HEAD COACH LOVIE SMITH
"Of course, the plan was for us to play a lot better than we did today. We've been playing better football than we played today, all three phases. Defensively, we got to tackle better. That's been a tough spot for us a lot of the year. We had opportunities. These explosive runs, we had been playing them better, but today we didn't. Too many missed tackles which lead to big plays like that. Offensively, we have to get some points on the board. We were never able to really establish the run. Pass-wise, for protection to just the entire passing game, it wasn't our day today. Kind of as simple as that."
One of your goals was to win a home game. How disappointing is it to not accomplish that?
"Disappointing. Whenever you talk about a first-time, something that's never been done, you know, as I said, the plan, of course, was to play a lot better. When you play like that, it's not going to happen. We're not going to win one, so there's nothing else to really say on that. You got to score some points, got to be able to keep them out of the end zone. We didn't do that today."
What changed today from what you could see with QB Davis Mills throwing the ball down the field?
"First off, I think we probably need to give the Jaguars credit. They've been playing outstanding ball. The pressure was good on their part today. Coverage was really good. So, if you throw that back on us, I didn't think our protection was as good as it needs to be, and Davis (Mills) would be the first guy to tell you. Whenever we're talking about passing game not being effective, it's about throwing and catching. We weren't able to do that today."
What was disappointing about today's game?
"Everything. Most disappointing, the loss. No win at home this year, all of that. Game-wise, we didn't do many things well today. For the most part we're fairly healthy. Just didn't really see us -- I saw us playing a lot better today."
With one game left, how do you regroup to end the season on a positive note?
"It's just that. We talked a lot about trying to finish with a great record of course in our division. We've split with a couple of teams. The other team, we've tied them. There's an opportunity for us to get a win. I know they need one as much as we do. We have one more game on our season. We've gone through some tough times. If I'm a betting man, I'll say the guys are going to really show up and play well against the Colts."
When rookies like DB Jalen Pitre and LB Christian Harris are showing improvements and progressing, is it a little bit of frustration?
"Well, I would say mental mistakes. It's a good running back. He's been playing good ball, but part of our job is to get him down. The one play you're talking about, you have two missed tackles. Normally that's going to lead to a big play. Eventually we've got to eliminate that. You talk about run defense, that's what run defense is about. Great running backs get to the second level. You've got to be able to get them down from there. Today those ones we didn't get them down led to big scores."
How rough was that to not get any points in the redzone, and was RB Rex Burkhead supposed to be the first option?
"I can't go into all the details there. In the end, we had a wheel route with Rex (Burkhead), and we didn't complete it. When you get down in the red zone, that's been an issue for us a little bit this year. When you get down into the red zone you've got to be able to cash it in, not with just a field goal. Just felt like we needed a touchdown to stay up with them then."
Do you look at this offense and feel like today represents what it is, or do you feel like there's a game left where you also have questions to answer?
"Whenever you have another game to play, you've got to play it. One more opportunity to show us something we haven't seen. But there's a body of work now that we have to go with, and the body of work hasn't been good enough. It's as simple as that. But, yes, we're going to take this last game. I think there's something about finishing with a good taste in your mouth, and we're excited by it. After you have a game like this you want one more opportunity as much as anything, and that's what we're going to get."
With the players on the sideline frustrated during the game, what happened there?
"I can't tell you what happened there. Was Jerry (Hughes) frustrated? Jerry, you going to keep going? I was. There's a lot of us frustrated on the sideline. When you give up a big play, you don't play your best, there's going to be frustration. It normally starts from the leaders of the team. What I know about Jerry, he was in there the last play, coaching up guys doing the best he could at the end, trying to give us a spark or whatever we needed. There was a lot of frustration on the sideline today for sure."
How would you evaluate how you've coached this season?
"I don't quite know how to answer that. We've won two games. When I talk about what the players haven't done, I mean, we're leading them. I'm leading the team. So, it's pretty simple on how I've done this year. Haven't done as good enough of a job to win games. So sometimes I mean it ends up like that for whatever reason. I know we showed up, we've been trying hard we didn't get it done right now. What I'm focusing on as much as anything is we have one more opportunity to get a win, and then after that you can look at the body of work and what we've done with what we've been working with."
For a lot of players that are looking for future contracts or extensions, do you find out more about your team when your backs are against the wall or when it matters the most?
"You definitely learn about your team and when we're going through adversity. It's not just this last game or this game today. We've been doing that for a period of time. We've been out of the playoffs for a while. Normally once the team is out of the playoffs, then you kind of see what they're about. Our guys have been showing up playing and practicing hard, trying to win games. We didn't play well enough today. I'm looking at this, we didn't play well enough today. We played a lot better than that. And if I'm a betting man I would say we're going to play a lot better next week."
With losses like this, does this overshadow what you have done the rest of the season?
"No, we're really disappointed in how we played today. I don't think it's any more than that. We've got to look at what we did today. The last four weeks we played against a team that's in first place in the division. And this team we played today has been playing very good football. They're a good team. They have a chance to represent our division next week. But for us, our play, this was not good enough in any phase. And all that, of course, starts with me as the head football coach. We have to do a better job. We have one more chance to get this bad taste out of our mouths."
QB DAVIS MILLS
How do you evaluate your play today?
"Played against a really good team. I thought they outcompeted us throughout the game. Just struggled to find ways to execute our job. So, it made it tough to move the football. Props to them. They're a good team."
Are you seeing some value having you and QB Jeff Driskel going out there in the manner in which you're coming on and off the field?
"I think excluding today I think up to this point I've been really successful. Overall, as an offense I don't think we played extremely well today. We had a couple of missed opportunities. We we're playing against a really talented group of guys who have a chance to be a playoff team in a big game next week. Up to this point it was causing a lot of chaos for defenses. Bringing in Jeff (Driskel) and myself and mixing it up, making it hard for them to kind of game plan against all the different looks we're bringing."
Beyond the obvious results you mentioned, anything you felt different about?
"I haven't watched the film yet. I can go back to see. I'd like to see different things. A couple of missed opportunities that we had, but other than that we've shown that we can play better and just have another chance to do that next week."
What's on your mind going into that last game?
"Find a way to win. Perhaps the same every week. Another division opponent that we know pretty well. Excited to have another opportunity to go out to Indy and try to find a way to win the last game of the season."
As a professional, how tough has this season been and how hard has it been on you?
"It's tough. You make it so far. You make it to the NFL, and you expect that you're going to have a chance to win every game. And it's just been a struggle. The record doesn't show how talented and how good this team is. We found ways to fight and play teams really close all season long. Just haven't really had a chance to finish games. That's something we continue to work on. We have another opportunity to do that next week in a big divisional game versus Indy."
How do you analyze your progress throughout the season, and how do you feel going forward being the starting quarterback?
"Obviously a lot of game film. More experience that I've built up over the course of the season. I think throughout the season, after I kind of got benched and then put back in there, I've continued to trend upwards and want to keep moving that way. Continue to protect the football, don't make the same mistakes, and grow as a player."
With the red zone situation, the last couple of weeks, you've been making progress. What was different about today?
"They played us well. They were playing pressure up front and covering guys on the edges pretty well. I just have to find ways to continue to make plays. I think maybe I could have thrown, hit one of those passes that we missed on the left sideline, the first one to C-Mo (Chris Moore) and then to Cookie (Brandin Cooks). Those are big plays, kind of missed opportunities. But we've got to find a way to do it for the whole game, find a way to play them close and have a chance to win it in the end."
How did you feel about getting in a rhythm and going downfield today?
"We want to keep going at them. They were covering them pretty well. If I saw one-on-one coverage, I wanted to be aggressive and try to find a way to take it. It just wasn't our day today with completing those and making big plays."