We're excited about the team that we've put together. We were able to overcome some salary cap issues from the last couple of years and some injuries. We got active in free agency. We're very happy about the unrestricted free agents that we've brought to the club, and of course we're seeing some promise out of this year's draft class as well as the last couple years. We're very young, but we feel like we're getting ready to make another run at it. We feel good about where things are. We're certainly not happy with the outcome of the opener. We felt like we underachieved a little bit and missed out on some opportunities, but we've put that behind us and are looking forward to the challenges ahead.
On taking solace in the way his team fought back Sunday
We've got shots at the end zone, but we don't believe in moral victories here. You win it or you lose it and you go on. You identify why you did and you move on. There were still some positive things to build on. Those are the things that you have to look at. Win or lose you start over each week. That's where our focus is this week.
On the difficulty of parting ways with Steve McNair
It was not easy. The analogy that I've drawn is that it's like sending your first child off to college. He's there every day. You grow up with him. You celebrate life with him, the good and the bad. Then all of the sudden you send him off to college and he's not there the next day. It was a difficult adjustment. Steve handled things well through a difficult phase of the offseason. He understood the business side and handled things well. We've wished him well and we've moved on. We like Vince Young's promise, and we feel good about where we are with Kerry's improvement and what he did last week. We expect Kerry to improve. When you're developing a young quarterback as you guys know, it's good to have a veteran there that he can look up to and watch and learn from.
On naming Collins his starter
I think you can read between the lines now. We brought Kerry in because of experience. There were competitive issues, and I think people would wonder whether or not you could get somebody ready to play. I'm certainly not going to create the same situation we did last week only because I feel good about Kerry's improvement.
On how much Young will play Sunday
You'll have to wait and see there. I can't tell you. What we're trying to do with Vince is we're trying to get him some experience. I don't want to have him go through the year without experience. We're being selective and trying to create situations where we can get him some success.
On what he saw from the Chargers defense on Monday against the Raiders
They're very well coached. They play hard. They're very aggressive, talented. They understand offense. They took things away with scheme, with ability and with energy. They were very, very impressive to watch.
On what individuals standout
Defensive successes are team oriented. This is a defense that works very, very well together. You don't see mistakes. There may be a missed tackle here and there, but you don't see mistakes. They're working very well together. It's obvious that there are 11 guys out there that trust each other right now.
On the Chargers offense
It's a group that has played together for quite some time now. There are very few changes in the lineup with the exception of Philip. I thought they had a nice plan with Philip. We've watched him through the preseason. He makes all the throws. It's an offense that works well together and has weapons in all areas. When you are as explosive as they are and they have the weapons, it makes it tough on defenses to settle in and become one-sided if you will. There are a lot of defensive philosophies that take one thing away and make someone do something else, but if you sit up there and take the run away, the passing game with (Antonio) Gates and Keenan (McCardell) and everyone else is going to create problems for you. It makes you play a balanced game. When you're forced to play a balanced game on defense, you're going to give up some plays.
On having coaches on his staff that know Rivers very well
The system is different. They have great respect for him. They feel like he's going to be a very, very talented quarterback who is successful and a good pro, but as far as creating a situation where you're going to get a tip here that you can get an advantage from, those things are misleading.
On Kevin Mawae
He overcame the injury and had a very, very good preseason. He still plays at a high level. He's one of the better centers in the league right now.
On Vince Young's development
He has improved weekly. He showed improvement throughout the preseason and was given the opportunity to start the final preseason game. He put together two nice drives. He kept some drives alive and made some good third-down conversions and has a pretty good feel for what we're doing. He's very talented, and we feel like he's way ahead of the curve right now from a learning standpoint. He's energetic and is good in the huddle. He has the tools to make all the plays.
On having Norm Chow on his staff
When we were put in a position where we had to make a change, I have an obligation to the organization to go out and get the best guy available. Coach Chow was the best guy out there. There was no doubt in our minds that he was a guy that would fit the system knowing in time that we'd be developing a young quarterback. The plan has fallen together nicely.