(Opening statement) "I was telling [Director of Public Relations] Tad [Dickman] when I was walking in, I said, 'There's so much that's been done from a league standpoint, from an NFLPA standpoint, really to get us where we are.' You think about a couple of months ago, the anxiety of not knowing what was going to happen or occur. To be here in Week 1 getting ourselves ready to go and feeling obviously confident that we'll be able to play, it's really an amazing feat. I think that there are still things that we're all working through from a testing protocol standpoint, which we'll obviously test during the week, continue to do that, then obviously work out through the days off what we want to do, but there's a high confidence level in everyone right now. I don't know if I would've been able to say that early in the year before training camp started, but I think it's built up and it's a credit to [everyone]. There's just a lot of people to give credit to that are behind the scenes that don't really get it [the credit] that have given us this opportunity where we can go out there and play."
(On being able to start the season on time despite the obstacles that have occurred in the past months) "We've got some really good people, doctors for both the league and doctors for the PA. I don't know if it was a matter of 'Do you believe it?' but it was a matter of faith in these people that they know what they're doing and they're going to set up the right protocols to make everyone comfortable. I'll say I had an anxiety level of not knowing and trying to learn how to operate a football team, and as a player, they're learning how to operate, and trainers; everyone in the organization and around the league is learning how to operate with these protocols. But I do see a comfort level now with really just one last thing and that's [when] you look at game day, I don't think that seems to be an issue. I just think the only thing we haven't done right now is just travel so there's probably a little bit of anxiety to that, not because you're not sure the protocols will work, but more of we haven't done that before. I think you're right, a couple of months ago there was a lot of talk of what's going to happen from both players, coaches, league, everyone, fans to a point where we are now where we feel very confident."
(On if it feels like the first game week of the season as opposed to last year and on what he thought of QB Gardner Minshew II's ESPN commercial spot) "Well, no I haven't seen it so as soon as we get off this call, I'm going to have to have a conversation with my weird science brother that he hasn't shown me it or told me or prepped me on this call for that. I haven't seen that. My feelings is [that] it is a little bit different. I'm not going to say [it's not]. A little bit different meaning that it's here we are without the same type of buildup. The preseason had changed, a lot of those things have changed. We're working now as it goes. I think it will start building up and building up obviously to the week and that's how we want to do it with our players. We don't want a lot of things to all of a sudden change because it's game week. The only thing that really changed for us today, and I thought we did an excellent job, was we went to scout teams. Having 16 players on the practice squad, they have to be involved with the game plan, so every one of them has the ability to come up. Obviously, everyone can come up at least twice during the year and be ready in case something happens, so I think you have some good flexibility there. Then, just the flow of practice with 16 bodies being able to do that was great. Like I said, there are going to be a lot of things that come out of these protocols and things that we've done that we're going to be able to look back on, not just the Jaguars but really just the NFL and the NFLPA and say, 'Hey, you know what? This stuff really worked well. We should continue this despite where we may be from a pandemic standpoint, meaning that it's gone away at some time.'"
(On how the team is going to stop Indianapolis Colts QB Philip Rivers this year in the season opener) "I just think it's a great challenge. I think he's always been able to do a heck of a job. I have a lot of respect for him. He's done that to a lot of football teams. Coming in here and not seeing the film [of preseason games], not what they're doing schematically or anything of that nature, is tough. We take the quarterback and you're really not going to show them a lot of things that he probably hasn't seen before. For us, it's just a matter of how do we defend him and if we're trying to stop him. They have a great offensive line and a great running game. They create challenges. They have really good skill on the outside. They've got a plethora of great running backs, a good offensive line. Defensively, they're fast. They do a nice job, so there's going to be a lot of challenges. Not having seen your team play a game yet is something else that you're excited about, but I'm excited to see what we can do. I think we're going against a team that's picked to win a division or go far or surprise a lot of people and they've earned that. They have a good roster. They've got good players and I have a ton of respect for Philip [Rivers]. He always makes it difficult. He's always going to find the matchups, find the spot, and you just have to be able to defend it. He's a tough player to defend."
(On what excites him most about this year's 53-man roster) "I just like the communication with the players. I think some people on the outside are thinking, 'What does that mean?' [It means] the talk for the players, the rallying for the players, the team-first attitude that you have. I think that's exciting because you feel that there's some years you go in and you're like, 'Okay, if we hit adversity, which way are we going to go?' and you really don't know until you hit it. But this team I feel very confident in handling any type of adversity and we'll get adversity not just on the field, but off the field with everything that's going on throughout the year. I feel confident in this football team being able to handle anything that's thrown at them."
(On the hardest decision when narrowing the roster down to 53 players) "It's always tough because I look at it as we have a bunch of guys that have performed well and performed well in camp and some guys that haven't performed as well in the past, and you have to make decisions of what you see right now and not project. You try to say to yourself, 'These guys look like they're going to put us in the best position to win, these guys have had the best camps, these guys have been available,' so a lot of things go into play there. I think it's always tough making decisions when everyone's giving it their all. Sometimes there are some skill sets of those players that maybe don't fit what you want to do, offensively, defensively, or special teams-wise, because you have so many on the one side. It's kind of tough making sure that you have enough skill set and then if someone has a good skill set, but you feel like there's two or three others that may be better, and letting those players go becomes difficult because you do believe that they can play."
(On the ability of the defense to stop the run against the Colts and Titans and if there are any other opponents also have dominant run games) "I think during the year we're going to see a lot of good offensive lines. I think when you go through the schedule, we're going to have to play a bunch of them. I think the first two are big, physical, tough, great challenges for us. I think going into it we feel very good about the guys that we have. I think we understand that it's going to be a great challenge and I think it's going to be a great test. I think we'll know a whole lot early on where we are defensive line-wise, really after our first game and [we] get those guys out there. Right now, we believe in them. We feel comfortable. They've worked their butts off. They understand that we're playing a great offensive line in Week 1 and that's what we're concentrating on. So I'd rather keep my focus on how we go against [them] and how do we match up versus the Colts, which we've got a lot of tough matchups. They have a lot of good players on that offensive line."
(On the status of DL Taven Bryan) "Today we went on the field and we've been real cautious with him. He's been 100 percent over the weekend, and we wanted to kind of bring him back a little bit today. He looked good and he wound up practicing, so that's where he is."
(On the status of RB Ryquell Armstead after the injuries and being placed on the Reserve/COVID-19 list for the second time) "I think it will be a while. I think it's going to be a while. I can't put a real timetable on it, but he'll be out for a while."
(On if he feels like he needs to add more experience to the running back group and reports that free agent RB Devonta Freeman visited with the team over the weekend) "[General Manager] Dave [Caldwell] and I had a lot of discussions on it, so I really like this room. I think this room, like I've said before, I'll keep talking about their skill set and what we can do and how we can use them. We felt like at the time, we really didn't know where Rock [Ryquell Armstead] was and to Mark's question, we feel like it will be awhile [until he's active again]. We brought Devonta [Freeman] in and we had good talks with him, and we'll see where it goes. But make no mistake about it, the three guys we have are the three top guys in camp and I'm excited to get these guys out there and watch them go. Chris [Thompson] is healthy for the first time. [Devine] Ozigbo has really earned the spot from what he's done and James Robinson, a guy that not many people know, has really had a good camp. So those guys will be ready to go and, like I said before, they all have different skill sets and we've got to play to their skill set when they're in the game."
(On when the captains will be announced) "What we did was, this morning, we took a vote on it. The team voted. I have that, I tallied it. That's done with myself and [Director of Player Engagement and Youth Football] Marcus Pollard and [Director of Team Administration] Tyler Wolf so we go there, and we collect them. I haven't told the team yet. I'm going to tell the team at 4 p.m. and I believe Tad [Dickman] will get that out right afterwards once I tell the team, so we'll have that."
(On if there is any hesitation having a young group of players in the secondary and if he thinks there should be more of a veteran presence) "I think initially we did. We had Rashaan Melvin, he opted out, and then we were trying to bring in some type of veteran presence back there. I'd say initially going into camp we did, but the young guys have done well. As coaches, it's just a lot of anxiety. It's like they do well in practice and then what I have to do, I kept reminding the coaches, is that if they're doing well in practice is this thing going to come over and we have to see what happens when the lights come on. It should come over or we want it to come over on Sunday. Then the other side, sometimes you get guys that don't practice that well, but in the past they've shown they can do it and you're like, 'Oh, when we just get to the game we can do it.' I've seen problems with both. To answer your question, yes, we were looking for a little bit more veteran presence back there. I feel good that we have it with D.J. Hayden [and] Jarrod Wilson. Josh Jones brings some presence back there. So really when you look at it, those are really the three guys that probably have the most experience back there and [with] their leadership, they've done a great job. They really have. Would I like to have some more [veteran experience]? I would, but I'm happy with the guys that we have."
(On if the league rule of not allowing players into the facilities on Mondays will be an obstacle this season) "I think in this time going into this season, mentally for me, I said that there's going to be a lot of change and there'll be changes going [through the course of the season]. When they're for all of the rights reasons and it's for health reasons, obviously it's not an issue. As a player, when I played, we were off on Mondays. So at least in my mind, I know what we want to do and how we want to do things, so that's not an issue. I think the issue was [that] we as coaches can get tested and get into the building so this way we can game plan. Trainers, everyone that's in that game day tier, if they need to come in here and unpack the equipment and unpack the training room equipment, have the trainers available, to make sure there's a protocol set in place, which the league has come out and said there is. I don't see it as an issue at all."
(On if the game plan has changed with no preseason games to 'shake the rust off') "I think we have some drive-starters, plays we want to go into the game with, and situationally you have to be able to change. I don't think the way we're going to go about it is really going to change how we do things. I think, not that we're set in our ways, it's just that it's something that we've done, we believe in, we see success with it. I think we'll have some things scripted, but like I said before, depending on where the ball is, you can get off that script quickly."
(On Josh Jones' training camp and how he earned his role on the defense) "I think that early on a lot of stuff starts with these players really after the season. You don't have a lot of contact with them but when they contact you and they're like, 'Hey listen, can I get this? Can I get that? This is what I'm planning to do.' We've talked a lot about that about Josh Allen, about where he was mentally afterwards and how he wanted to do more. Josh [Jones] was a guy that was on our team and [we] really didn't know a lot about him and then after the season he was kind of in that same role that Josh Allen had., meaning, 'Hey, let me get this stuff. Let me look at it. Let's go.' I've had a lot of talks with Josh Jones over the past couple of weeks in training camp. When we're looking to get down to numbers early on, when we're going from 90 to 80, I really didn't know where a lot of these players were, and Josh just stood out right off the bat. So all of a sudden you're coming in there and you're not looking to move the chart, as far as the depth chart or getting guys reps, and he came back with knowledge and enthusiasm and being in the right position and making plays from the first day walking into the building. I didn't really want to mess up the depth chart too much early on, but I was like, 'Shoot, we have to see more. We've got to see more. We've got to give this guy an opportunity.' I think every time we had given him an opportunity, he showed up big, he really did. He took advantage of it. A lot of times players that maybe bounce around a little bit or something, I don't want to put words in Josh's mouth, but sometimes you're like, 'Hey, this is it. This is the last opportunity for me,' and I think that might have played into his mindset after the season last year. He did everything he could to put himself in a position he is [in] and make no mistake about it, it's beneficial for us when a guy shows up and plays the way he does. He's big, he's strong, he's fast. [He] communicates extremely well. [He's] very knowledgeable. He has all of the things that you're looking for, so we're expecting him to play at a high level like he's been practicing."