Chargers Coach Lynn and Nose Tackle Damion Square on Last Day of Camp

Coach Lynn and Damion Square address the media after the last day of training camp.


On the progress hes seen from the new guys:

Its night-and-day from day one. All of those guys have gotten better and they continue to get better every week. Come September 9, well see where they are. Some of those guys, you might find them in the starting lineup.

Opening Statement:

I thought it was another productive practice with the Saints. Like I said, we were working a plethora of situations, putting guys out there and just seeing how they were responding. I thought they competed well the last couple of days, and anytime you get to go up against a team like the Saints its a playoff team you get to measure yourself as players and coaches. I think [Saints Head Coach] Sean Payton hes a good coach. Hes a great coach. Hes won the Super Bowl. We used to work together. I know this guy personally. Hes a hell of a guy and I thought his players came in here and were first class. I thought they were very professional, and like I said, there were no fights. This was one of the few joint practices where there were no fights, and I think thats a credit to the Saints and the Chargers.

On having the Houston Astros at practice:

It was cool to see them come out. We had some [Detroit Tigers] out here a couple weeks ago. Any time we can get some professionals out here from other sports, interact with them, pick their brains a little bit it was cool.

On if scrimmages are better than exhibition games:

I wouldnt say its more productive, but it definitely helps because we can set up all those situations like we wanted to that may come up during the course of a season. I think its always better when youre playing a game and those situations just happen and you can see how people respond. I know the more times you put them through it, the better chances theyre going to execute.

On practicing against the New Orleans defense:

It was good because we got to see different looks, different pressures than what [we] see every day from [our] defense. Sometimes it looked pretty bad, but you get to go back, watch tape and coach off of it.

On possibly playing the starters less against the Saints:

It just happened to be the third preseason game. You like to play the starters first half, so thats still our intention as far as playing our starters the first half. Well see how that goes.

On if QB Philip Rivers will play the first half:

We will see.

On why he is still playing the starters a lot:

Like I said, were still going to play our starters 30 plays a half. We still want to do that, so it just happened to be the third game. Usually when you practice against a team, you can pull them back a little bit, but we need to see those guys play a little bit because they wont play much the following week.

On dialing back reps today for the starters:

I had to dial it back because weve been going [hard]. [The Saints] played Friday. They basically had Saturday off, Monday off, flew out here on Tuesday, so my guys have been working.

On letting the kickers still kick one more game each:

Thats exactly what the plan is, but like I said, if a guy gets two or three kicks in the first half, Ill let the second guy kick the second half.

On which kicker is starting this game:

Its Caleb [Sturgis] this week. Roberto [Aguayo] is the following week. Roberto will kick off and Caleb will kick field goals.

On if the kicker decision will come down to the final day:

It doesnt have to. We want competition at every position. We brought Caleb in here to be our kicker and Roberto to challenge him. I think that Roberto has stepped up here and done a nice job of challenging Caleb, but Caleb is having a fine camp.

On RB Detrez Newsome getting reps today as a kick returner:

He did it some in college. Hes got great instincts on the field. Its always good to have a guy back there that may make the team as an emergency guy.

On if Newsome would be his first option as a kick returner:

I wouldnt say hes the first option right now.


On thoughts about preparation during the offseason: 

[It's] really just [something you] never really get away from. You don't keep the full workload on all offseason, but you stay touched up on your technique, touching up on your craft and staying in shape for the most part running, and things like that. Also, [it's important to] spend some time with the family and things like that, but like I said, just continuing to do the little things and not doing too much. But doing enough to make it out here safe without injuries and put some work in.

On whether his approach towards training camp is different now as veteran:

Of course, especially from a health standpoint. You understand that you can't make the team in the training room, so you approach practice differently as you get a bit older. I think there are certain things you can pass on in practice with certain positions and certain situations. 

On the value of a preseason game:

Going against [a different opponent]. Going at that level. We practice really hard out here and have a few plays at a high-intensity level. In the game, I don't know if it's magic or something, but the game is just different. It's a little bit faster, little more intense and a lot more spectators. So, I think that changes the way people perform.

On QB Philip Rivers:

I don't think Phil [QB Philip Rivers] is different [from when I first played with him]. I think he's the same guy who prepares the same way. The locker room changed a lot in this organization, as it changes a lot [in the NFL]. But Phil just learns how to adapt with everybody. You know what I mean? He gets in with the young guys and the guys who have been here for five to six years like me. He's probably a lone ranger, who has been here as long as he has, minus [Antonio] Gates right now. He's still a locker room guy and doesn't separate himself from [the rest of] us. I've been in places where I've felt like that was the situation. One thing about Phil is, he's in the mix with us, a team player, and part of this organization. He's a kid man, he's a kid.

On Rivers ability to communicate with the younger players:

That means he takes it every day for the day. He comes in and approaches the day for what it is and talks about what we did yesterday and need to fix. I think he does a great job for accepting everyone for who they are. You know, figuring out a way to laugh with all the guys and get in on the jokes, and all of the other things. He's been the same guy, I haven't seen anything change with him. Same guy.

On the dynamic of how players handle a locker room change:

Everything has order. Everybody's first in the room that's for sure. We might not speak about it, but someone's first. When those positions change, some guys handle it better than others. Everyone has the right to handle it, but I feel like this team does a great job handling those situations.

On the value of having teams scrimmage in joint practices as opposed to a preseason game:

You can't create your own situations. Versus in a game, you can adapt to what happens in a game. You might go into a game and there might be something set up where you want someone to play a certain amount of reps, but then someone takes a kickoff return back [for a touchdown]. Now you've missed a whole series for someone you wanted to get in the game. It's really beneficial for everybody on the roster to have practices like this [joint practice], [especially] for a guy who didn't that many reps in a game, or a field goal block, or a goal-line situation. Whatever the case may be, we can create those situations out here [in practice] to get those reps and evaluate those guys.

On how great of a test the joint practice serves:

We did it last year, so it's always good. Now remember, some of these guys have changed but most of these guys over time, and if not, you've played with them in college. You don't forget the skill set and the things that did and did not beat [the other] team. So, you try to come back and see if you can pull some of this [practice] out and win that day or rep. All of that 'good on good' is always better for your team. You want the best to go against the best, it's the only way to get better.

On thoughts about the team's depth:

[Its] solid. We've got some guys who haven't been practicing for whatever reason, but the skill set, the upside of these guys is crazy good. If everybody can reach their potential in our room and sustain it without injury it's going to be a really good year.

On DL Justin Jones not having played a preseason game:

Oh, he'll be fine. We'll bring him along, it's just football. He knows how to play football. It might take him some reps to get used to the speed of the game, but we'll communicate with him with the things we know and experience that we have. He'll get as much of it as he needs and will go out there and perform at a high level.

On theresemblance of Jones to another player in demeanor:

No, he's him. He's Justin. [He's] fast, big and can bend really well. Very competitive and you can tell he's played with guys that got after the quarterback in college by the way he rushes the quarterback. I wouldn't say he's 'one of a kind,' but he's definitely a different guy.


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