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JAGUARS: Pleased with Blackmon's Direction

Posted Dec 6, 2012

Transcripts of conference calls by Jacksonville's Mike Mularkey and Chad Henne with Jets reporters Wednesday afternoon:

JAGUARS HEAD COACH MIKE MULARKEY

On Mark Sanchez being named the Jets' starting quarterback…

That did come across my desk.

On if he prepared for all three Jets quarterbacks…

We were really getting ready for all three. My gut feeling said that it would probably be Sanchez, but the way we prepared was that all three had the chance to play. We didn’t alter the game plan very much.

On how their offense has changed since Chad Henne took over at quarterback…

Up until last week, we had some production the two weeks prior with Houston and Tennessee, we put some points on the board and really played complete games. Chad, even coming out of Michigan, I felt is a strong leader. He came in and he’s been great for our team. That’s why we signed him. He's been great for Blaine [Gabbert] and helping him learn how to be a starting quarterback. When Blaine went down, Chad kind of stepped right in. The guys see how well he manages games and what he does when people aren’t watching, how he grabs guys and watches film with them. He does a lot of things off to the side that I think players respect and have responded because of it.

On why he had the gut feeling Sanchez would be named the Jets' starter…

I just have those kinds of feelings, being in this position. I’ve been in the league for a long time. I don’t know why, but I had it.

On the public’s anticipation for Tebow’s return to Jacksonville…

I don’t get out much, I really don’t get out much, but I know being from this area and being a Gator that there’s a big Gator following down here. With me being a Gator as well, I know the following that goes on down here. He’s had a big backing for a long time, going back to his high school days, but I couldn’t tell you what’s going on outside in regards to the anticipation of him coming here.

On the Jets defense…

They’re always difficult to prepare for. They do a lot of things and they do a lot of things with a lot of good players. You have to have a lot of discipline and really great discipline to do what they do, can’t catch yourself out of place. Because of the things they do and the number of things they do, you would think there would be more exposed places to attack and that’s not the case.

Really, all of that starts with the guys up front. I think they do a great job playing their role and knowing what their role is. Probably going back to my time when I was in Atlanta, going back to that game [against the Jets in 2009], my comments on that game were very similar: stout defense, you have to earn your yards and points.

On WR Justin Blackmon…

I think a lot of people questioned his production early in the year. I’ve said from the beginning, some guys, regardless of what round they go, they can come right in here and make an impact on the game. Other guys learn the ropes of how things work. I think Justin is one of those guys. I’m going about eight weeks back, I just saw something kick in where every day out at practice I could see him getting better. I think it’s transferring to the field.

It’s just been really pleasant to watch a guy that has put the time in and the effort, didn’t listen to the critics early on, stuck with the plan, took the coaching from [WRs coach] Jerry Sullivan. He still has a ways to go, he still has a lot to learn, but I’m really pleased with the direction he’s going in.

On being involved in the Tebow trade discussion this offseason…

I know we were in the trade that obviously came down to a couple teams, but you’re obviously always trying to improve your team in any way. It obviously didn’t happen, but he’s been popular down here for a long term.

JAGUARS QB CHAD HENNE

On the mood of the Jaguars this week…

I think, obviously, being 2-10, this group’s been resilient all year. We came off a win against the Titans and then obviously had a loss against Buffalo. The mood’s the same, everybody’s still hungry, we’re still practicing hard. Everybody’s in there working at it. We just want to get better and get a couple wins in the stretch.

On if he feels comfortable since stepping up the past few weeks…

Yeah, I definitely feel comfortable, obviously getting the practice reps and all the looks in practice, getting with the wide receivers, getting timing down, so it’s been going pretty well for myself.

On Coach Sparano…

We really enjoyed him down in Miami. He’s a very hard-nosed guy, tells it how it is, very honest with you and upfront and I just really think he just wants everybody to perform to the best of their ability. He’s going to push you, he’s going to put you in situations in practice that are going to make it hard so it’s easier on gameday. But overall, we loved playing for him and really enjoyed his presence.

On what it’s like for a starting quarterback to have his position questioned…

Well, it’s definitely tough. Obviously, that’s this league. It’s definitely a business and it’s all about wins and losses and how you perform as a quarterback. But no matter what situation you’re in, you just have to prepare like you’re a starter, never take your preparation lightly, and always be ready because your number can be called any time in any week.

On if he visited the Jets as a free agent…

Well, Tony called me as soon as free agency opened. And obviously, Mark signed his contract, I think, the week before that. But they still were interested and wanted to get me in to visit, but I had two visits already lined up, here at Jacksonville and then also in Seattle, so New York kind of would’ve been my third opportunity. But it just didn’t work out and it was more of Coach Sparano and his offense feeling comfortable with me and running that more than anything. So whether it worked out or not, it is what it is.

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