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Jaguars Postgame: Colts vs. Jaguars - Sunday, December 29, 2019


(Opening statement) "Just to kind of give you [an overview for] the week, I think it's important to understand the week we took to prepare. Obviously, for today's game, we all made sure we understood [the situation] and take accountability for the season. What we tried to focus on, all week long with the players,wasmakingsurethat,'Let'snotletthepaststuffdwellduringtheweek. Let'shaveanopportunity to know what it feels like to play at home, to win a game in front of the fans and to play, not for coaches or family or anything else, but play for each other in that room.' That was really what I talked about to the players [about]. I talk to them about enjoying this moment. We'll all have a long time to reflect on the season, but at least from now until whenever we start the offseason, which obviously starts when the last ball is snapped, the guys in that locker room can feel good about something. I think we had a lot of guys playing, like you've seen, that haven't played before. Those guys stepped up. You saw where some of our good players made some plays, and they hung in there and it was tough stopping them in that first half, and it was big that we were able to score after the turnover, we gave up three, being able to get three before halftime. And being able to score, and obviously all the sudden the tide started to turn, and we were able to create some turnovers and made some plays. I thought situationally, we did a much better job on third down. It was disappointing early in the game. It was fourth-and-two, or it was second- and-two and we really had some good calls, we just missed them. I just felt like those are the best calls we can have down there, so fourth-and-two in a 3-0 game and I wanted to go 3-3. I think for this moment, wins are hard to come by and I'm going to try and enjoy it."

(On if he wished the team could have put a game like this together sooner in the season) "There might be time to do that, but I would say you are always going to look to say why and look to improve. I think I've always been someone who has always acknowledged where I need to get better and have been able to see things and try things and do different things to get them going. I would say, yeah, that's a good question and one that we obviously have to figure out."

(On if he feels winning that game does anything for his future) "I don't know. The one thing I will say is [Jaguars Owner] Shad [Khan] and [Jaguars Senior Vice President of Football Administration and Technology] Tony [Khan] are really great owners. The communication that we've had, even though it's not public, we've had a lot of communication. They want to do the best job they can for our fans and for the city, for our sponsors, for everyone in the building. I know for me; I appreciate that and thank them. I feel that it's been disappointing. I know in my heart that I can take this team to better roads, but again, that's not my decision."

(On where he goes from here) "We've had a plan for a while. Obviously the stuff comes out yesterday, which is kind of joke because the one thing I know about [Jaguars Owner] Shad [Khan] and [Jaguars Senior Vice President of Football Administration and Technology] Tony [Khan] is that we've had communication

and it would come from them. It's not going to come from somewhere out in the media, especially if it's going to come from someone from a national standpoint. That didn't phase me. What I tried to do is make sure the players are focused on what they needed to do. We're in a league where if you don't play well, there are going to be a lot of things out there about a lot of us. For weeks now, it's always been, 'Hey, exit interviews, meeting during the week, coming up with a plan,' and I think Shad and Tony are going to look and see if that's the right plan and make the best decision."

(On what gives him confidence looking at this roster that he could take this team from 6-10 to 10-6 next season) "I think that's probably a better question after, strategically, we meet and go. In other words, obviously there's always change in this business, whether you win or lose, so are there things that are goingtohavetochange? Absolutely,orelsewe'llbesittinginthesamespotasbefore. We'llgettogether, sit down, I'll give my opinion, everyone will have opinions on it. Then, [Jaguars Owner] Shad [Khan] and [Jaguars Senior Vice President of Football Administration and Technology] Tony [Khan] will sit down and see if it's what best moving forward for the organization."

(On why QB Gardner Minshew II was able to be more productive today then in recent weeks) "I think he's going to be someone that gets better and better. There are still a couple of things that go on on that field that I'm sure Gardner wishes he had back, like that drive down there when it was 3-0. Those two throws or the errant throw, 'Hey, throw it away or throw it down in the dirt and not try to force something there.' The bootleg where he wound up throwing for an incomplete, where you are working against the clock a little bit, but those things are natural. Those things are going to have to, you know, those things take a little bit of time and I've always said one thing about Gardner is he's a guy that keeps on learning as he goes and gets better and doesn't make a mistake twice, at least consciously."

(On what Yannick Ngakoue means to this team) "I can't speak for the team, but I can speak for me. Like I've said before when you guys have been here during the week, you know, you got a player that is going into a year where there is a little bit of unknown. A lot of times, in my experience, I've had players that it's affected them, or it's affected the way they acted around their teammates or affected the way they practice or even affected the way they play. The one thing about Yannick, you talk about a professional through it all, he's 100 mph in practice. He's not doing things on the field to get sacks and get numbers. He's doing what he wants to do. He played at an extremely high level. I can't tell you how many times people are grabbing him, holding him and that play, what's interesting, before he went out I told him, 'We stop them the first two downs and it's third down, I expect a safety.' You know what I'm saying? And then on the third down play, he gets knocked down -- I don't know if you guys were able to see that -- here's a guy that gets back up, runs, strip-fumble. What better way than for Calais Campbell to grab it up and go? It's almost like if you had to write a story, that would be the story, and a lot of times that doesn't happen."

(On if he'll tell [Jaguars Owner] Shad [Khan] and [Jaguars Senior Vice President of Football Administration and Technology] Tony [Khan] this week about his plans to get the team turned around next season) "I think that, you are asked those questions quite a bit at the end of the year, every year, no matter what. How are we going to do this? How are we going to get better? How are we going to change? The one thing, and I'll say it again, Shad and Tony want a great football team here. There's no doubt in my mind, and they are two great owners. It's just a matter of, does it make sense? Is it right? Obviously, I'm not going to communicate that here. That's for a private conversation. This is the way I feel. This is what we have to do. This is what I need. And express those opinions and if it is the right direction, then I'm the right person for the job, and if it isn't, then I'm not. That's the case no matter what. That's the case in coaching wherever."

(On how helpful it was to not have to overcome a large first-half deficit like recent weeks) "A little uphill at the half. We got that extra three, but I understand what you mean. In other words, it's not two touchdowns, three touchdowns, where you don't want to change your game plan and you can stay within the game plan and still play football and get some things done. There were some momentum changes, obviously, in that game either way, but to be able to have a plan, go out there and be able to kind of fully run your plan. Obviously, there will be some things that don't work, but to be able to do that instead of all the sudden, 'Hey, we're down X amount of scores. We're in a two-minute situation where everyone in the stadium knows what you are doing.' It's much tougher to play that way."

(On how far off the 2020 team is compared to the 2017 team that almost made the Super Bowl) "I'm not going to comment on that because I don't know what the team is going to look like. I think from year to year, for me, in this profession, there's been years when we made big runs and there's been years where we haven't. In New Orleans, we went to the NFC Championship game our first year and kind of went along the next two, then I left to go to Syracuse, and they popped a Super Bowl. I think it's very hard to predict, but make no mistake about it, [Jaguars Owner] Shad [Khan] and [Jaguars Senior Vice President of Football Administration and Technology] Tony [Khan] want to win. Whatever we have to do to win, it's going to be about that."

(On if he would do anything differently looking back on the season) "I've been a person that's been straight up. If I see problems, I'm going to change them. I think that's what good leadership is and as long as you feel like it's within your philosophy and you are comfortable with it, then you have to do it because at the end of the day, what I learned a long time ago in this business is if you do something that maybe someone talked to you or did that and then things don't work out, I think it's very hard to look at yourself in the mirror. For me, it's very easy. Am I disappointed? Obviously. Am I concerned? Yes. You are always concerned when you have a disappointing season, but for this moment, when I leave here, when I'm done answering the questions, which I really appreciate everyone being great all year, I might have a little bit more than one beer."


(On his first NFL season) "It was awesome, it really was a dream come true. I'm so blessed that God has had his hand over me through a lot of trials and tribulations. Had to take a long way to get here but I'm so fortunate for that as it really prepared me for it. There's a lot to be proud of, a lot we can work on, and a lot we can look forward to."

(On whether he believed four months ago that this is where he'd be at) "I thought we'd have a better record."

(On how good of a feeling it is to lead all rookie quarterbacks in wins after adversity in college and NFL) "It's good. You can't help but compare yourself to those guys so it kind of gives you a chip on your shoulder. Anything I can do to help our team win and hopefully next year it'll be to have more wins than any quarterback in the league. That's what we're working for here."

(On how it feels to end the season on a high note) "It's huge. It gives you a glimpse of what we can be and what we should be. It should give us a lot of excitement, optimism, and hope going forward as we bust our tails this spring."

(On if he had a favorite touchdown or drive today) "I don't know but that was definitely my favorite fumble this year as it gave us 13 yards. I think that's the first time I've ever argued for a fumble. That was pretty cool I guess."

(On if he said to Doug Marrone to challenge the play) "No, I went to the ref and said 'Hey man, do you think if I go tell them that I actually fumbled it since it was me doing it, they'd change it?' He said, 'No.' They ended up changing it so it was good."

(On the mentality going into the offseason after the dominating win today) "I think it's kind of the standard we should hold for ourselves what happened tonight. We can see that and take everything we did good as a team this year, clean it up a little bit, and refocus ourselves to where this is what we expect from ourselves."

(On how it felt to see DJ Chark Jr. get to 1,000 receiving yards) "It was awesome. Super happy for him. He's a super hard worker, a hungry dude. None of this success or anything has changed him, he's still the same guy that I knew when I first walked in here. Everybody thought he was just a gunner but now he's one of the best receivers in the league and hasn't changed a bit. I'm super happy for him and it's only going to make him work harder going forward."

(On the vibe in the locker room after the game) "Yeah it was a lot of excitement. We don't know what the future holds or who all is going to be here but we do know that the guys that are going to be here are going to be all in and ready to use this as a springboard moving into the offseason."

(On what he can do differently to prepare in the offseason for season 2) "I'm really going to dive back into the film. Look at anything that I was consistently messing up on or things that I can clean up in that form or fashion and get back to the fundamentals and then assess yourself like that."

(On what Yannick Ngakoue means to this organization and the locker room) "He's been awesome. He's always brought the juice everyday at practice. How he plays out there is just how he practices every day. He's awesome and couldn't ask more from a teammate. As a player, he's one of the best in the game too so hopefully we can keep him around because he's a super special dude and great player."


(On the importance of achieving 1,000 yards this season) "It's a pretty big accomplishment. My teammates really supported me and really wanted me to get it – my family as well, so it feels good to be able to come through."

(On who he's looking forward to celebrating with) "My family. I'm going to save my jersey for my dad. They gave me the ball – I'm going to keep that one. [I'm going to celebrate with] my family and friends."

(On how much he has grown as a person and as a player this year) "I think a lot. I've still got a long ways to go – I'm not where I want to be yet. This was a good accomplishment, but there's way more out there to go."

(On what this win meant to the team) "For the next few weeks, months, we're not going to have that bad taste in our mouth. We understand the season didn't go our way, but at least we didn't have to leave with another loss."


(On his usage this season) "Truthfully, it's been a little difficult to really try and stay locked in. Unfortunately, there were a lot of second halves where we didn't need three points, we needed six and seven. It was nice to be able to go out and be utilized a lot today. I can finally, I think, look back on the season, because I could've ruined it all today, I could've missed five kicks and it would've been a terrible percentage, so it was really nice that, together, we were able to close out 33 of 34, which is pretty gnarly. I couldn't have done it without Matty [Matthew Orzech] and Logan [Cooke] and the other guys blocking for me. I'm super, super pleased with the season. I missed one too many, so hopefully the media will realize that All-Pro isn't a fan vote and hopefully I'll get some recognition. Obviously, Justin Tucker is the best there is, but not this season."

(On why he's been so successful) "My last warm up in San Diego was Week 4 in the preseason, we were in San Francisco, and I told the then-Assistant Special Teams coach, 'I figured it out. I figured it out. I'm not going to miss anymore.' I've missed four times in three seasons. I don't think there's anybody better than that right now. A lot of it is Doug [Marrone] bringing me in, giving me a shot and saying, 'Hey, you want it? Go make it,' and having that confidence in me. [Special Teams Coordinator] Joe DeCamillis has been a saint for me. He kicks my butt when he needs to and he encourages me when he needs to. I don't think he's ever praised me, but that's okay [laughter]. Mike Mallory has been an awesome, awesome, awesome assistant. It's been a really good group of guys and honestly it's been easy for me."

(On if his performance this season validates his contract extension) "I've been very strategic with – last year, if I was going to get an extension – it was either going to be in the offseason or it was going to be after the season. I wasn't going to deal with it because there's just too many distractions – you get all the money and the cars and the houses – and you can't do it. I very firmly – I mean, Jake Elliott, got a bunch of money and he's missed in every game since he's gotten that contract. So don't sign in the middle of the season. Do your job and enjoy the offseason when it comes time, but until then, you have to go one-for- one every time. To answer your question, yes, I'm glad I've been able to perform up to my contract, because that's a big deal. When you get that big contract, you have a big old target on your back and hopefully that target's a little smaller now."


(On his thoughts about his progression over the last four years) "When I first got here, I was considered a third-down rusher. I was counted out. I was the 69th pick; I got passed up by all 32 teams three times. I just tried to improve my run game while also trying to be a better leader for these guys."

(On contract negotiations with the Jaguars) "I have been here for four years and I've learned a lot. Business is business and I'm not sure what the future holds."

(On why he made the money sign gesture on the sideline) "I was just showing love. My mom was in the second row."

(On how important it is to keep some veteran guys like Calais Campbell and A.J. Bouye) "Every person that you named is a true leader and they bring a great aspect to the game. It would be tremendous for this organization to keep those kind of guys here. At the end of the day, those guys helped changed the culture. Calais, I've learned a lot from him since 2017, it's an honor and it's a blessing to play alongside him. I can take so many tools that he's taught me to further long my career."

(On if Doug Marrone will be back as the team's head coach) "I'm not a higher up guy, so I wouldn't have any answers for that question. But at the end of the day, I have nothing but love and respect for Doug. He respects me and he respects my game."


(On the season ending with a win) "It means a lot because this was a great way to end off our season. It definitely could've been us all year and we see that now. We were exceptionally communicating with each other and stayed on the same page. It was special to put up 38 points and that's who we should be, a great way to end it and coming into the new season next year."

(On what has to be fixed to keep to going) "I don't know, to be honest with you. I think we need all eleven guys from the defense and offense who come together and do their work collectively and STAY focused until we reach our main goal. All phases need to come together so we can help build each other and come out as a dominant team next season."

(On how the Jaguars played this season) "I think we played great this year. I think we have a great o-line and it sometimes get overlooked. Some of the games, we didn't do our best and the blame is on us, but honestly, I love all these guys in the room and I think we hit on all cylinders this season. There is room for improvement, but we still went out there and played our best football this season, so we just have to stay focused next year."


(On closing the season out with a bang) "This is something that we could be in the next upcoming season. We kept the energy up out there on the field even though we were down in the first half, but we turned things around pretty quickly to get the win. It was no pressure out there, just guys out there playing a game of football. I told the guys that this is something that we can build off of, there is a lot of character being built this season and if we can harness that in the offseason, then I know this team can be something special."

(On staying with the team next season) "Of course, I'm on the contract still. I know in the past I said that I didn't know because this business is tough, but I'm on the contract still so I expect to be here with this team."

(On Yannick Ngakoue staying with the team) "You can't let that guy leave, guys like that don't grow on trees. He plays with so much passion and he's just scratching the surface. He plays with so much tenacity and he can change the game. I mean when he stripped the ball away and caused the fumble it gave me the opportunity to pick up the ball and score a touchdown for the team. I know it's going to cost a lot to keep him, but I would not let him go."

(On wanting Doug Marrone back in the 2020 season) "Yes I do. I have a lot of respect for Coach Marrone. He kept us together through all the thick and thin, ups and downs this season and kept us focused. Obviously, we didn't play as good as we wanted to this whole season but being able to finish all that we have and stay together is really a testament to his coaching ability. I think we can win a Super Bowl with him as our head coach."


(On how good it feels to get a win) "I mean it feels good. Anytime you can go out there and get a win it feels good, but once you get a win in that type of fashion – when we're hitting on all cylinders, the offense, defense, special teams – it just feels good. It was much needed."

(On why the team couldn't perform more often like they did today) "I mean, each season is different, every season is not going to go your way, but one thing I know this team never did – we never laid down, we never quit. Even when things weren't going our way, there was a lot of drama around this season and ups and downs, I think we did a good job of staying locked in. It didn't translate into wins every week, but us in this locker room, we know the type of dedication we had to our teammates and that was the biggest thing for us."

(On if there is a belief that the dedication will pay off in the future) "Most definitely. Everything we do, we're not going to change the way we do it, no matter if things are going good, going bad, things are going our way, not our way, we've got one mindset."

(On how he thought the offensive line performed this season) "I think it was up and down. Any time anything goes wrong, we didn't block, it's just how it is. Realistically, people who know football – it was up and down. We had some stretches when we played really good football and we had some stretches when we we're kind of inconsistent. I know we stuck together as a unit and we're just going to keep growing and keep getting better."


(On the blessing of working with DL Calais Campbell and DE Yannick Ngakoue in his rookie year) "Man, a lot of people can't say that. That's probably why I do have 10.0 sacks, double digits or whatever. So, I thank those guys every day. 'Bout time, Calais! Made some plays, 'bout time though. That's my dawg, should've been slapping him a little harder. But, I'm proud of them, I'm glad I played with them. I'm glad my first year was with them. Hopefully we keep this dream going, but like I said, business is business and I've got to take care of my family."

(On what his pitch would be for Rookie of the Year) "I mean, I'm really not the guy who brags about himself, but if you sit back and look at the reps played, that speaks for itself. And that's all I can say."

(On where his "dog" hunger comes from) "You know, God blessed me with my athletic ability and the confidence that I have. I grow confident with every play that I can win, and I can compete to win. Being around guys like [Yannick Ngakoue], being around – Yan pushes that out of me, because I know how he's a dog, he's a beast and I try to implement that, I try to feed off of that. And with Calais [Campbell], you know, just feeling that fire every time. Got to bring it every day and that's where I get my 'dog' from, plus my family."

(On what to expect from him next season) "I mean, a guy that can use more pass-rushing moves, that'd be more efficient. But you know, I don't know, I don't know where I'll be tomorrow. But I'm just going to keep working, get off of football for a long time and once I get back to football, I'm going to be focused and ready to train trying to be better for next year."