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Jaguars Postgame: Chiefs vs. Jaguars - Sunday, September 8, 2019



Sunday, September 8, 2019

(Opening statement) "Obviously, it's unfortunate. You'd really like to see how the game would have worked itself out. With Nick [Foles] getting hurt, just so you know, what I've been old is he broke his left collarbone. I don't know the timeframe. I'm sure you guys can look it up and see what the average broken collar bone is. We gave up too many big plays against Kansas City. They got guys open, Sammy Watkins and [Travis] Kelce. They did a really good job. We were trying to prevent the big plays to see if they had any patience. That was the plan going into it, playing a lot of cover four, but again they did a nice job and made the plays and were able to get behind us and by us. I think offensively, I was disappointed with the red zone. I mean, a penalty in the red zone, that still pisses me off. That's tough. I still think, with all the stuff going on, right in the middle of that third quarter we're down by 10 and we're getting in the red zone, got a chance to cut it to a one-score game. We had a turnover. It went from a one score game, where you kicked a field goal or scored a touchdown, to them driving down the field and going to a three-score game. I think when you look at games, that's a critical point in it, but there's a lot of plays that happen in the course of the game. What I told the players is that a lot of times you lose your quarterback right off the bat in the first week of the season, I believe in them. I think that Gardner [Minshew II], I feel better about him now, today, after week 1 than I did probably during the preseason. I think that's fair to say. I think the work during the preseason was able to get him ready for things like this. I don't know, I'm hoping that's the case. I think what you have to understand is it's very difficult for any backup quarterback to go out there because they don't take any reps during the week. He didn't take any reps against Kansas City's defense and went out there and performed. We didn't have any delay of games, we didn't have any things of that nature, ran a two-minute. I think you look at two tackles starting in their first game. I thought they did a nice job. They really did. I think we had the holding penalties in the interior, something that is disappointing that we need to work on. Quincy [Williams] was out there. We had some young guys out there. For some of those guys, DJ [Chark Jr.] was a big part, really needed him to step up. We've talked about that before, and I think he did today. I think we're going to keep getting better. We're going to believe in each other, and like I told the players, I can't speak for anyone. I can't speak for any of them. I can't speak for the coaches, but I make them a promise. I said, 'I will lead this team to the best of my abilities. I'll do the best job possible, and I believe in this football team, and I think that we will win games, but make no mistake. We do have work ahead of us, but I feel good about where this team is."

(On how frustrating his discipline message didn't seem to transfer to this game) "It's always easy when you're on the outside, even for me on the sideline. You don't really know what's going on out there. First game, lots of emotion, a lot of stuff going on. You don't know what's been said, what's been done, what shots have been in piles. And I'm not saying that there was any. I think at the end of the day you want to have better composure, and I believe that Myles [Jack] especially would be the first one to tell you that. In the heat of the battle, when that stuff happens, it takes a lot and we ask our players to withhold themselves and show that composure and that's what we're looking for, and we'll keep preaching it, and I believe that we'll get it. I think our players understand that. I thought it should have been on both players, but it wasn't. It was just on us, and that's the way it goes. We've got to keep doing it and keep preaching it."

(On if he expects Nick Foles to need surgery and if IR is a possibility) "I wish I could help you there. Like I said, broken collarbone. I'm sure when I get the information, I've always told you guys, whatever I get I tell you guys. I have no idea. I just know he has a broken collarbone."

(On if he can put his finger on what Andy Reid did schematically to help the Chiefs score on their first seven possessions) "They are pretty damn good now. You've got to give them credit. They beat us. We weren't in the best position. They did a nice job. Sometimes you've just got to tip your hat. Hopefully we can do a better job. They've done that to a lot of football teams. Got to learn form it and get better. That's really all I can say. They have players making plays, and those guys made plays, big catches, big throws. It's not like we didn't have anyone in the area, except for the one we got picked, which was a good play by them, but other than that we have people in the area that should be there to make the plays, but we just didn't, just couldn't."

(On if he's talked to Nick Foles) "I talk to him during the game. I talked to him at halftime. I spoke to him."

(On how Nick Foles' spirits are after the game) "I mean it's tough. I feel bad for him."

(On what he saw out of DJ Chark Jr.) "Yeah, he made plays. He made plays, running down the field. He did a nice job. Like I said, it's not really known. I know we needed people to step up and make plays, and that was big for us. It was big for him to come out in the first game and do that. Now it's going to be a challenge for him to do it each game. Make no mistake about it, that helps us."

(On why it was difficult to matchup with Sammy Watkins) "It's always hard to match up with him. We were in a lot of zone though, especially early on. They were just getting in the seams and speed, just catching it and going. When you look at it, they've got top guys at each position. They've got Pro Bowlers there. It's like everyone says, 'Well you should have covered him. You doubled him.' During the week a lot of people are giving you a lot of advice on who to double. At the end of the day, you double no. 10 or you double no. 87 and you singled on this and you singled on the backs coming out of the backfield. There's a lot of things going on and that's the pressure they put on you. That's why they are one of the top offenses in the league and one of the best offenses to come around in quite a while. When you look at the questions I got this week, national media-wise, it's where do these guys rank?"

(On how he analyzes Gardner Minshew II after a loss like this) "I think of all us can do that. Did he make the throws? Did he hang in the pocket? Like I said before, did he have delay of games? Was it a problem with play calls, things of that nature, which you didn't see. You saw eleven guys out there functioning well, and it starts with the quarterback. That's a lot. I mean, people don't realize, you're getting these plays that are coming through our helmet. You're verbalizing these plays out. Then obviously you've got to paint a picture in your mind of what's going on out there. You're trying to lead. You're trying to get everyone lined up. Again, I look at it right now and I look at it and I feel a lot better right now than I did coming out of the preseason. I think everyone can see that. We have put a lot of work in him. He did play a lot during the preseason."

(On how much experience he's head dealing with a starting QB being out for an extended period of time as a head coach at either Buffalo or Syracuse) "No. Fortunately, no. Unfortunately, this is my first one."

(On how much of at gut punch Nick Foles' injury is after his preseason approach to keeping everyone healthy) "You know what I'm going to say right? Shit happens. What are you going to do? You've got to lead. You know what I'm saying? It's easy to sit here and say 'Woe is me,' and all that shit. I'm fired up for the challenge. I'm fired up to coach these players. I'm fired up for the challenge. Obviously, it's unfortunate. The empathy for Nick, obviously I feel shitty for him. The guy has put a ton in. I don't know if that's where we were going with that, but at the end of the day, unfortunately, I really feel like we've got to step up and go. It's a great challenge. It's a challenge. You guys know. Tomorrow is going to come up and the quarterback got hurt throwing a touchdown pass early in the game. He's a guy we brought in, and we were excited about. Players are going to look at it. Players are going to read it. Fans are going to read it, but I'm telling you, I'm fired up for this team. I'm going to get this team ready to go, and we're going to win football games. We're going to work our way back in and somewhere along the year Nick will come back and he'll rejoin our team if he's OK to do that."

(On Leonard Fournette's performance today) "I was happy with Leonard. He had some good runs, good tough runs, almost broke a couple of them. I think, like you said, when you can give him the amount of carries, eventually some of those runs are going to come out. I thought he got off to a good start as far as running the football and we'll see where it goes. We'll see what we have to do. Obviously we'll do whatever we'll have to do to win football games."



Sunday, September 8, 2019

(On the injury) "Yeah it's not the way you want to start your time here. It's unfortunate but at the same time I'm going to stay positive and trust the good Lord in this time. Sometimes things don't happen like we expect them to but we just have to have faith that it's for a reason. I'm still grateful I get to be a part of this team. I'll have surgery tomorrow to get this thing rolling and trust the good Lord for healing and be ready to roll when I am."

(On how this injury compares to injury suffered in 2014) "This one's worse than 2014. At the same time, I'm optimistic that it will heal quicker. I look forward to getting back out there with the guys and Gardner [Minshew II] did a great job stepping up. That's not easy being a rookie against a talented team like the Chiefs. He did a really nice job of moving the chains, throwing a couple of touchdowns and being really efficient so I was really proud of him for stepping up. I'm going to be here to help him in any way possible."

(On what he was told about the healing time span) "We don't have a time span. We're going to take it one day at a time. Ultimately just get the surgery done and also praying for [Head Team Physician Kevin] Kaplan to be ready to roll. I'm going to do everything I can to get back as quickly as I can to where I'm ready to roll"

(On at what point he realized something was wrong) "I knew right when I hit the ground something was wrong. I felt it. The whole play, they did a nice job covering that route and all I remember is seeing DJ [Chark Jr.]. We've never thrown that route, that's the first time I've thrown that route to him. It's usually the underneath route but they did a nice job with their coverage. They mix it up and my gut told me just to release it. That's why I play with feel and instincts. All I saw was two red jerseys in my face and I remember hitting the ground on the left side and feeling a crack. Then getting up and going to the sidelines to get checked. I just saw the play right before I walked in here and it's unfortunate but at the same time, I'm trusting the good Lord."

(On if he felt that Chris Jones' tackle was excessive) "I don't know, everything happened so fast. Chris Jones was my teammate in K.C. and I know he'd never want to do that. It was probably just one of those things, it was just unfortunate it happened. I landed on it wrong and it happens in this sport. We'll keep moving forward. Chris [Jones] is a tremendous player and I gave him a hug after the game because I was excited to see him. He's a bright, young player."

(On if he injured the same collarbone in 2014) "Same side. Different place on the collar bone. The one in 2014 didn't need surgery. It was a hairline fracture so it was a different situation. This was a complete crack."

(On the catch by DJ Chark Jr.) "It was a great catch. I got to see the catch and I thought DJ did a nice job on the catch and made me look good."



Sunday, September 8, 2019

(On what this game was like for him) "It was a lot of ups and downs. The first thing I have to say is I have to thank God. He's been with me through having no offers in high school to Northwest Mississippi Community College to East Carolina to Washington State to now. He's been so faithful to me and all glory goes to Him. I'm extremely grateful to be where I'm at. I'm not happy with the circumstances that it happened obviously. It breaks my heart to see what happened to Nick [Foles] because he's been one of the best people I've ever played with and had the pleasure to be around. To see him go down like that was awful, but I know he's going to be there with me and we're going to have this team where we need to go."

(On the difference today than in the preseason) "This is real ball. Senses get heightened, and I had a lot of guys make plays for me today. That's huge. A lot of tough catches out there – Chris [Conley], DJ [Chark Jr.], Dede [Westbrook], so that was huge. We've got some stuff we've got to fix, but we got some stuff to build on too."

(On if it was nice working with the starting front line) "Yeah I had a lot of confidence going in there with them. One guy in particular, Brandon Linder, made sure that I was comfortable and made me feel comfortable and that they trusted me. I trusted them and that's where you start building great things."

(On if it was easier to come in so quickly without time to get nervous) "I don't know. There is never an easy time to come in and play quarterback that's for sure. I feel like I prepared all week, did everything I could and my coaches did a great job getting me ready. Nick [Foles] has done an incredible job helping me every step of the way. We've got a really tight unit and a lot of trust in each other so all that makes things easier for sure."

(On what was the biggest change from preseason to today) "We had a lot of guys make plays. We have to continue to make more plays to do whatever we have to do outscore whoever we play."

(On if there was a throw or two today he's most proud of) "No, I go out there with a one-play-at-a-time mentality. That's the biggest thing is to stay locked in in the moment and try to be the best I can be for our guys on every play and that's all I can do."

(On if he's hopeful he showed enough today to earn the starting job while Nick Foles is away) "That doesn't matter. My plan is to prove that I am the best I can be for this team every day at practice and every snap I get in a game. So that's my job, it's not to figure out if we need to sign a new quarterback. My job is to go out there and be the best I can be for our team."

(On if he was pleased with his decisiveness) "We'll have to watch the film. There's good things, there's bad things. We have to take what was good and build on it and cut out the bad."

(On how he mentally prepared to go in) "I've had plenty of time to prepare. We have a great quarterback room, great quarterback coach, great offensive coordinator that do an outstanding job making sure everyone in that room is prepared. I'm extremely grateful for that and every snap in practice, I'm back behind the play doing it myself getting the footwork in and doing everything I can to make sure whenever I do get my chance, I'll be ready."



Sunday, September 8, 2019

(On if he was impressed with Jaguars QB Gardner Minshew II) "Oh yes, definitely. Like I said earlier, he's fearless and that's the thing that I like about him the most. He steps up in the situation, he won't blink. And as a receiver, I feel that this room has to help him out. But, he's the signal caller, so what he says goes, he's the man in this offense. So, if he wants to change the plays, whatever he wants to do, that's what we're going to do and we're going to make it work."

(On if Minshew II told him anything memorable when he entered the game) "I came up to him on the sideline once I found out the news and told him it's just like preseason. We were out there a few times during the preseason [and] we worked together in the offseason, so nothing new. We know he can get out there and throw the ball with the best of them and it's time to show it."

(On the look on Minshew II's face in the huddle) "Fearless. Fearless."

(On how he feels about his performance) "I think I did what was asked of me, as well as the other receivers. I feel like it's just the beginning. I still have a lot of stuff that I feel like I have to watch this film on, and work on and get better. But it's good that you can show what's been shown on these practice fields day in and day out: the work that we put in. So, it's good to show it on Sunday's, but next time we want to show it with a win."



Sunday, September 8, 2019

(On getting ejected from the game in the second quarter) "First and foremost, I have to apologize to my team and the city of Jacksonville because that is not how we conduct ourselves in any way. In the heat of the moment I just felt like when Sammy Watkins ran a route that was not a route and came and hit me underneath my chin, I put my hands up and he stood over me and said something to me so I pushed him and next thing I know, someone pushed me from behind. I did not see any flags thrown so at that point I felt like I needed to defend myself from the altercation that was going on after the play. At the end of the day, I apologize for that and it will not happen again."

(On him losing his cool after the altercation happened) "Absolutely. It's a crazy and physical sport that we play and I just felt like that play was not a football play. I felt like it was a pass play and the receiver did not run the route. I felt like he smashed right into me underneath my chin and tackled me and got up and said some words to me, so I kind of pushed him and I got attacked from the back. At that point I felt like we were not playing football anymore but that is no excuse for my actions. Looking back it was an idiotic move for me to do that because you do not get points for that. I'm a captain now and the team just extended me so I have to do better for me and my team."

(On having to sit in the locker room after getting ejected) "That's the worst part. It's one thing to have pride and stand up for yourself but the toughest thing for me was to hold tears back while watching the game on TV and not being able to go out there and play. This is something I'm going to for sure learn from and at the end of the day I'd much rather have a receiver out there pushing me around instead of getting into it with another player and getting kicked out the game. I apologize to the city, coaching staff and my teammates because this will never happen again."

(On what the defense is going to be like after giving up 40 points) "We know what we need to do because today, that was not us. It's only Week 1 so we're going to come back from this and also learn from this. We are fine so we are going to figure this out and keep moving forward throughout this season."



Sunday, September 8, 2019

(On if this loss was how they drew it up) "Definitely not. There was some good to take from it, but this was a bad game and this wasn't what we wanted to put out there. It's the 24-hour rule: you grade the tape, learn from it and move on. It's just one game. Whether it's a 1-point loss or a 14-point loss, it's just one game. Got to grade the tape and move on."

(On if losing Nick Foles and giving up several scores was a gut punch) Definitely stings a little bit, but give up 40 points, they're a good team and if you make mistakes, they're going to make you pay. Way too many mistakes, way too many. Gave them opportunities and they capitalized. When you make mistakes like that, you have to expect a good team like that is going to make you pay. I take my hat off to them, they did a good job, but there's a lot that we can correct and fix. We're not going to give up 40 points a game, that's just not who we are. Today wasn't good enough, but like I told the team at the end, we'll respond."

(On if this team is more mature and ready to handle adversity after last season) "Without a doubt. Going through it makes everybody have experience with it. We're all going to have to respond a certain kind of way. You can't control what happens. You have to control your response. We're sitting here 0-1 and we have to go to a division opponent next week. It's the 24-hour rule, grade this tape, put it behind us and it'll be a tough game next week to get prepared for. This team knows that. We know that this next game is the most important game, and we've got to go play football."



Sunday, September 8, 2019

(On the performance of the defense in today's game) "We did not go out there and perform well at all today. We did not execute and did not have a good game. We have 15 more games thankfully, so we just have to play better and move on."

(On the lack of defensive communication) "I wouldn't say it was communication, but more of them protecting our scheme and attacking our plays, so I guess we were not disciplined enough nor did we execute the plays as we should have and that kind of affected us across the board."

(On the loss to the Chiefs) "We were on the sidelines talking to each other and we really did not know how to feel. We knew that they had a great offense, but we thought we would perform better against them. 40 points is not good and that is not Jacksonville defense. We have too many talented players and too good of a group to perform like that out there, but its week 1, so we are going to watch the film and correct our mistakes as much as we can."

(On Myles Jack losing his cool during the game) "I was surprised, but the guy pushed him from the back for what it seems like no reason from my angle. I shouldn't have ran over there and pushed him back and Myles definitely should not have punched him, but I guess things happen sometimes."



Sunday, September 8, 2019

(On taking a Week 1 loss) "It happens. I'm not going to say it was a gut punch because it's football at the end of the day. A lot of unexpected things happen in a game of football, but you got to keep rolling with the punches."

(On fumbling the ball and dropping the pass) "I have to learn from it and not let it bother me, so I have to move on from it. This is only game one, not like the Championship. Next we play the Texans, so hopefully we will do better."

(On Gardner coming in after Foles) "I told him we got him when he came out there on the field. We told him we will protect him, and he just made the right calls and the right audible and we got him."

(On keeping the energy in the locker room) "I think we're good. It's only game one and we expected the offense to come in and do what they do and they did. It wasn't like a blowout. We still kept fighting until the end of the game, so that was a good thing and I liked that in the team and so now we have to move on from this and get ready for the rest of the games that are coming up in the season."



Sunday, September 8, 2019

(On how tough it was to see QB Nick Foles go down) "Yeah, you know it's just an unfortunate situation with Nick. He's got to go and take care of his body and do what's best for him. But we, as a team and as an offense, really can't miss a beat. We can't blink and, personally, my expectations for this team and this offense have not lowered at all. We've got to elevate our game; we've got to make them comfortable and go out there and do the things that are going to make us successful."

(On whether he had talked to QB Nick Foles since the end of the game) "Yeah, I have and he's in good spirits. He'll be back. And while he's gone, he's going to be here helping get the quarterback room ready and the expectations for this offense don't drop low."

(On how frustrating and unexpected it was to lose QB Nick Foles so early in the game) "You know, that's the game of football. It's ebb and flow and unexpected. We've got to roll with the punches, we've got to get better and we've got to learn from some of the mistakes that we've made today. And if we can continue to work putting things together, this team is going to be in a great place. We just got to focus on that. We can't look backwards at should've/could've/would've been done today. We can't look too far ahead. We've got to focus on the here and now, which is learning about why we made the mistakes that we made today. And we've got to put in the work so that we can be better tomorrow. I think that this team has all of the talent in the world and we're going to be in a good place."

(On his confidence moving forward with QB Gardner Minshew II) "I was very impressed. He did a very good job of calming his nerves. And in pressure situations when the defensive line is moving around and moving up in the pockets and he moved the ball down the field. That's what we wanted to see out of him today. And he did that. He put points on the board. This offense is going to be good. We've just got to eliminate the drive-ending penalties that back ourselves up."