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Jacksonville Jaguars Postgame Transcripts 9/16

Jacksonville Jaguars Head Coach Doug Marrone and select players comment on their 31-20 win over the New England Patriots on Sunday, September 16, 2018.


Postgame Press Conference
Sunday, September 16, 2018

(Opening statement)

"It was a good game, and it's good to get away with a win. I think what really was important for us, I was talking to the players about how people talk about last year; I think the one thing last year that I try to remind the players of is how we've gotten our fans and everyone back into it. We were really excited to open up here at home. That was a big thing for us and obviously the crowd played a big part in it. Our players feed off of that. I just want to thank the fans for showing up, thank our fans for their enthusiasm. I thought the assistant coaches did a great job. I felt real comfortable with the plan. We were really focused all week. I thought the players did a nice job executing the plan. I thought the quarterback played well. We were able to win. Like I told the players, it's the second game of the season. We've got a lot of work in front of us. We've got a division opponent next week. We'll enjoy this win, and we'll make the corrections, and we'll move on."

(On the aggressive play calling and how pleased he is with the execution)

"We felt comfortable during the week. There were a lot of good signs and tells what was going on, so we felt good about what we were trying to do. When you feel that way, you just have to go out there and execute and we were able to go out there and do it. So it's a credit to, like I said before, the assistant coaches doing a good job and the players doing a good job executing."

(On his evaluation of Blake Bortles)

"I think everyone will see all the good things. I think one of the things that is probably going to get missed is that first series, they had a free hitter coming, blitzing. [Bortles] was able to step to the side, make a miss, make the play down the field, get the third down, and I've said it before, probably too many times, we kind of lose sight of what he can do with his feet. I think that he made some really good throws today. I thought he played with a lot of confidence. He knows and understands that he has to do that every week. He catches a lot of [expletive] and today he's going to be OK. Everyone is going to be happy. Tomorrow he's going to have to come back and start working because we'll be evaluating each Sunday, and he understands that. Again, he did a nice job today."

(On when the decision was made to keep Leonard Fournette out)

"He had a good week. We put a lot of work into it, and it was a point of Leonard wanted to go, and it was that risk-reward and you try to not get caught up in the game, you know what I'm saying? Rather than take a chance where you can be out. It was minor, a little thing pulling at it, and we couldn't get that little thing out. We woke up today. We talked about it today with him over here about 12 p.m., worked on it. We worked on it pretty aggressively during the week. Our thoughts were really optimistic about it. At the end of the day it was my decision. I just didn't want to take a chance."

(On if Leonard Fournette will play next week)

"I'm just going to enjoy this win. Come on, you can't do that to me. Don't ruin my next three hours?"

(On if he built the game plan this week to be without Leonard Fournette)

"No. No we didn't. We felt comfortable with T.J. [Yeldon]. I kind of got a little nervous when Gene [Frenette, Florida Times-Union columnist] asked me on Friday, 'Hey, would you feel comfortable going into the game with just two running backs?' I was like yeah, and then I started thinking about it and I'm like, 'Oh [expletive], maybe not.' You know what I'm saying? I kind of went back and we brought Brandon [Wilds] up just in case. We really thought it was going that way. We planned like he would be there knowing that T.J. and Corey [Grant] would be able to do some of the same things."

(On if they would have been as aggressive passing if Leonard Fournette was here today)

"Yeah, like I said, we didn't know about Fournette until Saturday."

(On who made the call to throw the challenge flag)

"We've got a system set up, like I've said before. I've talked about it before when people have asked me who are those people up there. I just say I really don't want to do that because when I make a mistake it will kill them, and when it's something good like this others take credit all the time."  

(On how this win compares to others, given it's the Patriots)

"It's the home opener. It's a win. We felt comfortable going into the game. I can't explain it any other way. We felt good about the plan. We felt good about where we were. Our players did a heck of a job during the week. Sometimes as a coach you can tell. You never know how they are going to play. I've made that mistake millions of times like we probably all have, but I thought there's certain times, situations during the week, they were focused and I think they learned that you've got to be that way to beat a good football team and we beat a good football team. The schedule is a tough schedule."

(On how important it was to keep the continuity going when Cam Robinson left the game)

"Continuity gets a little overblown at times, in my opinion, as an offensive line coach. I think that's the one thing you always look to. Is it important? It is, but we try to do a good job, like I said before, [Offensive Line] Coach [Pat] Flaherty did a good job and [Assistant Offensive Line Coach] Tony Sparano Jr. When we're doing like the one-on-one stuff with games, things that really need that continuity, we'll mix it up in there. Josh Wells is a guy that has really worked his ass off to really get up there. He came in and did a heck of a job today, obviously, and the guys up front did a nice job today."

(On how Dante Fowler Jr. approached the week and his strip sack today)

"He was good. You know last week when he was suspended I talked to him and he was just working out and training and getting ready to go and he was excited to come back and play. Probably not as much to get out there and play, but importantly being around his teammates. That's the worst part about suspensions. It's not necessarily the game or anything like that, it's that you're not part of your family or your team. He came in and had a good week. He was ready to go. He made a big play in the game and those are the plays you have to make and take the ball away from them at times."

(On Dede Westbrook and Keelan Cole)

"It was part of the plan, catch and run; we knew that was going to be big. Keelan made an unbelievable play on the sideline. Everybody saw that. He's a guy that has been really steady for us, really worked his butt off. I think Dede is probably, I would say, from last year to this year, from looking at people who have really stepped up as far as being professional, I think Dede has made the best change or biggest change at that. Obviously, it's helped this football team and it's helped him as a player. I know I appreciate that. The first year is tough. You're trying to find your way. That second year you kind of get set in a way, and he's been good right from the beginning, very focused and has done a nice job for us."

(On if Corey Grant will be more involved in the future)

"We'll see what fits us best. When you say 'see more of Corey Grant' it sounds like we maybe don't like him or have him part of it. That's never been the case with Corey. We know we have a guy with some special talents and skills, and we've always felt very comfortable with him. He's on our roster and we look each week at the players on our roster that give us the best opportunity. I felt Corey did a great job today with probably a larger role than normally he had."


Postgame Press Conference
Sunday, September 16, 2018

(On how this win feels)

"Good. I think everybody kind of hyped the game up more than we felt or at least made it more of what it actually was. It was our home opener, Week 2, so I guess besides that it wasn't really anything else. We expected to come out and play good and win the football game. We thought that if we played the way we practiced all week, executed the game plan and didn't hurt ourselves or do anything stupid we'd be doing what we are doing now."

(On the aggressive game plan)

"I thought (Offensive Coordinator) Nathaniel (Hackett) did a really good job calling plays and obviously did a good job during the week putting the plan together with the coaches. I thought it was called incredibly well and executed at a high level. We had a penalty here and there but besides that I thought we played within ourselves and did a good job just moving the chains and making plays."

(On if he's ever played a better game)

"I don't know. I think anytime you win it is a good game. It's a good football team obviously so to beat them is a good win. I try to do whatever I can to make sure we can win, if it's throwing for 300 yards or getting us in the right run game checks or whatever it might be. It was definitely good for the most part today."

(On being calm after the win)

"What, do you expect me to change?"

(On him running on third down)

"We have a rule on third down. You can do whatever you want to get the first down. I tried to run him over and get the first down and it didn't work out. We had a play dialed up for fourth down and have them jump off sides. The second one, that guy was a bit bigger so I figured I'd spin off of him."

(On WR Keelan Cole and WR Dede Westbrook's growth)

"It's been cool to watch them grow kind of on a day-to-day basis. They continue to learn more and more. They continue to get better and better. Obviously by what they did today I thought it was pretty awesome and incredible. It makes my job easy just kind of getting them the ball and letting them do what they do after."

(On if this is what the offense has been building towards)

"Yeah. The first half this week and the first half last week were pretty similar, about the same outside of a couple penalties we had last week. We did this week what we couldn't do last week as far as continuing to do the same thing second half. I think that was the emphasis this week. We have a really good defense but they also have an offense that is going to score points so we need to find a way to get a couple touchdowns in the second half and not just go stagnant and count on our defense."

(On if the team is just playing better together)

"I think being in the system for another year helps. Everybody being in Nathaniel's system and feeling comfortable with that. I think when we are focused and locked in and go through a good week of preparation like we expect to every week. As long as we don't hurt ourselves, have stupid penalties or turn the ball over we have a chance to win every game."

(On beating Patriots QB Tom Brady)

"I never really looked at it like that as far as beating Tom Brady. I don't play against him. We play against their defense and he plays against ours. It will for sure be cool, he's a no doubt Hall of Famer and to say that on this day we beat Tom Brady."

(On WR Keelan Cole's catch)

"He had one last year at home. He does stuff like that all the time in practice and kind of just showing off. He's got unbelievable abilities so to watch him go out there, have fun and make plays like that is pretty special."

(On what Keelan Cole's catch did for the momentum)

"It was huge. That was a big catch. To get that and keep those chains moving was big. He is a guy we have grown to expect stuff like that from. That's the type of player he is and the guy we have in him. Him and Dede Westbrook and Dante Moncrief, when they are rolling they are hard to stop."

(On the temperature)

"I don't know if you ever get used to it or accustomed to it. It is always hot. I think you just know what to expect and what is going to come with it. The ball is going to be soaked, everybody is going to be sweating and slippery. We are used to it. This is what we do all the time so it is definitely an advantage for us as far as understanding how it is going to go."

(On the offensive line)

"It was huge. Josh (Wells) has got good experience and good game time experience. He stepped up big for us in years previously and obviously sucks to lose Cam (Robinson). He's a good player and gets better each and every week. It isn't good to have him go down but Josh is more than capable of stepping in and not having to have us change anything or protect him. He's definitely a good player and can handle his own."



(On how much this win means for the team)

"It means a lot but at the same time it's only Week 2, we have 14 more games and it's a long season. We have a tough team next week. They just won a game today so we know we have to get ready to prepare tomorrow and go over corrections to get ready."

(On the message today's win sends to the NFL)

"We're here and we're not letting up. It's that simple. We're looking forward to next week against a great team."

(On what he personally will take away from today's game)

"Technique-wise watching film and spending time with my daughter first because my family is in town. She leaves tomorrow so I've got to spend time with her, but besides that I'm going to stay focused and see what we did wrong as a team and how they attacked us."

(On if he feels today's game was a statement game)

"So the funny thing is I don't like to watch the NFL Network especially before a game so we had a lot of time and I was spending time with my daughter and my dad decides to put the TV on. Steve Mariucci said something like Tom Brady had the highest completion percentage and then he said he's going to break it today so I took a picture and sent it to the DBs so we took it personally."


(Opening statement)

"We just need to keep on doing what we do. I'm always happy to just be able to play, you know. It's Tom Brady, the best quarterback who ever lived. He was coming to play, so we had a good game plan that we felt comfortable about, and we knew that somebody was going for the quarterback. It could be Dante [Fowler Jr.], and we were able to get him into the back to do damage for us and it was incredible."

(On if the win shows how the team has grown since last year)

"Well, yeah, we worked hard on finishing games. We worked hard on staying focused down the stretch and being disciplined and finding a way to win games. I think that, obviously, you want to improve each and every week and play your best ball every week. This one felt good in that we were able to find a way to win against somebody that I have a lot of respect for."

(On how big Tashaun Gipson was in limiting Rob Gronkowski in the game)

"We have some ball players on this team. Different guys show up each and every week, and it's fun to be a part of this defense because we have so many different guys that cam play this game. I can't wait to watch the tape and see what Gip [Tashaun Gipson] was doing, you know. I was just out there hustling, but to know that they weren't out there moving the ball and that they couldn't get down the field is a good feeling, because we worked really hard and we studied, and when we do that, good things happen." 

(On what he was thinking when watching Blake Bortles in the first half)

"You see, we go against Blake [Bortles] in practice. He has some days where he is just lights out and gets us. If he can get us, he can get anybody, because we feel pretty good about ourselves. I know what's going to happen. If he keeps getting opportunities, he's going to be a big time player, so I'm very excited to see him. I was just grabbing popcorn every time the ball was in [Blake] Bortles' hands. I say, 'He's going to do something great', and then he's running and spinning and…man. It was impressive."


(On his reaction after fumbling the ball during the game)

"My teammates were like don't worry about it, but for me in my head I'm thinking like man, I made a mistake, but everybody was like don't even sweat it, we know what you can do, and that made me feel better, so I just came out and continued to play football so it wasn't a mistake that coaches were going to pull me out and sit me. So that shows me that the team has a lot of trust in me, and it made me feel good to get back on the field and continue to compete and win the game."

(On how he feels about the wide receivers on the team)

"I love it and I love learning. I'm a rookie and I'm trying to catch up to speed with those guys and make plays, and I feel like It's coming soon. Like when [Keenan] Cole makes spectacular catches like the one hand on the side it just gets you excited, and Dede [Westbrook] was having a slow day at first and then to just break it for sixty plus yards. That's just the type of weapons we have and those guys just keep fighting, which is one reason I was able to keep going."

(On how he felt playing against the Patriots)

"It felt good. It showed me that I can compete with anybody, and I've been competing with this defense everyday and then playing a team like the Patriots and competing with them and being able to get open and make blocks, it's a confidence booster."

(On if he learned anything today playing the Patriots defense)

"Since they play man you have to be more patient with releases and setting up routes, and you have to watch out for the guy you can't see and that's usually the guy coming for the ball. That's what I learned today. I knew how to do it, but it's the first time it happened to me."


(On the atmosphere today)

"You know, I've played at The Swamp; you know I thought it was actually better than The Swamp. I honestly thought I'd never see another place like The Swamp. Just to see all the people having fun, dancing around, having a good time and winning, perfect Sunday."

(On what it was like to watch the offense click)

"It was great watching the offense click like that. When the offense can do that, we don't have no worries. Everybody just go out there and do their job and everything will work out for itself. It was really cool to see the offense go out there and execute like that. They did a really great job, Blake [Bortles] did a great job, the offensive linemen did an outstanding job and the receivers did an excellent job as well. When everybody working hard like that, it's hard to beat us."

(On the strip-sack)

"Getting off the ball, being relentless, got into the offensive tackle, just doing a good job of keeping us away from [Tom] Brady throughout the game. We were getting there, Brady felt us, we would bump into him. So I knew we were going to get there eventually. We came in at halftime and we said that we need to make a play, we need to get a takeaway. I told myself that I would put it upon myself that I'd do it for my team and I was able to make that happen."

(On if he had flashbacks to the 2017 AFC Championship game)

"No, you're not thinking about that. You want to go out there and make a play, like you said. I was glad I was able to go and get the ball back for my team."


(On the play Dante Fowler made)

"That was epic man, because you know New England is going to make their little push. So when they started getting momentum and when they got the ball on the 30 or 40 for Dante to make that play that he made. Obviously guys were covered so it gave him time, but hell of a play by Dante to not only sack him but to get the ball out. There's no mismatch on our defense, I feel like at any moment somebody's bound to make a big play."

(On his thoughts on the fan comparison to last season's playoff game against the Bills)

"I didn't think it could get better than that but it did; Duval came out and they showed that they were loud for us and we felt like they had an impact on New England's offense. And I thank the fans for coming out. We've got their support and we're finally putting out something that they can be proud of and we're just glad that they want to be a part of it."

(On the message this ream is sending)

"We got Tennessee next week; they beat us twice last year, both early and late in the season. We've got another big game coming up and we're going to enjoy this for 48 hours and move on to Tennessee."

(On the influx of media in the locker room)

"It's dope. I mean I remember the year when we were 3-13 and it was depressing around here and then last year you start to see kind of getting the fans back into it and the media starts coming. And then today we won a big game like this and now you see 50 people around Jalen (Ramsey). It's definitely cool man, to see the growth of the team as opposed to two years ago and now everybody is talking about us. And hopefully with this game we get the respect that we deserve and we just got to continue to win."


(On if he was sorry the Patriots didn't test him more)

"No, it is what it is. It is what it is."

(On if this win was more about the Jaguars)

"Every week is about us. We feel like if we're at the top of our game, then we can't be beat. They were our opponents, so we prepared for them."

(On the energy of the fans today)

"Crazy, going crazy. We love that. We fed off their energy. They had it packed in here. I'm pretty sure it was sold out. Good home opener. We need that a couple more weeks."

(On if the defense expected to get turnovers to close the game)

"Yeah, we pride ourselves on trying to get turnovers, so when we get a turnover like that, it's a big play. We got a lot of guys on this team who can make big plays for us and he came up big today."

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