Chargers Official Site | Los Angeles Chargers -

Transcript - Training Camp (Aug. 20, 2018)

Monday, August 20, 2018 | Jack Hammett Sports Complex | Costa Mesa, Calif.


Opening Statement:

"Well, bad news. We lost Jaylen Watkins in the game. He tore his ACL. That young man — he was going to help us this year. He was having a good camp. That's why we wanted to look at him with the starters. He's playing a lot on special teams. It was unfortunate for him, but next man up."

On if DB Jaylen Watkins' injury puts more pressure on S Derwin James:

"You know 33 [Derwin James], he already has a lot on his plate, so I don't think it's going to put any more on his plate. He's doing fine right now. He's catching up."

On James working the starters:

"Yes. It was a progression just like we did in OTAs. At the end of OTAs, he was working with the starters. At the start of training camp — the guys are gone four or five weeks and come back — just working his way back into the starting lineup. Every day the kid just makes another play. He's getting better and better. We're really confident that he's on the right track. I don't know if he's going to be that day one, but right now he's competing."

On S Micah Hannemann:

"I haven't even met him yet. He's coming out of camp, so I'm sure he's in good shape. We'll get a good feel for him."

On if he saw anything different on tape from the game:

"No. It's pretty much what I saw during the game. It was some good stuff. I thought the O-line played a little more physical this game. I called out [C Mike] Pouncey, but it wasn't just Pouncey. It was all five, so that was good to see. [RB] Melvin [Gordon III] ran well, and of course [WR] Mike [Williams]. Mike Williams just keeps on coming. It was good to see him."

On G Forrest Lamp practicing:

"I want to evaluate him when I get back to my office, but it was big. It was good to see Forrest back out there playing football and not on the rehab field."

On the number of penalties against Seattle:

"We emphasize it all the time. It got a little better — not by much — but improved some. One of those is me taking a delay of game at the end so I could get a longer field goal. That's an area where, no matter who's on the field, we have to improve in that area."

On how much the starters will play against the Saints:

"We're going to talk about it. We're going to practice against this team [Saints]. Normally you don't practice against a team in the third preseason game, but we're going to practice with the Saints on Wednesday and Thursday. It depends on how much work we get done in those two practices against each other. [Saints Head Coach] Sean [Payton] and I will talk about it. I'll discuss it with my staff later in the week and we'll figure it out."

On the joint practice going well with the Saints last season:

"Yes, it did. It was nice, clean, good hard work and no fighting. Those guys are well-coached. They have a great leader of there in Sean Payton. We hope to do it every year with the Saints. It's just a good coaching staff, and their players — they get it."

On how joint practices are good for teams in the preseason:

"It breaks up camp, No. 1 — guys get tired of going against each other — and just the tempo. It gets more game-like, so you want to work more game-like situations and get a better evaluation on your players."

On if there were any issues with QB Philip Rivers commuting form San Diego last season:

"I didn't think there were any issues at all. His mobile office — it's unbelievable. I know he's studying tape and he's spending enough time with his teammates, so it wasn't an issue."

On DE Joey Bosa and CB Trevor Williams sitting out the preseason:

"I'd like to see those guys out there working like the rest of their teammates, but unfortunately they're hurt and they can't. Joey may work some tomorrow and Trevor may get some reps later in the week."

On TE Virgil Green:

"When we signed Virgil, we knew that he could be our No. 1 guy. He's a really good combo tight end in the passing game and the run game."

On Green having a reputation as a blocker:

"I think any tight end that can block in the National Football League can get a reputation as a blocker just because they can block, but he can also catch. You'll see."

On how DT Corey Liuget is handling training camp despite his suspension:

"Outstanding. Corey has handled that outstanding. He practices as hard as anybody on that field and he plays as hard on game days as anybody on that field. He doesn't pout because he's not running with the ones. He's really been a professional about this."

On if he'll be a starter after his suspension is over:

"That way looks right now — absolutely. Hell, we can't block him in practice."

On possibly signing TE Antonio Gates:

"I know we're talking, but I'm really focused on the guys that are here. I'd loved to have him, but I don't know where they're at with that right now."


On playing special teams:

"I've been on kickoff running the one and two spots. I've actually been going on the left wing in punt [coverage]. Coach Stewart has been doing a good job coaching me up on all those phases. I think that is what is enhancing [my production] more this year than last year. I got really good feedback last game, which really helped boost my confidence. I have to be consistent, make sure to do the same things."

On what it takes to be a good special teams player:

"The coaching of [Special Teams Assistant] Coach [Keith] Burns and [Assistant Head Coach/Special Teams Coordaintor] Coach [George] Stewart. [I have been] taking the time after meetings to speak with them individually just to see what I have to work on and better my skills so I can help the teams unit out."

On his preseason performance:

"I'm in [a room] with all these talented receivers. We just do a good job [of] being a service to one another, and just helping each other get better. I'm really grateful to have guys like [WR] Keenan [Allen], [WR] Tyrell [Williams] and [WR] Travis [Benjamin] in there. [They are] guys who are experienced to help develop my game at the wide receiver position."

On the competitiveness helping him as a player:

"[It's helping me] a lot. Keenan [Allen is] a Pro Bowl caliber player. [I'm] just picking pieces of his game and putting them into mine. Keenan and I aren't the same type of receivers, but I can take nuances of what he is doing and put it into my game. [It's the] same with Tyrell [Williams] and Travis [Benjamin] — and even the young guys."

On his relationship with WR Tyrell Williams:

"It has been good. I think I really found a brother in him. Even if we were to go somewhere else, I think that is someone I will keep in touch with and continue to grow within our faith and our skill level on the field."

On the chemistry among the wide receivers:

"It is all about being a service to one another. [WR] Mike's [Williams] confidence has definitely grown from last year to this year. He has been making jump ball plays all camp. For him to do it in a game, I was so happy to see that. I sprinted over there in excitement. He actually dropped the ball and I said, 'You better take this ball, it is your first touchdown.' I was just excited for him to have that moment."


On his comfort in the offense:

"I feel very comfortable, learning from the guys like [RB] Melvin [Gordon III], [RB] Austin [Ekeler] [and RB] Justin [Jackson], the rookie. I'm learning from all the running backs and fullbacks in the room, so I feel like I'm very comfortable in the game right now."

On his backflip for touchdown celebration:

"I told myself that for my first touchdown [that] I have to end it with a backflip and that's what I did. I've been doing back flips all my life. I couldn't do it in college. Back in the day, I used to do it off cars, trees, all of it."

On what he needs to do to make the roster:

"I just need to pay attention to the details — my focus level, doing the little things right and controlling what I can control."

On which running backs he tried to emulate growing up:

"I like LT [Hall of Fame RB LaDainian Tomlinson]. [I liked] his running game and how he played."

On what he brings to the running backs room:

"I think we all have the same type of skill [set], but after Melvin, I'm the second biggest back. That's my advantage [I can provide] right now."

On catching the ball out of the backfield:

"I caught the ball a little bit in college, but not as much. I worked on it in the offseason."

On his transition to the NFL:

"Just learning the defenses, knowing the schemes of everybody, knowing their fronts and how the guys are playing."

On which players have helped him

"Everyone in the running back room, the quarterbacks and the [offensive] line as well."

On trying to get into the return game:

"I'm working my way back there, I'm definitely trying to get back there. I did it in all four years in college, so I'm ready to get back there and see what it's like at a different level."


On his two sacks on Saturday against Seattle:

"It felt really good. It's one of those things where you can evaluate the game and there are definitely things that need to be improved, but it just feels good. That's just one of those things. In football, it just feels good to get sacks — and to get two of them felt really nice."

On what makes him effective:

"Yeah, definitely [my] speed, but even when I was bigger, third down was still kind of a speed thing for me anyway. Not much has changed. I just feel a little bit quicker and a little bit faster."

On his play against the run:

"[It's] alright. For me right now, it's more of a technical thing than it is weight and body composition. It's more that I need to improve my technique, but I feel good. Again, it's a technique battle for me."

On these preseason games compared to last year's as a rookie:

"It's a night-and-day difference just mentally. I think last year was kind of survival mode. [I was saying], 'I need to make the team. I need to be great every single play.' Now, it's each play is another opportunity to compete. Throughout the game, my goal is to get better than I was at the beginning of the game — to be better at the end. It's not just survival mode. You don't have to win the Super Bowl every play. You don't have to make the team every play. You just need to continue to compete and get better."

On if he was nervous towards the end of last preseason:

"Yeah, no doubt. Right when the 49ers game ended, it was time to just start stressing for the next 48 hours. That's part of the process. Everybody goes through it. If you're not a top four-round guy, you're going through it. I'm thankful for it and I feel better now because of it."

On handling the stress of cut day:

"I don't know. I think it's one of those things where you don't know what you don't know. You just deal with it as it comes. I think how I handled it — from a negative perspective — was trying to handle it too early in camp, counting numbers and looking at the d-line room [preseason] Week 1 when I really should have just been focused on competing and getting better."

On if he took his mind off cuts in the days following the last preseason game:

"I just relaxed. What else can you do? Even when you are relaxing or doing something that is supposed to be distracting you, you're still extremely stressed and hoping you're not going to get a [call from a] 949 [phone] number, but it is what it is. It's just part of the game."

SoFi Stadium Updates: