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Conference Call: Jaguars Head Coach Mike Mularkey

Posted Nov 21, 2012

JAGUARS HEAD COACH MIKE MULARKEY

(on moving Blaine Gabbert to IR)

We’re disappointed that we had to do that, but with the injury that he sustained this last game in Houston, it was significant enough that he was going to miss significant time. We just thought, especially with his shoulder that he has played numerous games with, that it was in the best interest for him to take care of those things so we can get him back sooner this offseason than we might have if we had just delayed the inevitable.

(on if Blaine Gabbert needs surgery)

That’s going to be determined, but if it is, it would be soon.

(on the type of injury)

Shoulder. The forearm and his shoulder are injured. I’m not going to get into specifics. I’m not smart enough for that. It is the forearm and his non-throwing shoulder that he’s been playing with for a number of games.

(on if he would have surgery on the shoulder and not the forearm)

Yes, if necessary. That’s to be determined.

(on why they decided to shut down Blaine Gabbert and turn it over to Chad Henne)

It was turned over to Chad (Henne) prior to that.

(on what keyed Justin Blackmon breaking out in the Houston game)

I think the thing with Justin (Blackmon), he’s gotten better each week. I’ve talked to our local media here about his preparation in the meetings and on the field. It’s just gotten better and better each week. That’s the fifth week in a row I’ve made mention of it even before being asked about him, that I thought he’s starting to get it, he’s starting to feel comfortable, he’s starting to understand the offense. You can tell by the way he’s practicing. He’s practicing much faster. There’s a lot of thinking going on early, and some adjustments that are different from college. Some guys need time. I’ve seen improvements for sure from him each and every week all the way up to this last game.

(on what Justin Blackmon was able to do so effectively in one-on-one matchups)

He made some plays, made some catches. The first catch, he just ran by. The ball was well-thrown by Chad (Henne), a little bit low down by the knees, made a great catch and did some things after the catch. Some of the catches he had the ability to run after. A lot of the catches he had prior to this weren’t those types of routes. These were for one reason or another. It wasn’t designed that way. We were going to throw the ball deeper last week than we had more times, I guess I should say. It just so happened that he made a lot of those plays.

(on if the offense has evolved to calling more combination routes)

It’s pretty much the same things we’ve been running since I was in Pittsburgh, same offense, same concepts. Some things I’ve picked up from some of the coordinators we have on our staff, but the scheme is relatively the same.

(on Chad Henne’s ball placement in the Houston game)

Some of the throws were just like some of those throws by Blaine (Gabbert). They were giving players chances to make plays. We haven’t made a lot of plays. We’ve had 46 dropped passes here, which is unheard of. These guys made some plays this week. We still dropped five last week, but we made plays that we hadn’t been making down the field.

(on why drops have been such a problem)

I didn’t even see it as a problem last year as I have this year. When I came in here and interviewed here and addressed things, drops were not part of the problem. They certainly have been this year. They certainly have been addressed. I don’t know if guys are pressing because of how much they’ve been addressed and talked about, written about. The problem is like last week, three of those were on third downs, one of them at the end of the game that would have given us a chance to kick the field goal—to Laurent (Robinson). When we start making those plays, I think things will start turning positive. Those are just some of the things that aren’t going our way right now.

(on the Jaguars’ struggles at home)

I can’t explain why we’ve not played as well here as we have on the road. If I knew, I would have addressed it long ago. If I had even seen a position like this, I would have called another coach that’s gone through this. This is just something we’ve experienced. It’s going to turn at some point, hopefully it’s this weekend. We just have not had a lot of things go in our direction, the right way for one reason or another. A lot of it’s self-inflicted, some of it’s not. Our guys are glad to be home, glad to be playing in front of our fans. We have a great fan base here. It will turn in a good direction, and we all believe that.

(on if Chad Henne provided a spark in the game against Houston)

What Chad (Henne) did was what we brought him in here to do. If Blaine (Gabbert) went down, we need him to step up and go in there and produce. He did that very well. I haven’t used the word ‘spark’ because I’ve made a number of changes here where we thought we needed to make changes, at left guard, nose tackle, wide receiver, corner. We’ve made changes throughout the year trying to see if we can get more production and wins. If that’s what it’s going to take, you can use that word, but I think our guys are just responding because we have a good group in that locker room.

(on if he focuses more on Jake Locker’s performance in September or in the game against Miami)

Really both. I think he’s healthy, looked healthy. When he’s running the ball you can’t let him escape the pocket like he can and be very dangerous. We look a lot of games on these guys.

(on what he remembers from when he interviewed with the Titans before the team hired Mike Munchak as head coach)

I kind of knew Mike (Munchak) was the favorite. I could see why. Mike has been around there a long time. He’s an excellent football coach, he was a great player, he was great for the organization. I kind of knew the odds when I went in there, but you know, I committed myself to giving the best interview I could to see if I could maybe get an ounce of thought. I felt good about how it went, and I appreciate them bringing me in there, but I had an idea where it would go, and it doesn’t surprise me.

(on what he thinks about the Titans with Munchak as their head coach)

I think whatever Mike does, he’s going to be successful, just like he has been in his career. He’ll find a way to do it because I know his work ethic.

(on if there is any chance Maurice Jones-Drew will play Sunday)

I think that will be further down the road.

(on the progress of injuries to Rashean Mathis, Dwight Lowery and Greg Jones)

They will be limited today in practice and then they’ll be day-to-day and we’ll see where we’re at by the weekend. They’re going to be out at practice today.

(on how much the absence of Dwight Lowery has impacted the secondary)

It’s a pretty key position for us, a lot of communication going on with him and you know, Chris Prosinski has stepped in and done the best he can. That’s all we’re asking these guys to do, but the experience is certainly missed. We haven’t played with two starting linebackers all year. Those two guys have been missed. We’ve had guys that have stepped up and done everything that we’ve asked of them, but a couple of guys have been missed for sure, but I just like the way our guys go out and play with the effort that they play with.

(on if he has seen improvement in the Titans’ defense)

I said that this morning about the whole team and really about the defense, how much they’ve improved. I mean, really, the offense, with Chris (Johnson’s) production, that’s what you want to see, especially at this time of year. You want to see progress, and I see that from that team. Defensively, you know, Miami’s played well this year, and to go down there and hold them to three points and get four turnovers, pretty much a dominant performance. I see improvement, and that’s what you want from your team, and Mike (Munchak’s) getting that.

(on if opportunities for Marcedes Lewis to catch passes have been limited because of his ability to pass block)

I think we’re asking him more than we have, than he has (done) in the past. We’re trying to do everything we can to protect the quarterback so we can get some throws off, especially when we’re throwing down the field, but he’s unselfish and plays a key role. He’s one of the best pass protecting tight ends I’ve been around, but he has made some plays for us, especially last week with the one where he had to go up for a jump ball and make the touchdown. He knows his role and does it and comes in every day and he’ll look his best every day he comes in here. He’s productive whenever he’s in as a pass blocker.

(on if he’s seen enough from Jake Locker to compare between his rookie and second season)

I have not. Last year when we played the Titans I wasn’t really looking at that side of the ball, so I really didn’t spend much time, and then we were playing, obviously, you’re getting ready for the next series, but I’ve seen, I’ve heard, after watching him more intently this week what he’s capable of doing. He has a great arm, and I know his ability to make things happen with his feet is a dangerous thing. We’ve been hurt with quarterbacks who have that ability. I don’t know enough. I can tell you what we need to prepare for this game, but not to compare one year to another.

(on how much the quarterback is involved in adjusting protections and if he sees a trend where quarterbacks are doing it more and offensive lines are doing it less)

Yeah, I think so. We’re fortunate we have Brad Meester, who’s been here for a long time, 13 years. There’s great communication, but we do ask the quarterbacks to, if you change something, they do changes. It starts with the center, but everybody’s had the ability to get us in the right protection to obviously make us more sound.

(on if there is potential to add too much to a quarterback’s plate or if he feels quarterbacks have perspective to make changes that will protect them or get them in the right play better)

I think, again, speaking of this offense, I think it’s a very user-friendly offense. I think because of players having to come in and learn the system yearly, you’ve got to be careful just how much you put on their plate, but I think our guys can handle it pretty well. 

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