Chargers Official Site | Los Angeles Chargers -

Transcript - Practice (12-18-19)


Wednesday, December 18, 2019 | Hoag Performance Center | Costa Mesa, Calif.


Opening statement:

"Well, you guys have asked about [T] Russell Okung a couple of times, so I'll just start with him. He's going to get treatment all week. He may get some limited reps in individual [periods of practice]. We'll see how he progresses at the end of the week to see if he'll play or not. In the meantime, [T] Trey [Pipkins III] and [T] Trent [Scott], they'll compete for that left tackle spot."

On T Russell Okung:

"I don't know a player in the National Football League that is not less than 100 percent. If that's the case, he's fine, and he'll play. If I feel like you're going to put him in a situation where he can hurt himself, then we would not put him on the football field."

On T Trey Pipkins III:

"I think, so far, that he's done fine. He had to step in this game, the first time we played them up in Oakland. I thought he came in and I didn't think it was too big for him. That was nice to see."

On the health of the roster:

"There are some other guys [banged up]. [DT Justin] JJ [Jones] got nicked up a little bit with his ankle. He may get limited reps today, but I expect him to play. For the most part, we're about as healthy as you can be right now."

On WR Keenan Allen and DE Joey Bosa being named Pro Bowl starters:

"They're two guys that couldn't have been more deserving. They show up every day. They work hard. They show up every week. They play hard. They're two of our better players. It's nice that they were recognized by the fans, their peers and other coaches to go play in the Pro Bowl. That's an honor."

On RB Austin Ekeler not making the Pro Bowl:

"You know, sometimes it's a popularity contest, to be honest with you. I know what Austin can do and what he's capable of. I know what these other backs can do. Yeah, I had him on my list, but if he's consistent, I'm sure he'll have his day."

On the team's final game at Dignity Health Sports Park:

"We're going to miss the place. You never are going to play someplace like that again, I believe, in that type of intimate environment. We'll miss it, but we're looking forward to going to our new home."

On his favorite memory of the stadium:

"I mean, the first time I walked in that stadium. It reminded me of Texas high school football."

On the Raiders:

"They got us the first time, obviously, five weeks ago. We're looking forward to playing them again. I know they're coming off a four-game [losing] streak. They're going to be hungry. They have a lot of weapons. They have a lot of good players. I'm sure [Raiders Head] Coach [Jon] Gruden will have them ready to play. It should be an outstanding football game. Looking forward to it, to getting the bad taste out of our mouth from last week. You couldn't do it against a better opponent than the Raiders. It should be a great football game."

On the game:

"It's just a regular game for us. It happens to be our last home game in this venue, but it's a regular game for us."

On last week's game:

"I didn't like the concentration last week. We've moved on from last week. We can't let the Minnesota Vikings beat us again. I don't think you'll see that team on the field this week. We've moved on."

On the team's focus in meetings:

"They've been great in meetings this morning. I'm sure we'll go out and have a good practice."


On the team's final game at Dignity Health Sports Park:

"It's the last time in there and the last time playing the Oakland Raiders. We've struggled in the division this year — we haven't won one. It'll be two teams, I'm sure — speaking for us — that are disappointed about the season, how it's gone and hungry to win a game."

On playing at Dignity Health Sports Park:

"You know, it's been fun. The games that we won have been fun. The games we haven't, haven't. It's been different. There have been some unique atmospheres, to say the least. We've had some good wins in there, and then some not so good, but it's been fine. As far as it goes from a field standpoint and all of that, it's been good. Again, it's a short stint somewhere, and it was new to all of us. It's been just fine."

On the relocation and his family:

"Yeah, it couldn't have gone better thus far. It's been as smooth as can be."

On his emotions:

"I don't think so. I think I was just acknowledging the obvious. I think in anybody's circumstance, you better focus on the present — and, one, when you know that you're not sure even more. It's not like I'm in year two of a six-year contract. I'm focused on right now and this week, and again, trying to win a game. We have two division games left. Like I said, we haven't won a division game yet. It feels like a normal Wednesday.

On if he considered the potential end of his career the past couple of seasons:

"I don't think so. Again, I think you want to approach every week like it could be your last play. You never know, anything can happen. You never really want to take anything for granted. I think you can't over-dramatize each week based on the 'What ifs.' I think just be in the moment, be in the present and go play."

On the Raiders:

"Once again, it hasn't been that long since we've played them. It's a very similar scheme to Minnesota. The [Raiders Defensive] Coordinator [Paul Guenther] there was with [Vikings Head Coach Mike] Zimmer for many years. It's very similar in that regard. In the first game, we did a lot of good things against them. Obviously, we spotted them 10 points with the two turnovers and then we battled back. Then, we just finished terribly with those seven or eight plays where we didn't get a yard. I imagine, again, it will be another hard-fought game. We know with that team, that coaching staff and the veterans they have that it's going to be two teams fighting. It won't look like two teams that are out of it or are disinterested. I think it will be a spirited division contest.

"I think it does [mean something that we're playing the Raiders]. I think it's unique in the sense now that maybe where we are in the season record-wise that it's just more about looking at ourselves, being pros and doing our job — doing it well, competing and having that same energy and togetherness. All of those things that we talk about. I think it's more about us and how we are going to finish off this season. Are we going to do it the right way or are we going to slop around? I know what we'll do. I think it's a matter of us worrying about that than it is trying to use that to be a motivating factor."

On WR Keenan Allen:

"He's been a great player for us. He has been ever since he got here, especially you see three years in a row over 1,000 yards, and hopefully will get him over 100 catches again here in the next two weeks. I think just his daily commitment to his craft and his position. You see him blocking in the run game. He's an all-around receiver. He doesn't miss practice. He's available every week. He's a big-time pro and a Pro Bowler. It shows every day and, obviously, he's getting some credit for it on the back end."

On Saints QB Drew Brees:

"I didn't see all of [the Monday Night game], but yeah, unbelievable — all but one incompletion. It was a heck of a day. When you have [days] like that, they're rare, that you don't miss. I heard him say that he's sick that he missed the one. I know it was a special night for him."

On the final home game of the season being similar to that of Giants QB Eli Manning:

"I don't anticipate that at all. Again, I think those circumstances are different all the way around."

On Brees beating his record for single-game completion percentage:

"It's awesome. Shoot, whatever it was, a 100th of a point or whatever it was. He's an unbelievable player. When you play as long and as well as he has, some of these things continue to pop up — some of these milestones and accomplishments are unbelievable to think about. He's been playing at a high level for a long time. Those things are just kind of icing on the cake for him. He's trying to lead that group to go win a championship. I'm sure those things mean way more when the team is doing well."

On Brees' career after the injury:

"It had taken off before then. He had two really good years my first two years here. Then, obviously, a terrible injury. His work ethic and ability to get himself healthy and back, and then to see what he has done since then has been awesome."

On Offensive Coordinator Shane Steichen:

"Well, I think, ultimately, it's about winning. Obviously, we haven't done that enough. Shane has been great. Again, [former Offensive Coordinator Ken] Whiz [Whisenhunt] was great. We had a good run with Whiz in the years prior to him going to Tennessee and then even with him back. All of us are pulling in the same direction to try to score one more point than the other team. We just haven't done that enough, obviously, this season. Shane has worked hard, the staff has worked hard — we all have. We just haven't executed well enough to win as many football games as we all anticipated and were hoping to."

On saying the decision to return next season isn't solely his:

"I think [I said that] just in general. I think, again, an expiring contract for myself or anyone else in that room is no different in terms of that. I think that's a fair statement in terms of it's not just a one-sided decision. Again, I wasn't intending to express that, 'Oh, I'm thinking about down the road.' I'm thinking about right now, but I think when you think about right now, your mind can go to, 'What if?' That's all. It wasn't really suggesting anything — or predicting [anything], for that matter. It was just kind of saying emotionally, mentally, sometimes you think, 'Man, it is going to run out at some point.' Whether it does or doesn't, I think it's okay to acknowledge that."

On playing the last two games:

"You just keep going. Again, it was a crazy day. I feel like I say this every week, but there were a lot of good things on the field. Again, all of that goes for nothing if you don't win the game and if you turn it over as many times as we did. It was a crazy day, for sure, but you just keep going and keep playing — and we will. That's the only way we know."

On the feeling on the sideline at the end of the game:

"Yeah, it was a little crazy. Again, that's why — shoot — five turnovers is too many. No question. We know the consequences that came from those. That's why afterwards I was saying those last two were meaningless in terms of the outcome of the game. I think it was a concerted team approach that we're just not quitting. We can keep handing it off and go 39-10 and not throw two interceptions late or we can say that we're going to keep fighting and say, 'Who cares? We aren't worried about that.' That was the approach, collectively, that we had. Yes, it's not a good feeling. I think you look around the league, though, and usually that happens at some point to most teams in the league. Maybe not to that degree and with seven turnovers and all of that. You never want it to happen. You can have one like that and you can chalk it up, 'Okay that's our one per year,' when you go finish Tennessee, finish Detroit, beat Denver and you're sitting here and you go, 'Ah man, that put us to 9-5.' You can get away with those, but when you've had the year we've had and you lose eight by one-score and then have that one, it just kind of piles on."

From Our Partners