Chargers Official Site | Los Angeles Chargers -

Transcript - Practice (Oct. 31, 2018)

Wednesday, October 31, 2018 | Hoag Performance Center | Costa Mesa, Calif.


Opening Statement:

"Good afternoon. I tell you, watching [Seahawks Head] Coach [Pete] Carroll, I've known him for a long time. His whole coaching staff, I've either played with or played for. It's a really good coaching staff. Right now, they are doing a heck of a job. I think they are the hottest team in the NFL right now. They have won four out of last five. They are doing it collectively in all three phases — and offensively, they are rushing the ball better than anybody the last five weeks and more rush attempts, that's kind of their formula. Defensively, they are sixth in the league and No. 2 in takeaways. That's something I know he emphasizes a lot. Special teams-wise, they have one of the best returners in the game. He was an All-Pro the last three years. I'm excited to go over there and play them at their place. It's going to be a heck of a challenge for us, our coaching staff and our players, but this is what we need right now. We think we're getting better as a football team and this is going to be one hell of a test."

On DE Joey Bosa:

"Joey is going to do some things on the side, but he won't be a part of any team activities today, no."

On the Seattle running game:

"Well, you know, their offensive line is powerful. They run block maybe a little better than they pass block. You can say that, but Russell was perfect with his quarterback rating last week. I think they know what's working. That's kind of their formula. They have been averaging about 30 rush attempts a game and it's working. Their backs, they are unbelievable. [Defensively,] they have [Seahawks LB] K.J. Wright back. He's a very savvy linebacker on defense to go with [Seahawks LB] Bobby Wagner. They are coming around just in time."

On running back depth contributing to lower rushing attempts for Seahawks QB Russell Wilson:

"If I had those four running backs, I wouldn't run my quarterbacks much, either — but when you least expect it, Russell will take off and he knows exactly how to get down and protect himself. It's tough to defend him. I think he's one of the best dual-threat quarterbacks in the game."

On using Defensive Coordinator Gus Bradley's familiarity with Seattle's scheme:

"No doubt. Our defense is very similar to their defense, so our players see it every single day, but it's still a personnel game, match-up game. They put their players in a position to make plays just like we do and we just have to execute. 

On LB Kyzir White:

"You know, he's still — I doubt [he plays] to be honest with you, but he's still on the side. We'll see where he is the end of the week."

On the advantage of preparing through the bye week:

"We get a chance to look at them a little longer than we would have as a coaching staff. As players, we try to get them away. I got them away last week, get away from the game, come back, recharge the battery. They looked good Monday. They looked good today. We go back and take the field here in another hour. I think it was good for them to get away from the game and recharge a little bit. I think sometimes bye weeks can hurt you. I think as a coaching staff, you can try to do too much because you've had more time, so we've had to be cautious of that. 

On any differences in preparing for the environment in Seattle:

"We have some things that, yeah, we definitely have to deal with. That place, that's the loudest place I've ever played. I think right now they hold some record for the most false starts in that stadium. It's going to be loud. It's going to be crazy. I was there a couple years ago calling plays and my quarterback couldn't hear me through the headset. We have to make plans, contingency plans for our quarterback, to call some of his own plays." 

On the impact of a healthy LB Denzel Perryman:

"It's a big difference. He's a starting Mike linebacker for a reason. He's a downhill, hard-hitting linebacker and when he's not in there, we definitely miss him."

On if teams have ran the ball differently with Perryman in the lineup:

"Not really."

On CB Desmond King II:

"He's a very instinctive football player. You know, he can do things sometimes that you just can't coach. He doesn't have the height, the weight, the speed and all that, but if you look at Desmond — the thing I liked about him, track him all the way back to high school, he's always been a very productive player and that's not going to change when you get to the NFL. It's just a pattern of success."

On K Caleb Sturgis:

"He was our kicker. Did a lot of research on him and we brought him in the offseason in to be our kicker. He's healthy now and we have a lot of confidence in him, and we need to let that run its course — see if he can kick just like he's kicked in the past. When we brought this guy in here, his critical kicks were off the charts, best in the league. When I say critical kicks, one-score games, right before the half, two minutes before the half and two minutes at the end of the game. I mean, he was money in those situations. So you have a veteran guy with some experience and he kicks off well. He was our guy. We were just waiting for him to get healthy."

On the possibility of bringing back K Michael Badgley:

"Absolutely. Absolutely. I love what Mike did. He's going to be a kicker in this league for a long time, I believe. I like his makeup as a kicker."

On C Mike Pouncey's impact on the offensive line:

"The offensive line has played well. [QB] Philip [Rivers] doesn't get hit a lot, I think we are rushing for almost five yards a carry now. Mike Pouncey been a big part of that, having him at center — that's not a knock on [former C Spencer] Spence [Pulley], but Mike's an All-Pro. He's definitely an upgrade for us. Mike's mentality and his work ethic, it's contagious. We were a hard-working team before he got here but we're working even harder now."

On if RB Melvin Gordon III will practice:

"He'll be there, yeah."

On QB Philip Rivers' longevity to be approaching his 200th consecutive start:

"You have to take care of yourself off the field in order to last that long and play that many consecutive games and he's done it for a long time. I'd love that to rub off the rest of the team. He's a professional. 

On the impact of luck not having to sit due to injury:

"Well, I just think the harder you work, the luckier you get."


On the environment in Seattle:

"Yeah, it's loud. It's loud. I mean, it's hard to argue where is the loudest place, you go different places, and the ones you've been to most recently seem the loudest — but this one definitely is arguably, 1A, 1B in the group there up there. Both regular-season games up there and 2006 and 2010, I believe, were super loud. Even preseason there in 2014, I think it was, it was loud. It will be a heck of an atmosphere. They are on a roll right now, as we are, and so it will be a heck of a challenge playing against the opponent on the field and then, certainly, we have to be able to handle the noise as well."

On the bye week:

"Yeah, it was perfect. Obviously, it came almost at the midway point. It's coming off a ten-day trip or so there to Cleveland and London, so I think came at a good time. Guys that had some bumps and bruises to rest up, I didn't have anything lingering, but rest your mind a bit and gives you a chance to get a little ahead on Seattle. I think you want to stay somewhat on routine, but I peeked at them a little sooner than the normal Monday when I would normally look. It was a good week. I think the guys, I know they were excited to get back in here on Monday and get back into a regular routine for this back half of the season."

On how the offensive line has evolved this season:

"We're playing really well together. I think that's the biggest thing, they are playing well together. We missed [T] Joe [Barksdale] there for a handful of games and [T] Sam [Tevi] stepped up and did a nice job. We missed [T] Russell [Okung] for a game, but for the most part, especially the interior, those guys have been on the field together for a lot of snaps and all throughout training camp. I think you've heard me say, that's the group that has to gel and come together. You talk about timing, the receivers and quarterbacks, I've always said that [the offensive line], I think it's very important. I think they have done that and you've seen it in our efficiency in the running game and pass protection. Really, while there are some different guys in there, some, it really picked off from last year from thus far. I just really haven't been knocked down very much and they've done a job of keeping it clean, and then the guys on the outside are getting open. It really starts with those guys up front. They enjoy being around one another and they are working super well together between the lines."

On his appreciation for the offensive line:

"I mean, shoot, I think they know that, but I just usually say that towards the end [of the season]. I think that's what is unique. I was just asked about what's gelling for this team and what's our identity, and it may be cliché, but I think it's just our togetherness. There are a lot of guys contributing. I think everybody sees that and everybody knows their role. There's no role that's big and small, although that is the case, but everybody has embraced their role, wherever that may be. It's cool to see that and see so many guys contributing and working together to get things done. Just find a way to win the game and we've been doing that and see if we can keep it going."

On if defenses are defending WR Keenan Allen differently with the contributions by WR Tyrell Williams and WR Mike Williams:

"Not a ton. I think that's why you've seen, you know, the ball go over teams' heads some because they are still doing the same things to Keenan. Certainly, you see times where they are doubling him and times they are rolling his way, but it's making it tougher and tougher when guys are getting behind teams. I've been getting asked every week about Keenan's production. I think he's great. He's on track to have similar to what he had last year and at this point last year, he was kind of right in this mix and then he had a stretch of ten-catch games for three or four weeks in a row. Will that come? Maybe, but he's obviously a huge part of what we're doing. The third down plays against Tennessee were huge and he's going to be a big factor and help those other guys have some favorable matchups."

On balancing Allen's usage while spreading the ball to all of the offensive weapons:

"I think, you know, it's something that's never been a problem here. We've always had a lot of guys contributing, a lot of playmakers and maybe more so now than ever as far as the volume of guys that are involved and that you want to get involved in handling the football. I interact and have spent enough time with these guys. I want them to want it and I would have no problem being frustrated with the ball — it was just the way he went about it. Looking back at the play, we had not quite got called, just because the games had been going — we finally got it called and he ran a great route and it didn't work out. There was a little bit of that because we both thought the play was going to be a touchdown. I think it's good and I think, at the end of the day, they all know that they all help one another. We all win when we win on the scoreboard, and these guys know that. I think having that competitiveness and that desire to want it and get it and throw it our way — as a quarterback, you want them to all feel that, and we all understand and manage from an emotion standpoint and that's never been a problem here and it won't be now. There's no concern of mine from that standpoint."

On approaching his 200th consecutive start:

"Well, [my first start] was in Oakland. It may have been September 11 or 9th, I don't know — it was a Monday night. Second game of Monday night doubleheader. I threw 11 times. I was 8-for-11 for 107 yards and a touchdown — I do remember that. We had 10 or 11 sacks on defense, so we didn't need to throw it very often. I remember telling [TE Antonio] Gates that was the first touchdown of many, and he was frustrated because we only threw 11 [times]. You look up later, he has close to 90 [touchdowns between] he and I. That's what stands out. We also won the game, I think 27-0, but it's crazy how time does fly. Everybody says, your career, it will be over, goes just like that, and it really has. There's been a lot to it. There are times where it feels like it's moving slow in certain points of different seasons, but to look back and think of how many guys you've played with and been around, and now that it will be 200 in a row, I'm very thankful to have the opportunity."

On what the 200th start means to him:

"Well, you know, [Hall of Fame QB Brett] Favre was always a favorite of mine. Still is. I kind of wanted to have that mark, or at least push for it in college. I was able to play 51 in a row in college, which I don't know if that still stands now with how many games they play now and playoff system and all that. I always thought guys, of all the things in the pros, that would be the one — and I'm not going to get there. I'm not going to get there. So y'all can do the math and figure out your projection of how many years I'm going to play, but I'm not going to get to 300. It's pretty cool. I mean, obviously the two Mannings [Peyton and Eli] and Favre have started over 200 in a row, and I just feel thankful. I think there is a small element of toughness involved, but then again, shoot, lots of prayers for me from many people on Sundays and guys protection that allow me to be out there each and every week, whether dealing with minor things or big things. Then just that competitiveness to want to be out there and play every week, and I have that same passion in this 200th one that I had in the first one. That's what excites me for the next handful of years."

On the importance of longevity to him:

"I don't know. I think some of that was probably as a young boy, my dad always saying, unless you can't get off the field, you get off the field. Just those little things. I don't know. I think there's just, you know, in college, all you heard, one of the things you heard from [former North Carolina State Head Coach] Chuck Amato was the best ability is dependability. I think just being out there each and every week has always been important. Obviously, you want to be able to out there and help. It's not just be out there. You want to play at a high level, and that's been up and down over 199, but being out there means something. I shouldn't say that's what I said I wanted to do, but that's one I always thought was so awesome, you know, seeing that [Hall of Fame QB Brett Favre] had played 300 games in a row, counting the playoffs, was unbelievable, but obviously chasing a championship for our team has always been No. 1, and we're here in the midst of that here in week 9, whatever it is."

On the Seattle defense:

"I tell you what, they are playing really good defense right now. I think the biggest difference is you used to go in — and this is not by any means slighting the roster, the defensive lineup now — but you used to go into that game, and you could just say, who is on Seattle's defense and you could write out every one right because they had been together for so long, back-to-back Super Bowls, won the Super Bowl against Denver. Now there's just been so much change on that defense, but there's still the same scheme, and there's plenty of names that you can recognize. So it's a good group. They are up there high in every category, and like I said, they played really well here, won four of the last five. Heck of a job going against them. There's not a lot of tape you watch that you see many holes on that defense. I think [Seahawks LB Bobby] Wagner in the middle is the one guy who has been there through a lot of that turn over, and he runs the show. He and [Seahawks LB] K.J. Wright, they orchestrate it and do a heck of a job."

On if there was a time other than playing on a torn ACL that he worried he wouldn't play in a game:

"Those don't count in the streak, those playoff games, I don't know why they don't, but they don't. Yeah, really, not in the regular season. In 2014 or 2015, whatever it was, we were going to Kansas City, and I had a deal, I wasn't real sure, but usually when I got to Thursday, Friday, I felt pretty optimistic I was going to go out there and go."

On if the rules of football make it easier for quarterbacks to start 200 consecutive games:

"Maybe so. I think certainly it's helped on the back half [of my career], the more protection they have given us — but you know, there have been a lot of games played, and there's only a few guys up there, so I don't know."

On if he will take his children trick-or-treating:

"Yeah, we'll just try and squeeze in a few houses just around the neighborhood. I'm not sure who everybody is yet. I think there will be one Philip Rivers in the bunch. I think, he has so many jerseys, he'll probably alternate from house to house changing jerseys. It's always fun and Tiffany does a heck of a job, I'll come home and they will be ready to go. I'll be surprised to see what everyone is."

SoFi Stadium Updates: