Heard in the Chargers Locker Room

Norv Turner calls Sunday's win the gutsiest he's ever seen. Igor Olshansky believes the Patriots are scratching their heads. Read their quotes, plus those from nine other players, in this locker room wrap-up.

HEAD COACH NORV TURNER

On advancing to the AFC Championships game

"I said it last week, it's always about the next game. And we have our work cut out, we know that. But this group will respond and get ready and, you know, it's exciting. That's why you coach, that's why you play. You want to win a championship. That's what you do it for. And we've gotten closer each of the last two weeks."

General comments on game

"There's a mindset in our league that our guys kind of play good and are frontrunners, but when the going gets tough or they play a good team or when things get challenging, they don't rise to the occasion. That's been mentioned a few times this year to me and suggested a few times, and I think we've put that thing to rest. I think that one's done. We've got some guys who compete and fight and scratch and claw as good as I've ever been around. I told them in the lockerroom, I've been doing this a long time, a long time in this league and a long time before, and I've never been around a more gutsy performance by a team. And the adversity, the things that happened during the game, the injuries, our guys never backed down. It's one I'll remember in terms of individuals stepping up and doing the things you talk about and competing. That's a special game."

On replacing the injured starters during the game

"That's part of it, but the way our guys responded. No one put their head down and said, ‘well, we're on the road, we're playing a good team, the crowd noise, we haven't got a break, we had things called back that you looked at and thought why did they call that back?' And our guys just kept fighting. We had a lot of guys, in all three phases, make big-time contributions to this win."

On a rematch with New England

"You know what? We want to play the best we can. We wanted to find out a way to come in here and play this game, and we accomplished that. We'll catch our breath, we'll go see where we are from a health standpoint, and then we'll ready to go. Hopefully, we've talked all along, we wanted to play our best game in January, and, hopefully, we still have our best game in us."

On injuries to RB LaDainian Tomlinson and QB Philip Rivers

"LT and Philip got banged up, both of them are knees, and both will be questionable and we'll see how they are through the rest of the week."

On questions earlier in the season about the San Diego coaching staff

"We have an outstanding group of coaches, and we were fortunate, when this situation happened, the guys we were able to hire and the staff we put together, I've never doubted them, and I've never doubted myself."

On putting backup QB Billy Volek in the game following Rivers' injury

"The biggest thing was, we were getting some run going with Michael (Turner), and we were playing good up front. We have a plan, if Billy goes in there, there's things he's very comfortable with, and we felt we could execute. He improvised and made some plays. And, when he's gone in the game, it really hasn't been fair to him. We've been way ahead and we're trying to get home and end the game, and we never gave him a chance to go play. He had a chance to go play today, and he stepped up."


QB Philip Rivers
Sam Greenwood/Getty

QB PHILIP RIVERS

On the game

"It was a gutty performance by the whole team. There were a lot of guys out there playing their hearts out. Nobody gave us a shot. All the preview shows were saying - can't wait for Indy vs. New England. We just had us (ourselves) in the locker room. Kind of like we just had us, when we were 1-3. We believed it and we kept playing and now here we are."

On his injury

"It was nothing with the left knee. It is fine. It was an injury from Tennessee. I don't know how it happened. It was kind of weird. It (right knee) didn't feel too good."

On Billy Volek

"Billy is outstanding. He has been around long enough and that is why we have him here. I was happy the way he finished it off."

Thoughts on New England

"We know it will be a challenge. We are going against a team that might be the best there ever was."

QB BILLY VOLEK

On his thoughts when entering the game

"I was excited. I wanted to go out there and make some plays. When you play a team like this and have so many weapons like Gates (Antonio) and LT (LaDainian Tomlinson), you don't have to go out and do anything exceptional." On his first completion

"When you get hit or complete the first pass, the butterflies kind of go. It is just a game o f 11 on 11. I have been doing this for 20 some years."


RB Michael Turner
Doug Pensinger/Getty

RB MICHAEL TURNER

On coming in for the injured Tomlinson

"It was great, you know, a playoff atmosphere, a hostile crowd and hostile environment. It was great to go out there, have fun and play some football."

RB/KR DARREN SPROLES

On 56-yard touchdown

"That play just came at the right time. We saw the backside safety had dropped down. It was off to the races after that."

On coming in for Tomlinson

"We just had to go in there and step up. When your number is called, you just have to step up."

WR VINCENT JACKSON

On his touchdown catch early

"That was big. We wanted to keep them off the field with their kind of offense, and we put together some big drives in that first quarter. Philip (Rivers) threw a great ball, they were in a cover two situation, and I got past the cornerback pretty quickly and just went up and got it."

On overcoming injuries and penalties to win

"Yep, that's part of football. It's part of the game. This one is over and we had to get the win and we did."

DE IGOR OLSHANSKY

On playing New England

"The way that we're playing now, nothing can stop us. The way that we overcome adversity and everything else. I guarantee you that (Bill) Belicheck and everybody else over there are scratching their heads saying, man we better get ready."

Is this win your best memory at the RCA Dome?

"Absolutely, just because how big this game was and we are going to the AFC Championship game. The victory here two years ago was great too, but this is definitely better."


DE Luis Castillo
Andy Lyons/Getty

DE LUIS CASTILLO

On Chargers' defensive strategy

"Shawne worked on flushing him (Manning) out of the pocket quick. That's how we had a great game."

On goals coming into today's gam

"The goal was to be a complete team and our special teams played well. Have to give credit to Mike Scifres, Darren Sproles, special teams did a great job and made us a complete team."

On getting the touchdown taken away before halftime

"This wasn't about finding an excuse. We weren't going to come in this locker room and make excuses as to why we didn't win this game. It was a tough call, but you move on... you can't sit around and think about one play."

LB SHAUN PHILLIPS

On stopping the Colts offense

"We like to feel that we have a strong defense. We can't look at the fact that it's Peyton Manning throwing the football. We can't look at the fact that it's Reggie Wayne and Marvin Harrison catching the ball. We just have to worry about what we do and do what we do the best that we can do it."

LB SHAWNE MERRIMAN

On having Rivers, Gates and LT injured

"It was tough. Whenever you lose guys that are big to your team, you really have to battle through and guys behind them have to step up and they did they did that tonight."

On getting to Peyton Manning

"It's hard because their whole scheme is built around giving him time and letting him make good decisions and getting to all those great receivers. It was tough getting to him but we had to do it."

On winning clutch games this year

"I think we're probably keeping our poise a little bit. Last year when we were in tough situations, we kind of backed up a little bit, thinking too much about winning or losing the game instead of just going out there and playing."

CB ANTONIO CROMARTIE

On the interception before halftime

"It had the momentum change. To only be down by three points playing Indy at home being down three points, it gives us a chance."


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