Take a look at what Rams Head Coach Sean McVay, quarterback Baker Mayfield and others said about the Bolts ahead of their Week 17 matchup:
Head Coach Sean McVay
On how he was influenced by Chargers HC Brandon Staley when he coached with him:
"Well, that's a good question. I think No. 1, he was instrumental in bringing the system kind of that's foundationally derived from his defensive background. Obviously, there's a lot made of his history with [Philadelphia Eagles Defensive Consultant and former Broncos Head Coach] Vic Fangio, but he definitely put his own spin on it. I think what you got a chance to do is work with a great coach, a great football mind. From the time of his interview, we immediately hit it off and you can see. I'm not surprised at all by the success that he's had, but I think he just learned about the drive, the consistent approach, the relentless approach to try to be able to find solutions, put players in the right positions, have some agility and flexibility with regards to the things that you can present to an offense, really understanding how to limit some of the things that offenses are really trying to do. He's a great coach, learned a lot from him."
On what he's seen from Chargers QB Justin Herbert and the Chargers offense:
"Yeah, I think really as a team they've played outstanding ball recently. Justin's obviously a great quarterback. He's got great weapons. I think [Chargers Offensive Coordinator] Joe Lombardi does a great job of, similar to what I was just saying about Brandon, you can see there's an intent behind everything that they're trying to do. Obviously [Chargers RB Austin] Ekeler, [Chargers WR] Mike Williams, [Chargers WR] Keenan Allen, [Chargers TE] Gerald Everett has done a great job for them this year, and then Justin makes it all go. And so now that they've got their full cast of characters out there, they're a real problem to deal with. They can beat you in a lot of different ways and so I've seen a quarterback that is doing things that he's in rarefied air in terms of early on in his career, and he seems like he's got a great way about himself too which is why his teammates seem like they love him and does a great job in a lot of different things."
Take a look at the best photos from previous matchups against the Los Angeles Rams.
On what he's seen from the Chargers defense the last few games:
"I've seen a great job being able to do different things based on how they want to slow down the opponent. There's enough versatility where they've got a core foundation of things that they want to be able to do, but then also enough complimentary mixers, and then whatever they think is in the best interests situationally, whether it be on the rundowns, pass downs, third downs in the red area, where they can kind of change it up based on how they want to try to stop whatever the given opponent is and what they deem to be really dangerous. But the versatility in the personnel groups, the ability to be able to move some of those joker type players around, I think Brandon does an excellent job of that, just like he did with us. And then you can see some similar principles, but then also the evolution that he's had over the last couple years to fit it to what they're doing with the Chargers."
On the challenge going against the versatile Chargers' defense:
"Yeah, I think it's that. It's the multiplicity, the different things that they can present, whether it be their front mechanics, the different coverage things, some of the different ways that they can activate five guys and sometimes four and try to be able to use your back. But he does a great job and I think it's about kind of having that adaptability and then in some instances making sure that you kind of have some foolproof plays. And there's nothing that's perfect, but if you're putting guys in a position where based on whatever they present you feel like they can execute, those are the things that we're hunting up but those are some of the things that we've got to be ready for. I think you're exactly right. It's definitely showed itself the last couple weeks."
On if he anticipated a head coaching job for Brandon Staley when he worked with him:
"Absolutely, yeah. I think I wasn't surprised at all. He had a drive and a motivation and a love and a passion for the game that's as strong as anybody that I've been around and so tremendous respect. I think what he was able to do where you come right in, you have a huge influence on a lot of really great things that went on defensively. Similar to what I was saying about Lincoln, you're building relationships with the coaches and the players and so after we had lost that Divisional Round to the [Green Bay] Packers and you get a chance where if a team's open-minded when they're interviewing, I thought there was a good chance that he would get a job, and it worked out that he didn't have to move too far."
Check out the best photos of the Chargers Thursday practice at Hoag Performance Center
Quarterback Baker Mayfield
On what he has seen from the Chargers defense:
"They're creating a lot of plays being able to be multiple, just giving guys different looks and being able to hold some of the disguises and blitzes and stuff like that. They've created a lot of plays over the past few weeks. Obviously clinching the playoffs they've been on a roll and (have) been playing complimentary football, so we've got to be ready for a great challenge."
On the deception of the Chargers defense and what quarterbacks can do to combat this:
"They do a really good job of hiding a lot of things, so just trust in your eyes going through progressions. This is a (Panthers Offensive Coordinator) Ben McAdoo-ism right here, 'Don't expect it to say what you think it's going to say.' The post snap reads and all that and that stays true because the good teams, like they are, they hide it and they disguise well so you've just got to trust the progressions and go through it."
On Chargers QB Justin Herbert:
"I think Justin's a baller. What he's been able to do so far in his career is nothing short of spectacular. So he's been fun to watch. [He's a] really dynamic guy and I think with the injuries that they have had this year, he's had to carry a lot of that and so I think he's done a really, really good job."
Linebacker Bobby Wagner
On Chargers QB Justin Herbert:
"I feel like there's been a lot of growth since last year to this year. I think there's been a lot of phases throughout the season, but of late he's been playing really, really well. He's a guy that can make pretty much every throw. There's not too many quarterbacks that can roll out to the right and then throw across their body, across the field, accurate and 60 plus yards down the field. It's a guy that they trust, a guy that I have a respect for, and it's going to be fun playing against him."
On the challenges that Chargers RB Austin Ekeler presents:
"He's going to get the ball. The biggest thing is he's really good in the run game. I think he's a lot more powerful than people give him credit for but they get him out in the back field and he's on all types of routes and he's somebody you have to be conscious of. They find different ways to get him the rock, especially in the red zone. I think that's him. They're going to find a way to get him touches. He's not like a traditional running back where you just hand the ball off to him and that's how he gets his touches. He's going to get the ball in the run game, going to get the ball in pass game, they're going to run different routes, they're going to put you in different situations to kind of isolate linebackers and try to have one-on-one guys to try to make them miss. He's a guy that you definitely have to know where he is at all times."
On Herbert's has the ability to extend plays and find the open receivers:
"I think the biggest thing is he has a lot of faith and trust in his arm. Like I said, there's not too many quarterbacks that can roll out one way in a direction and throw across their body. I'm pretty sure that's not in the quarterback manual. When you're blessed to be able to do that, as defenders you have to make sure that you're conscious of that. So if you see somebody downfield or somebody open on the backside, there's a chance that he trusts his arm enough to make that throw. It's one of those discipline games, one of those games you have to be on the details, and it should be a fun one for sure."
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