HEAD COACH BILL O’BRIEN
Chargers DE Joey Bosa gets a lot of attention but what are your thoughts on OLB Melvin Ingram?
“He’s a very good player. A lot of times, they line those two guys up on the same side and then they bring them from opposite sides, so it’s a big challenge for our tackles, our tight ends, everybody that’s going to be involved in blocking those guys. They’re fast. They’re explosive and they disrupt. So it’s a big, big challenge for us.”
You had a number of guys on the injury report yesterday including T Duane Brown. Will he be ready for the game?
“He’ll be good to go.”
Will your tight ends be ready for Sunday’s game?
“Good to go.”
Did the altitude in Mexico City effect you guys at all?
Did you do anything to recover from the altitude in Mexico City this week?
You could say that the Chargers are one of the best 4-6 teams in the league. Can you talk about the challenge they pose?
“Absolutely. No question. This is a very, very good football team. They’ve had two overtime games. They’ve had games where they were driving to win the game and maybe the bounce of the ball didn’t go their way and opposite. Their defense is out there. Maybe the ball didn’t bounce their way. They could easily at this point in time have eight, nine wins the way that I look at it. They’re a fast starting team. They outscore people in the first half by a lot of points. This is a big challenge for us. They got one of the best quarterbacks in the league playing for them. Got a lot of athleticism on defense, so it’s going to be a big challenge. We need a big crowd, loud crowd. That’s going to help our team. It’s a big challenge, like I said.”
DE JADEVEON CLOWNEY
How much was this last game a step forward in terms of getting in the backfield and stopping the run?
“I think we did a good job of stopping the run. We did what we set out to do: go in there and stop the run, try to make them one-dimensional. We just had to finish the game.”
Sacks have been a little bit elusive but you’re getting a lot of pressure. What do you think it’ll take to close them out?
“Well, we have 23 sacks on the bench who isn’t here right now (J.J. Watt). Of course that’s a big letdown when one of your key pass rushers is not here, and guys are getting the ball out of their hands faster. A little bit of everything going on right now in the sacks, but we still have to put pressure on them. I think we do. We’re getting there, we’re just not finishing with sacks. We’re hitting them and not getting there fast enough, so we have to find a way to get there faster this week.”
Are you pleased with your progress and what you’ve been able to do so far this season?
“Yeah. I’m just happy to be playing, staying on the field. That was the biggest thing for me, was just staying on the field this year. I knew everything else would take care of itself if I could just be out there to play them. I’m not really worrying about my game right now, just staying out there.”
WR BRAXTON MILLER
How much does scoring your first NFL touchdown boost your confidence?
“I was putting in the work in practice throughout the whole week and finally making it happen in the game for us. I feel a lot better making it in the game then in practice. It’s a blessing.”
Did you keep the football from your first touchdown?
“Oh yeah, I got it. They wrote the game, my name and where it was caught. It’s something new.”
What are you going to do with the ball from your first touchdown?
“I’m going to keep it at the house.”
So you’re not going to give the ball to anybody else?
“Yeah, I’m going to hang on to it for the time being.”
What has enabled you to play faster recently?
“Just rehabbing my legs and getting my legs healthy. Coming off the hamstring injury, just let it loose. My hamstring had been holding me back since the second game. Staying in the training room and taking care of my legs. Just getting back to it.”
Has playing more and more games helped you feel more comfortable?
“Yeah, just progressing throughout the whole season. Every game, make sure you’re doing something positive. Build on that for the next game”
Did you look at the tape of the touchdown catch?
“Yeah I did.”
Is the first touchdown catch one you will never forget?
“Yeah for sure. Definitely, my rookie season, it’s a fantastic opportunity to do it on Monday Night Football. It’s a relief.”
Does your first NFL touchdown catch make you hungry for more?
“Absolutely. I came in this week with a positive mindset to get better and build on what happened in Mexico.”
Are you more proud of the touchdown catch since it happened on a difficult route?
“I wouldn’t say all that. Just practicing throughout the whole week. Perfect timing. Perfect opportunity. Me and Brock (Osweiler) got on the same page and made it happen.”
Did you hear from former NFL WR Keyshawn Johnson?
“Yeah, I have. He was just proud of me. To get an opportunity like that on Monday Night Football, and to make it happen like that, he was just proud of me.”
RB LAMAR MILLER
What do you think the challenges are with San Diego’s defense?
“They have a good front seven. Their linebackers, they do a great job of flowing to the ball. So, I just have to do a great job of making the offensive linemen right and being decisive and just getting the tough yardage.”
What do you think of the job the offensive line has done?
“I think they’re doing a great job. The past couple weeks, they’ve been giving me and the other running backs opportunities to make plays. They’ve been making our job easier, so I give a lot of credit to those guys. They’ve been doing a great job.”
Even though you weren’t able win on Monday night, Head Coach Bill O’Brien said you guys did a lot of good things that you can build on. Do you think that’s true?
“Yes. You know, I think a lot of guys – well, I think us as a team – I think we came out with a lot of energy, we kept fighting. We still have room for improvement but I think, for the most part, a lot of guys were out there competing.”
What did you think about the job WR Braxton Miller did? He kind of had a breakout game.
“I think he’s been doing a great job. He’s good at running routes. I think he just took advantage of his opportunity, making plays when his number was called. So, I think he did a great job.”
What do you think about the job that FB Jay Prosch has done blocking for you?
“Oh man, he does a great job. Sometimes I just follow him. He gives me a crease, just like the offensive line, so I think he’s been doing a great job as well.”
Did you play with a fullback in Miami?
“My first two years I did but the last two I didn’t.”
Does it make a difference for you?
“Yes. It makes a difference. You know, just once you see that linebacker, just having that extra person blocking for you, it helps you as a running back. Having a fullback, it helps.”
NT VINCE WILFORK
Can you share your thoughts on Chargers QB Philip Rivers and the Chargers offense?
“He’s my favorite quarterback to play against. I love Philip Rivers. Absolutely. He’s such a competitor. Through my 13 years, every time I face him it’s been fun. I like playing against him. He’s a hell of a leader. I think he earned my respect playing him in the AFC Championship with a torn ACL. Anybody else, they would have sat that game out. He’s tough. He’s rugged. He’s one hell of a leader and he’s been doing it for a while now. I’m looking forward to this matchup against us. He’s fiery. He talks smack. A little smack, but it’s good fun. It’s nothing disrespectful or anything like that. It’s all in good competition. He’s been doing a great job. These guys have been in a lot of tough games. Won some, lost some close ones, so this is a good football team we’re facing. With the offense that they have and with the offensive line and one of the greatest tight ends playing, they know what to do. It’s very important for us to get back on track and execute well to be able to be successful against this team.”
Have you ever told Chargers QB Philip Rivers how you feel about him?
“Yeah. I told him before. We’ve had some battles over the years. I just love his playing style. To be a quarterback and play the way he plays with a chip on his shoulder. I mean it’s unbelievable and I respect that. I love him for that. I had the luxury to play with a guy named Tom Brady. It’s kind of similar. When you have great leaders and they’re so competitive, that’s the way they are. It’s not surprising that they’re doing so well. Winning close games and being in the games all the way until the end. This team fights for 60 minutes. That’s one thing. This team won’t go away. We know we have to play a 60-minute ball game against them to be successful and to be able to execute. So, looking forward to seeing him. Looking forward to playing against him. Looking forward to getting back on track.”
What do you think about how the team has responded after a difficult loss in Mexico City?
“It was business as usual. We came to work ready to practice. Having Thanksgiving and coming back today to go on the field and put a good practice together today. It was very positive. It’s a good sign. It’s a mature football team. It’s a football team that we know what’s at stake. Got to trust one another. We understand that. All the vibes that we got on the field today, we’re clicking. We’re clicking. We practiced the way we needed to practice today.”
Can you talk about the progress you have seen from DE Jadeveon Clowney, especially in the most recent game?
“J.D. has been playing his tail off all year. I think everybody has been waiting to see this J.D. He’s showing everybody why he was the number one pick. He’s given us more than we can ask for. To be able to move him around in different positions, make our opponents figure out where he’s going to be. It’s good for our defense. He’s actually becoming a leader himself. That’s one of the things, he took that role on and he’s doing a great job at that. He’s showing maturity. He’s growing up. We need that. We need that in some of our young guys to step up to the plate. Some are starters. Some are role players that play key roles for us. Especially at this time after Thanksgiving. All hands on deck right now. We understand that. These guys understand that. We have a good football team. We just have to continue to get better each week and got to understand how important it is now to win after Thanksgiving. Whatever you want your team to be, starts now after Thanksgiving.”
Did you host some players at your house for Thanksgiving?
“I had a couple guys over. We had a good job. We have a lot to be thankful for. You never can let that day go by that you don’t give thanks to your loved ones, your friends, whoever helped you through life or being a positive role model in your life. You have to be able to tell those guys that you thank them and you love them. We had a good time, but Thanksgiving is over for us now. We went out and we ran around. Got back to work today. It was a good sight to see guys ready to roll today. That was the key being ready to roll today, and we were. Put together a good practice.”
It’s not often that I see you smile when you talk about an opposing player, but you were smiling talking about Chargers QB Philip Rivers. Can you talk about that?
“I mean like I said, I respect him to the highest level. Especially being a quarterback. He’s every bit of a great teammate. You can just see the way they play. You see how he gets that team rolling. Even when they score, I mean how the offensive line is, receivers come, hug him and give him high fives and how he runs up to those guys. He leads by example. That’s what it’s all about. To have somebody like that play this game – it means a lot. It does.”
How many quarterbacks talk the way Chargers QB Philip Rivers does?