Jaguars Conference Calls

Transcripts of conference calls by Jacksonville RB Maurice Jones-Drew and head coach Jack Del Rio with Jets reporters on Wednesday afternoon:

JAGUARS RB MAURICE JONES-DREW

On if he knew the Jets were trying to let him score two years ago…

Actually, right before I think that play or the play before he was saying that they tried to do it. And one of the guys tackled me and I remember the guys yelling at him for tackling me. I was like, "Why would they do that?" You know? So the coaches call timeout, we came back to the sidelines, Coach Del Rio and Coach Pola, the running backs coach at the time, were like, "Listen, they're trying to let you score, the best thing for us right now as a team would be not to put our defense out there. Take a knee, get the first down and we'll be able to run the clock out."

Like I said, we always play to win the game, if I can quote Herm Edwards at the time. So it just ended up happening that way, an opportunity presented itself and we just executed the play.

On the reaction to that play…

My teammates were pretty ticked off but I told them it was for the right reasons and then Coach Del Rio kind of explained it after. The fans obviously, fantasy, they hated it. At the same time, fantasy is a fun thing, it's a hobby for me. It doesn't pay the bills. So I have to take care of what pays the bills, you know?

On his style…

For me, really I just try to run as hard as I can every play or anytime I touch the ball or anytime I'm blocking I try to do everything as hard as I can. So obviously, there are some situations where I have to run people over, there are some situations where I have to shake people or I have to dive for the first down. Here we just try to play as hard as we can. That's how I was raised, playing every game, leaving everything you can out on the field on every play. That's kind of how we've been playing here as of late and that's a good thing to see.

On if Garrard's release was surprising…

That's always tough, definitely we were surprised. He was our quarterback, all those things. But we've all been around this, I've been around it for six years and that is the business side of the NFL, the part we hate about it. It was a decision the front office made. As players we rallied around Luke. The next guy came in and Luke played awesome last week, did well besides doing the first down [signal] when it wasn't a first down. But other than that he did a pretty darn good job. So we're just going to keep working with him and keep growing as a team and improving each week.

On how the Jets defense is different…

Well, it doesn't help that they draft these two big rookies in there that can stop the run. Definitely last time we played, they didn't have Kris Jenkins, but they added a guy, a similar-type of guy in their third round pick out of Hampton. Is that right? Right, [Kenrick] Ellis. He's about 300-and-they-say-56. I mean, that's pretty generous. But they do a great job of stopping the run.

I think obviously David Harris, two more years in the league has given him so much more experience. When we played him, I think he was a rookie, maybe a second-year guy, still a little young. Now he understands the game, obviously he got a big contract, he deserves that. They add [Antonio] Cromartie, who definitely allows them to stack the box a little bit more and be able to take care of the outside. So we have some problems that we have to deal with. Not only that, Bart Scott, we always have to deal with him as well. So we have a lot of problems.

And then I think Calvin Pace was out last year, too, so he's coming back in. I mean, there's a lot of things that we have to deal with and that's what we're working with now. They present so many different matchup problems for us. Leonhard does a great job of getting everybody set, all those different blitzes they bring. Everything they do gives us some type of problem, so we have a lot of work to do right now getting ready for them, and it's going to be a challenge that we're up for and we're going to see how it plays out come Sunday.

On if he received an explanation for being on a play count and sitting in the fourth quarter…

There's no explanation needed. When you're in the middle of the game, tempers flare, emotions are flying. That's what it was. After the game, I was still a little gassed a little bit, but coaches are doing, like I said, they're doing what's best for the team, so I can't argue with that at all. Actually, I sat down with coach Del Rio and told him I apologized about some of the things, how I acted, and he understood it was part of the game. You're in a game, especially a division rival like that, and you've got all of those different matchups playing. They had two guys from UCLA on the other side, a little trash talking going on here and there. You want to be out there competing. That was kind of the competitor coming out in me, but that was last week.

I have a different type of competitive edge this week going against another trash talker in Bart Scott, so that's going to be, that might be a little more physical. And then on top of that, I don't know if you guys remember last time what we talked about. I don't know if you guys remember we talked about the Hampton Cup, which now has been changed to the Bill Hampton Jr. Memorial Cup, but that's what this game is all about. You can play all of those little LA vs. LA with Mark Sanchez and Marcedes [Lewis], and all the little matchups, the run game vs. their run-stopping defense, but at the end of the day it all comes down to the Hampton Cup, and I want you guys to write a story about that if that's OK.

On if the trash talking between him and Scott is good-spirited fun or serious…

Football is a physical sport, so that's just part of the game. Bart does a great job fitting the run game. When he blitzes, he blitzes with intent to knock the running back over and hurt the quarterback. That's how you play defense. He plays defense the way I was taught to play, so I respect him a ton. For him, as we see it, as he goes, that defense goes. He brings that fire, that Bart, that tenacity, that physicalness to the defense.

You know when he gets going, they're going to be definitely tough to stop. He does a great job, even if they're down or if they're up, you still see him working hard after the play. Doing the stuff that he does, getting guys off the pile, whatever it may be. He's always there protecting his teammates. It's football. We're all adults. We do act like children every now and then, but the adult comes right back out of us, so it's always in good fun.

On how much he enjoys trash-talking on the field during a game…

That's just how I grew up. I kind of try to talk myself up, I guess you could say [laughs]. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't. Last time we went up there, they did good job of stuffing the run and making us get in long third-down situations, so that's something we have to work on. Like I said, it's another challenge this week. We're going against a top defense and I can't wait to get up there and see you guys face-to-face.

Can I tell you guys something that Drew Coleman and Dwight Lowery already told me? They told me the only difference between your media and ours is that we have more and that we have Vito Stellino [Florida Times-Union writer] down here. I couldn't believe it. I thought it was the other way around, but they said, "No, you guys have way more media than we do." I was like, "OK, that's awesome." I think we're a bigger market [laughter]. I think we're bigger than New York. We try to say we're a small market so people will feel sorry for us, but we're the biggest market in the league [laughter].

On if Coleman and Lowery have given away any secrets about the Jets…

No, we're not going to ask them that because I know if I went to another team, I wouldn't tell secrets or anything like that, so we haven't asked them for anything. They do help us in practice, though, when we ask about a certain player, how they like to play and those types of things, but nothing more about the scheme of the defense. If you watch the tape, you'll figure it out.

That's all we're doing. We're studying, we're sharpening everything down to get to what we want the game plan to be. We're studying their personnel and how they like to play and we're going to get ready to let it loose up there in the small lights of New York City [laughter].

On Marcedes Lewis…

Marcedes is definitely a big key. Obviously, losing him in the game to his injury was tough, but hopefully, he'll be back ready to play. If not, the next guy has to step up, but we'll have to continue. That's part of the game. Similar to what happened with David, you have to be able to step up and just keep playing. We have a lot of talented guys. We have Zach Miller and Zach Potter at tight end, who are very capable of doing it, just as Luke [McCown] is. We're going to keep going and keep playing and be ready to roll.

On how his knee feels and if there has been any indication of when he will no longer be on a play count…

I don't know. You guys are going to have to talk to Coach Del Rio about that. My knee is fine. It's actually feels like it did when I was eight years old, or maybe when I was born [laughter]. It feels like a fresh-out-of-the-womb knee. Nothing is wrong. You guys should talk to Coach Del Rio about the play [count] because I don't know.

I'm not even worried about it too much. I have too much on my plate to worry about. I have to worry about Bart Scott and Rex Ryan's defense, Jim Leonhard coming down into the box and maybe having to worry about [Darrelle] Revis doing crazy stuff. I have too much to worry about for that. We have a lot to focus on down here in the big city [laughter].

JAGUARS HEAD COACH JACK DEL RIO

On if things have settled down in the organization after the David Garrard release…

Yes, we just made decisions that needed to be made. All teams across the league are making them. There is just a little more drama involved when you have a quarterback in play.

On what he expects from the Jets this week…

We expect a strong effort. They're a good football team. They have been in the AFC Championship game the last couple of years and Rex has done a good job with the team up there.

On if Maurice Jones-Drew will be on a similar play count again this week…

[Laughing] We'll work through that. We're putting a plan together to compete against the Jets. I'm not really going to get into specific play counts or numbers.

On the status of Marcedes Lewis…

He's doing OK. He was held out today and we'll see how the rest of the week goes and see if we'll get him for Sunday.

On if there are any concerns about Jones-Drew's knee...

No, he's running well and he's probably as conditioned as he's been since when he first got here. He's really done a remarkable job of conditioning his body and getting himself ready to be our bell cow and carry the load for us.

On how Luke McCown handled his first start this season…

It was his first start as a Jaguar, but he's had a little experience and he handled himself exactly like he has from the day he got here. He's been very sharp. He's big on preparation. He has a good grasp of what we're doing offensively. He's been with us a number of years now, so things ran smoothly and he did a nice job operating the football team.

On how rookie Blaine Gabbert has picked up the offense so far…

He's done real well. He's been here six weeks now, going on his seventh week. He's a bright kid. He has a lot of talent. I think that was obvious from the first throw he made in camp. He has arm talent. He can run, he has good size, he has a good understanding and that's growing every day. This is valuable time for his development right now.

On how Drew Coleman and Dwight Lowery have been for Jacksonville…

They're good. They've been well-schooled. Rex and those guys up there did a nice job. Obviously, they have such great numbers in their secondary, they were able to let us have a couple, so we appreciate that.

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