Chargers Official Site | Los Angeles Chargers -

Transcript - Practice (Dec. 4, 2019)


Wednesday, December 4, 2019 | Hoag Performance Center | Costa Mesa, Calif.


On DT Jerry Tillery:

"I think Jerry has done some good things. He's long, he's athletic, he hustles. I love his effort. He might not have the production with sacks and things like that, but pressures. He has applied some pressures, which I think are more important than sacks. I'm pleased with Jerry Tillery right now.

"Just leverage. He's a big man. He's tall. Playing inside, taking on double-teams, he has to learn to play with a little better leverage and just within our scheme. I think his development is right on track. I'm definitely not disappointed. He reminds me a lot of a young Trevor Pryce when we had him in Denver, to be honest with you."

On LB Uchenna Nwosu:

"[DE] Isaac Rochell played a little bit more in that game, just based on what they were doing and how we were using Isaac and Uchenna. Isaac just came out with more snaps that game. Sometimes, that's going to happen.

"I'm fine with Uchenna's development, absolutely. When he has been given opportunities, he's made plays I feel like. He plays hard. His effort is where it needs to be. He's one of our core special teams players, so he's helping us in other areas."

On S Derwin James Jr.:

"You know what, DJ played more snaps last week than I thought he was going to play, but man, we couldn't keep him off the field. He's the ultimate competitor. I thought he looked good last week for his first game back. He's just going to continue to get better.

"His energy, his stamina, his football IQ. The communication over there with him and [S] Adrian Phillips on the field, it was much better."

On Jaguars QB Gardner Minshew II:

"You know, for a rookie, he has a lot of composure holding the ball, eyes downfield, finding receivers, extending plays. He has done some really good things for a rookie. It just seems like that team is inspired by him when he comes in the game. I mean, he's their second-leading rusher as well, so he's productive. He's a good player. For a rookie, I really like his composure.

"It's not fluff. If you watch the tape, the guy makes plays. He extends plays, he's creative. He throws with some accuracy and he runs, he's mobile."

On the Jacksonville defense:

"Well, that defensive line. When I look at that defense, they have a good defense. They always have had a good defense, but that defensive line is one of the best that we've seen all year with the edge rushers and [Jaguars DE] Calais Campbell inside with the interior rush, they can get after the quarterback a little bit. Our protection scheme is going to have to be on point."

On QB Philip Rivers:

"I thought the first couple of drives started slow. I thought he picked it up though and at the end, he put us in position where we could have won the game. I was fine with that."

On his approach the final quarter of the season:

"We're always in evaluation mode. My focus hasn't changed at all. We signed up to play 16 games. That's what we're going to do. We plan on playing this last quarter out with some momentum going into the offseason."

On the Jacksonville run defense:

"I think, when teams have issues stopping the run that they're emphasizing other things. It doesn't mean that they're not good at stopping the run. I think when you are going after the quarterback the way they are right now, you're going to give up some rushes. When they decide to tighten down their technique and play the run, they play the run just fine. Their emphasis has been affecting the quarterback."

On RB Melvin Gordon III:

"I thought it was probably about three games that he was a little rusty, but Melvin is playing fine right now. He's running like Melvin Gordon. That's why we're feeding him the rock."

On the close games:

"It's been a very frustrating season, I can tell you that. You couldn't have told me that we would play eight games and lose by one score, and not win at least half of those. It goes back to we haven't taken the ball away, we turn the ball over too much and we haven't made good decisions in critical situations. That's coaches and players. Until we correct that, this is kind of the season that you're going to have. We can't do anything about the last three quarters of the season, but we can do something about this [next] quarter."

On Rex Ryan's reaction on Sunday to ESPN feature:

"I haven't seen it, but Rex is a close friend. He's very genuine. He's going to speak from the heart. That's why I love the guy so much. I appreciate Rex a lot. I can't say enough good things about him."


On his play Sunday:

"[I feel I played] okay. I mean, we were over 65 percent [passing]. Obviously, the one turnover was a little fluky with the screen. I saw him looping. I just thought he was engaged enough on [T] Russell [Okung] and he came off. Other than that turnover, we took care of the ball. We made a few big plays. There were a few plays here and there, like there are in every game. Certainly, a couple of third downs that you wish we would've converted. Wish we would have scored on that drive after the turnover. There are things in every game. Not good enough to win is the short answer."

On WR Mike Williams' fourth down catch:

"Yeah, unbelievable play. The catch alone was unbelievable. How he stayed up when he started stumbling, then finding the ball and making the play was awesome. He had a heck of a game. He had some big catches, even to get us to the fourth-and-one before that sequence. Another third down out, and he just made some good plays all throughout the game."

On Williams' development:

"Last year, obviously, he had the 11 touchdowns and an unbelievable year coming off a year where he wasn't out there very much because he was injured. Then, this year we haven't gotten him in the end zone. We're trying to get him in the end zone. I think he has had a heck of a year and probably battled through more nicks and things than he had last year. He has really shown a lot of toughness and been a heck of a player."

On the close games:

"It's been tough. Obviously, to be on the losing end of eight one-score games is tough. Last year, I don't know exactly what our record was, but we seemed to win all of those one-score games. I remember even saying in here, that just shows you the difference in us sitting at 8-8, but we ended up 12-4. Some of those other games, we didn't make those plays. It has been a tough go, but we have the fourth quarter [of the season] left. We can only control what we have left."

On Williams' touchdown drought:

"Yeah, it's crazy. I remember that I said to him before the game on Sunday, 'Let's get in the end zone this week.' He said, 'Who are you telling?' It is. It has been crazy. It's certainly not for lack of trying to have things up for him down there and get him in the end zone. we have to do a better job in the red zone. Obviously, that's been another area that we haven't been really good. It is crazy that he hasn't gotten in there. Hopefully he gets in there a couple of times here down the homestretch. He and [WR] Keenan [Allen] both aren't too far off from 1,000 yards. It's about winning games, but it just goes to show the consistency and the play-makers that they've been for us over these first 12 games."

On RB Melvin Gordon III:

"He's running well. I think, altogether, we've been a lot more efficient and been over 100 yards however many weeks in a row in the running game. He has run it well. [RB] Austin [Ekeler] has run it well. Melvin, I feel like he kind of has gotten into somewhat of a groove as far as seeing it, running it. He has always run hard. That's never been a question. Certainly, after the first week or two, he kind of got into a little bit of a rhythm."

On Jaguars QB Gardner Minshew II:

"I'm certainly aware of all that you've said, not enough to say that I can evaluate him by any means. He has come in and played well. I know he led them to some wins and will be back in there on Sunday."

On the first couple of drives on Sunday:

"I don't think [I was tentative]. We were running it. We had a third down throw that they did a nice job of disguising and we had the protection turned away from where they were coming. I just had to take a sack there. We completed a third down to Mike [Williams]. We weren't necessarily in great rhythm by any means. We had the turnover on the screen, but I don't think it was because of being extra cautious or anything. Again, another slow start, which it's been the emphasis to start faster. It will be an emphasis this week. I think if you look at a handful of our games, going all the way back to Denver and Pittsburgh, you look up and it's 14-0. It's just a different deal. We've always clawed our way back, but it's a different deal if we can be up 14-0 like we were against Green Bay, or whatever we got it to that game. Getting off to a better start this week is certainly an emphasis."

On previous performances affecting Sunday:

"It really wasn't. Like I said, taking care of the ball is always an emphasis. Certainly, it was one of those games, again, with [Broncos QB Drew] Lock and it being his first start, that it was, 'Hey, let's not give them anything cheap early by trying to take a shot or force one in there.' I didn't feel any added [pressure] early. I really didn't. If it looked that way, I didn't feel that way. It may have been just kind of how we were and the way things came up."

On the Jacksonville defense:

"They had a couple of guys that are no longer there, but it's a heck of a defense, it really is. That front really gets after you. They can rush the passer and play the run. They're big and fast. They fly around at linebacker and they can cover you in the secondary. It's a good defense. [It's a game between] both teams, if you had looked before the year, we know that the expectations on the outside and inside were that we wouldn't be sitting here in Week 14 both at 4-8, but certainly two teams that are capable. It will be a heck of a game on Sunday."

On third down sacks:

"I think there's that fine line. Obviously, you want to throw it away. You want to avoid a sack at all costs, but when you're in the pocket and it's a little congested, it's can you get yourself in position to throw one away and a position that's, again, not going to be grounding. You're still trying to convert the third down and then it's, 'Alright I have nothing.' Then, 'Ah, it may be too late to try to throw one away,' then it's a sack-fumble and it's even worse. The one late in the game after the turnover, I was trying my hardest to get back as close as I could to the line of scrimmage. The other one you're referring to, I remember that I thought I was going to have Austin [Ekeler] and I was going to get back to Keenan [Allen], and it turns out on the tape that he was running scot-free. It was just one of those deals that it just happened like that. Certainly, I'm aware of where we are. You never want to take a sack, but at the same time, you can't just yank one too early or too late and cause an even more negative play."

On T Russell Okung:

"It's great [to have him]. Russell is a Pro Bowl player in this league. It's great to have him back out there. I really never take the field with a lack of confidence in our guys up front, whoever it is. I try to play the same way while maybe understanding who they're blocking and the challenges that may come from that. I always believe in those guys. Having Russell back is great not only from his ability to play the position, but he brings a level of leadership and mentality to the group as well."

From Our Partners