Tomlin on the Chargers

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Q. How does San Diego's defense look without Jamal Williams, their Pro Bowl nose tackle who is on the injured reserve list?

A. He, of course, is a force, a guy for whom we have a great deal of respect. He's a perennial Pro-Bowl caliber player, but they have a lot of great players, let's face it. This is the National Football League. If you breathe a sigh of relief because No. 76 isn't playing, then No. 56 hits you in the side of the head, or No. 95, or No. 54, or No. 31, or No. 23, or No. 32 for that matter. The safety is making a bunch of plays for them. He had a pick-six for them last week. Everybody has tools in the toolbox, and we respect them.

Q. What challenges does a guy like Darren Sproles present to your team?

A. I think the most distinguishing characteristic that he has is his short-area quickness, his zero-to-60, if you will. His stop-and-go ability makes him a tough guy to corral. His stature makes him a tough guy to find at times in the draw game and in the screen game. We have a guy with a similar body build named Stefan Logan.

Q. Can you talk a bit about the difficulties in covering the stable of receivers that the Chargers have, in terms of their height, with Vincent Jackson being 6-foot-5, Malcolm Floyd being 6-5 and Antonio Gates being 6-4?

Their stature, of course, makes them a very difficult matchup. But I really think that one of the featured things that make them a difficult team to defend is the fact that their tight end is a tough guy to defend one-on-one, and their running back on third down in Darren Sproles is a tough guy to defend one-on-one. Their receivers, of course, are really good players. Chris Chambers is a veteran player, Vincent Jackson is an emerging star, Malcolm Floyd is a big-play wideout. But when you start talking about defending these guys, the matchup issues like Antonio Gates creates for you is an issue, and the matchup issues that a guy who's cat-quick like Darren Sproles provides is an issue.

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