Coach Lynn: "This Game Is Going To Come Down to Execution"

Coach Lynn Wednesday Press Conference

Coach Lynn previews Sunday's Divisional Round game against the Patriots.

Opening Statement:

“Good afternoon. Well, we have our hands full this week. This team is a good football team — well-coached. They have a lot of talent. Can't say enough good things about this quarterback. They just continually find ways to win football games with what they have. They're very good at exploiting your weaknesses and they've had two weeks to prepare for us. So it's definitely going to be the toughest challenge we've had all year. We're looking forward to it. We're getting ready right now, but it's going to be a tough game.”

On preparing for a team that has a different game plan every week:

“Sometimes you just have to go in and worry about yourself and make those adjustments as the game goes on. Sometimes, you don't know. I was in that division for eight years and saw that a lot, and that was our approach a lot of times, but like I said, they're well-coached. They'll have some things for us and we'll have to make adjustments, and I believe we will.”

On being sharp with execution:

“Oh, absolutely. That's why this week is about us and our preparation and how we get ready because they do not beat themselves. We can beat ourselves. It's going to come down to execution and execution only.”

On the Patriots:

“I see a team winning and figuring out ways to win. They'll go through the running backs, they'll go through the tight ends, they’ll go through the receivers. The defense steps up when they have to step up and make critical stops. They’ll challenge you. They play a lot of man coverage, and they're going to make it really challenging for us — and special teams are very solid. So I don't see their demise at all. I see a good football team, and it's playoff time. This team has been there so many times, they know how to win this time of the year. We've got to go in and play Chargers ball.”

On playing against an experience quarterback like Patriots QB Tom Brady:

“You know, it matters because he knows what he's looking at. He can make changes at the line of scrimmage and he can get that offense in the right plays so they're not fighting uphill all day. He gets rid of the ball quicker than any quarterback in the league. So, in fact, that can negate a pass rush right there.”

On QB Philip Rivers’ experience:

“Having an experienced quarterback in these games helps a lot. Philip's play all year has been very consistent and [I’m] looking forward to watching him play on Sunday. Having Philip Rivers as our quarterback helps.”

On how Rivers’ playoff experience can show in-game:

“Well, with guys that haven't been in the situation and have veterans that have, you can kind of calm those guys down, helping those guys out. You can help in their preparation this week before you get to game day. Veteran players and the coaches job is to slow the game down for other players.”

On preparing for winter weather:

“In California, you can't prepare for that. You know, 29, 30, whatever it's supposed to be, to me, that's good football weather. Last time I checked, there wasn’t supposed to be any snow. So it might be cold, breezy, but we'll be fine. They have to play in it, too.”

On the New England running backs:

“The versatility. They use three guys back there — [Patriots RBs Res] Burkehead, [Sony Michel] and [James] White. They use all three guys. They can run, they can catch. They do a nice job in protection. Like I said, a big part of the offense is going through the running backs. Right now they're running the football 50 percent of the time, second to Seattle. So a lot of that offense is going through the backs right now.”

On the special teams matchup:

“They have a really good special teams. They have one of the best special teams players of the past decade in [WR Matt] Slater. So the situation is very stable and they have one of the best kick returners that I've seen in a long time. So that's going to be a heck of a challenge for our special teams. It's a good thing we have one of the better cover units in the league right now, but that's going to be a heck of a challenge.”

On NT Brandon Mebane:

“He's working today.”

On if Mebane will play on Sunday:

“I expect him to play unless something happens.”

On the dynamic between Rivers and Brady:

“It's never one player against another player. I think anytime you lose that should bother you, but Philip is one of the most competitive guys I've been around. I know he wants to win this football game, and that's all that matters.”

On if Rivers is still having fun at this stage of his career:

“Man, if you're not having fun with it, it's time to hang it up. That's what I tell the guys all the time, so I hope he's having a lot of fun.”

On RB Melvin Gordon III:

“We're going to rest Melvin today, but he's feeling better, much better. We're going to rest him today. The goal is to get him to the game and we'll play him Sunday.”

On if the backup running backs will get more action this week:

“We'll see how the game goes. Those guys are getting a lot of snaps in practice this week for sure, but when it's the game, we'll see.”

On the team’s confidence:

“This is a very confident football team, but at the same time, very humble. Once we stay humble, we have a chance to grow as an organization and as a football team — but it’s a very confident group. I think some of the wins we've had this year, that stuff just breeds confidence. So I don't question their confidence at all.”

On New England’s success:

“Well, they're very good at finding your weaknesses and exploiting that. They're one of the best I've ever been around in doing that. I respect that a lot. We've got to be able to make those adjustments and keep up. Not only keep up, but get ahead.”

On his experience playing against New England while in the AFC East:

“No, that's all in the past. Those old rivalries, they're old. They can’t help me win on Sunday.”

On playing at New England:

“They're just a pretty good football team, but it's definitely hard to play them. They have a great fan base. They're loud, and they're undefeated there this year.”

On the mystique and track record of the Patriots:

“No, no. We don't have to overcome the mystique. The mystique is not going to win on Sunday. We have to look at what we still have on tape and evaluate that and figure out one-on-ones and go out and execute.”

On the importance of focusing on what the team can control:

“Absolutely, absolutely. The more we stay focused on ourselves, our techniques, our concepts, our core values, the better off we'll be.”

On if the team can win in any environment if staying focused:

“Absolutely, and I think they've proven it.”

On coaching against Patriots Head Coach Bill Belichick:

“I do think he's considered the best. He's definitely one of the best, but I don't prepare any differently. I give all the head coaches the same respect. I look at their team, evaluate it, and try to figure out a way to win.”

On the importance of limiting mistakes on Sunday:

“Yeah. We definitely can't make mistakes. That team cannot beat themselves, and I respect that about their organization. That's been taught, that’s been trained, that’s a skill. An advantage they've had for a long time. So we focus on ourselves.”

On Patriots TE Rob Gronkowski’s injuries this season:

“I'm expecting Gronk to be Gronk. It's playoff time, he shows up.”

On the team’s veteran leadership:

“We talked about that a little bit this morning. We said it's going to require some veteran leadership. Some of these guys haven't been here before. So just from a coaching standpoint, it also comes from some of our veteran players.”

On Patriots CB Stephon Gilmore:

“He’s playing well. Looks like he's lost some weight. He's lighter. He's a lock-down corner now. He's playing really well.”

On the team’s success on the road:

“I think we have a good routine. No doubt traveling on the road I think galvanized these players, and they do stick together. They do get tight. So I think that's part of it.”

On how the trip to London galvanized the team:

“Well, we were together for two weeks every day. It was neat watching them from afar because you could see them going to dinner together, hanging out together. They definitely got to know each other a little bit better. When you can do that, I just think it builds that level of commitment and trust in our football team, and I see it in the players.”

On the team being together a lot on that London trip:

“I think just because of the conditions and the circumstances we're in, they had to be together. They enjoy one another. They hang out anyway. That’s kind of how that Cleveland trip went.” 

On if there is an advantage playing last week:

“No, we were trying like heck to get a bye week, you know. We would love to have that rest and go into this game, but it didn't happen for us. It happened for them. You know, kudos to them. I'm sure they're good.”

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