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Jaguars Offensive Coordinator Jay Gruden: Wednesday, December 16, 2020

(On QB Gardner Minshew II returning as the starter this week) "We're excited to have Gardner [Minshew II] back in there, he's a full go. Hopefully, we'll give him something that he's comfortable with and let him play. I think the big thing with Gardner is [he has a] different style, demands a little bit different type of ways to go about the offense. He moves around a lot back there in the pocket, so our receivers have to get back used to that for off-schedule plays, which happen once or twice in the game. [It's] just a matter of getting back used to him and calling plays for him to get him back comfortable in the pocket."

(On QB Gardner Minshew II wanting to come back earlier from his injury) "Well, I think there's a difference between somebody saying they want to and then actually showing that they're ready. I think that's the one thing we were trying to figure out as a staff: is he ready physically to get back there? There wasn't really a whole lot of proof that gave us that. Mentally, Gardner [Minshew II] is a competitor. He's going to want to play whether he has a broken thumb or broken leg, whatever, he's going to try to play. But from the way we looked at it, we didn't think he was quite ready with the reps that we saw him get. Now, we feel a little bit more comfortable obviously and [Head Coach] Coach Marrone decided to make the switch back to him. Hopefully, we'll get a good couple days of practice here, let us see him stroke it in practice and go from there."

(On putting together a game plan when switching between three quarterbacks this season) "It's hard because I think you sit in meetings and people understand what we're talking about on a chalkboard and with the film projector, but when they get out there live, how much is too much and what can they handle, what can't they handle? So, that's been the biggest challenge for me. You want to simplify some things, but you also want to try to have some creativity, some different formations, and different concepts. [There's] probably put too much on their plate, all of them. I'm trying to make sure these guys are comfortable. That's the number one thing with Gardner [Minshew II] this week, but it has been quite the challenge to know what these guys are comfortable with and what they can execute."

(On how much the playbook is adjusted when switching from QB Mike Glennon to QB Gardner Minshew II as the starter this week) "They all should be able to run a lot of the same stuff, just you have to be a little bit more aware of what Gardner [Minshew II] can do with his legs. He's a little bit more athletic, so there might be some more things that get him outside the pocket so to speak, more so than maybe Jake [Luton] or Mike [Glennon] who aren't quite that athletic. We try to cater to his strengths and go from there. We put in quite a few plays from training camp until now, so [we're] picking and choosing the different ones we've run before, the best way to attack this Raven defense, which obviously is pretty good."

(On dealing with off-schedule plays as a coordinator) "You don't deal with them. You just hope they happen positively in our favor for us. You see some of the great ones, [Packers QB] Aaron Rodgers and [Chiefs QB] Patrick Mahomes, I don't think they script those off-schedule plays, but they happen, and they usually happen in a favorable manner. Hopefully, our receivers understand Gardner [Minshew II]. Sometimes he'll break the pocket and we have to do a better job around him to get open and escape. It's scramble drill, it's whatever you want to call it. We have to get open for him and our line has to continue to try work and stay on their blocks. A lot goes into that, but hopefully our guys will all understand that and react."

(On if they practice off-schedule plays and scrambling) "Well, you never know what's going to happen. You'd like to have everything: you have great protection, great routes, and deliver the ball on time. That's what our goal is, but obviously that doesn't happen every play or hardly ever sometimes. We have to do a good job of trying to just adjust and keep talking it through. You never know what play is script and then you blow the whistle and have the guy run around to it. It could be a play action pass, it could be a quick game, it could be a true drop back. Our guys just have to understand that if they don't get the ball and timing of the play, they have to abort and make something happen."

(On WR DJ Chark Jr. this season) "I mentioned this a little while ago, DJ [Chark Jr.]'s a great kid, working very hard. We've tried to target him and it just hasn't happened, whether it's a protection issue, whether he's been covered, whether it's been a poor throw, whatever. It just has not happened the way we anticipated it happening in training camp. He had a great training camp. He's a great player and we just have to try to continue to figure out ways to get him the ball, whether it's in the slot, whether it's outside, whether it's in a stack. Wherever it might be, we have to try to figure out ways to get him the ball and he has to continue to work on his craft as well. I think everything goes hand in hand. The production hasn't really been there for anybody from a standpoint of what we expect, so we just have to continue to demand more and hopefully we'll get more."

(On WR DJ Chark Jr.'s frustration in his lack of production) "I think everybody's frustrated, not just him. I think all of our receivers are frustrated. Our tight ends, our quarterbacks are frustrated. The whole team's frustrated. You lose 12 in a row, you better be frustrated. But now, it's a matter of coming back to work and continuing to work on your craft, not pointing any fingers, don't blame the quarterback, don't blame the receivers, don't blame the line, don't blame the defense, don't blame the coaches. Let's just go in here and everybody come back and work and let's get better. We have a young football team. There's no question about it. We've gone through three quarterbacks, different tight ends. We lost our third down back. We're down two different backs in the backfield as far as getting open. It's been quite the challenge. Laviska [Shenault Jr.]'s been in and out of the offense, DJ [Chark Jr.]'s been in and out of the offense, so [we're] getting these guys ready, prepared in different spots. Keelan [Cole Sr. has been] playing slot for the first time in his career. It's been a challenge, but these guys have come to work. They practice hard, they work hard. Production hasn't shown, but I think in the long run, [if] we stay on this course, these guys will get better and better because of this situation now."

(On the offensive line and OL Andrew Norwell coming back from injury) "I think Andrew [Norwell] coming back is huge. I think he's called 'Big Nasty' for a reason. We love his tenacity in the running game and he's physical. He's a good pass protector. Obviously, [Ben] Bartch did a good job for his first game, really filling in for a starting role, did a good job. [Tyler] Shatley's been solid at center so we're okay there and A.J. [Cann]'s done a good job at right guard. I think having Andrew back is going to be a big plus for our interior running game. They're [the Ravens] a powerful team upfront, very difficult to run between the tackles, but having Andrew in there will help out a lot."

(On the lack of depth on the offensive line) "I think we'll have to decide on who that extra guard is, whether it's KC [McDermott] or whoever it might be, so that'll be a big challenge. Hopefully our guys stay healthy, but we'll get somebody ready. We have guys in here that have been practicing and [are] ready to roll if they're called upon."

(On if it's an advantage facing previous teammates, former Jaguars and current Ravens DE Calais Campbell and DE Yannick Ngakoue) "Probably. They've seen them so that's good. Still, Calais [Campbell] is a huge man and very productive, very active still. Obviously, Yan[nick Ngakoue] does a good job with his outside pass rush, so it'll be challenging. They have a good front. They give you a lot of different looks, again, odd fronts, even fronts, different guys blitzing in A gaps and B gaps and C gaps, safeties coming, nickels coming. It's quite the pain in the neck. Those guys are definitely good pass rushers, but there's a lot of other guys we have to worry about as well."

(On if they have specific drills to practice for CB Marlon Humphrey, who leads the league in forced fumbles) "We do ball security drills every Thursday. Our guys have done a great job of protecting the ball. I think we've had a couple fumbles. Mike [Glennon] fumbled one time and Gardner [Minshew II] had a couple fumbles early. But for the most part, our running backs and receivers have done an excellent job of hanging on [to] the ball in traffic. We just have to continue to preach that: two hands on the ball. [Ravens CB] Marlon [Humphrey], he does a great job. He's forced nine fumbles already this year. [He's] very productive, very similar to [Bills CB] Josh Norman. I had him [in Washington]. He did a great job of the ball punch. It's just something we have to be aware of in practice. Make sure we get two hands on the ball and hold it tight."