Jaguars quarterback David Garrard had success running the ball against the Texans late in the teams' Week 4 matchup at Jacksonville.
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 how much of the Jaguars' struggles this season can be attributed to the offensive line injuries earlier this year) "Well, I think certainly, everything adds up. I think trying to pin it on any one thing is not going to be entirely accurate."
(on what he would attribute their struggles to) "I really wouldn't. I'm not trying to pin it on anything. I think we'll evaluate the season when the season is over. Right now, we're just carrying on as a football team. We have an opportunity on Monday night down there in Houston, and I'm looking forward to getting ready for it."
(on if after they beat the Texans in overtime earlier in the season, he thought the season would go like they thought it would at the beginning of the season) "Not really. I thought we had survived an early-season storm. I think you know as a coach that you're going to face adversity during the course of a season, and how your team responds is ultimately going to determine what type of year you put together."
(on what has been the most frustrating part of the season for him) "I don't know. I think part of being involved in the NFL is you understand there are ups and downs and you fight your way through them. I love what I'm doing. I love coaching and I love being a part of this league and I love working here in Jacksonville. We're just going to keep doing the right things for the right reasons and know that we'll ultimately have more fun."
(on if he has been part of a team that has only won one game at home and three on the road) "I'm not sure that I have. I'd have to look back historically. I really haven't given that a whole lot of thought. I know that we've been in every game with opportunities and we just haven't been able to make enough plays to be happy."
(on if Monday Night Football is a big deal to him or if it's just another game) "I think it is a big deal. I think it's a lot of fun. First of all, they don't just put anybody on Monday night, so if they're putting you on Monday night, then they think you're going to have a good season. They think you're going to be a good team. So obviously, the schedule-makers looked at this confrontation and thought that it would be exciting to watch. I think it will be. I think there are two talented teams that maybe haven't had the kind of years that either one of us envisioned when we started, but we'll still have good players and good coaches, and both teams are still working really hard at it."
(on the difference between QB Matt Schaub and QB Sage Rosenfels) "I think they're both doing a good job. I think they're both directing the offense, making good decisions and delivering the ball to a host of playmakers. They're really doing an awfully nice job of moving the ball and being productive offensively right now."
(on how important Jaguars QB David Garrard's running ability is to the team) "Well, I think he's a dual threat. There are some guys in the league that have the ability to not just throw the ball and beat you with the arm, but also if you pay too much attention to the pass and don't pay attention, they can take off with their feet and make some plays. So, we feel like David's mobility is a definite asset."
(on what he thought of the Texans' defensive performance against the Browns last week) "Well, any time you hold an opponent to six points, you have to feel good about it. I know they blitzed a little bit more and they had some success doing that. So, I'm sure they feel good about holding someone to six points. I know any time you do it in this league, you have to feel good about it."
(on if it bothers him that the Monday night game makes next week a short week) "Well, this is rare, just getting Thanksgiving. We actually worked today and we're taking Thanksgiving off. So, first time in my 20-plus years in the league that we've been able to do that. So, I think as coaches, what we do, what I do as a head coach is just lay out the schedule and we've got the extra day and we're going to go ahead and rest up and use the time wisely and be able to spend some time with our families and pause and give thanks to our many blessings. Next week, obviously, after the game, traveling on Monday night, it's going to make for a real short week. But we'll work through that, adjust the schedule as we need to and get ready for the next ballgame, too."
Jaguars QB David Garrard
(on how he took over the fourth quarter of the first game against the Texans and if other teams have defended him differently since that game) "Yeah, well, a lot of times, the coverages dictate what I have to do and sometimes, when you have a lot of man coverage with two high safeties, it's tough to get your receivers open and it allows a quarterback to be able to scramble up the field. And there were times where it wasn't even two high safeties, going back and looking at the film. But it's just tough in man coverage to account for the quarterback unless you have a guy that's spying on the quarterback, and I just felt like I was trying to go through my reads and trying to hit the open guys but sometimes you get flushed, sometimes your first two reads are covered and you can feel a lane, and I would take off. So it was working and so I just kind of kept going after it. And yeah, we haven't really seen a whole lot of 2-man since then. We have been getting a lot of 2-high coverages and trying to take our pass game away, but there's still holes out there and there's still a great check-down to (RB) Maurice (Jones-Drew) and (RB) Fred (Taylor) and (FB) Greg Jones. Those guys can do great when they have one-on-one coverage with a linebacker, so that's kind of been my running here of late is getting the ball to those guys when I have two high safeties taking away my receivers."
(on if they thought after the overtime win against the Texans that their season was going to take off) "Yeah, absolutely. We really felt like we had things going and moving in the right direction, and we were. We lost one and then we won another one against Denver to be 3-3 at our breakpoint there, at our bye week, and then, it just, we never could recover. It just seemed like we always, in the games, we were having little things – beating ourselves or not connecting on certain things, or if it was in the run game, one guy not making the block and we were getting tackled for minimal gain. And so it just hasn't clicked for us in a complete game this year. I mean, it's been tough because we'll have spurts where we're doing great in the first half and then the second half, it's a totally different story, and I think a lot of that is just keeping our composure and keeping our same edge when we get in the second half of these games. We've really just been killing ourselves. We've had the opportunities. We just haven't capitalized like we should have."
(on how he explains being so bad at home this year) "(Laughs) I wish I could explain it. I wish I could say, 'This is the reason for it,' but I can't. I really just feel bad for the fans that we've only been able to give them one win here at home. You would think you'd be able to defend your backyard a little bit better. We just haven't done that. We haven't risen to the challenge and that definitely got our team upset and a little frustrated, but we've got to move on. We've got to keep playing. We're going to have some more home games, but we've got to win this one first. We just need a win, plain and simple, to make everybody around here feel a little bit better."
(on how much of what's happened to them can be traced to the early injuries to the offensive line) "Well, I know offensively it's definitely taken a toll on us, but we've got to pretty much get over that and stop talking about that, and we should have done that. But whenever you lose two starters and your top backup, that is going to be tough on your offense, especially when your offense is built a certain way and those guys were key guys in us being able to run the ball effectively. And we really haven't had very many games where we've been able to do that, so it's been tough, and it's tough having to have those guys come in and have to play a whole season. But that's what they get paid for and that's the life they chose, the job they chose, so they've got to be able to come in and do a great job for us. We need them to pick up the slack, and everybody has to play a little bit harder and a little bit better to help those guys out. But that's the NFL. You're going to have injuries. You guys are dealing with injuries just the same. (QB) Matt's (Schaub) out – Schaub's out – so it's tough. It's tough. That's usually how a season goes. You just hate to lose guys like that so early on, and so many of them so fast."
(on what concerns him about the Texans coming off their best defensive game of the season) "They're definitely playing real confident right now, and they're playing fast. They're trying to bring more pressure, which we've seen in the Cleveland game. But it's still the same things that we've seen the last few years. We just have to be able to come out and match their intensity. We know they're going to be fired up, you know, Monday night, first one at their stadium and everything, and I'm sure their Battle Red will be on. So you know we just have to be able to come out on our 'A' game and be ready to play ball and, like I said, just match their intensity."
(on if Monday Night Football is still as big of a deal as it used to be) "Oh, yeah. Definitely. Whenever you can be the only game on, that's a big deal. You have everybody else in the league and, you know, everybody else around the country, I mean, everybody sets their Monday Night Football parties, so you know you're going to have tons and tons of people watching you around the county and around the world, so it's a great time just to be able to get out and show what you can do, you know, be able to show a lot of your friends and family that don't get to see you as much – this is a chance (for them) to be able to watch you play and hopefully be able to make some new fans around the country."
(on if it's a different feeling playing when you know every player in the league could be watching) "Yeah, you know, whenever you can get all of the other guys in the league watching you, it's a good thing because you want to go out and prove that what we're doing down here is significant and that you've got to watch out for us. So any time you can be on a national stage and get under the lights, it's always a good thing."
(on if there is anything besides injuries keeping the team from being where they want to be) "I really do wish I knew because we'd make sure we would address it, but I really can't put my finger on it because you've heard some of (Jaguars head coach) Jack's (Del Rio) comments that we're, you know, an All-America practice team, because last year we had great practices and we would go out in the games and play great, and this year we're having great practices but we're just not having the same success in the games whether it be mental mistakes or guys just not making the same plays that they were making before. The team definitely has a different make-up now. It's not the same. It's not the same team like it was last year, but we still have all the pieces in place to be able to play great football. I just don't know why we're not having the same success. It's really puzzling. And I can't control that. all I can do is go out and do my job. That's all I can do, really."