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Coach Munchak's Sept. 18 Practice Report

Posted Sep 18, 2013

HEAD COACH MIKE MUNCHAK

(on his thoughts regarding a Tweet by Kenny Britt)

I’m not going to comment on comments guys make on Twitter. That’s why I don’t comment on Twitter. I stick to texting. Things get taken out of context, things get, that’s not something I’m real concerned about it.

(on how a Tweet can get taken out of context)

I’m just saying, I don’t want to debate it with you. That’s why I’m not going to comment on it. I have no problem with Kenny (Britt). He’s fine, working hard. He’s part of our football team and he’s going to help us win on Sunday.

(on if Kenny Britt has a problem with him)

Not that I know of.

(on if he wanted to clarify anything with Britt)

I talked to him today. We’re fine. I understand where he’s coming from. There’s no misunderstanding at all.

(on if he’s aware of what Britt said on Twitter)

Yeah, I’m aware.

(on if Britt had voiced any displeasure with him over the previous couple of weeks)

No, not at all.

(on why he wanted to talk to Britt today)

Because I knew you’d be asking me what he said so I thought I’d find out what the whole issue was. I talked to him for a couple of minutes. Again, it’s something where he made some comments, we talked about it, and nothing more than that going forward.

(on if any discipline will come from Britt’s comments on Twitter)

Nothing by me, no.

(on knowing where Britt is coming from)

I’m not going to speak for Kenny. I’m sure you’ll get an opportunity to ask him where he’s coming from. Again, we have no problem going forward. I don’t think we had one going in. He’s played probably more snaps than any receiver we have. He had nine or 10 times we threw the ball to him. Again, I don’t want to sit here and talk about a couple of comments someone made. I know that’s what we do these days, but we’re fine going forward. He’s playing on Sunday. We’re going forward and I’m sure he’ll play hard as he’s been trying to play hard every week.

(on how much the team needs to get Britt more involved in the offense and how much he needs to “help himself in that regard”)

I’m really having a hard time finding the issue with what he needs to do or not do. I think he’s playing. He’s out there getting reps. He’s catching some balls that are thrown his way. I think we have a lot of guys we’re trying to get in the offense every week. We’ve played two games so far. There’s an effort. We want to win football games and we’re doing whatever we think it takes to win a football game. It’s just like (Chris Johnson). If CJ gets 25 carries one week and gets 10 the next week and we win the game, that’s what it’s all about. We want our top guys to make plays, no doubt about it. He had an opportunity in the game. A couple throws, again, if they were different, he would have had a monster game. He would have if he had taken off and run that one, so the plays are there. We’ve been in both games. We feel we should be 2-0; we didn’t get the job done, but we’re putting ourselves in position to win football games and after two weeks, we are where we are. There’s a lot of guys that don’t have enough catches, from the tight ends to the backs to everyone, so I think it’s something as we get moving forward, it will all work itself out.

(on if Britt has given “all-out effort” on routes and blocking)

I don’t think anyone has been perfect. I don’t think anyone can sit here and say a guy who’s played as many snaps as he has has been perfect every snap. He’s made mistakes. I’ve made mistakes. Every guy on the offense has made mistakes, so again, he hasn’t made any more than anybody else.

(on if Britt is concerned about his long-term future with the team)

I think every player is. I think every player always thinks about what’s next at some point if their contract is up. That’s just a natural thing, I would think.

(on how much of the offense’s struggles have been due to penalties and if they can be cleaned up quickly)

Well, we hope so because I think it’s something that’s hurt us in both games. There’s some calls where we have to be smart with our hands. We’ve had three or four holding calls. They’re going to happen but they’ve hurt us in tough situations. That’s not why, that’s been part of the problem, there’s been other issues, but I think for two games, we’ve been average and we know we’ve got to be much better than we’ve been on offense if we’re going to win. We’re average and we’re 1-1 and really should have won two games. We’ve got to play better and we know that. That’s why we’re out here working hard. It’s Week 3, and we hope the offense will continue to get better than it was the past week.

(on if the Chargers being ranked 32nd in pass defense presents an opportunity for guys to “get on track” on offense)

Yeah, you hope so. Again, two weeks, I’m not going to get into too many stats after two weeks of the season. They’re a good defense. They did a nice job with Houston. Houston couldn’t run the ball very well against them two weeks ago. They’ve given up points on the back end. Obviously we’re going to try to score any way we can in this game, passing, throwing, doing whatever it takes to win so hopefully we’ll be able to have some success on both ends. The bottom line is finding a way to win the game against a team we’ve had trouble beating for quite a while, so this is a game where offensively we have to play much better and defensively we have to play a lot better.

(on if hits by Bernard Pollard and Texans CB Kareem Jackson were “of the same ilk” or should be fined equally)

I think there’s some criteria we’re not aware of when they put a dollar amount on a hit. I’m assuming it has something to do with how many times they’ve evaluated one of your hits, I’m guessing. I don’t know how the League does it, but the other one was obviously much nastier. It was more right to the head. I’m not sure how they figure those things out. I’ll leave that to the NFL.

(on if he’s surprised Pollard was fined for the hit)

I was hoping he wouldn’t be. They didn’t call it during the game because they thought he hit him with his shoulder. I guess the assumption is his shoulder hit him in the upper part of the body and they want to encourage you not to do that. I assumed there may be a consequence. I knew the league was going to take a good look at it, no doubt, they look at all those things so as far as dollar amount. We’re not involved in that, so I have no idea where they come up with those numbers. It’s unfortunate. He’s playing to be physical. We’ve just got to be smart and we’ve just got to keep lowering our hits so we don’t have those things happen.

(on if he reviewed the play and if he thought it was a legal hit)

Yeah. Yeah, like I said I think it was a good it. It’s a game of inches. An inch here, an inch there. That’s left for them.

(on if there’s anything Pollard could have done to avoid a fine)

I guess in their mind, just lower the hit. Go lower, I guess hit him in the legs, the lower body. He’s a defenseless player at that point, I guess, and if you hit him with the shoulder or head I guess it doesn’t matter. It just can’t be in the head or neck area and he was up higher than he was supposed to be.

(on if Pollard’s reputation has anything to do with the fine)

Well, they didn’t call the penalty, so the good news is the officials weren’t calling it because it was him. They figured they’d let someone in slow motion figure it out because in fast motion, it looked like it was good enough to leave it alone, and then the League has to look at it. At that point, I think the only time reputation goes into it is how many times you’re in that position where they’re looking at one of your hits. I’m sure that’s taken into consideration at some point.

(on if he uses that as a lesson that even that’s going to be called)

Every game, we put up, we talk about the penalties and that kind of hit, the celebration (penalty) that we ended up having. These guys have to know what they can and can’t do and be constantly reminded of what they can’t do. Unfortunately in the heat of the battle or the heat of the excitement, it’s not just our team. It’s league-wide where this happens and it’s something that everyone is trying to control their emotions during a game. But unfortunately, sometimes things happen and there’s consequences.

(on returning to LP field Sunday)

I’ve been over there for my TV show, so I know the way. I think it’s been a month and we have another stretch in November with the same thing. It’s hard. I thought when I saw the schedule it was a bad deal for the fans not just for us just because it’s been so long since we’ve been in front of them. I hope they’re excited. It’s sold out. We’re going to need that enthusiasm because you know how hard it is to play on the road in this kind of noise. I think the offense in general playing in Pittsburgh and in Houston takes its toll trying to play well and watch other teams do the same thing. You see how teams struggle on the road. I thought we handled it decent, and now it’ll be nice for three weeks to have the advantage that way.

(on Darius Reynaud’s decision-making on returns)

There were a couple that were eh. Looking at tape in an air-conditioned room, maybe one of them may have gone (out of bounds). He’s not supposed to like he did. It got away from him then it hit. His feeling was it was going to go out of bounds. We tell him to stay away from that. If it was going toward the sidelines, we give him a little leeway with that. He’s made decent decisions there. We felt in the game he was solid in his decision-making. We could second guess him and say don’t touch any of them and we’ll live with where the ball goes out of bounds. When you say those things usually happen, he hasn’t fumbled the ball since he’s been here. He’s made good decisions that way. We give him a little leeway there, but he has instruction on what not to do. 

(on where Darius Reynaud is instructed to return the ball on punts)

We have him at the eight. I think we have him at eight some games, in that area. If he’s got to go back at all, just let the ball go. He has done that quite often since he’s been here. But, when the ball hits the ground and is bounced, and a lot of receivers do the same thing, then it’s a judgment thing. Can I grab it before it’s going out of bounds at the two. I think on one of them at least I know he saves us five yards because he got it back at the seven or eight. The other one, he ended up getting three extra yards. I’m not sure if it was going out or not. I agree with what he decided to do. The safe thing is don’t have him touch anything and just let the ball go where it goes.

(on the Chargers’ winning streak against the Titans)

It’s only nine games. I know it’s still a lot, but it’s nine games in 21 years. I think the fact, the length of time, is what’s been kind of hard to believe that that happened. You look back at some of those games and a lot of them we didn’t play very well. I think a couple we had, but the game that goes through my mind most is the game we had here when they beat us when we went to the playoffs. We had the big lead and were playing well, but they came back and beat us in overtime. For whatever reason it’s happened. Like you said, it’s been different players, different coaches, but it’s there. Hopefully a byproduct of us winning this game will be eliminating that thing also.

(on how the Chargers look this year with a new coaching staff compared to last year)

Defensively, they’re the same. I mean, they’ve added some people. They added (Dwight) Freeney. But, they have the same defensive coordinator, so really we’re playing the same defense we saw last year. Offensively, you’ve got Philip Rivers, so you’re really still doing the things he likes to do. They’re incorporating probably some things the head coach did at Denver with some on-the-ball situations and taking advantage of a smart quarterback that can run the show from the line of scrimmage. He gets more opportunity at that then he’s had in the past. They’ve just incorporated some different things of their backgrounds and what Rivers does well. He’s been playing well. He’s throwing the ball well. He’s thrown the ball well against us as you know, so it’s going to be a great challenge for our defense.

(on coming back to practice after a tough loss)

They had a really good practice. I think the cloud cover aided in that. I thought the energy was good, the excitement was good, especially for a Wednesday. Usually Wednesdays are kind of hard to get started days. So, I thought they did well. They need to have a good week, and hopefully that will lead to a great effort on Sunday.

(on the effectiveness of the hurry-up offense against Houston)

I think in that situation, in that game it worked. Obviously, we went down the field and moved the ball well. It doesn’t always work out that way where you say ‘Wow, we can do that all the time.’ I think we have to be able to find ways to change up a tempo of a game when we are not playing well. We probably would have gotten to it a little sooner if we could’ve gotten out of that hole in the third quarter. But, again, the game, even though it wasn’t pretty, was still within reach. A lot of that goes into thinking when you decide what you’re going to do there. Once we got out of the hole a little bit on that one big pass to Nate (Washington), that kind of got us out of the hole for the first time in almost a quarter and a half. Those are the things we’d like to do, but it was hard to get into that against Houston.

(on the positives of running the hurry-up offense)

I think it’s just that you had to get a lot of completions. You get a couple in a row and then all of a sudden the defense gets tired.  There’s a lot of factors and once you keep the defense on the field, they’re getting tired rushing, they don’t get a chance to recover, they can’t substitute as much. There’s a lot of positives and that’s why more teams do it and do it often. There’s negatives, too, because you could be off the field in three plays and your defense gets about a minute rest. So, there’s a lot of things, but I think there’s a spot in the game where if a guy gets a feel and Jake (Locker) gets it, we stay with it. Maybe that’s something we have to do more and that’s the stuff as we go from week to week that we’ll decide upon.

(on going into a game with an idea of how many series to use the hurry-up offense)

Some games we do. We think maybe we want to mix it in early. We did that before last year a few times. So, yeah, we’ll do that in certain games where we think it fits. Other games it’s more because we’re trying to find a spark somehow and sometimes that’ll give it to you and sometimes it won’t. We’ve tried both. You’ll see us doing it. He’s (Jake Locker) comfortable with it, so I’m sure it’s something you may see again.

(on injuries heading into Sunday)

Sammie’s one of those guys that’ll be day-to-day. He’s sore. We’ll see how (Shonn Greene) is in the next couple of days and see how that goes with the surgery. He’ll be out this week and then we’ll see after that how quickly that thing comes around. Zach Brown didn’t practice today. He was sick during the evening with virus-type stuff, so he didn’t practice today. (David) Stewart didn’t practice today. We’re hoping he can practice tomorrow which would move him another day early which is good. He’s progressing. Kendall Wright didn’t practice today. From that hit he had a little headache yesterday and kind of came in and said, ‘Hey, I was feeling a little bad.’ He’s doing fine today, but he got in the system of going through the process and making sure he’s OK.

(on whether Kendall Wright suffered a concussion Sunday)

He’s in the program under evaluation because of the hit. He was fine after the game. He was fine during the game. He came in Monday and worked out and was doing fine. I think Tuesday he just felt not quite himself. We’re just being cautious with him.

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