HEAD COACH BILL O’BRIEN
What did you think when you saw the Jaguars beat the Colts?
“I thought this is the National Football League. Every week is a tough opponent, tough battle. This week will be no different. This will be a very challenging game for us. I’m glad we’re at home. I think our crowd has been great for us at home – glad about that – but other than that, we need to really start grinding on Indianapolis.”
What do you think about the chance to clinch the AFC South on Sunday?
“I think about today. We just had a staff meeting. We’re going to meet at 12:30 with the players. They’re lifting right now. Let’s have a great Monday. That’s what I think about.”
What do you think getting the first win of the season against the Colts in Week 4 did for the team’s psyche?
“I think it’s a week-to-week league. I think every week’s a challenge. I think winning is great. There’s nothing better than winning, but you have to learn from it. You have to learn – whether it’s a win or a loss – you have to really look at the tape. You really have to get some things corrected and you have to quickly turn the page to the next opponent. That’s the key. Whatever plays that you had yesterday that carry over to what this game might be, you have to learn from that and then you have to really turn your focus to Indianapolis.”
What are your thoughts on the way S Justin Reid has played this season?
“He’s really improved every week. He really works hard to improve. He’s a very smart guy, works very hard in practice, instinctive player, good speed, good size. He’s come a long way. He really understands the importance of practice and he tries to get better every day.”
What do you like best about the way your defense is playing?
“I think, for the most part, they’re playing good team defense. In the running game, guys are really working hard to get to the ball, trying to get 11 guys to the ball. In the passing game, there’s been some good examples of the combination of coverage and rush. I think there are things we need to do better. I think we can tackle better. I think we can communicate better. I think there’s a lot of things that we can improve on in all three phases, but I think they’re playing hard. They’re playing with really good effort.”
Is it encouraging that you’ve won nine straight games, but you feel like there’s room for improvement?
“I just think that’s what it is. I think you’re always looking to try to figure out, as you get ready for the next team, what does this individual player need to improve on? What does this unit need to improve on? What does the team need to improve on? What do I need to improve on? I think that’s been a big theme for us and our players are doing a good job of taking that to heart.”
What’s been the key to having your team buy into the approach of taking everything one day at a time?
“I think it’s important. This is the truth. It’s reality. This is a very difficult league. It’s the most competitive professional sports league in the world. Every week, you’re going against great players, great coaches. Look at this week. We’re going against Frank Reich, who’s done an incredible job there in his first year. Andrew Luck – great quarterback – their offensive line is playing at a high level. You look at their defense and the guys that are playing well for them on defense. They’re good on special teams. Every week’s a major challenge. Again, I’m not trying to minimize what these guys have done, what these players have done, but we have to continue to try to get better and understand the challenge of the next opponent.”
Win or lose, how you do you get players to turn the page so quickly?
“I think it’s all about the film. I think all you have to do – if you stand up in front of them and just talk all the time and don’t show them tape – I think you just turn the film on. ‘OK, here’s the film of yesterday’s game. Here’s some things you did really well. Here’s some things that we need to improve on.’ Then, ‘OK, here’s the film. Here’s some general thoughts on Indianapolis.’ Turn that film on. ‘Here’s some players, some units, some schemes that they’re running that are going to be very challenging.’ I think it’s all about using that film as a teaching tool.”
What do you think of the job Quarterbacks Coach Sean Ryan has done with QB Deshaun Watson?
“Does a good job. They meet every day. He does a good job with prepping him with the game plan, whether it’s running game, passing game. He does a good job with him.”
What’s the biggest challenge to avoid being overconfident while on the nine-game winning streak?
“I just think the challenge is, ‘Hey, let’s watch this tape – the game from yesterday against Cleveland.’ Cleveland did a lot of things that we can really learn from. They blitzed us almost every snap on our offense – their defense versus our offense – they blitzed us quite a bit, so they tested all of our protections. Defensively, their offense against our defense, they did some things schematically – Freddie (Kitchens) had some plays that were really good – so, let’s learn from those. How are we going to defend those better? How are we going to handle blitzes better on offense? How can we improve on kickoff coverage? The ball was on the ground of couple of times. So, we have ball security. We’ve got to take care of the football. There are a lot of things. Then, OK, guys understand that, ‘Yes, Coach, I got it.’ ‘OK, here are the things you’re doing really well. Look at this effort on this play by Justin Reid, Aaron Colvin and Tyrann Mathieu. Look at this effort. Look at this effort by Deshaun Watson on a short-yardage play where he scrambled up the middle and really got the first down on his own. OK, now let’s turn the page. Let’s throw on Indianapolis. They had just won five in a row, whatever it was, before yesterday. Jacksonville’s a good football team. I don’t care what anybody’s record is. They have a lot of great players, great coaches. Here’s Indianapolis. OK, now, what are we going to do to be ready for them?’ It’s all about the film.”
Are practice reps part of turning the page to the next opponent?
“Then, you go out to practice and you have to practice. We don’t have many reps at practice, so we’re – however many reps we have during this time of the year – we have reps, but not a ton so they have to really be focused in on great practice reps. You’re striving for perfection out on the practice field. You’re never going to attain that, but they have to be really locked in on taking the information from the meeting to the walk-through to the practice field.”
Is preparation more mental than physical at this point in the season?
“I don’t think so. It depends on the week. I think if you’re getting ready for a Thursday night game, it’s probably a little bit more mental. If you’re coming off of a Monday night game like we were last week, maybe it’s a little bit more mental, but this week, I think it’s back to a normal schedule and we need to have good practices.”
Why are players in the building today working?
“I thought it was important, from a recovery standpoint being kind of later in the year, I think our weight staff does a really good job, so I wanted them to get a workout in and I wanted to really get this tape looked at from yesterday. Sometimes when you give them Monday off, you’re kind of stuffing a lot of things into Wednesday. I just want to spread it out a little bit. We’re not going to be here until Midnight with the players – the coaches will, but not the players – so, we’re just asking them to come in for a few hours. I think they’ll be OK, and then they’ll be off tomorrow and we’ll get going on Wednesday.”
Is it standard for the coaching staff to be in the building until Midnight?
“No, we’re not here until Midnight. I’m kidding, but I think (the players) will be fine.”
Do you expect RB D’Onta Foreman to be added to the 53-man roster?
“We’re talking about that. I don’t know that that decision has been made. In fact, it hasn’t, but it’s definitely in the conversation.”
How do you work to improve ball security with a player like WR DeAndre Carter? Is that something you work on in practice?
“Yeah, the ball’s been on the ground. He’s got to stop doing that because he has been a good addition to our team. He’s given us some good plays in the couple of games that he’s been here. He’s a strong player, he’s a very smart player. I think that all comes from showing it on tape. How are you carrying the ball? The technique of carrying the ball, but then on the practice field we’ve got to get the guys that are going against him to really try to rip the ball out, really try to test his ball security and try to practice that on the practice field. I think that’s a big deal.”
Does a game like he had on Sunday fortify your confidence in K Ka’imi Fairbairn?
“We have a ton of trust in Ka’imi Fairbairn. No doubt about it. He’s made some big kicks for us. I think he was 5-for-5 yesterday, 2-for-2 on PATs. He did a great job.”
Did you tell RB Lamar Miller to lose weight this offseason?
“I would never really get into the details of what I personally talk about with a player. That’s a better question for Lamar, but Lamar is a really good pro. He really understands that it’s a day-to-day business, a week-to-week and a year-to-year business. He really wanted to come in this year and have a good year for us and that’s what he’s done. I think we’ve managed him pretty well and he’s done a great job of, in the offseason, training and then having a good training camp. He’s always been a consistent performer for us.”
How much does QB Deshaun Watson’s mobility help open up backdoor cuts for RB Lamar Miller?
“We have a lot of plays where – many of those plays obviously – I’m not going to get into the details of the play, but he’s the quarterback. So, he may have the ball. I think that’s very important.”
Is it a blessing in disguise with Colts WR T.Y. Hilton coming to town that you gave up some big plays to Browns WR Antonio Callaway and can make adjustments to prevent big plays from happening this week?
“I don’t know. I don’t think it’s ever a blessing in disguise that T.Y. Hilton’s coming to town. T.Y. Hilton’s a great football player. We have to do a good job of combining coverage and rush. We’ve got to do a really good job of continuing to stay on top of routes. We have to really limit – we call those ‘X plays’ – we have to limit those. Later in the game, based on how we felt the game should be played, we did a better job of staying on top of routes, rallying up and tackling the ball, making them drive the ball and I think we have to be very good at that.”
How nice was it to see S Andre Hal record an interception yesterday?
“It was great. Here’s a guy that has meant a lot to me, personally. I just speak from a personal standpoint. We drafted him late in my first year here. He was a cornerback and we moved him to safety when he got here, started out on special teams, just a special guy, very hardworking guy, excellent pro. To see him make that play and the week before he made a real big tackle on the kickoff coverage, he’s just made some solid plays for us since he’s been back.”