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Titans-Jaguars Postgame Quotes

Posted Dec 24, 2011

HEAD COACH MIKE MUNCHAK

(on if it was disappointing to have the fourth quarter turnovers to allow Jacksonville to hang around)

That was the disappointing part of the game. We did a lot of things so well and for some reason we made it interesting there in the fourth quarter on the defense by turning it over twice. The defense held them one time, which was huge as it took a lot of time off the clock and got a stop there. But, we had a fumble by Jamie (Harper) there was something we just can’t do. We know that, he knows that.

Luckily, when we got the ball back next time, even though they scored, we did a great job in the four-minute drive, made a couple of big plays. C.J. (Chris Johnson) had a huge run, smart enough to stay inbounds we finished the game right there. So, we did some good things even though we made it harder there in the fourth quarter than it had to be, probably.

(on the importance of the team’s fast start)

We just, we talked about this all year about coming out doing something we really had to do after losing two games. We felt their strength was their front seven. They had injuries in the back end. So, we thought it was important early to come out throwing the football, making plays, getting the receivers into the game and then filtering the run in as we went from there.

(on Jared Cook’s performance)

It was awesome. They said he broke a franchise record for us as a tight end (six catches, 169 yards). He broke Dave Casper’s record, who is a Hall of Famer and teammate of mine, so that a long-time record. He beat out a great football player for it. He had a huge day. We all talk about him, what a great talent he is and today he put it all together. (We) found him and he made the huge catch there at the end of the game that was big for us on third down. So, again a huge game by him and great for us on getting him the football as much as we did and (it) made a big difference.

(on having Matt Hasselbeck more out of the shotgun)

Just give him more time. They want to hug the line of scrimmage, they want to do all that Double A gap stuff. So you don’t want to allow them to mess all your protections. When you get back in the gun a little bit, you are going to pass, you give the quarterback a little more freedom. You don’t have to worry about making adjustments up front if they are bluffing those gaps a lot. So, it allows the quarterback to sit back there and get better matchups up front. The guys did a great job pass blocking throughout the game. If you don’t have a line that can do that, you can’t come out and pass as much as we did. I think Matt threw for over 350 yards, made some plays on some key third downs, keep the chains moving. It was fun to watch.

(on changes of offensive strategy due to Chris Johnson’s health)

It just worked out that way. We felt this was team that we would pass it, much more than we ran it today. The ankle, we didn’t feel like we had to limit him just like we weren’t concerned for Matt at all as far as his health. He practiced all week. We felt great about him, that he could do everything we asked him to do which he was able to do. The same with Chris. He was unlimited, even though we knew he would be a little sore.

(on the play during games at home this season)

There’s no doubt.  We were 5-3.  We all talked about doing better than that, which we wish we had. Losing to Cincinnati, then Houston, then the Saints game, which were at our place.  They were all good games, other than the Houston game.  I think it’s great to finish the season in front of the fans.  We haven’t played so well the last couple of weeks. I think we’re all disappointed in that.  It was nice to finish a game here where they could see really what kind of team we are, what kind of team they are going to have coming forward in the future.  It meant a lot for the players.  Obviously, we had to keep it alive for the playoffs, stay alive until next week so we know it was huge there.  After playing poorly last week, I think we wanted to come home and redeem ourselves, help enjoy the holiday with a win, especially when we have an extra day to enjoy this one for us before we get down to get ready for Houston.  It’s always an advantage to play at home.  It kind of lifted our spirits.  The energy of the crowd, I mean, all year long it’s been great.  We know we’ve got to do better than 5-3 next year.  We made improvements from a year earlier but again we’ve got to still keep working on that to get back to 8-0 at home.  Obviously, that’s what you shoot for every year.  Five-and-three is how it’s going to have to be but we’ll miss not playing here.  That’s for sure. 

(on the mood heading into next week’s game since the team doesn’t control its fate regarding the playoffs)

I think it keeps the excitement going.  I think they’ll feel good about themselves.  The ‘what if’ thing you can worry about in the offseason.  You know, what we could have done if we’d won this game or that game.  That’s gone so we’ll find out exactly what has to happen.  I’m sure everybody will know that by then.  We’ll talk about that a lot, I’m sure, in the next couple days so we know exactly where we stand.  We know we’ve got to win the football game and let things happen from there.  Like you said, we don’t control anything else but us beating Houston in Houston so that’s not an easy task in itself.  We get the chance to go down there and play against a good football team, the team that won our division on New Year’s Day. We want to finish 9-7.  I mean, that’s the best we can do and then we can worry about if we win this game or that game but that’s for later.  I think it’ll be exciting.  They’re excited.  I mean, what more could you ask for.  You don’t control it but at least you’re in it and we’ll see what happens.

(on Rob Bironas as a weapon)

That’s huge when you have a guy that can hit two 50-plus yarders and, remember now, if he doesn’t make those we’re giving up some serious field position for the other team.  That’s the other side of the fact that you feel comfortable enough that he can make those.  He’s been doing that all year long for us and that’s a huge weapon like you said.  To get up by the extra points, tacking on to his confidence so we can at least finish the drive with points and he’s done a nice job for us.  That was big today, to get up by the extra … To have that six-point lead there at the end and again have a lot of confidence in him, which we all do, that he can hit those kinds of kicks for us.

(on approaching Jamie Harper’s fumble and any issues around it)

Anytime there is a fumble, you’re concerned.  He hasn’t played a lot this year.  From what you could tell, it just looked like it just got punched out.  Obviously, there’s not a whole lot you can do about it, other than, you know, I know how he feels about it.  Ball security works all the time.  Like I said he hasn’t been in a lot of action this year so, you know, there’s no excuse for it.  We can’t have it.  We all know that but things happen in games and luckily, it didn’t come back to hurt us.  I’m sure he felt terrible about it.  He made a great run on the one, the series before that for a nice first down on the power play.  The more he plays, hopefully that won’t be a problem.

QB MATT HASSELBECK

(on the playcalling to start the game)

I saw it for the first time last night or really yesterday morning. We saw what the plan was to start the game. We have 190 or 195 plays in the game plan but you never really know what you are going to focus on. Chris (Palmer) presented in the morning and we met with Munch (Mike Munchak) and he kind of told us how we would like to play the game in the meetings with the quarterbacks and we were pretty excited about it. I think it was great. It was a lot off fun, and Jared Cook played well, our receivers played well. The stress of playing a game the way we played it today really goes to the offensive line and having to protect and stuff like that. It wasn’t perfect, we could have been a lot better, we got a little sloppy and had some misfortune but it was exciting. I’m happy for Jared, I’m happy for our receivers and I’m really happy for our team. 

(on the energy amongst the players today)

I think it helped for sure but even in pregame it was a little different. I don’t know who was in charge of the pregame music, I think it was the coaches but there was some good music being played and I think guys were feeling it. It wasn’t just that, I think it was Will Witherspoon spoke to the team last night, Nate (Washington) spoke to the offense today and it was just some of that stuff and sense of urgency and the opportunity that we had and more guys just listening and talking and cheering each other on really and that’s just the bottom line. I feel the guys on offense were into that game when the defense was out there cheering them on and getting the sacks. Every time (Karl) Klug gets a sack everyone goes nuts. He has been just a huge plus for us. To see guys step up and play well is encouraging and we were talking in the huddle. We just had that energy back a little better than we has last week.

(on the state of the offense)

Well we have made great strides with Kenny (Britt) out. It was unfortunate because he was supposed to be a big part of our offense this year. Guys have stepped up and the best years that they have ever had and whether it’s Damian (Williams) or Hawk (Lavelle Hawkins) or even (Jared) Cook those guys have really stepped up. Now Nate (Washington) has played a ton of football and he has really stepped up in a big way but that’s not really a surprise. We expected that from Nate and he has shown up in a big way like that. Even today, part of our plan was to get Nate on their nickel guy because we felt like that was a favorable matchup to us. They clamped him some, they doubled him some, or they just played a robber or a free roamer where he can just go to the ball where he feels it and those guys are just headed that way. That kind of helped out Cook on some of his basic crossers there and on third down late in the game and that kind of stuff.

(on the Jaguars defensive game plan)

We really didn’t expect them to disguise as much as they did. They did a nice job disguising with their injury situation. I didn’t think that’s what they were going to be about but they did and they got us a couple of times. On the touchdown they were showing a single-high man coverage, clear as day. It was one of the better disguisings that I have ever seen and they tried to roll of out it. Sometimes when you disguise that’s the challenge because their safeties were running wide. They got wide and 51, the linebacker, is a really good player but you can’t run with Cookie (Jared Cook) like that. It was a close play, it was a play of inches on that but Jared came down with the play and it was a huge score. I think it was a one-play drive, which we will take those.

(on still being alive in the playoff chase)

Well we talked about that last week. We talked about after the Indianapolis game we weren’t happy that we were 7-7 and we were playing bad. Munch (Mike Munchak) came in and said ‘listen, it’s all in the past. It’s embarrassing, let/s talk about it, let’s watch the film, let’s grade it.’ It’s a little bit like going to the dentist, it’s painful but you have to do it.  We did it, we watched it, we put it behind us, and he said that we can be proud at the end of the year with what we do these last two games. 9-7, we will take it because we knew what it took to do it with regrouping after that loss and winning today and then hopefully winning next week. We are in the hunt, but like I said last week, it’s important for us to focus on the stuff that we can control and all we can control is how we play and hopefully getting a win next week.

RUNNING BACK CHRIS JOHNSON

(on the offense opening up the passing game and limiting his number of carries)

It is whatever the offensive coordinator calls. I play for them so I just run whatever.

(on still being alive in the playoff race with one week remaining)

Of course it feels good. That is everybody’s goal to go to the playoffs and hopefully make it to the Super Bowl. So, to still be alive and still have another game that we need to go and win, it feels good.

(on getting out of bounds on his 13-yard carry on the final drive to keep the clock running)

It is something that we practice every week – situations and stuff like that. We practice those types of things every week. It is just about being smart on game day.

(on the difficulty of making himself stay in bounds on that particular play)

When you know what goal is at stake and when you know you are trying to make it to the playoffs and things like that, it’s not a hard decision.

(on the play call on his 13-yard carry on the final drive)

It was just really the power play. They usually don’t let me run that play. They usually let (Javon) Ringer or Jamie (Harper) run that play. But it was kind of like the same play that I busted on the New York Giants. They all came down and left the outside open.

(on the hit in the second half that briefly knocked him out of the game)

I think he got me on my chest a little bit. I wasn’t looking. It was kind of like a crack back hit. It was blind side really. I didn’t see him. I just lost my wind.

(on if he felt the hit was a clean play)

It definitely wasn’t a clean play. I wasn’t looking, so it wasn’t a clean play.

(on if the ankle injury limited him at all)

It really didn’t limit me at all. It was just a situation where I never really got a chance to get in my groove or anything like that. Kind of had a lot of the passing game today, so kind of was going with what worked.

(on when he knew he would be able to play today)

I actually didn’t know until today once I got here and got a little treatment. I went out before the game and ran a little bit.

TIGHT END JARED COOK

(on having big day today after last week’s fumble)

It was awesome. I just wanted to kind of prove to the players what I could really be. Coach (Chris) Palmer kind of gave me the opportunity to do that today. He kind of mixed it up, came out gunning, so it worked in our benefit.

(on expecting a lot of balls today)

I kind of expected the ball to be moved around a lot. I didn’t expect to have so much, but we still moved the ball around a lot, everybody kind of got involved. We got Nate (Washington) involved, we got Damian (Williams) involved, the whole offense was clicking today.

(on the difference in his play within the last two weeks)

Yeah, I went through a little drought with the Bills game, Saints game, I think, where I had no catches, but you just got to keep rolling with the punches. There are going to be roller coasters in seasons, you just got to roll with it. Sometimes the offense expects to do great things, but sometimes we don’t. You’ve just got to keep riding the roller coaster.

(on feeling healthy)

Yeah, I feel good. I mean, I have no problems. I have no complaints.

(on the Jaguars’ secondary down three to four starters and how much that factored into the game plan)

We talked about it a lot. Their whole defense lost a lot of guys and put them on the IR (injured reserve), so we felt like we could take advantage of that. I think that’s why he kind of mixed it up a little bit this week and it just worked in our benefit.

(on whether the passing game carried the team with Chris Johnson’s injury)

Not necessarily, because we kind of looked at the first 15 script and saw there was a little change up from the normal and we kind of got excited. So, kudos to Coach Palmer for kind of doing that and catching the defense off guard.

(on whether there was more passing in the first 15 plays)

Yes, obviously, a lot more, just the whole game.

(on being open most of the day)

Yeah, for the most part, but I think everybody was kind of open. I think once you get everybody involved in the passing game you open up so many options and I see a lot of great teams do that. So, I think a lot of guys were open, like Damian (Williams) in the corner of the end zone, that should’ve been a touchdown.  Damian up the sidelines, that should’ve been a catch for a touchdown. We just had a lot of opportunities open up for us today.

(on how important it is to get out to an early lead)

It’s very important. We’ve kind of struggled with that all year. It’s been kind of tough for us to get first half points all year, but to come out and put a stamp on the offense and put a stamp on the game is big. I mean, you have to do that in the first half to stick around the game.

DT  KARL KLUG

(on leading the Titans in sacks this year)

Coming out this year, I never thought that.  In college, I was never considered a pass rusher, but those sacks, you know are a team effort.  Today on the sack I got, Dave Ball basically set the whole thing up for me.  We were both in on that play, and he occupied the tackle, and when I came around the quarterback was wide open.  He did the work, I just got the credit.

(on defending NFL-leading rusher, Jacksonville RB Maurice Jones-Drew)

He’s a great back.  He’s so low to the ground and he has powerful legs.  We were stressing all week that we had to gang tackle if we wanted to bring him down. I feel like we did a decent job of that today.  We gave up 161 yards last week to (Colts RB) Donald Brown.  And we know that Maurice Jones-Drew is a heck of a back, and we were going to need to stop him if we were wanted to win today.  He still got 100 yards today, but we contained him the best we could.

FS  MICHAEL GRIFFIN

(on the Titans’ efforts today)

The D-line was hitting their gaps and they were gang tackling.  What matters most is we got the win.  You have to give credit to the front four who did a great job, the linebackers who were on cue, we were all playing together and that’s all that matters.  As long as we keep playing like that, and our offense scores points, and be able to slow their offense down, we should be OK.

We just all stuck to the game plan.  We all played as a team.  The offense was able to put points on the board, and were able to contain them overall, playing good defense. You just have to give credit to the whole team.  The whole team came in with a bad taste in our mouths after last week, and we really wanted to get a win, in our last home game of the season. 

(on the Titans’ playoff chances)

We’ve been in this a lot of times.  You don’t want to think about the situation right now.  We just go ahead and play football, and what happens when the game clock ticks zeroes, you just worry about a win.  Right now, I’m thinking about (Arian) Foster, (Ben) Tate and (Derrick) Ward, three great Houston running backs.  We have a big task ahead of us, so we’ve got a lot more to worry about than worry about playoffs.  We have a big game next week. 

SS  JORDAN BABINEAUX

(on the Titans’ win, after the loss last week to the Colts)

It felt good.  Any loss is disappointing, especially as players, when you always feel you could have done more or played better.  Even in wins, you feel like you could have done more, just being critical as an athlete, always wanting and expecting perfection.  So last week’s game and the loss, really hurt us.  Today was a real good team victory, that you have to feel good about.   

(on the Titans’ defensive effort)

I think we did a great job defensively, today.  There’s no question that (Maurice) Jones-Drew is heck of a football player and he leads the league in rushing for obvious reasons.  He’s going to get his touches and he’s going to get his yards.  I think on team defense, we did a great job up front first off, and then when he broke through the line, we didn’t let him get past us.  Great team defense. 

WR  DAMIAN WILLIAMS

(on the Titans throwing the ball early and often in today’s game)

We’ve been asking for that opportunity all year.  Just the chance to go out there and make plays.  Get the ball in our hands early and let us do work, and we do pretty well with that.  I think that we did a great job today, and took advantage of what they gave us.  Just staying on the field, for sustained drives and giving our defense a rest.  That’s something that’s huge for us and we just have to continue to do that. 

(on the Titans’ offense wanting to make a better showing after last week’s loss to the Colts)

We were still upset about last week, but in the long run, you have to keep moving.  That’s what we did today.  We tried to put last week behind us, and we came out and took care of business. 

(on the Titans’ playoff hopes)

All that doesn’t mean anything if we don’t win today and we don’t win next week.  As much as we like to know what’s going on around the league, we have to take care of home first.  Live to fight another day.  We’re in a playoff run now, and we’ve been there for the last couple of weeks.  We just have to win and hope that things keep falling in place.  And you can’t go into Christmas with a loss.

WR  NATE WASHINGTON

(on the victory and any playoff hope)

This is a team that hasn’t given up.  We haven’t given up any games, although we might not have played as well as we wanted to at times, but we’ve definitely stayed in this thing. 

(on the offensive strategy in today’s game)

Jacksonville had a lot of injuries to their secondary.  With that, we knew that we were going to have a lot of opportunities to make some plays.  And today, we had our opportunity and we took it.  Much credit to Cookie (Jared Cook) for having a franchise day, and much credit to Matt (Hasselbeck) for finding everyone that needed to be found.

We knew throughout the week, watching them on film and knowing that they had a lot of guys in their secondary banged up and on injured reserve, that we were going to have a lot of opportunities.  They have a lot of guys in that secondary that haven’t been playing there, and they’ve been giving teams opportunities.  So like I said, we just had to make sure we came in and did our jobs. 

Coach (Offensive Coordinator Chris) Palmer said it, that today we weren’t going to hold anything back.  We had to come out here and give everything that we had, and put the things in play that we knew that we could. We took advantage of what they gave us, and I think we did a good job today.

JAGUARS INTERIM HEAD COACH/ DEFENSIVE COORDINATOR MEL TUCKER

(opening statement)

Like I just told the team, it was very disappointing.  The guys played hard.  The effort was there all the way to the end but at the end of the day we did not execute well enough on either side of the ball.  We didn’t make enough plays.  Give them credit.  They are a good football team.   They made more plays than we did throughout the game and we came up short.  Where do we go from here? We have to improve as a football team.  We have to improve in our execution, our attention to detail, there’s room for improvement on both sides of the ball and on teams and we will look to do that.  That’s what you do in every situation.  You have to look and say, ‘Where do we need to improve,’ and look to emphasize those areas.  Look to get better, look to improve from day to day and we look to forward to the next opportunity we have.  We have one more game guaranteed to us at home in front of our fans, a division game.  There’s not a doubt in my mind that our guys will prepare and do everything that we can to prepare and be ready for this last game. These guys will play hard, we just have to execute better. 

(on the defense playing relaxed)

Like I tell the players all the time, it’s no excuse, no explanation.  This is a production business, a bottom line production business.  Either we get the job done or we don’t as a team. Today we didn’t do that. That’s what it is.

(on Paul Posluszny covering 30 yards deep)

That was a poor matchup.  They caught us in a coverage and we weren’t matched up well enough.  Give them credit, that was a good play on their part.  We try to keep him out of those situations, unfortunately we were in a poor matchup situation.  So give them credit.  They took advantage of that.  It was a poor matchup.  He was where he needed to be.  He got out-(ran) so we have got to do a much better job trying to keep him out of those situations and that happens sometimes. 

(on Maurice Jones-Drew’s ankle injury in the first quarter)

He felt like he needed to get it re-taped so he came back out and finished the game.  We all know what Maurice (Jones-Drew) is going to do.  He is going to give us what he has and what he has is a lot.  He is a relentless competitor.  He finishes plays, runs, when he catches the ball he is going to finish those plays as well.  He is just a special player.  He is an inspiration to all of us, both sides of the ball and coaches and players. 

(on Blaine Gabbert’s performance)

I need to look at the tape.  I think it’s going to be a mixed bag.  But without looking at the tape, there’s going to be some good and there’s going to be some bad.  I definitely want to look at the tape before I get too detailed in terms of blame and pretty much any of our players at this point.

 (on Kevin Rutland’s injury)

Kevin Rutland was healthy going into the game.  Unfortunately he got stepped on in pregame and so we thought it would be best to have him in a reserve emergency-only role.  So we asked Morgan Trent to step up. He was the next man up.  I thought he competed well.  Again I will have to see the tape but he played hard for the most part.   He was where he needed to be and he played for 60 minutes, four quarters in the game and that’s what we asked him to do. 

(on focusing on next week)

I just told them there is no doubt in my mind we’ll do all the things we have to do to prepare.  We will get that done and that’s all we can do.  Then we have to take it up a notch.  The execution has improved and our guys want to finish on a high note.  We want to finish strong.  It’s a home game.  It’s a division game.  Mr. Weaver and Delores, their last game, obviously we owe them a lot.  Words can’t express what they have meant to this franchise obviously.  So we are going to put our best foot forward, coaches and players.  There’s no doubt in my mind that we are prepared and we give it every thing that we have and lay it on the line in that last home game. 

(on the coverage on the third-down play)

As I saw it on the field, we had a player fall down subsequently at the catch point.  He was open and that is why he was able to catch it and run with it. 

(on fourth-and-one having Blaine Gabbert pass)

I support that call.  We just didn’t execute it.  I give them credit and we move on to the next play. 

OL UCHE NWANERI

(on the game today)

It was a lack of execution.  It is as simple as that.  There aren’t too many things you can say as far as trying to narrow it down, but when you don’t execute the plays you don’t win.  That is what happened today.  It has been a reoccurring theme this year.  We have had times where we were good and we had times where we were bad.  I just don’t think we did enough as an offense.  The defense got us the ball numerous times.  It is kind of a reoccurring theme.

(on Blaine Gabbert)

He is competing.  He is a young cat, a rookie.  He is out there playing his butt off.  He is not perfect, but I mean there are 11 guys on offense.  I don’t understand why that is such a big deal when you have a guy who is put in the limelight in a really tough situation.  He is playing his butt off and that is really all you can ask for.

OL EUGENE MONROE

(on Blaine Gabbert’s demeanor)

He is calm.  He is poised.  He is working to be a leader.  That is how he is.

(on next week being the final game for the owner and potentially the head coach)

It just means we have to get ready for a division rival.  None of that really matters.  We just have to line up and play against the Colts.  There are a lot of variables going on behind the scenes, but the on the field performance doesn’t have anything to do with that.

(on Mel Tucker)

I think he is doing a good job.  He brought a new energy to the team.  He has been a strong leader.

S DAWAN LANDRY

(on the game)

Give those guys credit.  They came out and executed their game plan, kept us on our heels a little bit and made plays when they needed to.

(on the game)

We have been fighting each and every week.  We have had a lot of close games.  The record doesn’t dictate the type of team that we have.  I am happy to be a part of this organization with these guys knowing the type of effort these guys put in and next week I expect the same thing.

(on the Mel Tucker)

It was pretty tough on him.  It was pretty unexpected when they let Coach Del Rio go.  Coach Tucker came in and kept everybody on the same page not letting anybody get down or anything.  Keeping everybody playing hard.  The record doesn’t dictate the effort and everything else that goes into it.  We are going to fight for him.

DL JEREMY MINCEY

(on Mel Tucker)

He is doing a great job.  He is the coach.  We have to go out there and play.  He is the leader and we execute the plan.  Without execution of the plan nothing will work.

(on Mel Tucker’s Approach)

Go hard, play smart, do the right thing. That is what he preaches.  Apparently we didn’t get the job done so it is back to the drawing board to get better.

(on Chris Johnson )

We stopped him from rushing, but he wasn’t really the problem this game.  They went to the passing attack and they kind of put some good balls in there and their guys were making some good plays.  They made more plays than we did.

(on Matt Hasselbeck)

He is a savvy veteran.  He steps up.  He was letting it go.  It kind of reminded me of last week, kind of the same game plan, max protection with deep passes.  We just have to get to the quarterback a little bit more, even though it is hard because everything was a three-step drop.

(on going into the last weekend in the playoff hunt)

It’s been exciting. We know we have a chance. We’ve just got to do our part and hopefully chips will fall where they may. We’re still hoping, I mean, we’re not down and out yet. It’s definitely a different energy around the team.  

(on going one-on-one with Jaguars LB Paul Posluszny)

Posluszny really didn’t dog me that much. It was that one touchdown, he dropped an attempt or two and took me deep down the middle. But, a lot of times they brought a nickel in the game and set a nickel in the right 10 yards or either stepping up on the ball and cover me man.

(on whether this reminds him of last year having several big games down the stretch)

I guess. I never really thought about it, I just want to win. That’s really my main focus is, is winning and trying to get into the playoffs. That’s what you play for.

(on whether his recent play has been him or game plan)

It’s just a game plan. We have a lot of offensive weapons. They are not always going to be able to use one person all the time or call one person’s number all of the time. Sometimes the running game hits, sometimes it doesn’t. Sometimes the passing game hit, sometimes it doesn’t. I’m happy for the opportunity to be able to showcase a little bit more than I have been. We run the ball the first two downs a lot of times and pass on third, so it gave me a little bit more opportunity than normal today.

RB MAURICE JONES-DREW

(on what happened to his ankle on their first offensive play of the game)

It’s doing fine.  I had to get it re-taped—it got rolled up again.  I got a chance to get it re-taped and just went back in the game.  We tried a new tape job for it—that tape job just didn’t work, so we went to a different one that worked.

(on having another great individual performance but leaving with a loss)

It’s not about an individual effort; there were a lot of plays that I missed.  We just have to execute and get on the same page.  After that first turnover we should have gone down and scored, we just didn’t execute enough to get down there and score points—and that was throughout the whole game.  We battled back, but we just have to figure out a way to execute.  Those guys were out there making plays, don’t get us wrong they’re a very good team, but if we execute and do the right things I think the game would be different.  It comes down to execution and we’re just not executing on a high level right now.  That’s what we have to do, and that’s everybody from the kickers, punters, myself—everyone.  The whole roster, guys on the sideline cheering, we all have to be accountable for what our job is to do and do it at a high level.

(on what his personal accomplishments mean without getting the win)

What do you want me to say about the personal goals? (Reporter replies: Whatever you want to say)  It doesn’t mean anything; I mean we’re 4-11.  I don’t see any personal goals in 4-11—this isn’t tennis where it’s me versus another guy.  This is a team game where all 53 guys have to play at a high level for you to win, and we’ve only done that four times this year and it hurts.  It’s past frustrating, it hurts because I don’t know how many times we’ve been in a game to come back and win it or tie it or whatever it may be and not do it, that hurts more than it frustrates you.  Really, we have a lot to learn from—we have a long week this week.  A Colts team that has a new Tebow in (Dan) Orlovsky on their team—that guy is doing a great job pulling out victories.  We’ve got to find a way to win.

(on if the Colts win their season finale against the Jaguars they will lose out on drafting Stanford QB Andrew Luck)

I’m not too high on Stanford guys, I went to UCLA.  I know those guys talking to (Colts Safety Antoine) Bethea over the week, and I know that is not on their mind.  They want to end their season on a high note—they’ll end their season on a three-game win streak that way if they win.  We have a lot to fight for, if we lose it’ll be a three game losing streak for us, so there are two streaks (one) that their trying to keep and we’re trying to break, so it’s going to be a very physical game and we have to find a way to pull it out.

 (on his statement that right now he is past frustrated and that it hurts)

Yeah, I had a dream the other night that if the game came down to fourth-and-one on the goal line, and I never jump over a pile and I had to jump over a pile, I would do it.  That is the mentality that we have, we just haven’t got to that point where we’re executing at a high level.  Everybody feels like we have the players to do it, we just aren’t executing high enough yet.  We want to, we have the talent, we just don’t have the execution, and that is something we have to continue to work on.

 (on if the loss was tough on Jaguars’ coach Mel Tucker)

It’s tough on everybody.  Obviously Coach Tucker is doing a great job of getting guys prepared and ready to go.  We were really well prepared for this game, we knew everything their defense was going to do and our defense was doing a great job stuffing the run.  We have to find a way to execute, and that’s everybody.  It really comes down to man-on-man and you just have to want it more than the other.  Obviously they did a better job than us today.

 (on if he likes running the Wildcat)

Yeah, it’s no big deal—it’s a play. 

(on it being the second time this year that it’s been fourth-and-one on the goal line and they didn’t give him the ball)

Well they did a great job of stopping that hammer play.  We thought the play was going to work, the defense did a great job of pushing their coverage over a little bit and covering both guys.  It was a play we’ve used throughout the year and it’s worked.  We ran it on third-and-three and we didn’t get it and got it to fourth-and-one or fourth-and-two, I don’t know what it was, but it just didn’t work.

(on if he’ll sleep much tonight)

Probably not, it’s Christmas tomorrow so I’m going to have a bad Christmas.

(on if he’s going to put on a good happy show for his kids tomorrow because it’s Christmas)

Nope.  They need to suffer too.  We don’t believe in Santa Claus, I told you that.  I didn’t tell you the story about that?  I’m already fourth in the household—I’m not going to be fifth to Santa Claus.  He’s the middle man, he goes through me.  The kids tell Santa Claus and Santa Claus tells me and then I get the gifts—that’s how we do it.

(on if he told his kids there was no Santa Claus)

I didn’t say there wasn’t a Santa Claus.  I said he talks to me first before he can do anything, so there it is.

(on if his kids can be happy for Christmas despite the loss)

They can be jolly; I’ll just be sulking in my sorrows once again.

QB BLAINE GABBERT

(on his thoughts of the game today)

We didn’t execute well enough to win.  You never want to lose to a division rival, but the bottom line is that we have to execute at a higher level on all phases of the game and on offense it starts with me.

(on his fourth-down pass in the fourth quarter that was intercepted)

It was a great play call at a great time, and on fourth down you have to give a guy a chance and tipped balls happen, but you never want them to.

(on if it’s frustrating when you have a pass tipped)

Yeah, it’s a helpless feeling because you have no control over where it goes.  You hope it lands as fast as possible or that one of your teammates grab it, but it’s just the nature of the game.

(on if this year’s struggles will make him stronger next year)

It’s going to make this team strong, bottom line.  We’ve had a lot of adversity, we’ve been hit in the mouth a lot of times and we just have to learn from it.  Take all of these experiences and let it build us, let it build our team around that.  It’s definitely going to help us in the long-run and make us stronger.

(on getting into a rhythm on that touchdown drive and struggling to do the same the rest of the game)

That’s the bottom line, we need to execute.  We executed extremely well on that drive, about as you can execute, but we just have to keep building on that.  We have to play four quarters of football like that, you can’t just have one or two great quarters because that’s not going to get the job done.

(on why they had trouble finding the same offensive rhythm the rest of the game)

It falls on us.  We have to make the plays and the plays are there.  It starts with me, I distribute the football.

(on how to keep a good morale despite a 4-11 record)

You just have to keep fighting.  You have to trust in your preparation, know that you’re here for a reason—we all know that.  We just have to keep chipping away.  Come back to work with the same mindset, the same enthusiasm that we have week in and week out and know that things are going to turn around.

 (on finishing the season on a high note)

Yeah, we have one game left and we definitely want to end on a positive note.

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