Chargers Postgame Quotes (Week Nine)

Head Coach Brandon Staley

On what he liked most about the defense’s performance…

Just how we played for four quarters. I thought from the first whistle to the last one, we competed. Thought we did the things that good defenses do. I thought we were physical tonight, we did a really good job against the run game, thought we rushed the passer, we limited the explosions in the deep part of the field and we were really good in the redzone. It was a team win and our guys, they practiced at a high level all week and they carried it to the field tonight.

On if they’re hitting a stride with back-to-back wins…

No, there’s no stride to be hit. This is just one week against the Jets in November.

On Justin Herbert having the lowest passing yards he’s ever had and if tonight showed they can win in different ways…

Yeah, you have to be able to win in different ways. When you play against good defenses there could be a tough night and today both defenses were playing really well, so your special teams has to come alive. Our special teams came alive today. We had a return for a touchdown, our kicker was outstanding, thought our punter was outstanding. So, in a game like this, that made the difference in the game was how we played on special teams because both defenses were playing well tonight.

On the touchdown return by Derius Davis and how big it was so early in the game…

Yeah, it was electric. I thought we were connected, he’s got the stuff that’s hard to find. He’s the one that deserves the credit because he found the crease and he hit it and he just doesn’t need much room to finish those types of plays. We have to keep coaching him, keep coaching with his ball security. He fumbled one there late, got on it, but as you guys see he’s a special player and our guys are blocking really hard for him. Our return units, you know it’s a lot easier to block when you know that your returner can take it. So, we have to continue to improve, but it was obviously a big play for the game.”

On the pass rush and if this is what they envisioned when trading for Khalil Mack…

Yeah, just when we’re healthy that’s how they’ll rush. They just haven’t been healthy together for very long, but when they’ve been healthy together, that’s how they’ve played. That’s why we have to keep them that way, but then when you get the other guys rushing, you know, when you have Tuli (Tuipulotu) rushing as well as he is, Foxy (Morgan Fox), those interior guys, Derwin (James Jr.), it’s going to create more opportunities for everybody. I still stand behind, the reason why we’re able to rush the way we are is because of the way we’re playing against the run and that’s been the secret, that’s been the formula to our success. When we’ve rushed well, it’s how we’ve played against the run and then when those guys get that many opportunities, those are two of the best to ever do it and then you have this young guy that’s really coming on strong.

On what Keenan Allen means to the team…

I just told the group, I just think from afar before I even got here, I was just such a big fan of his game. I think every coach is, but then every year I’ve been here, I’ve had a greater appreciation for how special he is. He’s got a really unique skillset and I think he’s so dedicated to his craft and I think the real offensive coaches, defensive coaches know that his ability to separate and set people up and how he understands leverage and how he understands coverages, and his hands. He’s a lot bigger than people think, he’s 6’3 and he can just do everything. He can play everywhere, he’s a clutch player, he’s a competitor, you know he’s a dog and I’m just so happy for him. To be a part of history, I think all of know why he made history, cause everyone that’s been with him sees what he does on a day-to-day basis and he’s the ultimate standard to me of consistency. You don’t get to 10,000 yards without being that ultimate example of consistency, so really happy for him.

On if he was amazed by Allen’s catch…

Not with Keenan, there was a time in training camp that I told some of the guys we just abandon our third down plan and just it was one double Keenan, I doubled Keenan, Zeus Keenan, I was tired of this guy getting every first down in training camp and I just abandoned the mission and just tried to shut him out in camp. That’s just a testament to him. If you don’t do that, he’s going to get open and we have to continue to get him the ball more, but he was big for us tonight and a ton of those critical plays that allowed us to score the ball.

On what Alohi Guilman brings to the game…

Yeah, I think you see what Alo brings to us. He brings that playstyle, that swagger, he’s a commander back there. I think early in the game with the forced fumble, he had a big hit, big pass breakup and then obviously the scoop and almost score. We’re going to get on him for not scoring that thing but he’s made a lot of big plays for us since he’s been here and I think you see that trust that he creates for everybody else on the defense. You know, the safety position that’s very important to the job description is how you make others play. You’ve got to be that quarterback back there that makes everybody play calm and he’s just playing at a high level for us.”

On Tuipulotu and how having a third rusher at his level and what it does for him as a defensive play caller…

Yeah, I mean there’s guys that can rush inside and outside and that’s always a big advantage. When you have outside pass rushers that can move around the format and then I think Tuli has a lot of linebacker characteristics too like this guy is really, really smart. He may be 21, but there’s a lot of wisdom in the way he plays already so you can just move him around the formation a lot more. Then when you have Foxy who’s also the same way, that can move around and who’s got that quickness inside, it just gives you more possibilities. But again, I go back to the thing that Tuli, Joey (Bosa) and Khalil and Rumph have done a great job of is defending the edge and the run game. I think that we’ve really, really played the edge position the way it needs to be played and it’s been a big factor for our run defense.

On the run defense and how much of it is just having all the pieces together in the front positively impacts the way they’re defending the run this season…

Bingo. You get a group like that that’s really good, they’re going to play good, so it’s a big factor and every coach would say that. If they’re healthy, they’re going to play well.”

On the Jets being able to mount a drive right out of halftime but being able to hold them out and bend but not break…

Yeah, I think that was big for the momentum in the game because we had gotten momentum at the of the half, got that big stop, used our timeouts, were able to get that long field goal set up and knock it down. So, that answer at that beginning of the half, for us to knock them down and force three, I thought that was important in the game. Gave up that loose play scramble to (Zach) Wilson, but our guys were able to hold tight and we were able to shut them out there. I just think from the first whistle to the last one on defense tonight, we just played connected. We were really I thought playing 11 as one and it showed even in that last drive of the game in the redzone. Our guys were really playing together, even with the backups in there so credit to our coaching staff, our coaching staff put together a great plan and these players made it happen tonight.”

On what he saw from the offense’s performance…

Yeah, it was a tough game. It was a defensive game today. Their defense is playing well, the crowd was into it and we just didn’t get much going today. I thought Justin made a couple big plays for us with his legs that got us going. I thought we were able to just do enough but probably that the best thing that we did was take care of it tonight. We didn’t have any of those plays that allowed them to get back into the game, to allow their defense to kind of truly get going so I thought that was a big positive for tonight. We came on the road and won the takeaway margin, that’s a big thing on offense. I know the stat line is not pretty, but I thought we ran it well enough, and I thought we made enough plays in the passing game. I thought Justin using his legs in was really big in the game.

On the reliability Cameron Dicker has shown…

You can’t minimize it. I think when you have a kicker that you know can knock it down, especially on the road, hostile environment, you feel like hey from 55, he’s going to be good, that gives you a lot of confidence. It takes the pressure off your offense and just gives you more flexibility in how you call the plays and don’t have to be quite as perfect. He continues to improve, he can continue to improve, that extra point that hit the crossbar it’s not good enough, he’s going to be upset with himself, but he’s such a young player there’s still a lot that he can work on in this game.

On the Chargers fans chanting defense at the end of the game…

Yeah, I mean, when I came out for warmups I felt the powder blues and then I saw them. And then at the end of the game, I just can’t thank the fans enough. Don’t know where they came from, whether it’s here, or from California or wherever, but I know how much it meant to our team. And there’s nothing like going and winning a really tough road game against a really good team in one of the biggest cities in the world and knowing that your fans are all over the place and I think to get this job done, I think it was really special for our players and that’s what the NFL is about. It’s about your fans and about giving them something to cheer for and I thought it all came together tonight.

QB Justin Herbert

On what went through his mind when Keenan Allen made the over-the-shoulder catch near the sideline…

I’m not surprised by it, you know, the great things that he does and the plays that he makes. It’s just huge having him out there on our offense. He’s a big part of our offense. To see him make plays like that, we see him make plays like that all the time in practice, as well, so he just goes up there and he does what he does.

On whether it feels like the team is building momentum…

Yeah, I think there was some good things that we did today. I think the defense played terrific today, came up with some big stops. Got a lot of turnovers and offensively, we can move the ball better and we can do a lot better on offense. We’ll take a look at the film, but it was good to see from all three phases from our team today.

On his pre-game conversation with Aaron Rodgers…

Just hoping that he comes back quickly, that everything’s going well. It was great to meet him, talk with him a little bit. So, it was cool to catch up.

 On what he saw from the Jets defense…

They’re a very good defense. They’re very well coached and they got after it today, but I thought we did a good job not turning the ball over. We had a couple of punts and a few miscues, but those are things we can fix, and the defense came up with a big stop today.

On whether facing that type of defense makes the Chargers better…

I think it does. I think that’s one of those things that you go into this game and you have to take advantage of your shots downfield and you’ve got to be able to complete the checkdowns when everything’s covered. I thought we did a good with that, being aggressive when we needed to. We completed a couple of third downs when we needed them on those drives. To be able to do that, get the ball moving, and then the defense stepping up the way they did was awesome to see.

On Allen reaching 10,000 career yards and what he’s meant to the team…

I remember watching him before I even got here and I knew how special he was. So, the way he’s led our team, the way he’s been a part of that offense, that team, he’s one of the best to ever do it. I’m privileged and honored to be able to throw him the ball.

On whether it was fitting that his 10,000th yard came on an acrobatic catch…

Yeah, I’d love to be able to take a look at the catch. I actually didn’t see the ball being completed, I think I was down on the ground, so it’s something in the film room that we’ll watch tomorrow and take a look at.

On how the punt return set the tone early on…

Yeah, it was awesome, to be able to start up 7-0 like that, that was huge for our team. It’s awesome to see from special teams. We know how talented and how special he is, so for him to be able to make that play, we’re not surprised, because we see it in practice all of the time.

On pass protection and getting the ball out early against this defense…

Yeah, they’re a good team. We’ve got to do a good job of protecting and getting the ball out quickly, but I thought we did a good job not turning the ball over, being safe and a punt is not a bad thing against a team like that. They’re a really good defense, they got after it, but I thought there were some good things that we did offensively.

On whether there were adjustments made by the Jets defense after they took the lead…

I’m sure that’s probably a better question for them. I’m not quite sure what adjustments they made, but they’re a good defense. They run what they want. They brought pressure and we did a good job of picking it up and seeing it, but there are things that we could do offensively a little better.

On whether he noticed any change in the defense that caused the Chargers offense to slow down…

No, I thought there were drives that we got the ball moving, we converted some third downs. So, I thought there were parts of our offense that we did well but there were definitely things that we can clean up, some protection issues, we’ve got to be able to complete some footballs and go down on third down like that, so we’ll be better because of it.

On whether this game gives them confidence in being able to win in different ways…

Of course. It’s big to see from the defense.

RB Austin Ekeler

On the defensive performance…

Yeah, unbelievable. They showed up today and they carried us today and we have to play complementary football down the stretch, and we showed that today when offense was struggling. Defense came, and so did special teams as well, so shout out to those guys for getting it done today and helping us out.

On getting into the end zone again, despite it feeling like he scored four times on that one drive in the first half and what it was like to contribute…

You line up, if there’s a penalty, you line up again until it’s officially on the board or off, so that was one that they called three times that we were in the end zone, and finally one of them counted, so it was good to get on the board.

On the Jets defense and what he felt from them…

Yeah, coming into this game we knew they had a solid defensive line and they stayed true to that today with their twist games, really good on the back side today when we were in our run game, and they got us a few times, and that’s what this game is. They’re going to get you a few times, and hopefully you can get them as well – more than they get you. At the end of the day, we have to move the ball and find a way around it. But yeah, shout out to them for showing up.

WR Keenan Allen

On guidance from coaches over the years…

I mean, it’s been 11 years, this is my 11th season, so I mean once you can stack up the years, all the coaches that I’ve always had, they’ve always said stack ‘em up. Stack up the seasons, stack up the wins. Once you start to do that, then you start to accumulate.

On his big catch tonight…

The catch was fire. I haven’t seen it yet, but I felt pretty good about it on the field.

On if he knew the yards needed…

I didn’t know.

On Daries Davis’ punt return…

Oh, shout out to DD man. It’s been a long time since we had a returner to take it to the house like that. He’s doing a hell of a job.

WR Derius Davis

On his punt return tonight:

Yeah, you know just having that to show the first down today, I feel like I caught myself (inaudible). That’s what I was doing at TCU (Texas Christian University), like we didn’t have any momentum in the game, good punt return and I probably took it to the house and (inaudible). I just felt like I set the tone for the game. After the game I was feeling all good and excelling all feelings.

On how tonight’s win feels:

Oh, it feels great.

On the defensive game and number of sacks allowed:

(Inaudible) They were doing a great job and they just feed off each other. They just really set the tone, and feed off of each other’s energy and allow us (inaudible).

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