Quarterback David Garrard (9) and head coach Jack Del Rio say the Texans are a dangerous ballclub to face this Sunday.
Jacksonville Jaguars head coach Jack Del Rio and quarterback David Garrard spoke to the Houston media via conference call on Wednesday.
Jaguars head coach Jack Del Rio
(on if the Jaguars game plan DE Mario Williams as if he's one of the elite pass rushers in the NFL) "We're worried about our own pass rush right now, are you kidding me? No, I mean, he's a big, strong, talented football player, and he's not the only one on that front. So we're definitely getting ourselves ready to take on the challenge that we have coming in on Sunday."
(on his thoughts on the Jaguars' and Texans' seasons to date) "I think our division is stronger than maybe the records would indicate. I think that Tennessee has proven that the last five weeks. I think Houston has proven that over different periods of this season. I think we have as well. Indy has run out in front again, which they've made a habit of. There's big separation there, but I really believe that our division is strong, top to bottom."
(on RB Maurice Jones-Drew's first season as the feature back) "He's done a nice job. We made the move in the offseason to feature him. He's just done a great job with the added opportunities and he's a threat not only running the ball but catching the ball out of the backfield and he's a terrific blocker. He's really put together a heck of a year for us."
(on the Jaguars knowing he was capable or else they wouldn't have featured him) "Right. It just validates what we saw in him, and he's a terrific young man. He's got the heart of a champion, and we really like the way he's playing."
(on the development of his two rookie offensive tackles) "They've had their moments. They got thrown into the fire right away. They got the start on the road to open the season in Indianapolis. They've battled along. They're getting better. Last week, as a group and as a whole, we weren't real good up front. It made it difficult for us, but they're good young players and they're going to have bright futures here."
(on if the lack of attention and media around the country as contenders serves as a motivator and if it bothers him at all) "No, I don't really think about it much. We know who we are and what needs to be done here in December to give ourselves a chance. We're just focusing right now on those Texans."
Jaguars QB David Garrard
(on the Texans not getting to the quarterback and if they still game plan for DE Mario Williams) "Yeah, he's still a dynamic player, and the moment you don't account for him is the game that you give up five sacks to him. And I think that's what probably teams are doing more and more, and definitely what we're doing. But I thought you guys got to me quite a few times. I might not have had the ball in my hand, but you guys got a lot of pressure on me."
(on if he did get hit a couple of times in Week 3) "I did. I did get hit a couple of times."
(on the Texans not recording any official sacks) "No, no. No, I usually try to get the ball out of my hands or gain a couple of yards out of it, but you guys still do a pretty good job of closing that pocket."
(on if it's a challenge to have two rookie tackles on the offensive line) "It absolutely is. I mean, you guys can go back to when you guys were there with David Carr. Just having young guys on that line, you can definitely see what happens. But I still have confidence in these guys, and the thing is, they dominate so well for a majority part of the game, it's just always a play or two here where the guy just doesn't have that experience in some of the moves that the guy's put on him and they will be susceptible to a couple moves here and there. Even then, I still have to do a good job of protecting the ball. And I've been blessed with some decent legs to get out of trouble, so if I can help them out, I know sometimes that's going to happen. But the more and more they grow, the more and more they grow with me, they'll understand the things they have to do to keep me clean."
(on the season RB Maurice Jones-Drew is having) "Yeah, Maurice is just playing like a monster like he always is and how he always does. I'm very happy that I'm his teammate and I get to hand the ball to him and watch him run. He does a great job. He also does a great job coming out of the backfield and catching passes, too. That's one area I wanted to make sure I do better in is getting the ball to him on check-downs and things like that, because a lot of times, they're real soft with the underneath check-down, and I have to do a good job of finding the lanes for him. Sometimes, it is tough getting it to him, but he's exceptional when he has the ball in his hands."
(on how impressed he is with what Jones-Drew has been able to do without RB Fred Taylor) "You know what? I knew Maurice would be able to do this. I knew he would have a very, very productive year. Now, did I think that he would league the lead in touchdowns and all those things? I didn't know that. But I knew he had the ability to, and I'm really happy that he is able to show his durability and show that he doesn't have to have multiple backs back there with him helping him out, taking some of the load off him. Now, we definitely take care of him during the week, which he deserves. But he's showing that when it's game time, he's going to step up and make the plays for us."
(on if it's a good thing or a bad thing that their team is not getting a lot of attention despite being 6-5 and in the playoff hunt) "Well, I think the more we win, the more and more attention we'll get. I think w hat happens to us is we do good in spurts and then we'll let one get away from us and have an untimely loss, and so that is what's been just kind of killing us. We've been, what Boomer has always said, where we've been, 'Yeah, but…' So, you kind of get lost in the shuffle. But if we just continue to win, and from here on out we have to win to keep pace with everybody, but the more and more we do that, the better things will get for us around here."
(on if it bothers him that the Jaguars don't receive attention) "Well, it doesn't bother me. I don't care. Winning ballgames is really all that I care about. And I know we've been here before, just like in '07 when nobody expected us, nobody gave us any attention and we just kept on doing our job and kept on playing ball. Attention will come, and it comes quickly, so there's no need to be hung up on why you're not getting any attention. You keep winning ballgames, all of the attention will come to you."
(on how depressing the lack of support from their own fans is) "Once again, it's not depressing. I'm in the NFL. I get to suit up and play the Texans and all these great teams in the NFL, so I'm never going to get depressed about something like that. This is definitely a blessing, and I'm very fortunate to be here. But you definitely still want to have that fan support and you want your fans to come out in droves and fill out the stadium and all that good stuff. And once again, just like with national attention, you keep winning, they'll show up. Just like that movie: 'If you build it, they will come.' If you win, they will come."
(on what the Texans' defense has been doing better since they last played them) "Well, we've kind of been watching them and they're definitely being more stout, but they're not mixing coverages so much. They're not playing nearly as much man coverage, so they're able to stay in their gaps and everybody knows exactly what they're doing. Guys aren't confused and guys aren't giving up any big plays. So when you've got a lot of man coverage and you're blitzing guys left and right, you can have big losses, but then you can have big plays on you, too. So they're playing more zone and not running so many different coverages. So it's a lot of guys know exactly what they've got and where they should be, and guys are staying in position and just playing ball. They're able to play faster is basically what's happening."
(on if he's surprised the Texans are 5-6) "You know what? The way that you guys definitely play on offense, the offense is always putting up a lot of points. And it just seems like defensively, you guys are always doing a good job defensively, too. Yeah, it is surprising, because we feel like you guys are kind of the same mold as us, just always scrappy and always determined and always pulling out big wins but never just coming out of the gate and doing a Colts or a Saints or a Minnesota where we're just running through everybody. It seems like we always have those games where, 'Did we wake up out of the bed today?'
(on if that's an uphill battle) "Yeah, exactly. So that's unfortunate, but the thing is, we're both scrappy teams, and neither one of these teams give up ever during the season."
(on Texans LB Brian Cushing) "You know what? He's done a great job. Watching film, we've just seen him grow more and more each game. When we played them, they weren't lining him up out over receivers in the slot, that kind of stuff. They were a little scared at first. But now, he's doing everything. He's getting more and more confident. He's got a nice little swagger about him. He even pulled off a little dance in the Tennessee game, which was – I was trying to figure out what he was doing, but maybe that's a USC/West Coast thing. But he's definitely got a swagger about him, and I know he's in the running for defensive rookie of the year. He's definitely got the tools and the talent. We definitely have to have an eye on him. I saw him get that interception last week, so he's doing a better job in his zone coverages, which is telling me that I need to make sure that I know where 56 is."