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Transcript - Training Camp (Aug. 6, 2018)

Monday, August 6, 2018 | Jack Hammett Sports Complex | Costa Mesa, Calif.


Opening Statement:

"It was a little warm out today. Gave the guys a few hydration breaks. For the most part, we're staying healthy and the guys are competing and practicing hard. Defense is looking pretty salty against the run — it has been a big emphasis for us this year, and I can see the improvements."

On G/T Michael Schofield III:

"We wanted Mike back anyway because Mike can play guard and tackle. He started 16 games with Denver and won a Super Bowl with them. So, we feel like he can help us and we got him back to compete for a starting job and depth. With [G] Forrest [Lamp] out, it helps because we can [easily] slide [Michael Schofield] into guard because you have a veteran in there now."

On G Forrest Lamp's availability:

"We're hopeful that he can play in a preseason game. Like I said, I don't like to put a timetable on [a] player's injuries because guys heal at a different pace. So, we'll have to wait and see."

On the focus of practice this week:

"We want to keep working more situational football. Today, we did third down and red zone. We're just looking to introduce the guys to those situations for when they get into games, they know what to expect — [and] to just play smarter."

On WR Dylan Cantrell:

It's pretty clear he's going to be out for a little while. It's a bone bruise and his knee was sore. He's doing well and was off crutches."

On RB Justin Jackson:

"The hamstring can be a bit tricky. We're watching him and he'll be back at some point this preseason."

On S Derwin James:

"Since he came back, every practice you see him getting faster and faster. He's getting back to that mode that we saw him in during minicamp and OTAs."

On increasing James' reps:

"We were doing that some in the spring. Because he missed those [training camp] days early, [S] Rayshawn Jenkins and [CB] Desmond King took advantage of those reps. Now that he's back, we're going to definitely sprinkle him in with the ones [starters] and rotate him a little bit. Just with him and [S] Jahleel [Addae] going strong safety and free safety — it's not fair if we don't give [S] Jahleel [Addae] some free safety reps because we are going to need him back there. "

On whether James and Addae will rotate when on the field at the same time:

"We're looking at that."

On James' potential to line up at linebacker:

"Absolutely, [he can line up as a linebacker]. A dime package we had last year with AP [S Adrian Phillips] was pretty good. AP will play in the role as well."

On LB Jatavis Brown:

"In my opinion, he's had an outstanding training camp. Jatavis Brown got hurt early last year and came back playing through a high-ankle sprain. So, he wasn't quite himself speed-wise and explosion-wise, but he's back full speed now and he looks good."


On approaching his second season:

"It was better than last year. Last year, I didn't have the experience and the knowledge that I do this year. Things are moving much faster than last year."

On the adjustment of playing safety:

"Wherever I think I can contribute on the field is where I want to be — that's how I look at it. The more value you have, the more you can help the team."

On his preference between playing cornerback and safety:

"I don't really have a preference. I think I'm more settled into nickel, but I am still learning safety and I will get where I need to be before the season starts."

On the versatility of defensive players:

"Like I said, the more versatile you are, the more valuable you are to the defense. How many places they can put you? You can start at corner, then they can move you to nickel, then bring you out top safety. They just have you everywhere where you can make plays. I think that is a plus for the defense.

On S Derwin James:

"[He's a] very talented kid. Great size, great ambition. He's tough and that is a guy you can just put out there and play with his ability. Once he gets the playbook down, I believe he can be a top safety."

On his goals this past offseason:

"My plan was to lose some weight. I feel [that] the lighter I am, the faster I can play. Just working on my [man-to-man] techniques are things that I have been focusing on. [I'm] going in watching the film of one-on-ones every day and then coming out here and practicing a new technique every day."


On playing guard and tackle:

"That's kind of what I've been doing my whole career — [I'll play] wherever they need me. I'm kind of a plug-and-play guy. I can play guard. I can play tackle. Right now, they need me at guard, so that's where I'm going to be."

On his summer:

"This whole offseason was just a whirlwind. [I started it] off with the Olympics and going to PyeongChang and watching my wife win the gold medal game. Just how the game went down in a shootout and how they won was just incredible. Like you said, I got married July 7th. It just went perfectly. I couldn't have made it better. It [was] an awesome offseason."

On the experience of the Olympics:

"I don't know [what impressed me most]. It was fun. It was different because I was just following her around. It was awesome to be in her shadow and she was the one getting all of the attention. After [the 2015 season], when I won the Super Bowl, that's kind of what it was with me. She was kind of following me [around], so it was nice to see her get all the recognition and follow her around. It was so fun to see her do everything, like on the 'Ellen' show. They were doing everything, it was just awesome."

On C Mike Pouncey:

"You can tell that he's a vet. He just understands the whole game. He is a very physical center, which helps out the guards a lot. When he can get that movement, we just kind of get in there and finish. He has seen a lot of football. He knows a lot of things. He's comfortable now — but the more that he gets comfortable, the better it's going to be and the better our offense will be, too."

On the importance of live reps as a young player:

"You need the reps, especially at the offensive line position. The more reps you get, the more comfortable you're going to be and the better that you're going to play. Once [G Forrest Lamp] starts getting on the field, he will start getting more comfortable."

On G Forrest Lamp:

"He's in every meeting. He is doing everything that we are doing, he's just not on the field right now."

On re-signing with Los Angeles:

"I kind of knew early on in free agency, and I definitely wanted to be back with how we finished last season. We all kind of had that sour taste in our mouths. We felt if we would have made the playoffs that we could have done something special. I think that's big motivation for us this year and I think we could be a special team this year if everyone stays focused."

On what he likes about playing for the Chargers:

"I really like [Offensive Line Coach] Pat [Meyer]. I like the group of o-line guys that we have. I think it's a very solid group and I like the way Pat teaches everything. It just makes a lot of sense to me right now."

On how Offensive Line Coach Pat Meyer is different from other coaches:

"Like I said, it's just his techniques and the way he approaches it. Especially pass protection and double-teams. It's just being a lot more aggressive than other teams. It really helps with [QB] Philip [Rivers] being able to step up in the pocket if he needs to. It's good technique all-around."

On the mental grind of camp:

"Like you said, we've been hitting the same guys for a week and now we all kind of want to get to the preseason. You just have to focus on one thing every single day and try to get better at something every single day — whether it's your hand placement, you're foot placement — just try to do something. It gets repetitive, but you have to go through it and focus as much as you can."

On similarities between QB Philip Rivers and Peyton Manning:

"It was actually pretty bizarre when I got here, hearing Philip [speak]. The pass protection is the [largest] similarity that I see. They both have played for so long, they've seen everything. Their language and how they command the huddle is so similar. They both have that commanding presence and you want to just do your best for them. It made the transition for me a lot smoother, playing with a guy like Peyton and then coming to Philip — who is at that high level, too — it just made it so much easier for me."

On the offensive line group:

"I think we can be a special o-line this year. I contribute a lot of it to Pat [Meyer] with his techniques and with us trying to be aggressive in pass protection. You said it, we were so good in pass protection last year, and it's because we do a lot of different things than other teams. We are trying to be the aggressor on the offensive line. I think it's showing."

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