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Transcript - Practice (Oct. 16, 2019)


Wednesday, October 16, 2019 | Hoag Performance Center | Costa Mesa, Calif.


Opening statement:

"Well, I thought I'd have an update for you today on [T] Russell Okung, but I really don't. I can tell you this — he's not going to practice today."

On T Russell Okung:

"He's just day-to-day from here on out.

"He can be activated at any point this week, absolutely.

"This stuff will play itself out over the next couple of days, I believe. Right now, I just don't have an update for you."

On K Michael Badgley:

"You know, Badgley is going to kick tomorrow. He did a good job yesterday. He'll have the day off, he'll kick tomorrow and we'll see where he is."

On DE Melvin Ingram III:

"On the side, he'll be limited on the side during individual."

On the potential of a 17-game season:

"I don't think 17 games would affect our preparation at all. At one point, it was 14 games before it went to 16. I don't think it affected anybody then. Whatever they decide to do, we're going to adjust.

"If you plan on being in the postseason afterwards, it doesn't phase you. It's just another week or two. Like I said, we've done a good job of adjusting to whatever the league does. I know they're going to do what's best for our game."

On the Tennessee quarterback change:

"I think both guys are good quarterbacks. I've played against [Titans QB Ryan] Tannehill in the past. You know he's a handful. He's a starting quarterback in this league. We have to deal with it."

On preparing for Titans QB Marcus Mariota:

"Well, there's always a possibility. There are some things that Mariota does that Tannehill may not or haven't seen him do. You have to prepare for some of those plays, but our focus is currently on Tannehill."

On WR Keenan Allen:

"Last I checked, he was [one of the leaders in] the league in receptions or whatever. The last couple of weeks, he hasn't gotten the ball as much. Teams have kind of done some things to take him away, but other people have to step up. At the same time, Keenan will get his touches. When it's all said and done, he will get his touches."

On the slow offensive starts:

"I think our team is prepared to play every week, but we have to go out and execute. The slow starts — we were down 14 a couple of weeks ago and down 14 right off the bat last week — we just have to execute better early in the game and not put ourselves in the hole like that because that takes [away] the rhythm of our offense, to be honest with you. You want to run the ball more, but you can't run the ball more when you're down 21 to nothing. We have to do a better job of starting fast and just executing."

On engaging offensive players early in the game:

"Well, that depends on what's going on. Early in the game, we're just trying to put out our first 15 plays. How they adjust to that will determine the next play that we go to — the next play that we call. It isn't the plays. It's the same plays that we've always run. We just have to do a better job of coaching the plays and executing."

On low rushing totals the past two weeks:

"That's [from] falling behind. You can fall behind early and give yourself time to catch up, but in that third quarter and you're down two or three scores, it's just hard to hand the ball off."

On the season:

"Obviously, it's not the season that we expected to have. Our expectations are high regardless of what other people say. No, we didn't plan on losing four games out of our first six, but our record is what we are and now we have to fight to get our way out of this hole.

"All of those predictions and all of that stuff in the offseason is just noise. You have to go out and play the game. There is too much parity in the National Football League too, each year, say, 'This team is this and this team is that.' That's why we play the game."

On RB Justin Jackson:

"He's getting better. He's not there yet, but he's getting better.

"I like what he was doing on the field. He's a versatile runner."

On Tennessee's running backs:

"That's a handful. You watch this game last year when we played those guys in London, I thought they ran the ball too well. I'm sure they're looking at the same tape. They're going to make us stop the run. That's going to be a handful."

On Titans Head Coach Mike Vrabel:

"On the defensive side of the ball right now, they're fifth in the league. They don't give up a lot of points. They're going to play sound and fundamentally sound football. That's what Mike did as a player. It made him great as a player. He's very consistent. That team will be consistent with their effort and everything they do."

On WR Mike Williams:

"Mike's going to practice. He's sore like everybody else, but he's going to practice."

On DT Jerry Tillery:

"I would like to see Jerry play a little better. He'll get some snaps this week, for sure."

On S Nasir Adderley:

"Nas, probably not [going to practice].

"I was concerned early, but I have other things on my plate now. When Nas is ready, he's ready.

"I sure didn't plan on it being a redshirt year, but it's kind of looking like it."

On G Forrest Lamp:

"Forrest did some good things. He's a powerful lineman. He is going to get better each and every week. He didn't have that many snaps since college. I'm looking forward to seeing Forrest each week go out and play, and get his game back."

On T Trent Scott:

"Trent is sore, but he'll be fine.

"He'll do some things at practice today."

On WR Travis Benjamin:

"He did come out of the game last week. We didn't know how serious it was, but he did have an injury. I think his groin. It was the same groin that was hurting before. He tweaked it again."

On the younger receivers:

"Right now, because those guys are in and out of the lineup, they are getting plenty of snaps in practice. That's why you see Andre [Patton] go in and play. You saw Jason [Moore] go in last week and play. They're getting some snaps."

On TE Hunter Henry:

"Hunter feels fine. I was really pleased with what he did last week."

On slow starts:

"There are a lot of things. We'll be here all day talking about why the offense is starting so slow. It's our job to go out there in about an hour and fix those things on the field."

On the game plan:

"Every plan — offense, defense and special teams crosses my desk before it goes to those players. If there was a disagreement, it would be handled right then and there, not on Sunday."

On first down production:

"It does not help getting behind the sticks early. It does not help at all. It's hard to do, but you have to overcome it when it happens. Right now, it's happening too often for us, I agree."

On P Ty Long possibly kicking again this season:

"You never know. I thought he did an excellent job when he kicked. As soon as his foot is ready if something came up, yeah we could put Ty in. That's what makes Ty so valuable, is his versatility.

"He's doing a nice job of punting the football. I don't want to lose both."

On LB Denzel Perryman:

"He started out last week pretty hot. Then, he tweaked his ankle again and came out, but he finished the game. He's fine. He's practicing today. That's about the only reason why he came out of the game last week."


On having friends and family at Sunday's game in Nashville:

"Yeah, it's fun. It's always fun. It's as close to home as I can get. We've had some fun ones there over the years. Yeah, I do always look forward to going back."

On a potential 17-game NFL season:

"I'm just trying to get to this Sunday. I really have no thoughts on it."

On TE Hunter Henry:

"Awesome. You saw last week the impact he has and I think he'll continue to have. We know the play-maker he is in the pass game, but he's also an every-down tight end as well. Having him back with the group — like I said, I think Lance [Kendricks] was a great addition with Virgil [Green]. Obviously, you lose [Sean] Culkin, but those are three solid, that's a solid group of tight ends. We've always had a solid group and we have a solid group now with everybody healthy and ready to go."

On the Tennessee defense:

"It's a good defense. They held Buffalo to 14. They lost that one 14-7. They went to Atlanta and won and played good defense against that offense, and [they] really played good defense last week. It's a good team — a very mixed but veteran and savvy secondary and a good front, and they're just going to play solid. Obviously, [they're] well-coached. It will be a challenge for us. We've seen some good defenses the last couple weeks and we obviously haven't held up our end of the bargain scoring enough points, so it'll be a challenge again this week to get that done. We're going to prepare to go in there and play better than we've played the last few weeks."

On looking at film from last season's Titans game to prepare for Sunday:

"It's the same team in a lot of ways, just like we are in a lot of ways. It's a year removed. They're going to have some wrinkles, as we do as well. You certainly, as they will watch it, you watch that game, and [you] see guys [and] see things we did that were successful and they're going go see what they did that was successful against us and counter it and those kinds of things. It's definitely a film that's worth studying."

On the NFL landscape:

"I don't know. It is where everybody is right now. We're just worried about us. We have to find a way to win a game. We're certainly not where we hoped to be after six weeks, but we've got a 10-game season ahead of us starting on Sunday."

On the first six weeks of the regular season:

"I think disappointed really. Disappointed in the lack of executing and in making the plays that we've shown we can make over the last couple years. We just haven't gotten it done. It's really just a handful of plays in each of these games that we haven't been able to overcome. It's not 60 minutes of bad football. It's just enough bad football that we haven't been able to overcome it. We have to eliminate that and then continue to do the good that we're doing, and speaking offensively, as I've said, it seems simple, but score more points. That's the answer to a lot of this."

On the cause behind the offense's recent slow starts:

"I think that's the biggest thing — turning the ball over. When you do that, especially when you give them one for a touchdown, it's tough. I don't think there's something where you say, 'That's it. Don't do that anymore.' It's just a matter of playing better early on."

On how defenses have been limiting WR Keenan Allen:

"I think they're doing a better job of not giving him some of the easy stuff that we've gotten to him over his career, but especially in the last year or so of the underneath stuff. They're not just giving us the easy completions to him, the gimme catch-and-runs. They're doing a better job of trying to negate that. Again, there [were] probably a couple opportunities where I could've gotten it to him, but I think that's the way that seasons go. They're maybe some stretches like that in the year. Obviously, getting Hunter [Henry] back will help and continue to spread the field out and make them cover everybody."

On the running game:

"I think, certainly, when you're down 24-0, when you're down 21-0 or whatever it was with Denver, it's tough. It's just tough to really establish the run and stick with it. You just can't enough sacrifice another punt in your mind. You go, 'Gosh, we can't even take the chance of being stubborn with the run,' when you're down like that. We need to get into a game where it's 3-3 or we get up 10-0 to where you can get that down. I've always said this — teams that run it, you're winning and you run it an extra eight, 12 times in the fourth quarter. That's when you really get to see the 30-carry games, the 150-yard rushing games. They don't always come early in the first half. They come over the course of the game [when] you're balanced, you're up two scores late and you run the heck out of it. We haven't gotten to where we've been able to do that yet We did do that quite a bit last year. We have to get ahead in some games and then we can see how that looks."

On continuing to go up-tempo offensively:

"Yeah, maybe so. We've mixed that in here-and-there over the last decade. I think it's something you consider. Obviously, the score played into that, so certainly some of the coverages and things we were getting were different as well. When you're in a little bit of a rut, that can sometimes be a positive. We'll see if that's something we'll do more of as we move forward."

On Kansas City's losses:

"Not really. We really are focused on us. We are where we are. We can't control other teams. It's way too early to worried about who plays who and who's winning and where everybody is. Yes, there's not a 6-0 team out there [in the division]. You're not that far behind, but none of that matters if we don't take care of our business, so we have to focus on us."

On balancing between being aggressive and conservative:

"I don't really know [that I was] being conservative. Obviously, a ball got away from me that ended up being a lateral and then a ball got tipped and intercepted, so those were neither being conservative or being aggressive. Those were just a poor throw and then sometimes the ball bounces that way. Then we didn't turn it over again until the last throw of the game when we had 99 yards to go with 50 seconds left. Yes, the turnovers got us in the hole, but I don't know that it was because we were being careless or a lack of being conservative or not as aggressive. We just have to get first downs. With first downs, we have to score points. I think that's the biggest thing for us, offensively. You look up and we're 58 percent or whatever we were on third down, 54. If you finish at the end of the year 54 percent, you'd be first in the NFL on third down. We're doing a lot of good things except scoring one more point than the other team. I know I keep saying that, but that's the name of this game. It's not, 'What about the turnovers?' If you win the game, you can acknowledge those things, correct them [and] say we need to improve here, those can get you beat, but they aren't costing you. Right now, they are, so it becomes even more of an issue."

On whether the Chargers need to be more aggressive on first downs:

"I don't know. Again, our third downs were really good last week. I think we're getting behind on the scoreboard — that's the biggest problem right now. If you can stay on schedule with the scoreboard where it is, then you have a better chance to be balanced and do what you want as far as play-calling."

On preparing for stretch of road games:

"It'll be good. I think it'll be good for us. It's a team that likes to be around one another [and] hang out together. They're longer trips and we did a heck of a job with it last year. Obviously, not so well starting this year with Detroit. We'll see what happens. Nobody's going to feel sorry for us for being 2-4 and it's a tough defense. I don't even want to look past that. We have a tough road ahead, but we don't play them all the same night. We have one game on Sunday. We're going to prepare this week and get ready for them."

On getting used to long road stretches:

"I think when you get into the in-season mode, you're so tunnel-vision and focused on the one — you look up and you don't get caught up into the whole big picture, especially even more so when you're sitting where we are right here after six games."

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