Jaguars Postgame: Jaguars vs.Broncos - Sunday September 29, 2019

JAGUARS HEAD COACH DOUG MARRONE

Opening Statement

"How about that, huh? Hell of a game. I'll tell you what, hell of a job. A lot of credit to Denver and a lot of credit obviously to the coaches and players in our room. It's hard to win on the road. We were down, had a chance to get up one score right before the half. Didn't. Had the penalty. Too many penalties in the game overall. We have to learn from that. It's kind of like a broken record, but I think we are starting to get through that. Halftime was great, talked to the players. Offensively, we didn't have that many opportunities. I think we had 21 or 22 plays. I talked to the offense at half and said, 'I don't think we made a third-down conversion.' Denver did a great job. I told them I know we can run the football. I want to treat this game like it's 0-0. Let's work our way back into it, and we've got to convert on third down. If we don't, we aren't going to be able to win this game. Then I went over to the defensive side and I told them the things that we need to work on. I gave them two or three things. I told everyone that we're not going to panic. We're going to play together. Special teams played well. We are going to work our way back in and find a way to win. They came out with a big drive. Ten minutes, that's a long time in this league. 18 plays or 20 something maybe. We scored. Obviously, [QB] Gardner [Minshew II] did some great things. [RB] Leonard [Fournette] played really well. If you say he played well, you have to give credit to those guys up front. We beat them up pretty much when we were running the football so you have to give a little credit up there. Receivers did a nice job. Really, coaches and the players carved one on the road. You're losing at halftime and you come back and take the lead. You lose the lead with a 1:28 left and you're able to come back and score and win again. That's hard to do, especially in a place like Denver. I have a lot of respect for the fans here, and obviously I have a ton of respect for the organization."

On Fournette's performance

"We blocked them. I don't want to go against what I was saying that whole time. There was some room there. I will say that he was definitely finishing. Once you get in the line of scrimmage, you're able to finish. If you get hit behind the line of scrimmage, it's very difficult to finish. There was a catch in there. There are some things he does that get overlooked. We got [RB] Ryquell [Armstead] in there too and he scored. All he cared about was getting the ball. He asked me how to get the ball. It was exciting. An exciting game and an exciting win."

On Minshew II creating plays

"He's spinning around. He's breaking tackles. It's like when you're 12 and you're playing in the street with a bunch of guys. He's just trying to make a play. Sometimes it works out. Sometimes you sit there and say, 'Hey, let's not take these chances. Just go down or run.' The guy made plays. You guys saw it. I'm poor with adjectives anyway, you guys are much better at describing it so whatever you say, I'm just agreeing with it."

On Minshew II's play this season

"I look at what's good and what's bad. I do that in the moment, but if I step back and I'm not in this job and I look back at what happens and say, 'Oh, my God.' We've all been around long enough to know how hard and how difficult it is to play quarterback in the NFL. It's hard to find them, it's hard to develop them. There's not a guy in this room that would have said after the preseason that this guy is going to go out and play like he has. I think he's changed the way I look at things in the preseason. I wasn't sure. Then all of a sudden, when you don't take a snap, you're running the scout team and you get thrown in the game against Kansas City and you perform well. You don't miss a beat. The other thing that's going to get missed is that even though we lost the lead, the way he was taking the clock down to less than five seconds each time we snapped the football. Everyone thinks that's easy. Break the huddle and look at the clock. It's not easy. There's nothing easy about playing this game. Is it remarkable? Yeah, I think it is. Is it becoming something that's expected week in and week out? It's starting to. That's what happens when you do this one week and you do it another week and now you're looking for it all the time. Expectations rise. It's still early in the season, early in his career, early in a lot of guy's careers. A lot of times early on you're like, 'This guy can't play,' or, 'This guy is great,' and everything you do right now is probably somewhere in the middle until you can get a really good body of work where you feel comfortable week in and week out. Different games, different defenses. That's a long-ass answer."

On if he was concerned about the defense giving up the lead late

"Sure. Those guys have a lot of pride. They take that field with the lead and just need to stop them. Credit to Denver. We were close to getting to the quarterback and they get the ball over the middle. They made some good plays. Good (protections), good combinations, good schemes. They come off the field and there's enough time. If you asked those guys, I think they'd say they thought there was enough time for us to come back and get a field goal or at least have an opportunity. They have a lot of belief in each other and that's important on our football team."

On whether he ever forgets that Minshew II is a rookie

"I don't think I ever treat anyone like that. I think what happens is when you're on that field for whatever reason, whether it's due to injury or whatever it may be, the expectations for you to perform are high. That's in everyone's mind. For me, what I look at, is when I have a young player, I might show him something in the week. Something that popped up in the week and say, 'Hey, let's get better from this. Let's put this in the back of your mind. Let's learn from this.' I think there's a little bit more learning, but that comes after the game in the film room. That doesn't come during the game. You're working through the game, but there's no time to think 'Hey, this guy's a rookie.'"

JAGUARS RUNNING BACK LEONARD FOURNETTE

On if he is happy after his performance today despite being frustrated this season

"No, I'm happy. It's just one start. We have plenty more games to go. During practice we took our time out, tried to fix the running game and we came out and we were successful."

On how much of a confidence boost this performance gives the team

"It's confidence for the O-line and especially myself too and just moving forward from that. Right now we've got Carolina and we're on to the next team right now." 

On his long run

"The line did their part and my job is to make one guy miss then score the ball."

On how he was able to be physical today and break tackles

"It's a mentality. I knew coming in during the week preparing for the Broncos, just making one guy miss or not letting one guy tackle me. That's my whole mentality coming into this game when I was practicing." 

On what he saw in QB Gardner Minshew II in the second half

"His name is Jockstrap King. He's playing his part and what more can I ask from him? I apologized to him for the last couple of weeks, I was very frustrated and I didn't congratulate him when I was supposed to and he's doing a hell of a job." 

On the opening drive of the second half setting the tone for the rest of the game

"Most definitely, just getting back to what we're good at, running the ball and it was effective. All of the guys put a body on a body and they also kind of stopped [Broncos OLB] Von [Miller] and also [OLB Bradley] Chubb, those are two great athletes they did a great job neutralizing those two guys." 

On if he knew he was going to break his long before it happened

"It was going to come. The O-line was like 'Just keep pushing and keep pushing' and they were telling me that while getting four or five yards a carry, which is a good thing, and it just came." 

On being able to get three straight runs for 27 yards to start the second half

"It was momentum for us. We know that they have a great offense and we were just trying to keep them off the field as long as could and give our defense their breathe back and take over the game." 

On how good it feels to have a 10-minute drive to open the second half

"Most definitely." 

On if the team saw signs they would be able to run the ball in the second half

"Most definitely. They had holes there and not just me, I think that [RB Ryquell] Armstead did a great job too. Coming in when I needed a break, his breakout game, he stole my touchdown too. I'm happy for everyone all over the board. There's a lot of adversity that we have going on and this team is a fighting team."

On what it means to him to have a 100-plus yard game after over a year

"It's good, but it's over now and on to the next. We've got to prepare for Carolina." 

On if the offensive line were frustrated too before the game

"The O-Line had a dinner on Thursday, [OL] Brandon [Linder] and everyone else they were like 'We're going to get you another TD' and I believed in them. I think little things like that; bonding outside of football, going to lunches with each other (inaudible)." 

On his viewpoint of Armstead's touchdown

"Coach Scott [Milanovich], their Quarterbacks Coach, they practice that, when we do individuals, sometimes they have cones where he tells them to go back, forward and sideways. Once you practice something eventually it's going to come to light and he did."

On if he thought Minshew was down

"Nah he's tougher than what you think. I don't know if the moustache gives him power or whatever he got going on, but he's playing his part." 

On if he watched the final kick

"I watched it. [K Josh] Lambo has practiced that and Lambo's been doing a great job since he got here. You practice how you play, he didn't miss a kick in practice and he's doing a great job." 

JAGUARS QUARTERBACK GARDNER MINSHEW II

On how he feels after the win

"I'm feeling good. That was an incredible team win. Awesome experience with those guys, just celebrating. A lot of times, you take for granted what wins feel like and that celebration with your teammates, so that was an awesome experience."

On the team's ability to come from behind to win

"It just shows our resilience as a team. Offense is down there, really good defense is picking us up and vice versa. It just shows we can do that any week."

On the success of the running game

"It's huge. That's what won us the game. [RB] Leonard [Fournette], [RB Ryquell Armstead], the whole offensive line, tight ends, they absolutely dominated and that makes everything so much easier for the offense."

On what was said at halftime and what adjustments were made

"I think we just weren't going to freak out. We were down 11 and we got some points right before half. That was huge. We knew we were going to get the ball back and give it right back again. I think that belief and/or doubt in who we can be is huge."

On the final drive

"It was crazy. We knew we had to make some plays right there. We had the ball, it got tipped up, I got hit, it was crazy. I was on the ground. I didn't see. You kind of listen. If the crowd goes wild, you know it's bad. Nothing was really said, so I knew we were good. Then we get the penalty, then [WR] Dede [Westbrook] runs an awesome route. That was awesome."

On if he suffered an injury in the fourth quarter

"I just got hit in the lower body. Just football stuff."

On RB Ryquell Armstead's first touchdown

"That's crazy. All of the initial read was covered. They were just trying to make a play at that point. Try to protect the ball first and make a play. He did an awesome job. He ran a flat, came back around, and back out. It was awesome on him. Really happy he had his first touchdown."

On his ability to evade sacks throughout the game

"I tried to for most of it, because I know we have receivers that are working the whole time and we had some big plays today, so I was really happy how they kept working for me."

On Fournette's 81-yard touchdown

"It was huge. We were kind of backed up at that point. We got a good run, our line blocked up and he did what he does. Once he gets into secondary one-on-one, he's hard to deal with. That was huge for him. I was really happy for him to really get rolling. He's been getting frustrated, but it was an awesome day for him. I couldn't be more happy for him."

On the team's fourth-quarter comebacks

"It shows our resilience. We're never going to count ourselves out. We're just going to keep playing when things don't go our way early. It's okay, we have to believe in ourselves. No matter what's going on right now, we believe that we can do it. That was a fun thing to see, our guys coming together and leading to a win.

On the offensive line's performance

"They're incredible. We don't win the game if they don't play like they did. Giving them the 200-whatever yards rushing, that's huge. That makes scoring the ball so much easier, so really happy with them."

JAGUARS DEFENSIVE END CALAIS CAMPBELL

On the win

"We didn't play our best football game by any means, but we found a way to get a win on the road. That's huge. This team has a lot of resilience and had a lot of fight in us today. Our O-line was able to run the ball and [QB] Gardner [Minshew II] in that last drive found a way to get the ball into field goal range and give a very makeable kick for our kicker. He (K Josh Lambo) comes up big for us."

On QB Gardner Minshew II

"He never surprises me. He is one of those guys where you know he can do everything. He has great instincts and is very magical."

On winning two games in a row

"It's huge. To start 0-2 and then find a way to win two tough ball games in a row. You have to stack wins in this league if you want to be successful. We found a way to become 2-2 and the rest of the division is 2-2. We are in a position where we are tied for first place and control our own destiny."

On SS Ronnie Harrison's interception

"It changed the momentum. They were having their way with us for a while. They had a great game plan and were executing really well. Ronnie made a play and changed the whole momentum. We went to halftime feeling pretty good. We knew we just had to keep playing football. [RB Leonard] Fournette just took over. Our O-line and Fournette were beautiful to see."

JAGUARS KICKER JOSH LAMBO

On the game winning kick and living for those types of moments

"I just live for whatever is put in front of me, man. If it's forth down and in my range, I'm going to hit it, so I'm just trying to do what I'm supposed to do."

On the chaotic ending to the game

"As soon as they [the Broncos] went down and scored I knew I had a game winning kick in front of me because I knew we were going to get down the field. I know a lot of kickers want to be seen and not heard, but I've kind of had this vibe coming with me to tell these guys, 'hey, we need to bring our own juice and we need to bring our own sauce'. When we bring our lunch pails to work, nobody can touch us, and that it exactly why you play for 60 minutes. It's hard to hold onto a lead in this league, it really is. If you look at most of the wins, I bet you a lot of them are comebacks, just because it's hard to hold a lead. So, these guys [Jacksonville Jaguars] did amazing. I had four field goals, and I think the furthest one was from 40 yards, so our offensive was moving the ball. Our defense, obviously, did a great job as well. I really can't speak enough about the character of our team."

On having more confidence with QB Gardner Minshew II leading their offense

"I wasn't even worried. As soon as they [the Broncos] scored, I told our guys 'hey, keep the media away from me and block the wall. It's going to come down to a kick and we'll be fine'. I went up to Chris Conley and told him, 'dude, you're tip toeing on the line. Get me those extra yards because they help me so much'. It puts me at so much ease when these guys are grinding out there and doing what they do. Seriously, when we bring our lunch pail to work, everybody needs to be scared.

On how fun it is to watch Quarterback Gardner Minshew II

"This whole team is fun to watch. Obviously, Gardner [Minshew II] has done a heck of a job coming in. I love his personality and the way he goes about his job. He's just a fun guy to be around and I think he energizes our team as well. This was just a huge team win and everybody played really well. I'm just fortunate enough that they [the offense] gave me an easy enough shot to put it through."

JAGUARS CENTER BRANDON LINDER

On the dominant rushing performance

"That was awesome. That was a great game and we're proud of that. That's what we wanted to do from the get go. That's just 11 guys doing their job, credit to [RB] Leonard [Fournette] for rushing the ball and all of the guys for putting a head on a hat and opening up some holes. We talked about having a big day and that's what we went out and did."

On Leonard Fournette's performance

"We called it before the game. We knew we were going to run the ball and that's exactly what we did. That's what we wanted to do and we did it."

On the difference between the two halves

"We just communicated and started to understand what they were going to do and went out and attacked and did our assignments. We had 11 guys doing their job and then we produced."

On the 10-minute drive to open the second half

"We loved it. I didn't even realize it was that long, I was huffing and puffing. I needed some oxygen when I came onto the sideline but that was awesome, that's what we want. It was a great team win."

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