Football Sports

JAGUARS HEAD COACH DOUG MARRONE REGULAR SEASON WEEK 12 at BUFFALO BILLS

On if Blake Bortles will be benched for Sunday’s game

“We are not going to do that. We are looking at everything, at how we can do things from a better standpoint. I think that it is the obvious position that gets a lot of attention. I was going to open up with a statement and say that we played extremely hard. We came up on the short end of the stick. We are going to focus on playing with that same type of intensity and trying to put a full game together. For myself and the coaches and everyone, we just have to do a better job, whether it is putting them in better positions or [the players] executing better. I am talking about all around for us to go get a win. That is what we are going to focus on.”

On Malik Jackson not starting and if other changes will be made to the starting lineup

“With Malik, we felt like this team was going to come in, it didn’t play that way, but they were going to try to double-team and wear us down on the inside. We went with the bigger guys [Abry Jones and Marcell Dareus] on the inside in normal down and distances and then brining Malik in for the passing situations. He wound up getting seven or eight snaps less than he normally gets. Hopefully we will be able to change that. We feel if we can get the big guys out there earlier, and we moved Taven around a little bit yesterday, and he has shown that he is progressing. We are excited about that and what he is doing. We are also excited about Malik there, keeping him fresh, so we can get more rush out of our pass-rusher packages.”

On lineup changes moving forward

“When you say that, you have to see if someone you put in there is better. That is the point of where it is right now. I don’t think that we have ever not looked at [our roster to see] if we can put someone in there that is going to perform better. That comes during the week at practice. If someone can perform better during that week, we will be able to do that. You can’t just replace people just to replace them. You have to replace them with people who you feel will do a better job for you. We are always looking at those things and when those things come up during the course of the week, in how people practice, then we will implement that.”

On the teams’ final third down play and his trust level in QB Blake Bortles

“Going back again and watching it numerous times, my first reaction was, ‘What is the best pass we have?’ We weren’t doing a very good job in the play-action or the dropback to that point. Obviously, the runs were inconsistent. We were getting the same looks. When we went to the last play of the game on third and five, we had the option of giving it to Leonard or Blake pulling it and running, which we thought were our two best options at the time. Two things that both of those guys do well. A play that we ran earlier in the game and was very successful on and we had it in our back pocket and it just didn’t work out.”

On if Bortles had the option to pull it and take it himself

“Yes, that is [correct].”

On if Bortles has lost confidence, and if the non-attempt on a passing play is evidence of that

“I don’t know. I think he can answer that better. I can’t get into his mind. I know [Pittsburgh] was rotating [to the] weak [side] and he had to put his eyes down for the play-action pass, so when they came back up, it just didn’t feel comfortable doing it. We all have to do a better job putting him in position where he can feel comfortable and he can go ahead and let it rip. That is what I am saying about all [of us] having to do a better job.”

On the defensive coverage and breakdown on Antonio Brown’s TD reception

“What happened was, he ran a curl route and we wound up coming up to it and Ben [Roethlisberger] looked right to him and we came up to that curl route and then Ben looked right and then we lost the coverage and then he kept going to the other side of the field. We should have tried to stay back and keep everything in front us.”

On not calling more play-action plays

“We had the play-action just like we mentioned before. We wanted to throw that slant and get that in there. We had the two play-actions that we hit Leonard on that were big. That is what we are looking at and trying to create that separation. We had a couple things with some unders and a couple other routes. At the same time, we felt like we were doing a really good job running the football, which we want to establish. Obviously, we have to make some plays off the play-action game.”

On his assessment of Marcell Dareus now compared to when they were together in Buffalo

“The Buffalo thing is a long time ago. I can really only talk about right now and he is doing a very good job for us. He has been a big part of being able to stop the run and handling double teams and keeping people off the linebackers. He has done a really good job in the locker room, a really good job at practice. Right now, everything we are asking of Marcell, we are getting out of him and he is doing a really good job.”

On returning to Buffalo

“I can’t speak for anyone else. I have been up there a couple of times already. I always have a great appreciation for the fans and the organization. Everything that happened while I was up there, I was always very grateful and appreciative of it. It has been a long time now and we have played those guys a couple of times. Right now, my focus is on our team because we have to play well enough to try to get a win.”

On his confidence level in wide receivers DJ Chark Jr., Donte Moncrief and Dede Westbrook

“Obviously, if we put them out there, we have a level of trust that they can do the job, but make no mistake about it, early on, we were trying to go out there and establish a physical mindset knowing that’s what we have to do to beat a team like Pittsburgh — who is a very good team — and run the football. Obviously, it’s easy to go, when you look back, when you lose a game, you are always going to question the play-calling, ‘Could we have done this better?’ You are always going to go back as coaches and do that and question those things, but, no, I don’t feel that way. We have to go out there and we have to put a complete game together and figure this thing out. You can come out there and you can physically run the ball like that. How are you going to create some explosive plays in the passing game if you are doing that? Or, if you are going to come out and try to create some explosive plays in the pass game to set up the run? Right now, we just have to do a good job as coaches and players of putting all that together and going out and executing it.”

On Jalen Ramsey saying that the two of them spoke about trade rumors prior to the game

“I’m not going to talk about the personal conversation, but I have a very good relationship, at least from my end and how I feel about Jalen. I thought when that stuff goes on, I think that is very difficult for any player, not just a player like Jalen. You kind of look at it, and that is really kind of an unfair thing to do right before a game and how that comes up. The one thing I will say about Jalen is, the one thing I admire is that it didn’t get to him. He had a laser-like focus to him and went out there and played extremely well against an outstanding football player in Antonio Brown and the other players that he had to cover during the course of that game. It’s a tough situation, it’s a disappointing situation when things like that come out prior to the game, but again, I thought he and his teammates all did a great job of handling it, so they could just focus on the task at hand which was to go out there and play well against Pittsburgh.”

On how Jalen Ramsey has handled the attention he’s getting

“I think it’s something again … In my eyes, I am expecting a player to go out there and be focused like any other player on our football team. He’s a heck of a football player. I have all the confidence in the world in him. When we go out there and we have to line up, I’m bringing him out there with me. That’s how I feel. I think he might be better at speaking about that because when we talk, we are always talking about focus, the opponent and what we are doing. That’s what I do with mostly every player.”

On his frustration level with the current losing streak

“First of all, unfortunately having gone through this, it’s just like déjà vu sometimes with the questions you get and the things that you think about when you are on your own and you are watching the film and it’s like, ‘We’re emphasizing this, we get this, we’re not getting as much as what we want with that,’ or ‘Where are we doing a poor job?’ When you don’t win, you look at all the different things. The turnovers at one point, giving up big plays at another point, not being able to finish and put it together for four quarters. What happens is that a lot of times, you just get focused on … Sometimes it’s the play-calling, sometimes it’s the execution, but first, you start with the mentality of the team, knowing that if we continue to work hard and we continue to work together to figure out this formula that we need right now to go out and get a win. Are you disappointed? Yes. I always worry about that word ‘frustration’ because frustration is an emotion … I don’t want to get too [deep into it] … I just look at it like, if I get frustrated, what type of production can I have? Everybody is looking to me for the answers and what we have to do, so I’m continually going to keep working through that, trying to find the best way – whatever it is. The scheme, the plays, the execution, the players, because when things like this go on, I expect these questions and all of those things, but at the end of the day, I have to lead this team through this tough challenge of this adversity, and we have to continue to go out there and go out and play with the same type of emotion, the same type of level of enthusiasm with each other, and if we keep doing that and working away, we will find a way to win.”

On if he was okay with the play-calling at the end of the first half

“Yes. It’s the same thing that you are going around on. When you run it and you are successful, you are good. When you throw it [and you’re successful], you are good. We are trying to change some things up and throw the football … Is that the one where we got sacked twice? (Reporter: No, Blake threw three incompletions) Right. OK, yeah. Again, it’s one of those things when you think about we were running the ball well, they were playing the run, we want to take it up top and we are not able to convert or execute. I think it’s one of those things … I think when you don’t play well and you lose, all of those things come into question. ‘Why did you run it? Why did you pass it? Why did you do this? Why did you do that?’ We just felt at that time, we could get an explosive play and get ourselves to build our lead and take advantage of it.”

On if he is considering any changes to his coaching staff

“I think at times like this, people are going to ask those questions and we continually will try to work together to put this complete game in, to do a better job from my standpoint to the coaches and to the players. Right now, no, I’m not thinking about changes as far as moving people here or there. My focus right now is on trying to figure out a way to win a game.”

On if he has an update on right guard A.J. Cann

“He had the hamstring injury yesterday. It was the same one that was kind of bothering him [last week]. I think we are probably going to hold him out tomorrow. He will go through walkthrough and everything and then, obviously, we have to have Chris Reed ready. I will know more as the week goes on.”

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