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Jaguars Wide Receiver Chris Conley: Wednesday, October 14, 2020

(On if he misses community involvement which has been limited due to the COVID-19 situation) "Yeah, of course. A big part of the experience of playing in the National Football League is the connection to the community. At the end of the day, all the players on every team, for the most part, are transplants in that city and they grow to care about that city and the people of the city. Being able to be in the community and be a part of it is part of the experience, so for a lot of us and a lot of young guys are not getting able to experience that and getting the part of the giving back because the city gives so much to us. But yeah, we definitely miss that and it's going to be different. Everything about this year has been different."

(On how he has grown since the game against Miami) "[I'm] really just focusing in on each moment and each play. Sometimes your role on a team changes and your opportunities are different. Sometimes they go down and that means that each opportunity is more important and that's the role I'm playing in right now and when those opportunities come, you have to make them. Really, this team, we have a fantastic running game, but we also have a pretty good passing game, so when we need to rely on one of those facets of our offense to get us going, we have to make every play that we can. That's really what that game showed me was just to step up and to make my plays, but then also not letting all of the extra and the things outside of field affect you. [In] that game, there was a lot of negativity. I internalized a little bit of it. You have to be able to have a short memory and let it go. It took me a couple plays too long. It probably took me the first half really when it should only take you one play, not even a series, to let all that stuff go and block it out."

(On if that was the longest he's ever held onto a game) "I mean that first half isn't the longest I've held onto it. Obviously, earlier on in your career, you don't really know how to deal with that kind of stuff, so I can say when I was a rookie, I would hold onto stuff for a really long time. That's one of the first times in a long time that I've held onto stuff. But really, as soon as I got back in the facility and watched the film and realized that the game wasn't as bad as I thought it was and realized what it was that I needed to work and the stuff I need to rely on my teammates to do, not think that I had to do everything myself, it was a lot easier for me to just put that game to rest and go back to work."

(On how the locker room has been handling the adversity) "I think one of the things that has been an extreme positive about the locker room is the guys' willingness to stay locked in. Obviously, we have a very young team, so when you tell guys, 'Hey guys, we're this close, this close to being very successful we just need to be more disciplined. We just need to rise to the occasion in this moment. We just need to rely on each other in this aspect', it's hard to get someone who hasn't seen it to believe you. It's hard to get someone who hasn't been there to trust you. I was talking with a couple of the other older guys; I've been on teams that were 1-5 that won 11 straight games and went into the playoffs. I've been there, I've seen that. I've been on teams where we might have been just as talented as we are here, and we won a lot of games. So, when you tell someone that, it's tough to get them to really believe that. But one of the things that I've noticed about these young guys is they're tough, man. They're tough, they're hanging in there, they're working extremely hard and so we don't have to coach effort here. It's really just raising our level of discipline and our execution, so that's what we're doing and they're handling it just about as well as they can. We just have to make sure that everybody's in the right place."

(On if the younger players' mentality makes him believe they can turn the season around) "I believe that we can. You're starting to get to the point of the year where some teams can become laxed and they let some things fall by the wayside. One of the things that I've really been preaching to guys is, 'Hey, we have to stay locked in. We can't afford to make mistakes and we can't win games with mistakes.' So, when a team comes in relaxed and having half-prepared, that's an opportunity that we need to pounce on. We need to dot all of our I's and cross all of our T's so that we can go in there and win close games."

(On the growth of the young receivers and how the veterans have helped them) "I've seen a lot of grit. These guys are competitors. They're really tough. Both Laviska [Shenault Jr.] and Collin [Johnson] are extremely tough. They're very talented, obviously, as you guys can see, they can go out there and they can make plays. I think the biggest part that we've been able to help them with is just letting them in on some of our experiences. One of the things I really worked with DJ [Chark Jr.] and [Keelan] Cole [Sr.], last year was getting more of a feel for how this West Coast style offense works and how routes change and they differ from the routes on the paper, and they're doing the exact same thing with those guys: helping them find the soft spots in zones, helping them get a little bit of the nuance to the route running versus different man coverages, and just recognizing and picking stuff up faster."

(On the difficulty to keep the team motivated when the effort isn't producing wins) "It's tough because you have to come in and I'll put it the way one of the coaches told me. After that Miami game, I had a coach pull me aside and say, 'Hey Chris, this team voted you a captain for a reason. Regardless of how you feel, regardless if you mess up a pay, that 'C' doesn't come off your chest. Regardless of if you're having a good day or a bad day, that 'C' is still on your chest and there's a responsibility for you to keep these guys motivated, keep them locked in, and keep going even if you're not having your best day.' So really, the challenge right now has been listening, being locked in, and committed to knowing the team so that I can help each individual guy just be that much better every day as they can and learning through some mistakes and being man enough to go and apologize when you say something wrong or you don't get it right, but making sure that guys realize that this is a collective team effort. We're not pointing fingers at anybody, but we have to stay at it each day and if we do, then the success will come. And finding ways to say that without being longwinded and without repeating yourself, showing that effort, showing the willingness to go the extra mile or look at yourself and look for areas where you can do more and commit to being better yourself and hopefully inspiring other people to do the same."