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Transcript - Training Camp Day 14 (Aug. 14, 2019)

2019 TRAINING CAMP MEDIA AVAILABILITY

Wednesday, Aug. 14, 2019 | Jack Hammett Sports Complex | Costa Mesa, Calif.

LOS ANGELES CHARGERS OFFENSIVE COORDINATOR KEN WHISENHUNT

On the running backs:

“Obviously, the fumble, especially in the red zone, is not something that we’re excited about. Other than that, they did a really good job. I think that they ran strong, they made good decisions on their cuts, they did a good job in protection. It was very nice to see the way they played.”

On RB Justin Jackson:

“We saw some things from him last year late in the season in big games that really made us think he could be a really good back for us. [His touchdown on Thursday] only further validates that. I didn’t see that from him. He is one of the most productive backs ever to come out of Northwestern — maybe the best, I don’t know statistic wise — but he’s had a lot of experience running the football. On that particular play, I was really excited about the block [WR] Mike [Williams] made because that was a big part of it as well. It just goes to show some of the guys up front doing a good job for these backs and they are running physical, which is good.”

On if Jackson could start in the NFL:

“I guess it depends really what you’re looking for in a running back. For us, he certainly could step in and play and start if he had to if he got that opportunity, just from what you’ve seen of him. We are talking about a guy that’s in his second year, that didn’t get a lot of reps in camp last year because he was nicked up. There has been a lot that has transpired even during the course of the season and this offseason, but he’s done nothing to dispel that thought.”

On WR Travis Benjamin:

“Travis has done a great job for us from the standpoint of how he works with the younger guys. He’s very smart. He does a good job at being at the right place. He’s bailed us out. If you think back to the Kansas City game on Thursday night, we had some injuries and he was in that last drive. He made a huge catch on fourth-and-seven or fourth-and-eight and he hadn’t played that position a lot. That’s what you’re looking for. I think Travis can do a lot of things and we really appreciate the fact that he understands what we’re trying to do. He can line-up in a number of spots and of course, he’s got tremendous speed, so there are areas that we use him that gives defense problems. It’s great to have him out here.”

On the running backs:

“Well, we miss [RB] Melvin [Gordon III]. Melvin has been a really, really great player for us. Those guys, there’s a good chemistry with that group and it’s nice to see the way that they interact, the way they support each other and the way they’ve taken care of their business. They’ve done a good job of taking advantage of their opportunities.”

On RB Melvin Gordon III:

“It would be really hard for me to comment on that because I just don’t know, I don’t know that scenario. Like I said, we miss Melvin. I think Melvin’s a hell of a football player, but we’re working with the guys that are here and they’re doing a nice job.”

On practicing against the Saints:

“I was just thinking, as we prepare to practice against the Saints, we’re [joint] practicing against two NFC teams that played in the [conference] championship game. That’s a pretty good test for us. I think that’s tremendous value. They’re tremendous organizations and their players are really professional. This year, we had a good practice against the Rams. Going against the Saints, who are a good football team, it helps get us prepared for the season. I think it’s a tremendous opportunity and advantage for us to do that — you really like doing it.”

On WR Geremy Davis:

“That’s what these next couple of weeks are about, seeing what he can do in those competitive situations in games. That’s kind of what this [wide receivers] group is. They’re productive and they’re really productive in games. Geremy just hasn’t gotten a lot of opportunities because our group has been doing a great job. It will be a chance to see him do some of those things and see where he fits.”

LOS ANGELES CHARGERS WIDE RECEIVER TRAVIS BENJAMIN

On training camp:

“It’s going good man, can’t complain. Loving it each and every day.”

On if training camps get easier with experience:

“It’s always a grind, [it’s never] easier. You’re going against live bullets and you’re out here competing for a job, so it doesn’t get easier. It just gets more fascinating knowing that you can find new techniques and things to learn.”

On practicing against the Saints:

“It’s always fun facing new people [that don’t know] your release moves and route-running. [CB] Casey [Hayward Jr.] and [CB Michael] Mike [Davis] kind of sit on it now. We’re 15-16 days into camp, so just seeing new bodies and new schemes, hopefully it will be good for us this week.”

On practicing with teams that played in the NFC Championship:

“[It’s important] knowing that we can compete against the best. Knowing that those guys were in the championship game and [the Saints] were one game away from going to the Super Bowl. Each and every day we come out here with these joint practices and we are moving the ball fluidly up and down the field, defense is playing good — we just feel complete as a unit, as a team.”

On being a leader:

“I just feel like a big brother. You’ve got little brothers out there, little cousins, knowing that you’ve got to show them the way and lead them to better things. I don’t look at it that way, but the coaches kind of put it on me like, ‘Hey, listen to Travis, talk to [WR] Keenan [Allen], talk to Travis,’ and I kind of absorb it in. It’s a great feeling for me.”

On WR Geremy Davis:

“Just keep competing. Keep showcasing when [QB Philip] Phil [Rivers] or [QB] Tyrod [Taylor] are in, that you’re making those plays with the [first-team] and [second-team]. Hopefully by the time we wrap things up and we have to pick the four, five or six receivers, he’ll be one of those names in discussion.”

On Davis’ skill set:

“He’s a big receiver. He’s like [WR] Mike [Williams]. He just goes up and gets the ball. Physically, he can block on the edge, he can block backers, block safeties and he can catch those tough passes in and out of breaks, so he’ll be a good attribute for us.”

LOS ANGELES CHARGERS KICKER MICHAEL BADGLEY

On training camp:

“It’s been awesome. You’ve got guys out here competing every day, so it’s kind of fun to watch them go at it. Any time you get a chance to show off what you can do during a field goal period or kickoff period, it’s your time just to go out there and compete just like everybody else. It’s been fun.”

On his focus this camp:

“You set a standard for yourself. With such a high standard, you want to come in and try to top that, get better each day somehow. One point of focus when I went back to [New] Jersey for that six-week break was to kind of get the kickoff going, get that rhythm feeling good and just put them deep. There’s just a couple things to work on every day, but that’s kind of the point of emphasis.”

On the first preseason game:

“Just to kind of get back out there, it was a great feeling. A lot of energy. Just the first game, get those jitters out of the way. To kick those things the way I know I’m capable of doing, it was fun. We covered [kickoffs] well for that one that came out but other than that, it was awesome.”

On the difference between kickoffs and field goals:

“I guess the way of explaining it, is just a rhythm thing, feeling comfortable out there and getting that swing pure. Some guys can hit their seven-iron a certain length and then their driver doesn’t go anywhere they want it to go. It’s just kind of working at it, getting consistent with it and feeling that same rhythm every time, being smooth.”

On kickoffs being a different swing of the leg than field goals:

“Kickoff, you end up landing on your kicking foot and when you’re doing field goals, you end up landing on your plant foot and skipping through. It’s two different swings, but the same motion.”

On his performance in camp:

“It’s one of those things when you come out and you’re never satisfied whether you make them all or you miss one. It’s one of those things where you feel something different on one kick — the other thing too, is just getting comfortable with everybody back out there. It’s one thing to go out there on your own and kick on sticks, but once you’re kicking with linemen in front of you and a guy holding the ball, it becomes part of the game. That’s the point you’ve got to enjoy. I’ve been having fun. It’s been awesome.”

On his second season:

“I try not to treat it any differently. You kind of compete with yourself. Like how we were just talking about where you feel certain things on different kicks or you’re like, ‘Ah, that should have been right now the middle,’ rather than just getting through. It’s one of those things when you’re just constantly going up against yourself and making sure that everybody is doing their job. You’ve got three guys that are a big part of the operation and making sure that we’re all on the same page and everything’s been smooth. It’s different, but I enjoy it. I love competition. It’s nice knowing that I’ve been here, this is a good training camp and I’m comfortable being uncomfortable here.”

On manufacturing pressure to mimic what he will face in games:

“The way I look at it is when we are doing field goal period, you’ve got guys like [QB] Philip Rivers and [C] Mike Pouncey — they all expect you to kick well, so I think about those guys. When you add a guy like [LB] Thomas Davis [Sr.] who’s been playing for 15 years, you want to be able to show vets like that it’s just one of the parts of the game where you don’t have to worry about. The less you talk about a kicker, I think the better he’s doing. It’s one of those situations.”

On joint practices:

“It’s always different when a different team comes over and starts practicing with you because you don’t want to show him certain things. It’s definitely a different feel out there and everything, but it’s fun to see those guys and how they practice. I guess you pick up certain things from them or just try to compete with them, watch how they go about their practice. You just try to treat it normal, it’s fun.”

On being the only pure kicker in camp:

“Fortunately, I don’t have to make those decisions, but I love competition. I’ll never shy away from it. It’s fun. This organization, I think, knows how competitive I am. I think they trust in me a lot and I want to prove them right, so it’s one of those things.”

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