Transcripts: Jaguars Post-Game Quotes

JACKSONVILLE JAGUARS

Head Coach Gus Bradley

(general statement) "That was a great game. Coming into this environment as a playoff team that plays as physical as they do, I thought our defense played extremely well. We played extremely physical. Good running game by [the Ravens]. The number of points that they average, and to come into their house and play like we did, hats off to them—to our defense. Our special teams gave up the blocked punt. That was discouraging, but the team bounced back from it. We felt like we needed to steal a couple of possessions. In this game, we executed the onside, the fake punt and did a great job with that. We took some chances there to be bold. We wanted to take advantage of it, and we did. I think, one, we missed a field goal; and the other one, we didn't even score off of. When you have opportunities like that, you have to put it in the end zone. No touchdowns, even if we get one touchdown, gives us a great opportunity in this game."

(on whether the special teams' plays were part of the gameplan) "Yes. We were just waiting for the situation. We were waiting for a certain situation that presented itself, and it did. The onside kick, we felt we had momentum on our side. We saw the first one and how they were going after it, and we felt like that was really a credit to [special teams coordinator] Mike Mallory and [assistant special teams coach] Matt Smiley and their staff presented it to me. We took a look at it on film and felt confident in it."

(on not taking advantage of field position) "You have to get touchdowns. At times this year, we haven't even made the field goal. So, now we're making field goals. But not to get the touchdown. I think hurts a little, and it hurts a lot because of momentum. If you get a touchdown, and you go in with a lead, and you've got some breathing space, and you get them into passing situations where we can let our D-line go a little bit, that's good. So, yes, that part's frustrating."

(on the sacks on Blake Bortles) "That's discouraging because I don't know what it is the last three weeks. A four-plus average or whatever it is, we need to slow this down. I know right away, it's quick to blame the offensive line. I don't know. I think, as we look at it, two were because of this and three here. But whatever the case is, we have to slow that down. To take eight sacks is not good football."

(on Marcedes Lewis' drop on the first play of the game setting the tone) "This is what I told him 'We're going to challenge our team,' and it was pretty strong about answering the call. Your number is going to be called, and you need to answer it. We're not expecting perfection. There's going to be mistakes that take place, but we need to see a quick recovery. He dropped a pass and came back, and he made some plays for us. I think for me, we would like for him to catch every one of them. All those opportunities, and you challenge guys to do that. But I guess what I'm hanging my hat on is that we did quickly recover. Especially him, and he came back and made some big plays."

(on whether he can relate this game to last week) "We just didn't do very well in the second half. That's what's frustrating. I think where we are in this, I told our team, 'There's going to be talk about Jacksonville played hard, extremely physical. They came into our house and did some really good things.' Special-teams wise, in two phases, did really good. But we're not into moral victories. We're into victories. That's what we're after. We've got to figure this thing out and keep challenging our guys. But it is competitive, and we're seeing guys step up, but it's not enough. So, we go back to work. We have a short week. And we challenge them once again."

(on the lack of consistency on offense) "I think we're seeing it on defense and on special teams. Although the block [punt] . . . On offense, we're seeing spurts of it, but not to where we need chunks and explosive plays. I think we had more explosive plays than they did. So, you're seeing some of those things take place, but we're just not capitalizing on it and getting it into the end zone."

(on how much thought went into kicking the 54-yard field goal) "We lost yardage. I know we talked about it. It was on the 37- or 38-[yard line], and we decided to go for it right there."

(on Toby Gerhart running and catching the ball) "I don't know how many yards we had rushing. I know it was up in the 90s or high 80s at one point. That's a good defense with a very talented front seven. So, we knew it was going to be a challenge. So, we'll take a look at the film and see just exactly how we did."

(on the key for Jacksonville's run defense) "It was to set the edges and tackle very well. We knew it was going to be that type of game. A battle of wills and good discipline with the front seven. A lot of guys were really disciplined in their gap responsibilities."

(on whether the team is discouraged in not closing out games) "Frustrated. Like I said before, frustration is okay because, for me, it shows we have investment. You are invested into it. If you put money in the stock market and it crashes, you are frustrated because you invested into it. If you don't put any money into the stock market, and it crashes, you don't care. To me, we're frustrated because we put a lot in to this. I'm good with that. I'm happy that they're frustrated. And now, we have to quickly recover. We have a short week, and we have to go back to work."

(on what he sees as the answer to this offense) "We just have to make more plays when the opportunity presents itself. We had Marqise [Lee] down the sideline in the red zone, he had his guy beat, and we just overthrew it. Those are where we need to connect, on those plays. We have to catch the balls that are thrown to us. Although I thought guys made some really good grabs. [Allen] Hurns made a great grab. Cecil [Shorts III], in traffic, made a couple of really nice plays. Marcedes [Lewis] came back and made a play. So, you're seeing it. Guys were battling and answering the call, but just not enough."

(on Joe Flacco throwing quick passes to negate a pass rush) "They don't give up many sacks, and they do a good job getting rid of the football."

(on the performance of the Jaguars' offense) "Offensively, sure, we want to score, and we want to get touchdowns here and there, and at times, that's frustrating. That's a very good team. They played a very good defense – a really stout front seven. We knew it was going to be a challenge, but I think when we had a couple of opportunities like we did on special teams, we needed to steal a couple of possessions. And, we did that. And to not come away with points is what hurt us."

(on whether the young players will be challenged) "I think our whole team will be. We talked about it in there. We have to go through this, and then step it up. I think it was a good message in our locker room. Our team seemed to receive it pretty well."

(on the Jacksonville defense handling the Ravens' running game) "I thought we did a nice job. Defensively, sometimes, early in the year, we had some issues giving up explosive plays because of trust. But when you play really well, defensively and do something like that, then you have to come back and say why. Well, it's trust. That trust has been improved, and you're seeing it with some guys. Some guys have been injured. Young guys step up, and they built that trust again."

(on whether he's more encouraged or discouraged with this loss) "I'm encouraged always when I see improvement and encouraged when I see guys step up. I think, defensively and special teams, we did. I saw some guys step up offensively, but we have to challenge them more. But, I'm always on the side of being encouraged from what I saw."

S Johnathan Cyprien

(on the onside kick) "Coach Mal [Mike Mallory] practices the play throughout the week and throughout the off season so we practiced it and my number was called to make the recovery. I was just ready. I had the preparation to make the recovery, and I just recovered it."

(on the run defense) "It started with the D-line, they were really disciplined on what they had to do. We understood what kind of run game they [Baltimore Ravens] had and the D-line did as well, they took ownership of it, and then our linebackers did a great job filling in the gaps that they needed to. And in the back end we made more tackles. It was a team effort and we got it done as far as the run game."

(on the onside kick, was he surprised at the call) "I was happy that we ran it. You know we practiced it, so I was kind of surprised, but then again I was ready. The coaches called it at the right time."

(on the overall defense) "Overall, defensively I believe there were some plays you wish you had back. Overall I think we played solid, but I have to look at the film."

(on the run defense and what worked) "We just had an attitude. We understood what we were getting ourselves into. We're playing Baltimore, we understand their scheme and how they want to run the ball, and the whole team took ownership of that and got it done."

LB Geno Hayes

(on the defense) "It was pretty good for the most part. We couldn't get key plays at key moments and I think that's what came back to get us. You've got to give credit to the Ravens, they're a good squad, veteran squad, veteran leadership. And they made plays when they had to make plays."

(on stopping RB Justin Forsett and the run game) "That's what we tried to do first and foremost, and I think we did a pretty good job of that today."

(on the frustration of not scoring points) "It's frustrating, we pride ourselves on getting the ball back and that's what we didn't do today. Hopefully we'll come back next week and get some turnovers. We've got to do our job and take the ball away"

TE  Marcedes Lewis

(on not scoring touchdowns on offense) "We definitely had our shots. That's what we preach, to finish with touchdowns. It just hurt that we couldn't get in into the end zone."

(on the feeling in the locker room at halftime being up 12-10) "We felt like we shouldn't press. Just go out there and make the adjustments that we need to make and finish with touchdowns. We came out there with the right attitude, we just couldn't finish."

(on his leadership role on the offense) "You can't get bent out of shape because not everybody responds the same to certain criticisms. You have to find a way to reach everybody, a way that they'll respond like men, and come back to work and get better. There's not really much you can say. If you watch the film and you're honest, you can see it on film. So it's not like talking to the young guys, it's just about watching film and being honest and coming back and getting better."

(on the no-huddle offense) "We want to be up-tempo. We want to keep the defense on their toes, especially when we're on the road. We don't want to give the defense too many chances to tee off on us. We like going fast, we like keeping the defense on their toes so we can execute at a high level, and it obviously keeps them off balance."

* *

QB Blake Bortles

(on the pressure provided by the Baltimore Ravens defense) "We knew they were good up front coming into the game. Some of those sacks were on me. Either I held the ball too long or didn't try and get away. There are easy ways to avoid being sacked, and I just didn't do it today."

(on the Jacksonville Jaguars offensive performance) "We had a lot of missed chances today. We had good field position in the first half. We had a fake punt, and we recovered an onside kick, so the opportunities were there. It was just a lack of execution on our part. We needed to get into the end zone."

(on how much this loss frustrates the team) "We have to learn from it. If you're not frustrated, I think something is wrong with you. We are not in this for moral victories, we want real victories. We do have to understand that we played a really good team today. This is a team that has gone to the playoffs a lot. I think we have a special team that can learn from an experience like this and get better."

(on the high number of sacks by the Baltimore Ravens) "Obviously, they were really good up front, they really get after it. We did some good things, but we kept losing yards on the sacks. We could've made [Josh] Scobee's job a lot easier if I didn't take so many sacks."

(on his health [he had a boot on right foot]) "I don't think it's anything big. I feel fine. I hope it is all precautionary, and I will be ready to go Thursday night."

WR Cecil Shorts III

(on the Jacksonville Jaguars scoring opportunities) "We had a lot of chances in the first half. We even had two extra possessions with the onside kick and the fake punt. But we need to figure out a way to score after taking those possessions. We'll go back to work on everything, obviously we have a lot to do."

(on whether this is a moral victory) "I don't believe in moral victories in the National Football League. You either win or you don't. We didn't win, but we will keep fighting. We have a real quick turnaround before our next game, but we'll be ready."

(on finishing with two division games) "We have two division games left with Tennessee and Houston, and we want to finish strong. We've had hard-fought battles against these teams, and we'll be expecting the same. We have to get our minds right and our bodies right and finish the season on a positive note.

* *

LB J.T. Thomas III

(on stopping the Ravens' running game)  "That was a goal of ours, to try to control the run and, more than anything, to be very sound. The Ravens have a lot of good players. What they do is test your defense and your weaknesses. We were able to be around the ball and control the run. Stopping the run allowed us to be a little more aggressive on third down by putting them in longer-yardage situations. That's what we want to try to do. We were really focused on being gap sound and controlling the run game. We knew we were up against a really good offensive line and good run game. We felt like, if we could control their run, we'd have a chance on defense."

(on the Jags' special teams play) "It says a lot about [special teams coach Mike Mallory] and [head coach] Gus [Bradley]. It says a lot about our team that we weren't packing it up. We're out here to compete. We're playing against a really good Ravens team. We wanted to bring it. It really felt good to have the momentum swinging our way and kind of have them on their heels."

(on having a halftime lead) "We've been in that situation before. The step we'll be taking in the future is being able to close games like this out. Being up in the half, we still want to have that mindset like we're down. We wanted to be out there scrapping."

(on how the game could've easily turned on any play) "It was that kind of game, back and forth, like a 12-round fight and in all phases. They came out and hit us in the mouth with the blocked punt. We came back and caught them with the onside kick. It was a good game. That's the level of play we want to play at all times."

* *

DE Red Bryant

(on controlling the Ravens' running game) "We had a lot of respect for their offensive line. We felt like it was a top offensive line that we were going against. We went out there to try and make them one-dimensional. For the most part, I think we did a great job of that today."

(on their improving defense) "You can take away positives in the game, but you want to be careful having guys accept moral victories. I'm extremely proud of the stand we took as a unit. We fought. We played hard against a playoff-caliber team that's got a rich history. At the same time, we've got to find ways to win games like this where it won't be a moral victory but a victory."

(on keeping the locker room together despite having a young offense) "That's when we have to have leaders step up. We know what the expectations are, what the coaches are trying to build. All those young players, we're asking them to speed up their learning process. They went against a Top 10 defense and did the best they could. They'll have to lick their wounds, put it behind them and move forward. That's why coach [Bradley] brought veteran guys like [defensive end] Chris Clemons and myself – to keep the guys encouraged. We've got to press forward and make the most of the opportunities presented."

FB Will Ta'ufo'ou

(on the fake punt) "It was just something we worked on during the week. The opportunity presented itself, and we did a good job. [Punter Bryan] Anger did a good job. I think it took the whole 11. The front line did a great job blocking. I didn't get touched until I got tackled."

(on the Ravens' blocked punt) "It was something we can't do. It's something where we should be able to protect him. It's not acceptable and not something we can have happen early in the game like that. When people are rushing, we've got to be able to react. We didn't react quickly enough."

RB Toby Gerhart

(on not scoring a touchdown and just getting field goals) "It was frustrating. We moved the ball well in the first half and crossed the 50, but then had to settle for field goals. Against a good team like that, if you score a couple touchdowns there, you put them in a bind. It's frustrating, but we've got to score touchdowns. That's a good defense and a good team. Playing them at home, we battled and came up short."

(on his performance) "I felt, at times [like I was in the groove], and then there were times when I felt like I was out of the game for a little bit. It was nice to get out there and move the ball decently when I was in there. I was excited to contribute this week."

(on becoming more consistent on offense) "Yes, that was a hard-fought game. All the way to the end, we had a chance with the ball on the 50-yard line with three minutes to go and down by five where a touchdown wins it. We came up short. I think we fought all the way through. A moral victory is not what we're looking for. We're building and getting there. They stopped us on that drive and stepped up in the end."

LB Telvin Smith

(on the defense) "I thought we battled more than anything. They were competing for the playoffs and their playoff run. We felt like we were that team, battling to get into the playoffs. Just the heart we played with out there today, that's the foundation that we're going to keep building on."

(on playing with Geno Hayes and J.T. Thomas III) "It's been great. Our chemistry out there has just grown tremendously, but it's not just with the linebackers, but with the D-line and the secondary. We've all learned to communicate with each other, even when we get busted for a big play, everybody sticks together and keeps battling. That's something that we've learned over the season. We've really become a good defense."

(on how he feels about this season versus last year being with National Champion Florida State) "It's a building process, because before that national championship, we had some struggling seasons. My freshman year wasn't the best, we did OK. My sophomore year, we really did badly. My junior year, we finally got it and started taking off a little bit, so I understand building something, it takes time."

(on possible success of the Jaguars) "I get that feeling with Coach Gus [Bradley], just because the energy that he brings and the mindset, he's trying to change the mindset around here. That was the same thing at Florida State."

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