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30 November 2016

Transcript: San Diego Chargers Conference Calls with Tampa Bay Media (11/30/16)

HEAD COACH MIKE MCCOY
 
(On if the Chargers’ 5-6 record is deceiving)
“The record is what it is, you can’t do anything about it. There’s some games there that you wish you would’ve made a play or two here and there or somewhere during the game, so you didn’t put yourself in that opportunity. So, you can’t worry about that now and that’s one thing I think our players and coaches have done a great job of. You go week-to-week in this business and you have a short memory, so you move on to the next game, we either win or lose. A majority of our games, besides one, have all been decided by eight points or less, so it’s a very competitive league and there’s a great balance, so you’ve got to go out there and do what you can week-in and week-out and find a way to win the game.”
 
(On how important it has been to tight end Hunter Henry’s development to have Antonio Gates there to help him)
“Hunter’s a very talented player and we knew that, that’s why we picked him where we did, we brought him in here. But there’s nothing like to be able to sit in the meeting room, watch film with one of the best to ever play the game, in the game. So, there’s plenty of things that we talk about, we go through the install films and you see it, but when that guy’s in the room actually with you and he can tell you all the little tricks of the trade, I’ll say that’s one of the special things about Antonio Gates, is he’s one of the most unselfish players I’ve ever been around. All he wants to do is win and help his teammates be successful and it’s been that way since the first year we walked in the door together here in ’13. You see in the offseason program or during the season with the younger players, he’s trying to help them. In training camp, the time he spends sitting around with the younger players. Even if it’s some college free agent you brought in. He’s a great guy and it really helps our team be successful when you have unselfish veterans like he is.”
 
(On how the receivers have stepped up since Keenan Allen’s injury)
“These guys all understand we’re going to play with a number of guys and a number of different personnel groupings. The guys have done a great job in the system the past couple of years, the guys that have been there that amount of time. And I think they all understand, when you play with one of the best quarterbacks to ever play the game, someone like Philip Rivers, you know you’ve got to do all the little things right because you never know when he’s coming to you. When I say that is, you have a pre-snap idea of what you’re a calling a play for, but when it’s something else – whether it’s an audible or it’s going through a progression a certain way, you’ve always got to be at the top of your game because he’s going to change a play at the line of scrimmage and these players know it’s a special opportunity to play with a great quarterback like him.”
 
(On what he sees from Tampa Bay quarterback Jameis Winston and the Tampa Bay defense)
“Well I think any time you play a young quarterback in this league, it’s going to take you some time. Regardless of where you are, where you’re coming, there’s going to be the hot and cold spells of the season. And then it comes down to there’s two things I think that are critical, is playing with your teammates. That’s big. Your team changes every year. And then the more you play in a system, the more comfortable you’re going to be, the better you’re going to be. So, you get going with those guys and it’s already documented how him and the receivers and worked together in the offseason program and then you go through all the offseason, you go through training camps and all that stuff to season. And you just get better and better as time goes along and you’re going to hit a bump in the road at some point in time. You just keep fighting through it and there’s certain things you haven’t seen versus a certain play, a certain look, a certain pressure. You’re going to see a team you haven’t played against in your career yet, so it takes some time from a quarterback and you just get more and more comfortable. Defensively speaking, knowing some of the guys on the staff there and how they coach, with the types of coaches they are, the success they’ve had at other places, with a lot of talented players. Having played against [cornerback Brent] Grimes before in the past, the way he plays the game. A younger player in [cornerback Vernon] Hargreaves, a guy we watched and really liked coming out. [Lavonte] David at linebacker, they’ve got a lot of talented players. Up front, the way they’ve gotten after the quarterback, things like that. So, it’s a talented football team.”
 
(On what really jumps out to him with Tampa Bay’s offense)
“Obviously, [wide receiver] Mike Evans and the career he’s had in a short amount of time in the league. He is one of those players that can make plays and change a game in a hurry. His explosive play-making ability, whether it’s in the red area, whether it’s catching some big in-cut, whatever that is. And I think that [tight end Cameron] Brate has really come on at the tight end positon, the number of plays he’s making. Their line did a nice job of them running the football and with [running back] Doug Martin being back in the backfield with them and you can see the number of backs they have that they play with, very similar to what we do. If you’re a running back on their team, you’re playing. And you see a lot of those guys having a positive impact in how they run the football.”
 
(On defensive end Joey Bosa)
“Joey’s a player that we knew was going to have a big impact on our defense when he got here. You see the way he worked in the offseason before he stepped away for a little bit, the way he fit in in our system and how we wanted to use him. And then from that first game in Oakland when he first went in there, you saw the impact that he was going to have on the team and what kind of future he’s going to have in this league. But a very talented player, not only rushing the passer, but his ability to play the run. So, a young player that’s only going to get better with time. I think Joey is someone who truly loves to play the game of football.”
 
(On how difficult it is for the team to hear all of the stadium issues the team is having with trying to stay in San Diego)
“Well as coaches and players and everybody in the organization, we love playing in San Diego and we have a job to do. As players and coaches, you go out there every day and you have a job to do. We’re going out there to win every game we play. And that’s our number one focus. We all understood coming into the season what was coming, with regards to the vote and when it was going to happen and all those things, but that didn’t change what we had to do on the football field and on a day-to-day operation here as players and coaches. Other people were taking care of that and doing certain things, so we had to go out there and do our jobs and that wasn’t going to change. Regardless of what the result of the vote was going to be, we still had a lot of football to play after that, so that was the number one emphasis we talked about coming into this season and we were just going to keep on grinding and that’s what we had to do as a team and that’s what we’re doing today.”
 
DEFENSIVE END JOEY BOSA
 
(On keeping himself in shape without playing first four games)
“It was definitely a process. It was all new to me. Obviously, I’ve never been through anything like this before in my life, so I knew I had to stay focused and stay in shape to be ready. When I showed up and unfortunately an injury happened and it was kind of hard. I was really down on myself for missing all that time and then coming in and hurting myself right when I get in there. So, it was a process to get ready, but the whole organization here; coaches, players, really helped a lot, so it wasn’t too bad of an adjustment.”
 
(On what made his transition a smooth one)
“I think I just stayed confident and kept my work ethic throughout the whole process. I was at home working my butt off six days a week. You can never replicate playing football exactly, but I did my best I could and you know, coming in here obviously, with great players all around, it was an adjustment missing all of camp and having to show up and jump right into defense, but like I said, we have great guys around us and guys like Brandon Mebane and [defensive tackle] Corey [Liuget] really helped me adjust.”
 
(On whether he has spoken with former Ohio State teammate Noah Spence)
“Yeah, we were just texting yesterday, just excited to see each other out there and hopefully both have a good game. Yeah, Noah, he’s a testament to turning your life around because he never let a bad decision of his turn him around and I’ve always known he’s a great kid and any coach that ever asked anything about him to me, I always gave him the best. But, I’m happy. I knew he would work as hard as he can to get into the position he’s in now and I’m really proud of him and I’m excited to see him out there this Sunday.”
 
(On Noah Spence coming back from his shoulder injury earlier in the season)
“I think just his work ethic and his motor. Noah can run literally for days, just training. I remember training, trying to keep up with him running and training and he’s always just first of the line working. He was a good guy to watch when I was young at Ohio State, but I knew if he kept his head on straight and kept working like he knows how to, he would make something of himself and he is doing just that. I am proud of him.”
 
(On whether he believes the team can turn the corner after losing multiple leads in the second half this season)
“I mean, I’m just proud of this team because I could see any other team really getting down on themselves after losing the games we have and kind of separating and falling apart, but we come into work every day, we don’t let our record define us and we know we are going to work hard every single day. I don’t think it’s really turned the corner because we’ve had great performances and we know what we can do. I guess that’s a good word for it, just finishing and really getting all sides of the ball to click, but I know we can do it and we’ve shown it more than once and I’m really proud of this team for staying together after some tough loses and some tough injuries, but I think we’ve got a good team here, great team.”
 
(On where he was during the Ohio State versus Michigan game)
“I was at a teammate’s watching it with some guys. It was not fun, not fun at all to watch.”
 
(On why it was not fun to watch even though Ohio State came away with the win)
“Yes, they did win, but the process to that win was not fun to watch.”
 
(On Ohio State Head Coach Urban Meyer)
“I hate him [laughs]. No, I’m kidding, I’m kidding. No, I love Coach Meyer. He gets a bad rep because people say he treats guys differently and that’s the truth. If you go into his program and you do what you’re supposed to do and you work hard and you’re a good guy, he’ll love you and he’ll give you every opportunity in the entire world to succeed. He’ll put his word on the line for you, but if you go into the program and mess around and not do what you’re supposed to do, you get on his bad side. So, I mean, there were people who didn’t like him, but I felt like that’s why. We have a great relationship. He’s like another father away from home for me and he did a great job with me and he’s doing a great job with [Ohio State defensive end] Nick [Bosa] right now.”
 
(On people calling Urban Meyer obsessed with winning)
“Yeah, I mean, he’s a different kind of person. To be what he is, you’ve got to kind of work a little differently upstairs, but he’s a great guy. He has a lot of love in his heart, a lot of love for his team and he really is obsessed. He wants to be perfect. He wants every single thing to be perfect. I think he understands it’s not going to be perfect, but he still works every single day to get there, but that’s why he is one of the best to ever do it.”
 
(On his younger brother, Nick Bosa and Ohio State Head Coach/Assistant Coordinator Greg Schiano)
“[laughs]’Baby Bosa’, he’s been having a great week. He texted me yesterday, he’s like, ‘Wow, I’m just so happy, having a great week. The whole team’s just been really pumped up about the win and getting a chance to hopefully go to the Playoffs.’ Coach Schiano, I got to see him. I went to see Nick for my Bye Week and I got to see everybody there. I think all the guys like him there. Coach Meyer obviously does a great job of getting the best assistant coaches in the world around, so Nick likes him so far.”
 
(On whether he grew up a Miami Dolphins fan since he was born in south Florida)
“My dad played there, so we were Dolphins fans. It was never easy being a Dolphins fan, but we tried.”
 
(On the Chargers defense)
“I think, I mean, I love my defense. I think we’ve been playing really well. If you just look at the film, you look at how tough we play, how physical we play. O-line doesn’t really come and attack us because they know we’re going to hit them in the mouth. Obviously, takeaways have been great the last few weeks, but we’ve just got to continue working and finishing the fourth quarter and finishing the second half because as good as we want to be and as physical as we are in the first half, if they come out and run down our throat and score all these points in the second half, it means nothing. So, we’ve just got to keep working on staying consistent and I think we’re playing good ball right now.”
 
(On transitioning to the NFL after having a standout college career)
“Yeah, I mean, you’ve got to understand it’s the NFL and everybody’s great. Winning games in the NFL is really, really hard to do and I have a greater appreciation just after a short few months of being in the NFL for winning because losing only four games in three years, you get spoiled and then coming here, you’ve got to absolutely fight for every win. That’s not just in San Diego, that’s all around the league. Winning is tough to do, so I just have a better appreciation for winning and how hard it is to do after experiencing it.”
 
(On whether losing brings out a level of grit because it is not something he is used to)
“Yeah, I’ve been in plenty of situations where it’s the game on the line, so it’s not every week like it is now. I mean, I’ve definitely had a few double overtimes or the last-second plays in college, so I’ve been there and I understand what it takes. I guess it happens a little more often now.”
 
(On his first impression of Noah Spence the first time he watched him play)
“It was just raw talent. When I first saw him, he really just kind of ran around the corner, didn’t really have any moves in his arsenal and then we progressed. I mean, coming in, I kind of knew he was the guy and he was who I’d watched, him and [former Ohio State defensive end] Adolphus Washington. Both were the ends then and just to watch some guys like that as a freshman, I was a little intimidated because I knew I was going to have to turn into that one day, but at the same time, it was great having some great players to watch as a young player at Ohio State.”
 
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