WEEK 16 — PODIUM AVAILABILITY
Thursday, December 19, 2019 | Hoag Performance Center | Costa Mesa, Calif.
LOS ANGELES CHARGERS DEFENSIVE COORDINATOR GUS BRADLEY
"Just to recap like we always do — obviously, it was a tough, tough game. We didn't play as well as we needed to. We didn't get some of the stops that we needed to. We faced a lot of sudden-change opportunities. The objective is not to get off the field on third down, it's not to hold them to a field goal — every time we go out on the field, our objective is to get the ball. We did that on one of the sudden-changes, but that has to be our mentality if we ever face those situations again. I thought there was some consistent play throughout. I think, probably the most disappointing part was just at the very end. They had a big play on us when he rolled out of the pocket and threw the deep ball. We're not accustomed to be not as connected to routes as that play showed. Then, they scored right at the end, too. Some valuable lessons for us as a team. I thought the mentality through the whole thing was pretty good, though. Going out there in some tough situations like that — the mentality of the team when going out there and getting some stops, putting in a position where we limited them to a field goal gave us a chance — but obviously, we didn't do enough.
"The Raiders game — you know what, I think with the Raiders when you look at them, they have the potential to score a lot of points. I know they have some guys injured. We learned the back [Raiders RB Josh Jacobs] is out, the tackle [Raiders T Trent Brown] is out, but those guys didn't play in Tennessee and they had 21 points right away in that game, too. They have enough players. They're very talented. They have some guys that always pose big-play ability. We're very familiar with that. We have to keep our eyes on multiple players on their offense just because they have those capabilities. What we're going to get is a little bit of uncertainty with some of the changes that they have. It's going to have to be relying on some of our fundamental principles. I think, really, every game comes back to that. How you tackle in space, how you play your fundamentals and things like that. It'll be a big test for us."
On S Derwin James Jr.:
"We utilize Derwin in different ways. Some games, he'll come up and he's a big part of our blitz package. He has played outside linebacker. He has played inside linebacker for us. It's really based on the game plan. That's where he gives us some flexibility to do that based on who we're playing. He just does some unique things. Things that maybe were an issue — or maybe it would be a back check-down is normally five or six yards. He has the ability to really eat up that space and take those plays away. He's a good tackler. Last week against Minnesota, we got both him and [S Adrian] AP [Phillips] on the field at the same time just to generate more speed. It was effective for us when they were both out there.
"[He has an] unbelievable mentality. You would just think [he would say], 'Let me just get a feel for how this is,' but really from day one when he came back when he was cleared, it was 100 miles per hour. Our training staff did a really good job of bringing him along. Sometimes, when you get a player off or IR, it's just kind of ween him [in] and get him back into it. It was just unique. When he stepped on the field, he was ready to go, at least in his mind."
On pressures and sacks this season:
"I think it's a combination. Obviously, we'd love to see more. We haven't had many sack-caused-fumbles and things like that have occurred. I think, in the Minnesota game, we saw 10 dropback passes. We're just not seeing as many of those styles. I think the rush — when I looked at the rush — it appears like we're getting very close to the quarterback. We just need to play tighter coverage. We talked about rush and cover working together. We're seeing that, if we have the back end, we're doing a good job of limiting explosive plays. Those passes that are 16 yards and deeper. What's happening is quarterbacks are dumping it down to check-downs and things like that. When our rush gets close, they're dumping it down. I think — we looked at it as a staff — we can get more sack-caused-fumble opportunities when we play tighter coverage. That's been a little bit more of an emphasis this week."
On DT Justin Jones:
"He has been playing really well for us at three-technique. It's a different type. If you look across the league, [Rams DT] Aaron Donald, three-technique types. There are different styles of it. What we've asked him to do, we've been very happy with where he is. I think he's really made a big step. We talked about that step from the first year to the second year. He has really made great strides there. Also, just his mentality as a leader. He's more vocal and plays with a great, great deal of confidence. Earlier in the season, they ran a trap and they got us for some yards. Minnesota came on a sudden-change, ran a trap and he stuffed it. You're seeing plays like that where he's just becoming a more wise player at that position. If we had to slide the line and he's playing nose [tackle], I wouldn't blink at that either."
On DE Joey Bosa being named a Pro Bowler:
"With Joey, he really works at it — physically, he knows he has the ability. He's constantly working at his craft. I've mentioned this before, his mentality and how he goes about it, just handling adversity. Sometimes, if things aren't going quite his way, just the growth that he has had in that aspect, I think, has been tremendous. That's something that he has taken a lot of pride in. That's where they say, 'What would you do without a guy like Joey?' It'd be tough because he's a guy that impacts the game and elevates everybody around him."
On the emphasis these last two weeks:
"I think what you really watch for is the mentality. Do they go out there and go, 'We have another opportunity,' and are grateful for an opportunity to play? [Do they say], 'Can we take this to another level? We had some weaknesses that we have to get corrected. Let's get those things corrected because if we don't, we're going to see them again.' It's more a mid-season mentality for our guys. That's what I appreciate. There's that old saying — if you're losing, you come in late and you leave early, and if you win, you come in early and you leave late. That part, I have not seen with this group. It's unique that way. They are there early, note taking and things like that. It's a very professional group. I give credit to our leaders. To have that mix of some younger players and some guys that are mature, wise and have been there before and can demonstrate. It's much stronger when it comes from players like [NT] Brandon Mebane, [LB] Thomas Davis [Sr.] and [DE] Melvin Ingram [III] — those guys that have been through that and know how to go about it from that point on."
On bringing energy to practice as coaches:
"We remind each other. Hey, this is who we are. Sometimes, it's tough. Everybody needs somebody. We have to provide that. We have a pretty energetic defensive staff. They don't have an issue with that. You just keep reminding them who we are, what we want to become and let's not stray away from that."
"I have never thought about how he's only 24 [years old], now that you say that. He's just got so much ability. That's what I say. I think, when we tie this whole thing together and get it to where it really looks where we want it to be, I think he'll be even more effective. I'm sure that there are things that we'll look at on film and see things that he can get better, but he really has the consistency that he has played with week-in and week-out. You know exactly what you're getting from him. As a coach, you say, 'Alright, that's no longer a concern. This is what we need him to do,' and then he can focus on other things. You can have a tendency to kind of under-appreciate there if you don't stop and think about it."
On CB Michael Davis:
"I thought he came back [well]. They came back and ran some plays over there, but then he had some big stops for us, too. It looked like he started to get into the rhythm again as he was going. I think he had a couple of PBUs [pass breakups] on our sideline. At times, teams will try to attack us on the one-receiver side, so that corner really has to stand up. It kind of comes with the defense. You know you're going to get it and you have to make plays when your number is called. I thought he started to get into a rhythm more as the game went on."
LOS ANGELES CHARGERS OFFENSIVE COORDINATOR SHANE STEICHEN
On the emphasis the last two weeks:
"Absolutely [about execution]. I think we just have to execute better. Last week was rough, obviously, with what happened out there. We're working like heck and crazy to get it corrected this week to go forward and try to get this win."
On WR Keenan Allen being named a Pro Bowler:
"He's a very talented player, but the thing that makes him special is that he works at it every day. He comes to work every day and you can see it with his preparation, how he goes about practice. He practices hard and then it shows up in the games. He's a very unselfish player, blocks like heck. Some games you see that he has five catches and other games, he has 12. That's just the player that he is. He works and he wants to win. He's very detailed in his route-running. He's a heck of a player."
On C Scott Quessenberry:
"He has been solid for us. He works at it. He's another guy that just loves ball. He works every day at practice. Then, in the games, he fights like crazy. His assignments, he's very detailed in what he does. He's mentally sharp when he goes out there. He has been solid for us."
On if he is surprised how Quessenberry has played:
"No, I think he has played good. Like I said, because of the preparation he puts in. He has done a heck of a job."
On the Oakland defense:
"They're a competitive group. [Raiders Defensive Coordaintor] Paul Guenther and [Raiders Head Coach Jon] Gruden, those guys play hard. They got us last time, obviously. They had a tough one last week, as we did. We're both trying to get this taste out of our mouths, so it's going to be a heck of a challenge, but we're excited for the opportunity."
On referencing the first matchup:
"A good amount. Obviously, just to see how they play. They see our tendencies, we see theirs. You have to put some wrinkles in there going forward. We are definitely looking at it."
On WR Mike Williams:
"He had two huge third down catches on that first drive — the in-cut and then we had the double-move to him. When he does that, he just kind of gives some energy to our offense as well, with those big plays that he makes. Obviously, on a defense it's hard. A big guy like that on those 50/50 balls, he is usually coming down with them."
On QB Philip Rivers preparation:
"His preparation, regardless of the circumstances, he never wavers. I came in on Monday and he had already watched the film twice from the game. The quarterbacks were already in there. They had all the third down tendencies drawn up for the Raiders. Their preparation, they move on to the next one. They don't blink at the last one, they get ready to go play the next one.
"Why is that important? Just because, good or bad, you have to move on. That's just what it is. That's what this league is. You have to move forward and fight like heck to go win the next one."