Q: Have you guys proven to yourselves that you’re mentally tough enough for the challenge ahead?
PC: I mean, we’re coached to be mentally tough, since I’ve been here for 10 years. That’s never a question. We had some rough games at home. We played and stayed mentally tough and just kept pushing so it worked out for us. That’s never really an issue for us. Bill [Belichick] puts that in our head from training camp or minicamp. You’re going to be mentally and physically tough so it’s something we don’t worry about.
Q: What does it say about the Chargers that they’ve gone toe-to-toe with tough teams like the Chiefs and Seahawks on the road and come out with victories?
PC: They’re a tough team, man. They wouldn’t be in the playoffs. They wouldn’t have the record they have so they’re good. They’re good. They’re physical. They play good at home, play good away and they’re mentally tough also. It definitely shows how tough they are. They’re a good team, period. So, we have to be able to bring our A game for this one or we go home. We have to get ready to go.
Q: At this time of year with so much riding on the line, you’ve got to be pretty excited to be back in the playoffs and competing, right?
PC: Yeah, it’s exciting but it’s just football, man. We’ve just got to keep it there. Don’t get too high, don’t get too low. Just do the same things we’ve been doing for 20 games. I preach that every day, every year. Yeah, it’s a big game, stakes are high but it’s just football and that kind of keeps me calm and helps keep the guys calm. Just go out there and play your game one play at a time just like we’ve been doing and kind of go from there.
Q: Is that harder to do this time of year?
PC: If you make it. I mean, it’s natural. It’s the playoffs. People are going to – their nerves are going to get going but if you can settle down and realize it’s just football and everything has to be a little better, but it’s just football. We’ll be alright.
Q: There was a stretch in a game this year where Philip Rivers completed 20-something passes in a row. Did you guys look at that on film at all?
PC: We’re not looking at just 20 plays. We’re looking at the whole season. But Phil can do that; he’s a good quarterback. He’s been a good quarterback for the majority of his career. Yeah, we’ve been watching him and we’ve got to see how we can handle him.
Q: How does a defense even try to take away all of the different options he has offensively?
PC: There’s some little things we have to work on. But just doing our job. I’ll put it like that. Just doing our job and making sure we’re all on the same page with 11 guys playing the right defense.
Q: How would you describe their running backs and their involvement in the passing game, as well as their tight ends with guys like Antonio Gates?
PC: [He’s] still doing it, still savvy, still quick, still good hands, good body control and the running backs are good in the running game and the pass game. They both can catch. They both can get out there and run routes so they’re definitely not one-dimensional. They’re playmakers back there so we’ve got to, like I said, do our job and try to take away all the threats that they have that they pose to us.
Q: How important was it to close out the season with two victories?
PC: I mean, yeah, it’s important. It’s important to have some momentum but momentum doesn’t mean a damn thing when you get to the playoffs, you know what I mean? You can win 10 games in a row. If you lose this one, you’re done. It’s all about this game. Forget the other two games. We’ve got to come out here and play some ball or we’re going to be watching the rest of the playoffs. Just taking it day by day and play by play and go from there.
Q: How big was the bye week for you personally and for your health?
PC: Yeah, it’s a good time to rest up, hang out with my family, chill out, get my mind off football. We’re locked in now.
Q: Does your body feel good?
PC: Yeah, my body feels great. We’re in a week-by-week season now so it’s good to be back.
Q: Do you think Stephon Gilmore seems more comfortable in the secondary this year?
PC: Yeah, I see that but that’s something that you’ve got to ask Steph, if he’s more comfortable. I don’t know how comfortable –
Q: But there seems to be a calmness to him out on the field.
PC: Yeah, yeah. I mean, he’s been that way – quiet, work hard, go home. Quiet, work hard, go home. That’s what I’ve seen from him and he’s showing it and hopefully we can do a couple of more games and get to smile and celebrate a little bit.