LOS ANGELES CHARGERS vs. BUFFALO BILLS
Sunday, September 16, 2018 | New Era Field | Orchard Park, N.Y.
**Transcriptions provided by Buffalo Bills Communications**
LOS ANGELES CHARGERS HEAD COACH ANTHONY LYNN
Opening Statement: That was a tough game. We were coming in there on Buffalo's opening day. It could've been a challenging place to play. But our guys prepared all week and we felt good about this week coming in. That first half they really executed and made the plays we needed to make. Second half, game went a little flat. I'd rather learn this way than the other way. Come out in future games and do the things a little better than we did. I was proud of those guys and coming in her and getting the victory.
Q: Those guys were pretty successful in the red zone in the first two games, what's been working for you?
A: Well we have some threats, Antonio [Gates], Mike Williams, Keenan [Allen], and you have to play coverage against those guys then they don't run the ball in the end zone as well, and we have backs to catch the ball really well so I like the targets we have in the red zone as well.
Q: Melvin Gordon has been one of those guys, he had three touchdowns today, how did he play today?
A: Oh I thought he played well. He got a little tired in the end, we got him out of the game, rest him up, but I thought he played well.
Q: He had to come off the field there in the fourth quarter, what happened there?
A: He was just slow and fatigued a little bit.
Q: What did you see from Mike Williams getting those two big catches that early?
A: Mike took advantage of opportunities that he had.
Q: What went into getting the ball early?
A: The defense, the way they played us. They gave us Mike, they took Mike. They take Mike away, we'll throw somewhere else. We have a lot of reliable receivers.
Q: Defensively, three rookies, they made some pretty big plays today. Thoughts on how they played stepping into so quickly and making game changing plays.
A: I thought this week in practice all three of those guys looked better. Faster and learning our system and this is about the time you see the rookies come on. They understand the speed of the NFL game now and you saw in practice and it showed up in the game.
Q: Was it something you saw with the Bills where [you wanted to use] crossing patterns? It seemed like you really used a lot of crossing patterns. Was that something that was on film?
A: No, it was just part of our offense. We like to stretch the defense horizontally that way. We've always done it.
Q: What did you think of the unsportsmanlike conduct called on Desmond [King]?
A: Stupid, very stupid on his part.
Q: What did you say to him when he came off the field?
A: I can't say it on camera.
Q: Were you pretty frustrated at that point?
A: Very frustrated. That's what championship teams don't do. They don't make those types of mistakes. We've got to learn from them.
Q: That's not a characteristic of teams that you've coached. You don't want that to be something that continues?
A: No, and Desmond knows better. You'll never see that again from Desmond.
Q: What was the explanation on the punt fumble or whatever it was?
A: There were so many things that happened on that play, I couldn't even tell you right now. You know, it was enough and they thought that we committed a personal foul, by hitting the guy in the end zone with his helmet off. No whistles were blown, so our players didn't know. It was just a lot happening in that play.
Q: When looking on the replay you couldn't tell that the helmet came off, it happened so fast, you couldn't tell it was off.
A: It was tough on Uchenna [Nwosu]. It's his job to go down and make the play and that's what he did. The referees, they are not perfect and sometimes calling these games in real speed is difficult, but that should've been blown [dead] when it came off.
Q: What did you think of Uchenna today?
A: I don't know. When we get back and we watch the film, I'll have a complete evaluation of him. I thought he started fast and he had a sack early in the game. He had a costly penalty in the game as well, but we'll see how he did.
Q: What do you think about the pressure generated overall as a team, today?
A: I thought it was good, initially I thought it was really good. There was an interest within those guys all week and they practiced that way, so it did surprise me to see it in the game.
Q: It looked like Derwin [James] was up at the line of scrimmage a little bit more.
A: Absolutely, that helped. We got more involved in that front seven. Things happen a whole lot faster when you're using that seven, to me. He can fly.
Q: Coach, 4.2 yards per carry, second straight game really having success in the run, was that just confidence that you're building together? Are you pleased with the way they're running the ball so far?
A: When you make the defense defend three offenses, it's hard. They have to give you something. I thought Keenan did a good job of creating balance between the run and the pass on the field, especially playing a passing game and running game. He did a nice job calling it.
Q: Anthony, is there any greater satisfaction, all wins are great, but coming back here for you personally, coming back to Buffalo [and getting the win]?
A: This is our first win of the season, that's all of my satisfaction right there. That's all I needed. We needed to get that first win [and] we'll continue on from there.
Q: Philip had one incompletion in the first half. What did you think of the efficiency of him and the offense in those first two quarters?
A: Very good. We stayed on the field a few times where we slipped, and it could've been even better. Those guys were open, and he was putting it on the money. The efficiency was good, the protection was good. We just need to finish the second half that way.
LOS ANGELES CHARGERS QUARTERBACK PHILIP RIVERS
Q: What did you think about your performance overall?
A: I thought we were pretty solid. We just hit a little bit of a lull in the third quarter, really in the second half. First half we could've been much better after that first series, but I think that's alright. We never apologize for a win on the road and we have plenty of little things to clean up. We did turn it over, a lot of guys contributed. We just kind of hit that lull in the second half, but we did what we had to do to win.
Q: Was it doing anything differently in the third quarter?
A: I don't think so. I think we just came out flat as a team. Our defense went out there and let them drive right down the field and score. Then we went out and went three and out. Got a couple sacks. We didn't run it as well. They batted the one ball down but I think that Keenan [Allen] kind of got jump started when it got batted up in the air. And I don't know if it was so much of anything differently, after those two scores the crowd kind of got back into it, because after that first series and the first half the crowd wasn't a factor, but it was there in that third quarter.
Q: Obviously that first touchdown to Mike [Williams] and also his big third down reception just some things from the first half
A: Yeah, last night we talked about, "hey, if we get down in that eight, nine, ten-yard like we like that play against these guys. And the boys went right to it and Mike did a nice job holding onto it in traffic. And the big third down on the third and long we just kind of stayed in there being big in there. It was exciting to see him and his first touchdown and to see Kyzir [White] with the big interception. Derwin [James] played. Those are young players and those are the future of our team right there. Those are young players and they came up big today.
Q: You mentioned Derwin and Kyzir and then Uchenna [Nwosu] had the big sack. But to see three first year players make that kind of impact…
A: Yeah, we're going to need them to keep improving and keep playing. It's a long year. It's a long season. It's a marathon. And some weeks it may be like that where Keenan has 6 for 65 and other weeks he may have 15 for 140. It's just we have that kind of team and I think that's what makes us tough to defend. It's [Austin] Eckler, it's Melvin [Gordon III], it's Keenan, it's Mike, it's Tyrell [Williams], it's Travis [Benjamin] when he gets back, it's Virgil [Green] today. You know, his average per catch was 20 yards probably. It's [Antonio] Gates for the long haul. I'm sure people are going to wonder why Gates wasn't really involved today. Gates is in it for the long haul. It's a week-to-week deal of who it may be.
Q: How about Melvin Gordon had three touchdowns and you guys were a little bit better in the red-zone this year than last year. It seems like he's felt better about that…
A: He's helped out early this year but it's still early. We have a small sample size and we need to continue to be good in the red-zone but where we need to get better right now is third down. We have to improve. I think the last two weeks in a row we're 30 percent, and you think that that's a lot of plays but that's one more play. One more third down conversion or two. If you go two and average over 50 percent you're going to be one in the league, but one more get's you in the forties. And one more third down conversion in that third quarter may have kind of got it back on track instead of making it tighter than it probably should have been. And we got a few breaks today. We got a few breaks on the balls that were close. The two fumbles that were close they went our way and that's the game. That's football and that's part of it. And we did our fair share of executing it which helped us win the game
Q: If you can avoid third downs then you don't have to…
A: Which we did.
Q: I was going to say, on those four touchdown drives I think you only faced two third downs.
A: That's true.
Q: How rare is that for you?
A: Well I'll tell you that's something that when we've really been rolling we don't have many third downs. But I think that's accredited to the guys up front and the whole group on first and second down staying on track. But there were a lot of goods today but I think there was just enough negatives that make us walk out of here just a little bit unsatisfied, which is good because we know we've got a heck of a challenge coming next week in LA.
Q: Talk about that. You're going to be playing your cross-town rivals. There's probably going to be a lot of build-up.
A: Yeah, it'll be kind of interesting to see how that is. We played them [The Rams] in preseason last year but I didn't get a real cross-town rival feel in the preseason. I imagine that it'll be pretty cranked up. I guess they're playing now against the Cardinals, and we'll see what they are. They'll either be 2-0 or 1-1 like everyone else in the league right now. So it'll be a heck of a challenge. It's a heck of a defense and we know what we've got over there against Wades** scheme and all of those pro-bowlers on that defensive side. But looking forward to that and that atmosphere and playing those guys.
Q: Phil, you've had a lot of … How do you feel that Eckler and Gordon did…
A: These guys have a chance. I don't want to slight them in any ways – I love these two. I also don't want to slight the other guys that sustained it, but these guys have a chance to be something else. I'm telling you I mean the two of these guys they can be like those others that when we have those kind of combinations there's no doubt. They're dynamic guys. The way they catch it, run it, and the way that they're different. They're not the same. It's been fun to kind of see how that whole thing can grow. There's no telling how many plays we can run with those two on the field together.
Q: Do you trust Melvin (Gordon) as a receiver more than in the past?
A: I don't think so. I think it's just a gradual build. I think he's also embraced the passing game more each year he's been here. His first years, Danny (Woodhead) was going to be the guy in those situations. Danny goes down that year, and he had to learn the protections, he had to be in the mix. I think now he's at a point where he sees the running back as a three-down position and also who cares how you get the touches. It's not a twenty-five carry, one-hundred fifty yard league anymore. It's a sixteen carries, seven receptions. How many touches does he get for one hundred and fifty? I mean you see it around the league the best backs that's what they do, I think he also has embraced that. Shoot I don't care if you're handing it to me, I'm going to run a heck of a route and throw it to me. Not that he didn't embrace it early, I think he's grown into that, At Wisconsin it was handed to him and he ran thru holes like this. I think that's just as he's grown as a pro.
Q: Is he playing quicker because of that?
A: I think so, that one in the red zone he got out in a hurry. He had his play action he made sure he checked his protection. He got out and separated in a hurry. I was really getting ready to throw that to Tyrell (Williams) Then I was like oh there's Melvin mid delivery. That was nice by him.
Q: Two hundred starts ago, you had your first start in the NFL. What do you see of Josh Allen today?
A: I mean sure just his first throw. I was able to meet Josh last year, I can't say I know him well but I know him a little bit. I was just telling him, it's your first start of a long career. You're only going to improve. Each and every week he's going to improve. One thing he's got is he can throw it a long way, I know he has a great passion for the game. There's going to be some ups and downs there always is. There still is for me in year fifteen. I think he's got the right approach.
Q: What's the hardest part for a young quarterback?
A: In addition to the speed, it's just a small difference between it being a good throw or just a little behind him and you're punting. How quick things happen in the red zone, the difference in gosh I wish I got to my check down. I think just the details there's just not second chances, like there was in college with guys wide open all the time like there was in college or high school. It's just the little details, that difference is well I played pretty good but we lost by three because we missed this this and this I think he has the right mindset.
Q: Play in the red zone has been clicking down there the last few games.
A: I think just everything, the ball has been spread around down there, we've just finished. It's something we've talked about all off-season. We're going to have to continue to be creative. Because we have guys down there that we know teams are going to try and take away. I think the thing we've done very well early, is let's go score right now. We have that first and goal, or second and four at the nine. Let's not try to get to first and goal let's score on this play right now. I think it's just a little more of that, we're going to get in the end zone right now instead of waiting around. I'm not saying that we used to think that, I'm saying that we're doing a nice job of that and hopefully we can keep that going.
LOS ANGELES CHARGERS RUNNING BACK MELVIN GORDON
Q: Melvin, three touchdowns on the day. You have to feel good about how you were able to get in the endzone.
A: Yeah. You know it's always a solid and you can always smile when you get in the endzone. Getting in there once is a blessing. You get in there three times, it's a pretty good feeling.
Q: You go from not having any touchdowns your rookie year, to 26 now since 2016, what has been the difference for you?
A: Just the mindset you know, and the guys around me. Those boys are willing to make it happen for me, so hats off to those guys for bringing me in there.
Q: How big is getting this win now? You guys didn't get your first win until week 5 last year.
A: I'm glad we got a win, we got something to build off of in a positive way. Hopefully we keep them rolling.
Q: In the redzone you have been much more effective this year than last year, what's been the difference?
A: Just calling it up and sometimes stuff has just got to happen for you. It's been going our way so hopefully it stays that way.
Q: Melvin you guys have averaged 4.2 yards per carry again today, doing pretty well there. What's working right now with the run game?
A: Just the guys up front. The schemes, the play calls, it's just all working and everyone is on the same page right now. When everyone is on the same page you can see the difference.
LOS ANGELES CHARGERS DEFENSIVE END MELVIN INGRAM
Q: How do you guys feel about next week?
A: Same as every game, we've got to get into the lab. Film study, come out, make plays and have fun. Yeah that's what it's all about.
Q: Do you feel that you guys have matured now?
A: No I wouldn't say that, we're not going to say we've matured now. We won one game, we've got a long season. We've got a long way to go. We're just building.
Q: How do you feel about the pressure you guys got as a whole?
A: I feel like we got good pressure, we can always have more. I feel like we got good pressure, we have to get back in the lab and keep practicing. We still have to try and get to the quarterback. If every passing play isn't a sack. We can always get more.
Q: What did you notice about the rookie Quarterback (Josh Allen) responding when you guys were putting that pressure on early.
A: He's a good quarterback, he's got a chance to be special in this league. We just tried to throw a lot of stuff at him and try to confuse him, try to get him on his heels. That's what I feel like we did today.
Q: Derwin (James) blitzed a bit more today that helped having him at the line of scrimmage?
A: Yeah, yeah for sure.