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Transcript - Training Camp (Aug. 9, 2018)

Thursday, August 9, 2018 | Jack Hammett Sports Complex | Costa Mesa, Calif.


Opening Statement:

"First and foremost, before we get into football, we lost a special lady in our organization — Mrs. Faye Spanos. I met her here last year for the first time, at training camp. We had a good conversation. She hugged me and made me feel really welcome. She was just a really special lady and we're going to miss her dearly. So, I wanted you to know that she's in our thoughts and prayers. We're going to wear something on our helmets this week and possibly for the rest of the season, just in honor of her."

On what the team may wear on the helmets:

"We're working on it. But whenever I see and approve it, we'll get it on the helmets."

On DE Joey Bosa:

"He's doing fine, his foot was sore."

On whether Bosa will be held out of the upcoming game against Arizona:

"We're going talk playing time tonight as a coaching staff, [relating to] the guys we want to see. But there's a good chance."

On whether QB Philip Rivers will play against Arizona:

"Like I said, we're going to talk about that tonight as a coaching staff, [regarding] who we want to play. I think what we did last year was pretty smooth on how we got everyone game ready, so we'll see."

On the advantages of holding out starters in the first preseason game:

"People don't want to get [the players] hurt in preseason. A lot of starters don't want to be held out, as preseason gets them ready for the regular season. It's a fine line there."

On the effectiveness of using starters for one series during the first preseason game:

"I mean, one series for some people maybe, but for others, maybe more. That's something we're going to talk about tonight though, on who we want to see on Saturday night."

On whether there is precaution taken around skill-position players in the preseason:

"No, not really. Football is a physical sport across the board."

On the focus of going into the first preseason game against Arizona:

"We want to see guys execute. We want to see guys play fast and guys play physical. Those are the things we're looking for. Now, we want to win every game we play — it's still a ball game — but we're going to play a lot of our backups for sure and want to see what kind of depth we have on this football team."

On the areas focused on regarding depth:

"Well, I'll say this — we're going to take a long hard look at the quarterback position. I'll tell you that."

On DL Justin Jones:

"You know, he's doing better, but he probably won't make it this weekend."

On TE Cole Hunt:

"Not sure how bad that was, I saw when he [went down] but not sure how bad it is right now."

On preparing for a team played on the preseason and regular-season schedule:

"Oh absolutely [there's a difference], because right now you really don't game plan your opponent. We go in with our basic installs — I'm sure they'll have their basic defenses — and we're trying to see who can play. There's going to come a time for when we scheme and game plan."

On further thoughts about any advantage of playing a preseason opponent later in the season:

"Well, if you do too much in this [preseason] game that you like, it's on tape. So, we'll just do just enough to get our guys ready and compete, but we're not going to give anything away."

On Cardinals QB Josh Rosen:

"He's a young, talented man. He can throw the football and did a good job at UCLA. He's a good quarterback — that's why they took him where they took him [in the 2018 NFL Draft]."

On whether Rosen could potentially become a starter in Arizona:

"[On] that, I have no idea. I don't have him here in my camp every day."

On LB Uchenna Nwosu and LB Kyzir White:

"They've done a good job during training camp, but this is why you come to training camp — to get ready for ball games. I'm interested to see how they play on Saturday, as I've liked both of those guys during training camp and in spring ball."

On the week of practice:

"I thought this week, our guys were pretty locked in. For the most part, we had a day off [yesterday] and guys came back looking fresh. [They were] jumping around. It was a good week."


Opening Statement:

"As we finish up getting ready before we take off tomorrow, [we had a] good situational practice today. [We practiced] some of the thing that we maybe didn't get to earlier in training camp. We wanted to clean those things up. Our twos and threes got a lot of reps, just like they're going to get in the game. I think it's going to be an exciting game for us as a coaching staff, really, to watch our younger guys. It's really going to be a fundamental game. How do we get off blocks? How's our hand placement? How do we tackle? That has been a big thing for us. A big emphasis has been to be a better tackling unit. Then [just to hit on] some of our principles in pass coverage to see how it fits together, and see how the young guys have evolved from the first day of training camp."

On the young linebackers:

"I think it's a good group. I think Uchenna [Nwosu] is the guy that probably has the most on his plate. He's playing dual positions. He's our outside linebacker and also a rusher on third downs. He's coming along, though. We are starting to see him rush more, so that will be good. We will put him in those situations as well as outside linebacker. Kyzir [White] is doing a good job at Will linebacker. He will be playing base [defense] and in nickel. He is going to mostly play our Will linebacker spot, but on occasion you might see him at Mike."

On DE Isaac Rochell stepping up in place of DE Joey Bosa:

"Yeah, Isaac and Joey have been rotating throughout training camp — Isaac with the twos. I think this is a good opportunity for Isaac. We have been very pleased with his progress. We really started to see it in OTAs and he has carried it on into training camp. You hate to see this happen to Joey, but it will be a great opportunity for Isaac and for us to evaluate him."

On Rochell's diet affecting his performance:

"He is just playing really consistent [and] coming in here now with another opportunity to play. The relationship between him and Joey [Bosa] — you have two guys playing the same position, but I know there is a big trust factor. When you go into a meeting, they're sitting next to each other. I think they're always conversing, so I'm sure that conversation has led [Isaac] to really look at his body and what he needs to do to play the position. That will be an exciting person to watch on game day."

On S Rayshawn Jenkins:

"The challenge for Rayshawn is that he was a strong safety last year. You hope to see, when he gets the second year of playing the spot, how much he has — but now, he is playing free safety so that learning curve [starts] all over again. Now, instead of things maybe happening behind you, they're happening in front of you. He is a guy that has some on his plate, too. We thought we would see a steady climb from Rayshawn playing the position and I think that's what we are seeing — but we need to go against somebody else now and see how he responds when the lights are on."

On LB Denzel Perryman:

"He's very explosive. We're talking about playing a fast, physical, tight defense, and he brings that element of [physicality] to our team. He's a really good leader, he has stepped up in that quality, leading the defense. He plays base, he plays nickel and he just has a presence on the field. At any time, he has the ability to make big plays. That explosiveness — that speed on the field — gives you chances to get the ball out and create takeaways. He is one of those guys that has that."

On teammates feeding off Perryman:

"We had a couple of occasions in practice where he made some hits. I think it just elevated everybody and they took notice of it. I think, if he just does is job and trusts all of this preparation with everything that he is doing, those opportunities will come — and not [for him] to go search for them and try to hunt those things [down] — to play with poise and be at that speed."

On what he wants to see from the defense on Saturday:

"One of our big emphasis has been on tackling. We need to be a better tackling unit. That's the big emphasis — and the ability to get off blocks. The run game, we are going to go out there and just play our fundamentals, see how we line up and play, then evaluate after that. I think this will give us a good foundation to see where we are when we play our base fundamentals and where the improvement has to come from. I do think that part of it — to get off blocks and make plays in the run game along with our zone and man principles. Where are we with those? You're going to see a lot of different guys play. You always evaluate the scheme. We try to keep it when evaluating the personnel and see how they do. We really try to limit everything that we're doing so that they have the ability to play fast and we can use it more as an evaluation too."

On playing a game in the preseason that is on the schedule later in the year:

"No, [it doesn't change how we prepare] because we are trying to still keep it about evaluation. What can these guys do? How can they tackle? How can they get off blocks? How can they handle their responsibility with moving parts? That part of it rather than saying, 'Hey, should we try this and see? Maybe we can use it later on.' It's more, like I said earlier, an evaluation tool."

On who fans should be watching in the secondary:

"I think the corner [back is one] to see. Who are the guys that are going to be the twos and can they play what we're asking them to do? I think that's something on the perimeter. [Also,] the linebacker play. Are we defending the run a little bit better [with the defensive line]? Then, just lining up and playing it. Like I said earlier, with all of the groups, we're just asking them to use our fundamentals and play, then we'll go from there."


On training camp:

"I think it has been coming along pretty well. I've been getting a lot of reps in. I've been in the film room a lot, studying and seeing [where] I can get better. The older vets have been helping us out along the way. Anything you might need — questions, concerns — we can ask them because they're like coaches on the field, so everything is coming along smooth."

On the upcoming preseason game:

"It will be a dream come true. It's what I've been thinking about since I [began] playing football. To be able to go out there and live out my dream for the first time will be a surreal moment. I'll embrace it, but I also came to play."

On playing against Cardinals QB Josh Rosen:

"I'm looking forward to seeing him again. I'll give him a nice hug like I did in college, so it'll be nice."

On learning two positions:

"It's been fine. I think I'm picking it up pretty [quickly], pretty smooth. Like I said, the vets are like extra coaches out there so any questions I have, I can ask them. They're helping me along the way and it's getting better."

On the learning curve coming into NFL:

"The biggest learning curve has probably been attention to detail and how precise you have to be about your technique. This is really a game of inches, so a little step can be the difference between you making a play and missing a play. It's a lot of attention to detail and being technically sound."

On playing two positions:

"I'm not perfect. I haven't played behind the ball in a while — so being able to play stacked a little bit then coming down and doing multiple things, it's a learning curve like you said earlier. [It's about] being able to perfect it as best I can and give them as much as I can. I'm getting better."

On Defensive Coordinator Gus Bradley:

"All coaches are different and unique. Coach Bradley, I will say, is close to [Southern California Defensive Coordinator] Coach [Clancy] Pendergast — that I had in college — as far as the mindset, what they want done, how they want things done and the precision it takes. They're pretty simple-minded defensive coordinators and both great defensive coaches."


On training camp so far:

"It's going good. It is a transition, but I am just learning as I go, picking up on little things and just trying my best."

On his focus during camp:

"I have to focus more when it comes to fronts. I have to be tuning in to reading keys, reading alignments and reading the running back's steps coming out the backfield. Little things like that, but it is a big transition."

On the speed of the game:

"I think I've been doing pretty good with it. In the Big-12, I feel it is very fast-paced so I don't think it is that big of an adjustment speed-wise for me, but everyone has their different opinion on it."

On his first preseason game:

"I'm very excited. [I'm] ready to get after it. It has been a while since I put the pads on and went against another team, so I'm looking forward to it"

On watching film:

"We haven't really done that too much, but we are probably going to introduce some of that tonight."

On receiving advice from his brother, Bears WR Kevin White:

"He said control what I can [and] relax out there. It is football at the end of the day. I know what I'm doing. Just play fast. Go out there, make plays and have fun. It's a kid's game, so just go out there and have fun."

On how often he and his brother speak:

"We talk every single day. Not a day goes by where we [don't speak] to each other. We're both busy now, so we don't get to speak as much, but we speak every day."

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