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Transcript - Training Camp Day 6 (July 30, 2019)


Tuesday, July 30, 2019 | Jack Hammett Sports Complex | Costa Mesa, Calif.


Opening statement:

"I thought it was a good situational practice today. It was a little shorter because of the situations that we worked on — short-yardage and goal line, four-minute offense and things like that. We got a little more physical, but a little shorter practice. I thought the guys handled that situation very well and got some good work in."

On goal line drills:

"That's the drill. That's where you find our which back you want on fourth-and-one going over the top to win the game. I've done that drill with [Hall of Fame RB LaDainian] LT [Tomlinson], [RB] Fred Taylor, [RB] Chris Johnson — I've done that drill with a lot of guys. [RB] Austin Ekeler did it as good as anybody today. Of course, [those three] were later in their careers, but he did it."

On Tomlinson diving over the pile at the goal line:

"Absolutely [it was a signature of his], he ended a few games for us [at the Jets] doing that. That's a drill, not just for show."

On RB Justin Jackson clearing the pile during goal line drills:

"He sure did, yeah."

On S Jaylen Watkins:

"[He didn't practice] more with soreness, rest. I don't believe there was a setback with the knee at all. I don't think it's related to the knee."

On TE Virgil Green:

"Virgil had a mild strain. We're just taking care of him as well. When those guys are ready, they'll be back, but right now I don't want to get them back out here because I'm trying to get everybody to Week 1. Virgil is doing fine."

On Green's injury:

"I don't like to speak specifically about player injuries, but he'll be okay."

On the joint practice with the Rams on Thursday:

"It's just good to bring in another team just so that you can break up camp. These guys, they're tired of going against one another. You get some fresh meat in here and some competition, it's just good for morale. Whenever you have good morale, you usually get good production. We're looking to get better and we know the Rams are going to help us get better."

On joint practices with the Rams:

"They're 10 minutes down the road. It only makes sense that we get together and work, and help one another out."

On S Nasir Adderley not practicing:

"Yeah, [he sat] with soreness with his hamstring."

On DT Jerry Tillery:

"Jerry is on-pace. He's doing individual every day. Next week, we'll work him in some team drills, but Jerry is doing fine."

On the short-yardage drills:

"It's really tough in practice [to evaluate] because you don't want the defense to really come hit you the way they would in a game. Offensively, you don't want to put your head down to go get that extra yard. Of course, your head down but eyes up, that's legal. You don't want to teach that right now, it's just about execution. We wanted to see guys in the right places on the right bodies. I thought we saw that today."

On the team six days into camp:

"I think we're on track. I like the way that we're working. We had an odd practice the fourth practice, whatever day that was. They all run together now. Other than that practice right there, I think the focus has been right where it needs to be."

On the expectations for Thursday:

"They're 10 minutes down the road and I just feel like there's no reason two talented teams can't get together and help one another out, and get better. You're bringing in competition, new bodies, new faces. That always brings a little more energy and morale to practice. You usually get focus and production with that."

On concern with any extracurricular activity during joint practice:

"You know what, not really. We're going to talk to these guys, but they understand. We're all in the same fraternity. We're here to help one another, protect each other and get some work done."

On T Trent Scott:

"Trent has been working left and right. [T] Sam Tevi has as well. We're just trying to see where they fit best. At some point, we're going to lock them in and say this is what you are."

On practices starting to get chippy:

"That's starting to happen a little bit. I'm looking forward to getting the Rams and [Rams Head Coach] Sean [McVay] here. I'm sure we will have a productive practice."

On areas to improve for the team this season:

"We're always trying to improve and get better. I know we can make better decisions — the coaching staff and players. We could be better execution-wise. We could be better in making adjustments. We're always trying to get better."

On the speed of practice:

"Guys are flying around. The hustle, the effort — they bring it. They're going to bring that every single week."

On RB Melvin Gordon III:

"My thoughts on Melvin haven't changed at all. I love him to death and miss him, but I have to coach the guys that are here right now."

On if he has spoken with Gordon:

"Probably about a week ago, yeah."

On if he has communicated with Gordon since then:

"No. Like I said, since camp started — my kids could tell you. They haven't heard from me since. I mean, I'm pretty busy right now."

On his message to Gordon:

"We love you, we miss you."

On his plans for the off-day tomorrow:

"The players really get a day off. The coaches will be working just a little bit, but we'll get a little bit of time to go spend with our families before we get back to work."


On how he feels at this stage of camp:

"I feel awesome. I'm ready to roll. I feel like we have a really good football team. This is our time to get better as a football team, during training camp — during the dog days [of summer]. We've had a good camp so far. We're going into week two and we're excited. We have the Rams coming up [on Thursday]. We'll be excited for that challenge."

On being ready to go against another team:

"Yeah, it's going to be fun, especially this defensive line. They have a really good defensive line. They'll give us a lot of good work in practice. We're excited to go against these guys. This is the time for us to get better like I said before. I think our football team, like we did last year, is going to take advantage of these days and try to build the football team that we had last year."

On T Russell Okung:

"It was tough. Outside of football, Russ is a friend of mine. Any time anybody goes through a medical condition like his, it's tough because you start to think about the long-term. We just hope that he gets back as fast as possible. He's an awesome football player. He has been around every single day and has been trying to do what he can to help this football team get to where we want to be. You see him every day, he looks healthy like nothing is wrong with him. As soon as the doctor gives him the okay, we'll be excited to have him back on the football team."

On replacing Okung on the field:

"It's tough. Like I said, he's one of the best left tackles in football. When you don't have him out there, you can see the difference. It's good for our young guys right now because we have a lot of young tackles. Now, they get to work against the first-team guys, go against [DE] Joey [Bosa] and [DE Melvin] Mel [Ingram III]. They'll get better as football players as long as we go through training camp. These guys need to take advantage of this because it doesn't come by often. I think these guys have done really well with the task at hand in front of them. I think they're going to continue to be better and better football players as we get through training camp."

On how training camps have changed over the years:

"As a football player and as a competitor, you want to be out there every single day practicing to get better. I think the league has gotten smarter and smarter about trying to rest older players, give them extra days off. Our big thing is that we want guys at the end of this coming season to be playing at their best still. Last year, a lot of us got tired at the very end of the year and we weren't the same players. [Head] Coach [Anthony] Lynn is going to do a good job this year of taking care of us along the way. I think it's going to help our football team in the long run."

On balancing rest with practice reps to improve:

"If you're a good football player, you can get the mental reps and you can get the walk-through reps, and get the same kind of feel as you're getting in practice. I think the more of a professional you are, it's easier to kind of have more days off. Even though it's a day off, you're still working. It may not be physical work, but you're doing meetings, you're working on your technique on your own and just being a pro."

On blocking for RBs Austin Ekeler and Justin Jackson:

"They're really good. I like them. These guys are tough guys. They don't say anything, they just come in and work each and every day. Obviously, [RB] Melvin [Gordon III] is a great football player and one of the best in the league at his position. Hopefully, we get him back soon. These other guys are taking advantage of these reps. They're here right now, helping our football team get better. I'm excited for them."

On G Forrest Lamp:

"I think he's looking really good right now. It's still the first week, it's still early, but this is a guy that has been out of football for two years now. The way that he has come out to camp, I've been very impressed by him. He's a strong football player. He plays very stout. I think this whole organization is happy to see him back, finally on the football field playing football."

On Lamp's strength:

"He is definitely the strongest lineman on our football team. I think it does our football team well. As long as it can translate from the weight room onto the football field — Forrest is really good at that — he can use that power to help us in the run game, moving guys off the ball. Obviously, in pass protection, he can sit down on the pass protection in one-on-one blocking. We're just excited to see what he can do. As long as he can stay healthy, I think he's going to help our football team win a lot of games this year."

On DT Justin Jones:

"He's a totally different football player, even the way he looks. He looks like he put on a lot of weight, a lot of muscle. He's moving around faster. He understands the speed of the game now and that it's different than college. He's a guy that is probably our most improved football player from year one to year two. You can tell. He's out here making plays every day. If he can play like that the whole year, our defense is going to be really good."

On T Sam Tevi:

"He's a very versatile player. He plays both sides of the ball, right and left tackle. He does a really good job. It's hard as a lineman to play right and left, but he can do both. I think that's going to help him make this football team and help our football team down the road. We'll see, it's a big competition right now at our tackle position. It's up for grabs, whoever is going to go get it."

On Tevi's experience:

"He had a lot of game reps last year. He played a lot of football for us. I think that helped him. You can tell by the way that he's playing right now throughout training camp. He's a young, talented player. It just takes time for tackles in this league to find the tempo, how deep the ends rush and the speed of the game. He has figured it out on both sides of the line of scrimmage. I think he's going to do well."

On G Dan Feeney:

"I think he's doing well [playing center]. Dan is a heck of a football player. He bends really well. He has been bouncing from guard to center. We'll see where he fits. I think Dan is our starting left guard right now, has done well for us and will continue to."

On an area for the offensive line to improve:

"Just continue to play as a group. At the end of [last] year, we got our ass kicked against the Patriots. We didn't play well as an offensive line. It didn't sit well with us throughout the whole offseason. It's just something that we focused on in the pass protection, playing more together. We're staying together as a unit. I think we have a pretty good, solid unit. We did really well last year in the running game. Just at the end of the year in the pass protection, we kind of slipped up. That's something that we have to work on. We're trying to do better throughout camp."


On the padded practices:

"It has been good. Obviously, the first couple of days you're always super sore. Overall, it has been good. The first couple of days, obviously will be sore and a little banged up. It's just getting back into football shape. We've had some good things and some bad things. The good definitely outweighs the bad."

On how he feels compared to a year ago:

"I feel great, like I said. Last year, it was right before OTAs when I had that second surgery. I was hurting for quite a bit, but now I feel [good]. It's like night and day. I'm a lot happier and a lot better-off now."

On his health compared to last offseason:

"Last year after the second surgery, I was non-weight-bearing for what I think was two months or 10 weeks — something like that. I wasn't really able to work out or do anything like that. All the way up to camp, I felt weak, out of shape and things like that. This year, I got a full offseason under my belt. I feel strong and actually feel in shape. I'm really happy."

On his health compared to coming in as a rookie:

"I feel back close to where I was. They say you'll never be the same, but I feel as close as I can."

On playing guard or tackle:

"Yeah, I've played a little bit of both during camp. Obviously, with everything going on with [T Russell] Russ [Okung], they're moving guys around. Yeah, I've played guard and tackle."

On the last time he felt this good:

"The last time I felt this good was probably my senior year in college. Once you go through the draft process and go into the combine, it just takes a toll on your body. Then, obviously, my rookie year, I tore my ACL. I haven't felt like this since probably my senior year in college."

On saying 'They say you never are the same' after his injury in 2017:

"I feel good. What I meant by that is that it just takes a long time to get back. Some of the other guys on the team that have hurt their knee like [DE] Melvin [Ingram III], [LB Nick] Dzubnar and those guys told me, 'It's going to take a while. Your second year is when you really start to feel back to your self.' It just takes a little while."

On facing the Chargers defensive line in practice:

"It's good. Those guys are great players, that's why we drafted them [or signed them]. They give us great looks every day in practice. Obviously, with Melvin [Ingram], [DE] Joey [Bosa] and, like you said, [DT] Justin [Jones]. There are a couple of vets like [NT Brandon] Mebane. Those guys give you good looks. All it does is make us better every day."

On fan interest in him:

"I don't understand it, I don't get it. I play offensive line. I'd rather it not be like that, but it is what it is."

On if his draft position affects the fan interest in him:

"Maybe it was where I was drafted. Sometimes people joke — reporters joke and say that they like my name. I couldn't tell you what it is."

On excitement to practice against another team:

"You get tired of blocking the same guys every day — going against Justin [Jones], [Brandon] Mebane and those guys. It will be good to practice against somebody else. We have the Rams later this week. Things get a little bit chippy, but at the end of the day we're all teammates. We all care about each other and all love each other. This team does well about taking care of each other."

On playing both sides of the line:

"It's different, especially if you play one side the entire practice and then for the last two reps you switch to the other side. You almost forget sometimes what side you're on and, obviously, play calls differ from one side to the other. It's good, though. Once you get a couple reps, you're good to go."

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