and gave Easton (Stick) and the offense the ball back.”

LOS ANGELES CHARGERS WIDE RECEIVER MIKE WILLIAMS

On being a No. 1 receiver today:

“For sure. Keenan [Allen] is a big part of the offense. He and [Travis Benjamin] weren’t here today, so every receiver had to step up and make plays.”

On if he knew he was playing:

“It’s a football game. I play football, so I was trying to play.”

On how the younger guys played:

“They did well. Everybody got an opportunity to go in there and showcase their talents against another opponent in a real live game situation, so it was good. Got to watch the tape and make corrections and prepare for the next game.”

On playing with QB Tyrod Taylor:

“He’s pretty good. Tyrod’s been a starter in this league for a long time, so he’s capable of getting the job done.”

ARIZONA CARDINALS HEAD COACH KLIFF KINGSBURY

On QB Kyler Murray’s performance:

“He made quick decisions, that’s what we were looking for. He operated well and took care of the football.”

On QB Kyler Murray’s running ability:

“He’s a really good thrower of the football, I think that’s the point everybody’s made. To have that dynamic of the running ability and you pair that with a very accurate throwing ability, that’s rare. He did a nice job tonight of putting it on the money.”

On WR Trent Sherfield’s performance:

“He just keeps getting better. He’s a solid player. He had a great play on special teams and a heck of a catch on that touchdown. He shows up and works everyday. The technique that our wide receivers coaches are coaching, he tries to execute each and every day and it’s paying dividends for him.”

On the first team O-line performance:

“I’ll have to watch the film. The one sack, it was kind of a miscommunication on the snap so the tackles didn’t have a chance really. I’ll have to evaluate on the film.”

On QB Kyler Murray’s size:

“I told you all along, he’s been little his whole life so he knows how to find the soft spot and get down and that’s what you want.”

On the first team defense:

“I’ll have to watch the film. They had some runs on us that we’d obviously like to have back, but I’ll have to evaluate the film and see what went wrong on those plays.”

On WR Kevin White’s injury:

“Kevin has a hamstring injury so we’ll see, hopefully sooner than later.”

On CB Byron Murphy’s injury:

“It’s soft tissue on his foot, a previous injury that just kind of flared up. We feel good about him coming back this week.”

On WR Andy Isabella’s injury:

“He’s close. I expect him to practice and play next week.”

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On seeing the undrafted free agents perform:
*

“No question. They’ve worked hard all offseason, so they had their opportunities to go out there to take advantage of it and be out there in an NFL game.”

On QB Kyler Murray’s playtime in the next preseason game:

“I would think, progress into a few more plays. Once again, we will see how the game is going, we will see where we are at with everything. But pretty much like everybody else, I think starters, I would project to play a little bit longer and go from there.”

On the new staff and the operation:

“I think it was fine. There can always be things you can improve upon and that is what preseason football is for. As a staff we will take a look at what we did good and what we did bad and make sure we improve going into the next week.”

On winning in preseason:

“Winning always means something. If you are a competitor you’d rather win than lose.”

On LB Dennis Gardeck’s performance:

“We feel like he continues to improve. We are excited to get Haason (Reddick) back when he gets back, but Dennis (Gardeck) is taking advantage of those reps and hopefully we keep seeing him do that.”

On K Zane Gonzalez’ 55-yard field goal:

“He drilled it. He has had a fantastic training camp and that is what we have seen at practice each and every day.”

ARIZONA CARDINALS QUARTERBACK KYLER MURRAY

On what he was thinking when his first opportunity came at the two-yard line:

“I was happy the defense got the stop, and I was like, ‘Of course, this is the way that it starts, at the two-yard line,’ but at that time, my mindset was to go score. Unfortunately, we didn’t.”

On what he thought of the game as a whole:

“I think it’s natural as rookies just to kind of have expectations about how it’s going to be, overthink and stuff like that, but for me, I was just going out there and being myself, like always. Trusting my abilities, trust what coach calls and just trying to go out there and execute what he calls. It was fun.”

On if he felt good with his performance when he came out of the game:

“I wanted to score. I wanted to go back in. Somebody asked me before the win, ‘Would you want to go back in, or how would you feel about it?’ I was definitely itching for more, but I feel good.”

On his takeaways from tonight’s game:

“I feel pretty relaxed, pretty good. I know they didn’t start a couple of their guys, but I felt pretty good with it.”

On if he tried to tell Coach Kingsbury to put him back in the game:

“I just asked him if we were done twice, and he said, ‘Yeah, we’re done.’”

On what he thought of the offensive line:

“I felt comfortable back there, other than the collision. Stuff is going to happen. Stuff is going to break down, and fortunately enough, I have the ability to make people miss and make things happen with my feet, so I felt pretty good with that.”

On what he thought of WR Trent Sherfield’s play tonight:

“He had a great day today, one of the hardest workers on the team. He just continues to get better and better, so it was good to see him catch a touchdown and then make a play on special teams, touch a couple of balls. Yeah, he had a great day.”

On what his thoughts were on the speed of the game as a rookie:

“Like I said, I was comfortable out there. We practice against ‘ones’ every day, so it wasn’t too fast. I know it’s not the regular season yet, but like I said, I felt pretty relaxed, pretty comfortable.”

On whether he had a big play dialed up that he didn’t get a chance to get to:

“No, I’m not calling the plays, so I couldn’t really tell you.”

On what goes into setting himself up to beat the kind of pressure he gets:

“A lot of it is just instinctual, leverage. A lot goes into it, but it’s all in the head, and I’ve done it for my whole life, so I can’t really break it down to you right now. But, a lot of it is instinctual.”

On watching the other quarterbacks:

“We just try to be locked in for each other and have each other’s backs. I’ll see if I saw something they didn’t see, I’ll let them know and vice versa. It’s our first game. We’re the leaders of the team playing the quarterback position, and we got to be locked into the game. That’s just part of it.”

On his first postgame experience:

“It’s a little weird. I know it’s preseason, so people aren’t really taking it to heart right now, but that first loss, I don’t know if I’ll want to go across and talk to people. I guess it’s a common courtesy.”

On whether it was weird playing a game that didn’t count:

“It was just reps, just going out there a getting a lot of reps. It felt good to be out there with the guys and get to see the team. It was just like a scrimmage.” 

On whether he did anything fun for his birthday:

“I guess not. It’s always during football, so I never really have anything, and I can’t really do anything too much.”

On whether he had a chance to meet Phoenix Suns Forward Devin Booker yet:

“No, I haven’t met him. We have close friends, mutual friends, but I’m sure we will meet each other soon. Great basketball player, great dude for sure.”

On if the rest of preseason will test his patience after this experience:

“Yes, it was tough tonight. I thought it was going to be at least two drives, but it is what it is. He did say I might play a little more next week, so we’ll see, however long that is, but I understand that we are just getting ready for the regular season.”

On whether he is more excited for regular season now:

“Yes, for it to be real, and for it to actually go on our record, but it will work towards winning a Super Bowl, so that’s always exciting.”

**Murray quotes from halftime interview**

On his first NFL action:

“I thought it was smooth. I was anxious to get out there, move around and throw it a little bit. I really just tried to execute whatever coach called, and I think we did that for the most part.”

On his feelings before the game:

“I was just a little anxious to get out there with the guys and execute plays. For the most part I thought we did that.”

On running onto the field for the first time:

“It felt good. It’s really crazy. It feels like a dream come true to finally be here in front of the fans. A new team for me with new guys, so it felt good.”

On starting his first NFL drive on the two-yard line:

“When we got the strip, I was like, ‘Good.’ At the same time, I was like, ‘Of course, I get the ball at the two-(yard line).’ I wanted to go score, so my only mindset was go score. We brought it out, and unfortunately didn’t finish the job.”

On his main takeaway from his first game:

“I thought it was decent. I would’ve loved to go score, but we can’t have penalties.”

ARIZONA CARDINALS LINEBACKER DENNIS GARDECK

On his progress in camp:

“There’s a lot of room to improve still…a lot of rookie mistakes. I have to clean up my eyes. That’s why I love this game. No matter how good you think you are there’s still so much more to do. I’m excited because there’s still so much room to grow.”

On his time with the first team defense and what he saw in the opposition:

“A lot more perimeter stuff. I was a little amped up and ready to get downhill and that wasn’t the kind of game they were trying to play. So I got back on the sideline, talked to my coaches, adjusted…improvise, adapt, and overcome.”

On being a team captain:

“It’s hard to put into words. It was something that I was not expecting. But I guess you always have to roll with the punches. I had a blast tonight, definitely a night to remember.”

On his performance, being named captain and leading the team in tackles:

“Again, it comes down to not riding the rollercoaster of the highs and the lows, but having consistency. There’s a lot of stuff that I have to clean up. I’m excited to make those corrections tomorrow and improve on it next week.”

On how the defense performed:

“We have to improve our run defense, but we’re coming together. It’s fun to be a part of.”

On being on different defensive units throughout the game:

“I need to gain as much experience and see those reps first hand. I love to play the game. I don’t want to come out ever. I don’t care if it’s preseason, Week 1 or Week 17. It doesn’t matter. I like playing football.”

ARIZONA CARDINALS KICKER ZANE GONZALEZ

On how confident he feels knowing that the coaching staff and organization have faith in him:

“Tremendous confidence. When a historic organization like the Cardinals, a storied franchise, has a lot of confidence like that, it goes a long way for you. I’m just really excited for this year.”

On getting the first long kick out of the way:

“Yeah. I was a little bit more nervous with the extra point, but whatever.”

ARIZONA CARDINALS LINEBACKER JORDAN HICKS

On his fumble recovery:

“That play was all about Chandler Jones. Chandler told me ‘go make a play.’ Said, ‘I had to go get a strip,’ he asked me how I did it, so I had to do it for him.”

On getting the first win:

 “It felt good. It felt really good. We have a lot to work on. We have to focus on obviously, ourselves, not what other teams are posing. We have to work on ourselves. But any win is a good one. It felt good.”

On the things he liked:

“I think ultimately, first of all, we can’t let, as a defense, as a starting defense, we can’t let them get down there like that. They were gashing us too much and we have to stop the run. But that’s part of it. Growing pains, that’s what the preseason is for. We have to keep a perspective on who we are and what we have to do. Just continue to grow. We have three more weeks until its ‘real’ and we have to make sure we are ready for it when it comes.”

On seeing other players attempting to strip the ball:

 “Yeah it’s something we emphasize, going after the ball. At the end of the day, that’s all that matters.”

On Tyler Sigler’s interception and the team celebration:

“When any of our teammates made a play, we were all excited. We try to stay in it. It is fun to see the young guys make plays and guys that you see out there working hard, so I was happy for them.”

On being a captain and how they were picked:

“I was. It was cool. First time out there on this field. It’s my first time ever playing here, so it felt good.”

On who picked captains:

“Kliff did all that.”

On the fumble recovery close to their own end zone:

“Maybe I could have scooped and tried to score. I maybe should have tried to pick it up. I honestly will probably have to look at it to see if I made the right decision on that. But, we got the ball back.”

On Kyler Murray’s poise pinned close to his own end zone:

“He played well. Obviously, his first live action out there. I remember my first time. Things are going fast so it was good to see him back there poised, running the show.”

ARIZONA CARDINALS WIDE RECEIVER TRENT SHERFIELD

On if he thinks the game was a continuation of the camp he is having:

“Yeah, just building off of it. The whole group has been trying to ascend. Coaches emphasize that a lot. Just being able to build off of the technique that we’ve been taught. That was the mindset coming into this first game.”

On if he feels he is fighting for a roster spot:

“Yes. Every day. I’ll feel like that for the rest of my career. Being undrafted, sometimes you’re overlooked, which is perfectly fine. It’s a blessing in disguise. I definitely feel like I’m fighting for a roster spot. I’m going to come in everyday and keep working my technique and be the best receiver that I can be for this team.”

On how tonight felt:

“It feels good. Just being able to stack good days on top of good days. I’ve always had a short-term memory. Tomorrow is a new day. It’s time to move on to the next thing and get ready to practice coming up here soon.”

On if the touchdown or the special teams tackle meant more given what he’s trying to accomplish:

“Honestly, I would say the special teams tackle probably meant more to me. Being able to tell that story of ‘I had to play special teams before I was able to play receiver.’”

On if he knew who the fans were when he jumped up after his TD:

“No I didn’t. I actually didn’t know what to do. I just thought ‘let’s go jump in the stands.’

On if jumping into the stands will be his tradition now:

“I don’t know, we’ll see. Hopefully I get into the end zone a little bit more.”

On if he knew it was a touchdown or not.

“Yes, I did know. I knew I got the left foot in. I wasn’t too sure about the right foot but when I saw the ref throw his hands up I knew we got it.”

On what goes through his mind when he sees the ball coming his way:

“I always try to be in the mind frame of being cool, calm and collected. That’s what our coaches have always taught us…making sure that when the ball is in the air we don’t freak out…that we stay composed and poised. That’s one thing I’ve learned a lot from Larry (Fitzgerald). The great catches that he’s had he’s calm, he’s poise, his helmet isn’t moving everywhere. That’s what I took from practice into the game.”

On how excited he is about this offense:

“It’s fun. I was so excited and ready to play and see how we look. I think we looked really good. I really like the direction that we’re heading in.”

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