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Transcript - Thomas Davis & Tyrod Taylor (March 15, 2019)



Friday, March 15, 2019 | Hoag Performance Center | Costa Mesa, Calif.


On being on a new team after entire career with Carolina:

"I never imaged that I would be getting ready to put on another uniform, but I am definitely excited to be here. I think without a doubt that I am joining a great team and am just looking forward to adding to what this team has already been able to do."

On the attraction of coming to the Chargers:

"I think the real attraction was being able to understand and know a bunch of the players that are on the team right now. You look at the way they were able to perform last year. You look at the coaching staff, the familiarity with them. I know a lot of the coaches on the staff, particularly defensively. I know [Linebackers] Coach [Richard] Smith, I know [Defensive Backs] Coach [Ron] Milus, [Assistant Defensive Backs Coach] Chris Harris was one of my former teammates in Carolina so it just felt right to be able to select an organization like the Chargers and knowing that this is a team that is not very far from being able to win a Super Bowl Championship. I want to be a part of the group that does that."

On the intangibles that you bring to this defense:

"I feel like I still have a lot left in the tank. I am one of the more athletic linebackers in this league. I feel like the wisdom and knowledge of the game that I have been able to learn from a bunch of veteran guys over the years I can really help some of the younger guys on this defense. Just whatever I can add and whatever I can bring I am willing to do and just come in and be the ultimate teammate."

On being a long way from home:

"It is a long way from home. When the Chargers offer first came on the table, me and my wife were kind of lying there and when I said yes, she said 'Wait, wait wait, we didn't have a chance to talk about it.' But when you know, you just know. I just knew that this was a perfect opportunity. It felt comfortable, it felt right. 14 years of never being able to enter into free agency, once you have that opportunity and you feel like you can select the place that can ultimately come in and make a Super Bowl run, you don't turn it down. That was the situation right here. I feel like this is a Super Bowl-caliber team and I just want to add to that."

On the transition of defensive schemes:

"I feel like it will be different but [Defensive Coordinator] Coach [Gus] Bradley has a great defensive mind. He is going to figure out a way to utilize the talent that is on his team as he has. I am looking forward to being part of that. I feel like defense is defense. You line up and you throw X's and O's out the door at the end of the day and it is who wants it more. When you're playing defense, I feel like that it's going to be this group and it's going to be this team. I'm happy to be a part of that."

On possibility of being the defensive play caller:

"I wasn't the defensive play caller. We had a guy by the name of [Panthers LB] Luke Kuechly that handled those duties in Carolina. Whatever I'm asked to do I'm willing to do it. I'm up for it and I'm looking forward to the challenge."

On what his role will be with the Chargers:

"We've kind of talked about it briefly. Coach [Richard] Smith [and I] have talked a little bit. I have more opportunity as we continue to come out here in the offseason and working out in OTAs we'll figure out what the role is exactly going to be, but right now I'm being penciled in at the Will. I'll learn all the linebacker spots just to make sure I'm good to go."

On if you played Will Linebacker in Carolina:

"I did. Yes, sir."

On being out to Los Angeles much prior to now:

"I haven't been out here much but I'm looking forward to being here a lot. This city is, obviously, beautiful. The weather is great. I just really have to get acclimated into being in this traffic, though."

On what it is about the Chargers:

"I think just the guys. When you think about being part of a special group. We had a special group in Carolina, in 2015, and you can see the chemistry. Everyone had one common goal and it was coming together to try to win football games. On the outside looking in, when you look at this football team, you see a ton of great guys that are out there playing for each other and playing to try to win football games. It's not a selfish football team or guys that are thinking about themselves, so I definitely feel like that was one of the reasons I wanted to be part of this."

On how it feels to come into a young linebacker's group:

"I'm excited to be part of this group. I'm coming in to try to offer any kind of veteran leadership that I can. Even bigger and better than that, I just want to show that I'm still capable of playing at a high level. When you're able to mix my talent, and what I'm able to do, with the guys that they have. When you think about being on the field with [DE] Melvin [Ingram III], [DE Joey] Bosa, [S] Derwin [James Jr.] and having [LB] Denzel [Perryman] back. Having those guys on the field, I feel that we're capable of being something really special. It really doesn't happen until we go out there and do it. I'm looking forward to it."

On teammates who have reached out:

"I've talked to a few of the guys. I'm looking forward to meeting everybody. I haven't had the opportunity to talk to my guy [DE] Melvin [Ingram III] yet. He was one of the guys I really thought I was going to talk to first. If you're listening to this, I have some words for you."

On talking to QB Philip Rivers yet:

"Not yet. I have the opportunity to talk to him soon. We're going to exchange numbers soon. Philip [and I] have done a lot of talking over the years playing together, so I'm looking forward to that aspect of it too."

On trash talking Philip as a teammate:

"That's something that I did for years in Carolina, was trash talk [QB] Cam [Newton]. I don't think there's going to be a whole lot that Philip [Rivers] will say that me and Cam [Newton] haven't."

On feeling like there's something to prove:

"Absolutely. That's the mindset that I take year in and year out. It doesn't matter if it's my first year or if this is going to be my last year. I'm going out with the same mindset that I'm going to show and prove. I've always done that, and this year isn't going to be any different. It's all about going out and you can't live on your past assets. You have to be able to show up week in and week out and show what you're capable of doing. You don't get any passes in this league. If you don't play well, they're going to replace you. My mindset, I'm going to come in and be the best linebacker on this team, be the best linebacker in this league week in and week out. That's my mindset."

On LB Denzel Perryman:

"Absolutely. I've watched Denzel [Perryman] a lot. He has a ton of ability. His ability to strike people. I feel like is second to none in this league. I feel like as long as he's able to go out and stay healthy, he's one of the best linebackers in this league. I'm excited to help offer as much knowledge to him as I can. For one, so he can stay healthy because I've dealt with the injury stuff in my past. Whatever advice I can offer to help make that happen I'm going to give that to him. From a standpoint of becoming a better player. Whatever advice I'm able to give to him, I'm going to make sure that I do that. I've had an opportunity to do that in Carolina for a couple of years with [Panthers LBs] Luke [Kuechly] and Shaq [Thompson] and having those guys come in. The transition has been smooth, and I don't expect it to be any different here."

On coming into the AFC:

"I'm looking forward to it. Everything is fresh and new for me. That's not always a bad thing. For me, it's definitely a good thing. I'm looking forward to becoming part of this team, to becoming part of the great culture that they've developed around here so far and being able to help build on that."


On factors that led to signing with the Chargers:

"First and foremost, it's the relationship that I have with [Head] Coach [Anthony] A. Lynn, being together in Buffalo when he was the offensive coordinator and the head coach. We had a strong bond. I was able to spend a lot of time with him — but also looking at this roster and playing against the Chargers the past two years, you see a team that's very close to winning a Super Bowl. I want to be of any assistance — anything that I can do to help the team achieve that goal, I'm definitely for it. I was fortunate to be on a Super Bowl-winning team my second year in the league and seeing what it took. I think, just playing against this team — like I said, outside looking in, you see that they're close. There are a bunch of guys that play for one another. There's not a bunch of selfish egos on this roster. I think that's where you start as far as building a Super Bowl team."

On turning down the opportunity to be a starting quarterback elsewhere:

"It was definitely tough because, as a competitor, you want to go out there and play. I think this is the right fit for me. I think I made the right decision. It's a great organization with great people. The past day that I've been here, there has been nothing but good things said about one another throughout the organization. Looking back at it, I think I made a great decision for myself."

On if he has spoken with QB Philip Rivers:

"No, I recently just got his number this morning, so I'll reach out to him when I get to the airport. I met Philip a couple of years ago. I was actually out training in San Diego at the time and we passed each other. We've spoken throughout the seasons, but nothing where it's been intimate, so I'll reach out to him when I get to the airport. I'm definitely looking forward to learning from him. He's a great quarterback. He's played at a high level for a number of years now. He's a potential Hall of Fame quarterback, so I'm looking forward to being around him, learning as much as I can and just picking his brain."

On how Rivers' presence influenced his decision:

"Absolutely. Like I said, who wouldn't want to be around a quarterback of that caliber. Of course, like I said, you want to play, but you also have to look at the right fit and make sure everything makes sense. I think this fit here — choosing to come here — makes sense."

On how the presence of Head Coach Anthony Lynn influenced his decision:

"He influenced it a lot. I actually talked to Coach Lynn when we first signed. It was exciting to get back on the phone with him. We've stayed in communication throughout the years with us being away from each other. It was a special time for him when he took over in Buffalo. He was able to command the team and command the offensive group while also being thrown into the fire. He's a perfectionist. That's something that I definitely respected. I took my hat off to him. I definitely appreciate how he handled it. I'm excited to move forward with him as the head coach."

On the Chargers roster:

"Like I said, overall it's offense, defense — in every phase. They play great in all phases. As a defense, they get after the quarterback. I know, going against this defense that you have to get the ball out quick or it's going to be a sack. The back end, those guys are athletic and make a play on the ball. The offense has always been an explosive offense. I think you have a great combination. Like I said, both phases [are great] and very close to going out and winning the Super Bowl."

On being a backup quarterback in the NFL:

"It's always tough. Like I said, with a competitive nature you want to get out there and play, but you also understand your role. I'm here to help in any way that I can — help Philip [Rivers], help the team in any way. I'm here to do that. I'm open to go out and, like I said, do whatever I can to make the team better."

On how the stability of franchise and staff had an influence on his signing:

"It was definitely something that stuck out. Last year, I couldn't control it. I was traded to Cleveland. You [didn't] know the situation there. Of course, they were going to draft a young quarterback. Stability-wise, you couldn't control that. This year was a little different where I could control that. That definitely played a big factor into the decision that I made."

On how early in his free agency process had the Chargers entered his mind:

"My agent gave me a list of teams and I told him to keep everything open. Once we finally got to free agency, we were going to narrow things down. This particular team — the Chargers — kept coming up in conversations that we had. The more and more we talked about it, it made sense for this to be the next fit for me."

On how close he and Coach Lynn became during the 2016 season in Buffalo:

"I would say that our relationship grew every week. Of course, Coach Lynn was our running backs coach. Just through our protection, we would interact. Of course you interact as a quarterback with your running backs coach, but after the second week we fired our offensive coordinator and he stepped in. We met just about every day throughout the rest of the season. He ended up taking over the head coaching job the last week of the year. I think our relationship grew to a strong one each and every week. Throughout that time, I had a chance to learn about him, he had the chance to learn about me. I think that made the relationship even stronger moving forward."

On working with Rivers:

"I'm definitely excited to work with him. I've always admired his game. He's super competitive. You can see it from the other sideline that he's definitely a quarterback that you want to learn from. Like I said, he's played at a high level throughout his whole career. I'm looking forward to being able to take away anything and everything that I can from his game, his daily approach and how goes about business. I'm just looking forward to learning from him overall."

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