(On if he feels he is already in midseason form after recording two interceptions in practice) "No, not yet. They were just big plays coming back-to-back. That is just one thing we try to do especially as a defense – make turnovers to change the game."
(On the importance of forcing turnovers) "It's very important, but that is what we expect of ourselves. When you have the best defense in the league, you have to do it in practice. That is where it starts."
(On his impressions of the rookie cornerbacks) "They have been grinding. You can tell the jump they have had from OTAs especially with Tre [Herndon] and 'Q' [Quenton] Meeks. They have been making plays and they are coachable and they are starting to show it, especially on the film. You saw what Tre did today with the pick in the red zone. We are all just happy for him, and we can't wait to see him do it in first game."
(On having Jalen Ramsey back) "It is very nice. Our coaches were actually joking about it, but he came back and now we are finally talking trash – the DBs. He brought that aspect back, but you see me and him and our defense out there, and it is a scary sight. We are just trying to get it started now."
(On taking the practice reps against receivers very serious) "Oh, yeah. We are competitive as a team, but especially as a defense. We hate getting flags, we hate giving up catches. We are competitive. Jalen said today, 'If they are open, that means the receiver pushed off.' (laughter)It's true. That is the mindset that we have, and we are just giving them a hard time. We are having fun with it."
(On what Special Teams Coordinator Joe DeCamillis told the defensive backs in practice) "He thought we said something that was not supposed to be said. I talked to him after and I was like, 'You just heard wrong. We are just passionate.' It was all good."
(On the light mood and the fun the defense has been having) "Definitely. It is fun. We have a strong bond, especially in the back end. As a defense, we are coming in every defensive meeting having jokes and making the rookies talk and stuff like that. We are always roasting each other and having a good time, but as soon as we step in between these lines, we are so serious. Especially my first year coming here, it was a little different. I felt like I had more to prove. Now that I am really paying attention to everything, you can see how close this team is. That is one thing that we are doing. We know what we did last year, but we have a lot to prove still."
(On if he expects a big jump from this defense) "I am not even going to say a big jump. It is just more of a consistency [thing], especially towards the end of the season, end of games. We dominated games, we had shutouts and then we just get relaxed. That is one of the things that coach talked to us about when we first got back. The mentality we have out here running all these plays and stuff like that. We don't trip because we know what it is there for and that we are trying to get better at."
(On what he has seen out of DJ Chark Jr.) "DJ Chark, that man is athletic. He has a baby face, but he plays like he is 30. Him and Jalen [Ramsey] working [against each other], you love to see those matchups because you are going against the best in the game. If you see him do something like that to Jalen, you get excited. It is not only him, Keelan Cole has taken another big step. That wide receiver room has a lot of competition."
(On the competitiveness between the wide receivers and the defensive backs) "It is fun. One thing I can say is I am excited to see what Blake [Bortles] does this year because I think our receivers don't get enough credit, and it has showed this offseason. Once we get [Donte] Moncrief and Marqise [Lee] back, it's going to be amazing. Those guys are out there making plays, and they can really run. Now that Blake is out there airing the ball out, those guys are showing that they can go get it."
(On his early impressions of Austin Seferian-Jenkins) "He is big. He is real big. But he is a big red zone threat. He is actually faster than what people think – he has great game speed. You can tell this year that we definitely have more weapons, we are younger and they are going to be helping us [the defense] out a lot just like we are going to be helping them out a lot."
(On if he feels motivated to go out and be a great defense again) "Most definitely. All offseason, I was just thinking about that last game against New England. The first thing that we talked about when we got back was how close we were. What happened with our defense was in the past. We put up all those numbers – individual stats and all that, but it is a new year. There are teams that are really studying us now as a defense, but we are just going to be ready for everything. We are going to continue to make plays."
(On if it is motivating to get so close to the Super Bowl) "Yes, most definitely. I talked to some people, I even talked to Malik [Jackson] about it. That year they [Denver Broncos] lost to the Ravens in the AFC Championship and then they came back the next year … Or they lost in the Super Bowl and then came back and won it the next year against Carolina? It was one of those. It is really just getting over that hump. It is the NFL, you are going against great players. The grind we are doing now is going to pay off in the end. We are just going to have stay on top of it once the season starts."
(On the mindset of the defense continuing to be great) "We are still making plays. Nothing has changed. We have everyone back this year. We are really healthy. Last year, I missed all of camp. Jalen [Ramsey] missed most of camp. A.C. [Aaron Colvin] missed most of camp. Now that everybody is back, we are back healthy. Myles Jack, I think he does not get enough credit. I watch him a lot on film and even a lot of other players talk about how much better of a defense we are because of him. We just have too many athletes on defense, and we have to capitalize on this opportunity while it is here."
(On how it has been building a relationship with D.J. Hayden) "It's been good. He is out there competing. He is definitely making plays. It is a lot of competition. I went to UCF, he went to Houston, so I definitely knew what he was capable of when he was at Houston. I feel like he is going to come in and just make plays. He has been doing it so far. He is athletic, too, so that is what is going to help us out."
(On the absence of Paul Posluszny) "It is definitely tough just for the simple fact that he was a true pro. He did everything by the book. He took care of his body, he never caused problems and he was a great teammate. At the same time, the next guy has to step up, and then you have a leader in Telvin [Smith Sr.]. He has definitely been keeping us – and Calais [Campbell] has been keeping us up to date on everything and making sure we are on our stuff. Even me, B[arry] Church, Jalen [Ramsey] – we have a lot of vets that are going to have to take a leadership role. We miss Poz, you can tell the difference out there, but like I said, it is the NFL. Next man up."
(On Jalen Ramsey, Myles Jack and Yannick Ngakoue being a part of the same draft class) "That is amazing. Myles was a steal. I am glad he is here with us. We all know that. Yann has proved a lot of people wrong, and he still feels he has something to prove. He is grinding even when he is not out on the field. Everything is just so serious with him. You have to respect somebody like that, who just wants to win every day."
(On if the chip on his shoulder isn't as big as it once was) "No, definitely not. For me, I will always have that statement that I was undrafted. They are always going to figure it out. Like if I give up a play – [they will say], 'Oh, now we see why.' It is not even that. I talked trash with a few players this offseason and somebody said, 'You all are still the Jaguars.' That definitely motivates me because I know that is how people in the league are looking at us. If you all want to sleep, you can. We are just going to do the same thing again, so I'm not worried about it."