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Transcript - Training Camp (July 31, 2018)

Tuesday, July 31, 2018 | Jack Hammett Sports Complex | Costa Mesa, Calif.


On CB Trevor Williams:

"He left practice in the red zone period. I think he sprained his ankle, but I don't think it's bad. I mean, it's the fourth day of training camp. Hell, we have coaches around here limping. Coaches are sore, so I can't imagine how the players feel."

On being scared when you see a guy go down:

Always. You're holding your breath there, and when they get up you know he's going to be okay."

On WR Mike Williams:

"Mike had his best day today. I think it's when [LB] Denzel [Perryman] knocked the hell out of him over across the middle. I think that may have woke him up because after that he had a hell of a practice."

On if Mike Williams putting together a good practice:

"I don't know if anyone needs to get knocked out across the middle, but it just seems like today that woke him up at practice. He definitely had his best day of work, but he's been getting better all along. The more Mike stays on the field, the better Mike's going to get. That was the same case last year."

On secondary depth:

"If Trevor's ankle is bad, then I would be concerned about the depth there, but I'm also confident in some of those young guys behind him. They're stepping up and they're making plays in practice. There's going to be some nice little competition in that group. I think special teams is going to be the determining factor."

On the physicality for two days in pads:

"Yes, I am [pleased]. I think they're doing a good job of taking care of each other. We have a new helmet rule, and the guys are trying to follow the rules with the helmets, but we had a couple instances today where guys dropped their head, but we're working on it. I like that they're thinking about it and conscious of where their head is on contact."

On transitioning to a new helmet rule:

"It's a huge change because there was a time when I grew up when you learned to tackle with your shoulders and your head up. At some point the media started glamorizing these big hits and everyone started using their head as a weapon. Now, we're just trying to go back and make the game a little safer."

On if repetition leads to confidence:

"Preparation leads to confidence. That's reps. Reps, reps, reps. We talked about it after practice about intense focus and attention to focus. That's what we have to do this month. Just get better."


On differences going into his second NFL season:

"I've been talking with a bunch of coaches about how big a year of experience makes. Especially, that rookie year. Coming in, there's a lot you have to get over and acclimate to — physically and mentally. You just keep grinding at it, working at it and trying to get yourself in to see where you fit [along] with, what you're good at and what you need to work on. So, coming into this season, I knew those things. And I've been working at them and as you get back on the field, you're a little bit more prepared. You're [always] working at those things, but you know what to expect coming in. So, it's a huge difference. I know what these rookies are going through out here and they'll keep working through it and eventually get over it."

On being more prepared this year than as a rookie:

"I wouldn't necessarily say [I'm more] relaxed, but it's not as much pressure that you put on yourself. I remember, you only get a few plays here and there as a rookie. Each play mattered that much more for me. So, I was always focused. A lot of those were mental reps.'"

On what he wished he knew before his first training camp:

"To relax. I put so much stress on myself. [I] wanted to be in this position for so long and you finally get your chance. I mean, you need to be hard on yourself because that's going to bring the best out of yourself, but take the time to relax and enjoy the moment."

On his role in the offense:

"Maybe there is [a more defined role this season]. But, I'm always trying to expand on my role. I'm trying to get on the field in other places, like special teams and be more of a solid back on offense. So, I think I'm trying to expand on my role. I think there is a role right now, but obviously, the more you can do, the [better]."

On returning kickoffs:

"I would like to return kickoffs, yes."

On thoughts about what he improved on most over the off-season:

"The mental aspect. Coming in as a rookie, you're trying to take it all of this information. And during the offseason, you have time to sit down and look at the playbook. The game physically — it is what it is. Mentally, it's always different every week. So, [it's] if you're able to adjust and see things. Physically, it's, 'you are what you are.' I have this body and this is what I have to work with. So now, it's, 'how can I use my mind to put myself and this body in the right position to make plays."


On how training camp has changed:

"Training camp now, it's more like a season practice. It's not so taxing on your body. You only have one practice. When I first came in the league, my first five years, you had pads in the morning and, depending on how the coach was, you had pads in the afternoon. A lot of times, if you were playing special teams, you had pads, special teams practice before the second practice and then you had practice in the afternoon. I think having this new CBA [Collective Bargaining Agreement] and this new form of practicing, I think this helped me get to year 12. They [the rookies] have no idea [how it was]. This [training camp] is love. Love, love, love. During the season, we used to wear helmets on Saturdays before the game. Now, you might not even wear a helmet the whole week now, depending on what the situations is. It's definitely different and it definitely better for a lot of guys' bodies. A lot of guys used to do ultra-maintenance on their body. Nowadays, you don't see any of that stuff. The main thing you see is talking about guys getting to sleep and massages and different little, small other things. Back then, you had 40 different people waiting downstairs, working on everybody, just to be right the next day."

On DL Justin Jones:

"I think Justin Jones is a great player. He's one of those guys that I've seen in my 12 years. I think he's going to have a great future ahead of him. I think, eventually, he's going to be a Pro Bowler. He's way ahead of the curve when it comes to football IQ and his technique. The best thing I like about him is he can only keep climbing, keep going up. [We have] a great defensive line coach in Giff [Smith]. I feel like he's going to be even more technical sound because our coach is very big on technicality. Having all of those things line up, the sky is the limit for him."

On the physicality of training camp:

"I think the physicality is still the same [as when I started in the NFL], but I just think it's less. Back then, you got more reps of playing football. Now, the limits of the reps have obviously gone down and I'm glad I'm the beneficiary of that."

On CB Trevor Williams going down at practice:

"He'll bounce back. It sucks though. That's part of the game. Sometimes you're going to have guys go down and sometimes you have to have guys step up, but Trevor is a great professional. He's going to do everything he can to get right back on the field. So, we're just going to wait on him. We're going to be patient."


On how camp has been so far:

"It's been really good. I thought we've put together a couple good days together and the offense is doing well."

On what he worked on this offseason:

"I really wanted to work on the detail in my routes, knowing the coverage, seeing leverages, attacking the ball and making contested catches."

On how WR Keenan Allen has helped his route running:

"It's been big, I worked with him all offseason. I was with him every time he worked out. We did routes, watched the film — just everything, so he's been a big help."

On Allen's route running:

"A lot of it is just God-given. He has quick feet so he's able to get in and out of breaks really well. He works really hard at it too, focusing on all the little details and watching the film. So really, it's God-given and hard work."

On the wide receiver group:

"I think it's big when we have competition. We have a veteran group now, so we hold each other accountable and we know the plays we're capable of making. It's competitive, but we're always lifting each other up and it works really well."

On replacing production due to injury:

"It's pretty easy because the receivers can do so much and the tight ends we have now are capable of making plenty of plays. It's just going to be about taking it by committee and then it's easy. No one feels like they need to do more, we just need to do it all together."

On WR Mike Williams:

"It's been big [having him at camp]. We weren't able to have him out here at training camp last year so he's getting the reps. It's going to make all the difference, to let him get comfortable, understand the plays and understand the concepts."

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