SAN DIEGO CHARGERS
Head Coach Mike McCoy
(opening statement)* *"If you were wondering, we have Brennan and Jasmine here – our guests this weekend – and this one is for them. And what they've done for the military, the men and women and the sacrifice they've both made in their lives to help us – this is for you guys. This win is for you guys, and thank you. We love you guys, and you're always welcome in San Diego. With that being said, [this was] an outstanding team win, and it was a great way for the team to finish it. We never gave up; we kept on fighting. It didn't always look perfect, but this was a very good football team. They created some turnovers; we had too many penalties; we had some mistakes in the kicking game that didn't execute exactly how we'd like it. But the players never gave up, and we just kept on plugging away. And that's what good teams do. The character of our team once again showed up. When you have a great quarterback like Philip Rivers, you have a chance to win every game as long there is time left on the clock. I think the defense came up with some big plays at the end of the game there. There weren't too many punts in the game, but the key thing was that we kept them to field goals a number of times, and that's huge. We wouldn't have had this opportunity at the end of the game if we didn't hold them to field goals. It says so much about our football team, the way we go on the road in a tough environment and find a way to win this one. So, outstanding win. This is big for our organization, our team and for our two guests. You're 1-0 with us, come to the next one."
(on the Chargers learning how to finish games) "Well, just like I told you guys last year, that was before we came all together last year. So, that was in the past. We weren't worried about that. I know you guys [talked about this] early in a loss we had last year, and then we made a play, got a turnover at the end of the game early last year, and it was something new. We learn from every experience. It's a different team this year, so it's a whole new thing this year of finding a way to do it at the end. We lost one earlier in the year that we didn't finish, and you have to take the good and bad every week. But I think to answer your initial question – I went around it like you guys tell me I do all the time (laughter) – it's a great way the last two weeks. Defensively coming up with the big interception last week, and then the two-minute drive and then executing on defense at the end. You're probably going to ask why'd we kick it deep at the end there. Well, it worked. You can always second-guess yourself, but that's not the business we're in. We're going to go out there and do what we think is best. The players stepped up at a critical time in the game."
(on how significant this win is for San Diego looking ahead) "Well, every game is tough in this league, and we knew that when we signed up this year and saw our schedule there was going to be no easy games. The record … You can throw records out, in my mind. The NFL is so good, the parity is so good – there is not a lot that separates a lot of teams. Now, there's some teams better than others, without a doubt, but if you don't play your best, you're going to get beat, regardless of who you're playing. We knew what we were getting into coming here. This is a very good football team – well coached, a lot of great players – and we knew this was what it was going to come down to. It wasn't going to be easy."
(on numerous players contributing on offense late in the game) "It was the same question on Monday: 'Why did so-and-so…?' Well, when you have so many talented guys that can do so many different things and you have a great quarterback [in Philip Rivers], he's going to take what the defense gives him, regardless of what the play is called. It doesn't matter. There is going to be certain plays we have designed for Malcolm [Floyd], and all of the sudden, certain coverage, so, Keenan [Allen] is going to get the ball – whatever that is. [Chargers offensive coordinator] Frank [Reich] is going to make calls that he thinks are the right situation, and all of a sudden, Philip checks somebody. He did a number of times; he's done it all year long. When you have good players, and they're well prepared, and they understand what the situation is, how to play situational football – never giving up, believing in one another – that's what it's all about."
(on the Chargers' composure staying close throughout the game) "That's what the game is all about and that's why you play for 60 minutes. Hey, live for the next play. We talk about … Hey, we're all human here. We're going to make some mistakes. We'll have a bad call as a coach. Somebody is going to get beat deep for a touchdown, or miss a tackle, or give up a sack, throw an interception. That's going to happen. But it's, 'What do you do the next play?' And if you talk about as a team, 'How are you going to rally?' If a guy's not having a great day, well, how do you pick him up? And that's what the team concept is all about – playing together, playing for one another. I think if you look at our football team, that's the way we work. Every day we come to the office, we have a good time. We work hard. There are some ups and downs in the business. It's not easy. [When you] play good football teams, you're going to get exposed at certain times. There is going to be a mismatch somewhere here and there. But as long as you believe in one another – you keep on coaching, and they never give up – this is what happens."
(on how much confidence QB Philip Rivers' durability gives the rest of the team) "This is a physical game. We understand this. Every guy [at] this point in time of the year, or any time during the year when you play quarterback, you're going to take your hits from time to time. He's one of the toughest in the business, and you see the way he plays. He wears it all on his sleeve out there. He's a heck of a football player. We're very fortunate to have him."
(on his team's red zone defense) "Well, that's the one thing we talked about earlier in these discussions here. That's going to win and lose football games. It doesn't matter if they go up and down the field. If you can hold them to field goals at critical times like we did, you put yourself in a situation … [Our players] have been great in the field on third down, and then you get into the red area, you talk about being a four-point play. If you get them off the field, they kick a field goal … OK, so be it. You move on. … You have a good chance of winning a lot of football games. I was hoping to score more than that, but that's just an example."
(on how the Chargers won games in the homestretch of 2013 to make the playoffs) "Last year is over. Those last two games are over. We're moving on to the game next week."
(on San Diego's ability to pull out these games late in the season) "If you had a crystal ball and you could give me that, then you'd be making a lot of money. (laughter) If you could tell me that – what was going to happen – you'd make a lot of money. So, we have to go play. We have a great team coming in at home next week, and we have to do whatever we can to find a way to win it. So, we're going to enjoy this one on the way home, and we'll move on to the next one."
(on the Chargers' strategy of using the squib kick on special teams) "We kind of mixed it up on them, and then obviously we had the penalty on the first kick of the game, so that really set us back and gave them 20 extra yards. We did some good things with it, and then we kicked it deep to [Jacoby Jones] – on more than one time to him – and he took it back. It was a cat-and-mouse game. But I'll say this: When the game was on the line, look what [our coverage unit] did. And that was the big thing. We had confidence in our coverage units, and we kicked it deep in there instead of squibbing it and not giving them field position, and the ball was on the ground, but hey, they went down there and covered it. So, it was a great job by the kicking unit to do that."
QB Philip Rivers
(on the team's attitude on the final drive) "We were definitely not in a panic mode. Our goal was to run two plays for the two-minute warning. Not only did we get two plays, but they were big plays for us. When we got to the 25-yard line, we knew it was time to go for the end zone.
On the pass to Eddie Royal, I was hoping he would catch it or we would get a pass interference call, but he helped us get the call by fighting for the ball. That was huge for us."
(on the team's slow start) "The first few minutes, we probably couldn't have gotten off to a worse start. We were off sides on the opening kickoff, and the first pass we threw was intercepted. It was 10-0 before we even looked up, but our mindset is that we will always believe we will win. It doesn't always happen, but we play like crazy for each other, and we believe in each other."
(on the offensive line's play) "They did a heck of a job for us. They worked hard all week and did well against one of the best defenses around. Trevor [Robinson] was really great today. He's our fifth center, and he had to step in and play. This team has more centers than losses."
(on the defense holding the Ravens to a field goal with 2:22 remaining) "That was a huge stop by our defense. If the Ravens had gotten a first down there, the game was over. Not only did they stop them, but they forced Joe [Flacco] to throw the ball away. That saved us some time. When they kicked the field goal, we said 'Let's go win by a point.'"
(on all the pass interference penalties) "From week to week, it seems like you don't know what's going to get called. The penalties went both ways. We had some go against us; so did the Ravens. But you had two aggressive defenses out there. So that probably explains a lot of it. It seemed like all the plays were close."
(on what this win means for the Chargers) "This is a playoff-type team. To come into this atmosphere and win means so much for our confidence. This was an awesome victory for us. Especially the way we won. The game was back and forth all afternoon, and we kept our confidence and won."
WR Keenan Allen
(on his big game) "I had a great week of practice. I felt good, and it carried over to the game. I knew it was a big game, and we needed someone to step up. I was glad it was me."
(on his relationship with Philip Rivers) "My connection with Phil [Rivers] is growing every day. We are on the same page, and it seemed like it helped today."
(on moving forward) "This win means a lot to us. We hope we can just keep going and run the table. Our confidence is rising each week."
(on the final drive) "We were very confident we would score. Nobody panicked, and everybody was on the same page."
WR Eddie Royal
(on the come-from-behind win) "This is so great for us. We have a lot of character on this team, and we knew we could do it. Everybody in the huddle knew we could win that game. When we got into the huddle, Phil [Rivers] was excited, and he sounded like a little kid. But everyone was relaxed, and we were ready to win the game."
(on what the win means) "The Ravens are a very tough team, and they caused us to do some things we didn't want to do. They are a very physical team. This was like a playoff game for us. It was important for us to beat a team like this. They won the Super Bowl not too long ago."
FS Eric Weddle
(on what the win says about the Chargers) "It was playoff football, playoff atmosphere, two really good teams battling it out. We just had one more play in us than them—wow. There were ups and downs. They were moving the ball, making plays. We just hung in there and got a couple stops. The red zone defense was exceptional today. It kept us in the game, and [quarterback] Philip [Rivers] and the offense were outstanding. They weren't really getting stopped at all in the second half. This is huge for us. It's going to be like this every week. We've got to find ways to win them."
(on his thoughts when the offense got the ball with two minutes left) "We're going to go win this game. I've been a part of many comebacks with [Rivers], and a lot of the young guys haven't experienced it. I looked at a couple of the young guys like you're going to witness something great right now. Just hold on to your hat and get ready to watch this. They were freaking out. I was just like 'calm down.' It was just an unbelievable drive. It took a total team effort to get a win in Baltimore. Hostile environment, so it's big time."
(on the play of Rivers) "He's the most competitive guy I know. He's passionate. He gives everything he's got to his teammates, and when the game gets tight and gets close, he seems to play better. He's the ultimate optimistic personality. If there's a second on the clock, we're going to go and win this game. It breeds confidence throughout all of us. Gosh, what an unbelievable game by him because we needed it."
SS Marcus Gilchrist
(on the importance of the win) "Every win's big for us. We can't ignore the significance of this one, but we're going into every game with that one-game mentality, to be 1-0 every week. That's our main mentality."
(on the game's playoff atmosphere) "That's what this game is all about. Playing in the NFL, every team has great players. It's going to come down to the wire like this. Two AFC teams, an amazing crowd, to be on the road and get the win like this, it's definitely tremendous."
(on the play of the defense) "Not our best game, honestly. We did a good job keeping them to field goals in certain positions. We're going to take a look at the film, and there's lots of things we can improve on."
(on stopping the Ravens at the end of the game) "That's what it's all about. When the game is on the line, if it wasn't for Phil and the offensive line and the receivers doing what they did, we wouldn't have been able to go out there and make that stop. Those guys did what they had to do for us to come on the field and make that stop."
WR Malcom Floyd
(on the win) "That was huge. To fly five hours and come over here to Baltimore and get a win, that was huge. This game was filled with so many ups and downs and so much drama. Coming out with a win with big plays [was huge]."
(on his long catch) "I thought I should have scored. I didn't know he stumbled so I tried to secure the ball at first. It was big for us to get three points out of that possession. That definitely helped us out."
(on the final drive) "We were thinking we had to score, we don't have any more timeouts. Philip was calling the right play calls, and we just had to move fast. I don't think they were ready for our no-huddle offense. We saw they were a little winded, and we tried to take advantage of that."
(on the play of Philip Rivers at the end of the game) "I'm sure coach helped him out…he definitely saw was the defense was doing. The rotation and changing up their defense, and Philip definitely called according to their defense. They were in Cover Zero in the last play, and he called the right play for it."
(on the ups and downs of the game) "This is like the No. 1 sport in America. You've got to just keep chipping away, keep your head up and be there for your teammates, and I think that's what we did as a whole."
OLB Jarret Johnson
(on the game) "This was a playoff atmosphere, with a playoff caliber team. It was awesome. For us to make the mistakes we made early, to have the penalties that kept drives alive and turnovers that hurt us and to still make plays at the end of the game to win it is what this game was all about."
(on facing the Baltimore Ravens offense) "They did a great job. They've got an unbelievable scheme. You've got to give a lot of credit to Gary Kubiak and John Harbaugh for changing the offense and making adjustments. We were struggling with it but it doesn't matter because at the end we made the plays."
(on winning on the road) "It was huge. East coast, tough place to win, top caliber team, it says a lot about us."
(on the next four games) "We've got two tough home games coming up and we need to get rolling."
DT Corey Liuget
(on never giving up) "That's one of the main things that we pride ourselves on. We go on to the next play no matter what happens, keep on fighting, keep playing. When the next play comes, go make a play and take advantage of the opportunity."
(on the defensive line play) "We did a pretty good job as far as rushing [Joe] Flacco today. He stepped up in there and made some good throws and completed some balls. I'm a little upset that we didn't get him to the ground how we wanted to but he's a heck of a quarterback and you have to give him all the credit. Their offensive line did a heck of a job today blocking and protecting [Joe] Flacco, making sure that he could get the ball off and making plays that they needed to make. They helped the running back get down-hill and making the cuts and plays he needed."
(on holding the Baltimore Ravens to four field goals on four drives) "We made them kick four field goals and that was huge for when they started into our red zone. We've got to take our hats off to them too."
(on the San Diego Chargers offense) "You've got to tip the hat to those guys. They ran the ball well. They threw the ball well, kept them off balance and did a heck of a job today. That was an overall great team win that we got today."
(on the 8-4 record) "It's been a hard journey. We've had some ups and downs. We lost three games in a row to some opponents that we should have beaten, but that's the game of football and we learn to bounce back from it and put it behind you."
CB Shareece Wright
(on winning despite the amount of penalties called on both teams) "It was going both ways so we can't say that it was only on us. It was just one of those days with the officials."
(on the Baltimore Ravens offense) "They run a lot of different receivers, the personnel they brought in; they use a couple different receivers on each side. It was a pretty good scheme and we were prepared for it. "
RB Ryan Mathews
(on today's game) "It was really fun. We knew it would go down to the last quarter. We made one more play than they did. They've got a tough defense and they play hard but we came up with the win. "
(on the late Baltimore Ravens pass interference call) "You just have to let the referees do what they do. You can't second guess any of their calls. What they see is what they see."
(on QB Philip Rivers play) "Philip's a competitor. Down to the very last play he'll compete. That's the great thing about him. He's never going to stop."
(on the teams play during the winning streak) "We're just having fun, enjoying the game, and that's what's been helping us out."
(on his touchdown) "The line played great. You should be interviewing them"
TE Antonio Gates
(on improving third down conversions) "Any time you come to a hostile environment like this, you have to match the intensity. You have to convert on third downs and keep the drive going. That was a big emphasis over the last couple days. We were able to do some things to extend drives because of the execution of the play calling."
(on converting the first eight, third downs) "Anytime you play a good team like this team, and a defense that's tenacious and runs to the football, you've got to find a way to execute on third downs. Some of those third down conversions we were scoring points and that's important when you come on the road like this."
(on QB Philip Rivers play) "Anytime we have the opportunity to put the ball in his hands, to win football games, it's just an honor on that last drive. You can't say enough about what he does for this team, how he's been able to lead this team, not just this year but through the duration of this career. We're lucky to have him. We're lucky to have a guy like that and he was good today. We knew that if we held them to a field goal, we would have an opportunity to win the football game. If you had to draw it up with two minutes left and the offense we have and what we believe in to score a touchdown and win the game, you know this is the National Football League and that's what the games are like. It comes down to one or two plays to decide games. We were just able to execute. Philip came up big and made some good calls. We talked all week about sticking to the game plan and he was phenomenal today. He made some plays for us to win the game."