Transcripts: 11-24-2021 Press Conferences 

HEAD COACH DAVID CULLEY

What went into the decision to release RB Phillip Lindsay?

"When we look at our roster, and you do what you think is best for our team and we are top heavy there with guys. We got Scottie (Phillips) coming back at some point. We just felt it was best for us and for Phillip (Lindsay) to make that move."

With the run game efficiency not being where you want it to be, are there different ways you might look to adapt the offense this season?

"I think the biggest thing with that is we have to block better in those particular situations. We were better last week, weren't where we needed to be, but we just need to be better at that. I think now we are doing things more, as I mentioned coming out of the bye week, we are doing things more that suits what we do upfront and what our backs do."

Are you trying to balance fielding a competitive team but also developing guys for the future?

"What's happening is that those younger guys are starting to play pretty good. They are starting to develop. Brevin (Jordan) at that time, it wasn't so much that Jordan (Akins) wasn't getting the job done. It's just with the injury situation that happened with the tight ends, obviously he (Brevin Jordan) got an opportunity and he came in and did a nice job. It's the same with our other rookies that are playing right now. It's not a matter of trying to balance so much as we are trying to put the best guys on the field that gives us a chance to win, and they are those ones at this time."

Is there any worry about playing down to competition when facing a Jets team that has also struggled this season?

"We are 2-8. We played well enough to win. We didn't play as well as we need to play moving forward to win. But no, we are not looking down on anybody."

Any updates on OL Laremy Tunsil and OL Justin Britt?

"They are in rehab right now. I hope after this week, or maybe we will find out a little more about Justin tomorrow, that we get them back as soon as possible. But they are still in rehab right now." 

Do you notice a difference in the team after a win?

"I don't know if I notice a difference in them, but I notice a difference in me. My psyche feels a lot better, but I know they feel the same way. Winning is winning in this league, and losing is losing. There is a different feel. Each week in this league it's hard to win. Fortunately for us we were able to do this this past week against a very good football team although we did not play as well as we needed to play and do the things we needed to do moving forward to continue doing that."

How hard is it to have a conversation with the veterans to tell them their minutes might diminish to give a chance to the younger players?

"Not at all and it's not because of the younger players. They are getting them because of injuries. A guy gets injured, a guy comes in and does a good job, the next man up mentality. When that happens, and a guy comes in and he plays well enough, then we are going to put him on the field. Fortunately for us some of those guys that have come up now, some of our rookies have done well for us."

Are there any rookies you have surprised you this season?

"I wouldn't say there are any surprises. I like where they are going. I like maturity that is happening with them. I think they are all progressing very well. The group that is in front of them, the veteran group we got, has been very, very good with helping those guys come along. This is the time of year with a rookie you start to hit that wall. For most of these guys after Thanksgiving, their season is over in college. We still have a few games left to play. They are all doing well for us right now."

Will RB Scottie Phillips be back this week?

"No, he will not be back this week."

What did you learn about your team after the win against Tennessee?

"I learned that if they understand what we say about winning a football game, I think they trust that. The big thing was we did not play that well, but one thing we did do, overall, is we protected the football. When we have not protected the football, just like the team we just got through playing, they didn't protect the football. They had no chance at that point. Usually, you're going to lose a football game. I think they understand, and we understand that message is true."

What concerns you about the Jets?

"I see no difference in looking at them as when we were looking at any of our other opponents that we've played. The same thing with the Titans. We knew what they're record was, but we always preach, the records don't matter. They are the next team on our list, and we are going to go and play them just like it's anybody else."

What's the difference in preparing for a Zach Wilson as opposed to Joe Flacco?

"I hope has some of the same issues when our guy game back from his absence. But this guy (Zach Wilson) is very talented. There is a reason he was picked second, was he the number two pick? He has the skill set. This is the same guy who threw four interceptions in one game and came back in another game and threw four touchdowns. Obviously, he is very talented and very gifted, and we know what he is capable of doing."

Offensive Coordinator Tim Kelly

How can you get WR Brandin Cooks back to being more involved, and what about this past game made him less productive?

"I think there was a lot of things, weather being probably a big factor in that. The way the game was going in terms of us wanting to make sure we were controlling the ball and not exposing the football. So, I think there was a number of different factors, nothing anybody was doing to take him away, or nothing that he's doing. He was open on a couple opportunities, and for whatever reason (we) weren't able to get the ball to him."

What were some of the things you were able to find with the run game that worked?

"You look at being able to attack the defenses on different levels, different zones, different areas, so you're not just kind of sitting there hammering the same part of the defense the entire game. We were able to take that time that we had during the bye week and we were able to identify what we do well, and we tried to do that again on last Sunday and we'll try to do it again this Sunday."

How will the running back group fill in with the release of RB Phillip Lindsay?

"I think they'll just kind of keep going as they've been playing. Obviously, Rex (Burkhead)'s workload has kind of increased a little bit, David (Johnson)'s workload has kind of increased. then we have Royce (Freeman). Those guys have done everything we've asked them to do. They've done a good job learning the game plan and coming out every day and practicing. I look forward to them doing the same thing."

What is your scouting report on RB Royce Freeman?

"He's got good vision, he's got good patience, he runs hard. Obviously, we haven't seen him here in a lot of situations, but going against our defense he's done a good job giving them looks. He's been smart and he's diligent in how he prepares and the amount of time he's spent learning the offense. I've been very impressed with him so far."

What has TE Brevin Jordan showed you in recent weeks that made you feel comfortable in playing him over TE Jordan Akins?

"He's put together a few good weeks of practice. He shows the ability to separate, shows the ability to get open. It showed up a couple times on third downs, caught one of them, probably had two of them that he should've come down with, probably. I think he'd tell you the same thing. The other thing that's been encouraging is that he's not afraid to stick his face in there and to go block, and to try and be physical. While he may not be as big as some of the other guys that we have, he goes in there, he competes, he battles and he tries to do everything we ask him to do in the run game, as well as the pass game."

How do you evaluate the run game and decide how you want to fix it?

"I think it's everything. I think it's the opponent that you're playing, I think it's who's doing what, who's calling what. I've got to do a better job dialing up some plays. It's a collective effort, so it's not one person's fault, it's not one position group's fault. That's why we're in here today, trying to figure out a better way to go and be more productive in the run game. Obviously, we stuck to it on Sunday, but we want to be more productive, we want to be more efficient."

Can you talk about the Jets defense?

"They're good up front, they're really good up front and they're disruptive. They've got a handful of players – Quinnen Williams probably headlines the group – explosive guys that are strong. C.J. Mosley's a really good inside linebacker. (We've) got to do a good job getting multiple hats to those players. If not, they have the ability to wreck the game. We've got to do a great job handling their front."

Are you starting to see some growth in players that will allow you to spread the ball around more?

"Yeah, I think the ball is probably just finding them a little bit more. I think the ball is probably finding them. Chris (Conley) has done a great job doing everything we've asked him to do. He had a big game against New England, he's made some big catches for us. The past couple weeks, the ball's found him and he's taking advantage of those opportunities."

Special Teams Coordinator Frank Ross

Do you think that was your best game overall special teams performance of the season, considering the outcome?

"Complimentary football, when it shows up, you have a chance to win any football game, a weather conditions game like we had, whether it's changing field position or punting from a backed up situation. When we were able to control field position against a team that extends drives offensively, runs the ball, has long play drives, etcetera, there's no question it contributes to the win. I would think it's one of our better performances, but same old me saying we have to be able to do it against the Jets. These guys play hard. I mean holy smokes, Brant Boyer's got them playing hard and we have to be up for the challenge this week."

How can TE Jeff Driskel contribute to the special teams?

"220 plus pounds. Guy can jump, run. You know, raw obviously. He has not been the hitter, he's been at quarterback for so long. He's trying to avoid as much as possible, now we are going to train him in our techniques. But again, every player here is a football player first and it's nice to have a guy who's willing to do anything whether it's a positional change or whether he's asked to do a role that would be a little bit foreign to him within a core player already. Definitely going to continue to work with him and every player that we have. Here's the thing about Jeff. He's smart, he's tough and of course, he's physically gifted. So, we'll see where we can take it."

Is there a common thread you are finding between K Ka'imi Fairbairn and his missed PATs?

"I'll never make an excuse. I do think that kicks aren't easy. You see it across the league, that doesn't mean anything. Everybody has to focus on their own players and do their own job. I've said this before, but nobody wants to make the kicks more than himself. He's working every day to improve any little mishit he may have. There was an overcompensation there pulled it across a little bit. We kick our extra points from the left hash as we see it, and a ball that doesn't necessarily stay straight or hook is going to be even more emphasized from the left hash that close in. He's going to continue to work that and hopefully get that right this week."

What is your assessment of the rookies on special teams?

"Our core guys like Garret Wallow, you have to understand a lot of these players that are rookies, they play their junior and senior years in college mostly on an offensive or defensive side of the ball, maybe a phase of the kicking game. But it's whole new world when you get in learning techniques, learning how to play with different pad levels for pro style punt protection. The growth, hopefully the word inevitable applies, but now that we are hitting our stride midyear, letting those guys show up now, not swim any more but now make plays. We are seeing a little bit of that but it's a grown man's game. Learning how to play against bigger, stronger, more technique and most savvy veterans, those things you got to continue to push our rookies to be ready for any situation they may see."

Associate Head Coach/Defensive Coordinator Lovie Smith

Can you talk the defense's ability to produce takeaways the last two games?

"The takeaways, I just know that we preach it, we believe in it, and the guys believe in it. I just don't think you can say that you played a good defensive game unless you take the ball away. That's not anything new, that's how we've been for many years. It matters when you look at the reason why a team won, you look at turnover ratio, it kind of tells you about an awful lot. We know our part in that, of taking the football away, so the guys are doing a great job of that. Intercepting the ball, we're doing a great job of that. In an ideal world, almost 70 plays, (we) have a chance to punch it out a few more times. I'm talking about causing fumbles, but that's a part of what we need to do. Last week we played a team that hadn't turned the ball over an awful lot, and they did this past week. This week, we're playing a team that has turned the ball over a little bit. I just don't think that it matters an awful lot. We know we're going to have plays run at us, and those are always opportunities for us to get it away. That's what we need to be able to do. We've done some things better defensively, number one is keeping the ball in front of us. We haven't given up a lot of explosive plays. You have a chance to win when you do that."

DB Eric Murray talked about learning from you that the quarterback is going to give the secondary the big picture. When you work with the secondary, how do you get that point across to them?

"I think if you're a zone football team and you say you need to take the ball away, I just think it gives you a better chance if you're looking at the quarterback instead of the man. We play man, and we played man over 30 times this last game. It's not like we're just a zone team, but to me, picks come when you can see the quarterback. He knows where the ball is going and he'll tell us throughout the play. It takes a while for guys to do that, to believe in that when that hadn't been their primary way of playing football. Guys like Eric Murray, Des (Desmond) King, it kind of shows up when you have your eyes on the ball."

What are they fighting when learning to play like that?

"When you're fighting man coverage. You look at your man and you rely on a receiver putting his hands up, and then you're trying to knock the ball out. I just don't like those odds an awful lot. When the ball's in the air, I think the odds will be in your favor a little bit more. You see the ball when the receiver sees the ball as much as you can."

When you're sitting with the team at the beginning of OTAs, how do you get that message across to the players?

"I don't think we're doing anything different than anybody else is. I just know that on how we do it, I think as a player, if you're out of position you can't just focus on yours. You've got to look at the overall picture, the big picture on everything tells you a lot more. You talk about zone coverage, big picture tells you a lot more than just one man. A lot of times when a play breaks down, and we've had some games where a lot of big plays have happened, sometimes everybody feels like they've got to start doing more as opposed to if you know the big picture, 'Hey, no, we'll just keep doing what we're supposed to do.' This is what happens. Big picture tells you that by knowing more about the defense. It doesn't happen overnight. I had an opportunity to coach in a place where we had the same guys for about nine years. They knew everything I was going to call before I called it. It takes a while to get to that spot. I'll just say that our guys have really picked up things quickly. And now, it's about tightening up some other things like the fumble that Tennessee recovered this past week. We weren't running to the football. One of their guys was running to the football, we had four guys that weren't. Some of these big picture things we'll eventually get."

How do you think DB Desmond King II has progressed this season while playing on the outside?

"Des King has a good big picture outlook on defense. He knows football, tendencies and all that, but he's a smart football player. If you go back to his days in college, he had almost 10 interceptions in a season, so he understands that concept a little bit. One of the harder positions, of course, is to play inside. You have to do an awful lot. But some of the same skills that you look at there in a player, you see on the outside. It's totally different, but Des (Desmond King II) is doing an awful lot for our football team. Not only that, of course as a returner, too."

How do you prepare for an offense that has played so many quarterbacks?

"It's more about us, and I know that's kind of coach talk a little bit. We're going to defend the quarterback position. They've played so many guys, it's not like they're going to a different game plan every time they put in a different quarterback. (Joe) Flacco was a little bit different, but most of the other guys that they have there have a similar skillset. Zach Wilson has played early in the year, so we have video on him. I know about his career. I know he's an athletic guy that can make any throw. When you're playing a guy like that, there are certain things that you have to do. We set our defense up for athletic quarterbacks, so hopefully we'll be able to shut down them down. When he's playing his best football, he's about as good as – there's a reason why he was the second player in the draft. You see that when you watch him play."

Except for one play, your defense did a good job of bottling up Ryan Tannehill from running the ball. Is that because you keep everything in front of you when you see the quarterback?

"Yes, I think it all goes back to that. We didn't play that play the way we should, the coach coming at him a little bit. We should have played that play better. (Ryan) Tannehill is an excellent player, too. He's an athlete, too. You saw in the long interception run. He threw a bad ball and he was going to make up for it. But that's life in the NFL. We have an athletic (quarterback). Tyrod (Taylor) is an athletic quarterback. To me, that's life in the NFL now. Each team has a player like that."

With a lot of players on one-year deals, how much time does it take you to realize some players won't be able to transition into reading the quarterback as well as others?

"I'm kind of a day by day guy. I don't look too far into the future. Once you turn 63, you know you don't look too far in the future. You just concentrate on the day at hand. I'm excited about this day at hand. Now, tomorrow is a little bit different. I look to tomorrow because sometimes you can look ahead one day. You know why I'm looking ahead one day? Because I'm going to celebrate 41 years of marriage to my beautiful wife, MaryAnne, tomorrow. Now besides that, let's get back. I look at the tape from day to day."

What are you most thankful for this year?

"So many things to be thankful for. Just kind of start with your health when you get older a little bit. Love what I do, love the people I'm around. I'm all about family, so there's just so much to be thankful for. You don't do it justice to name one thing, but start with family."

You mentioned that the Titans had one guy running to the loose ball and you had four guys that were not. Is that an instinct thing, a coaching thing, or a combination?

"That's a coaching thing, yeah. It's pretty simple. We weren't running to the ball. We preach that constantly. Guys don't always do what you ask them to do. They knew that. But as you see it, you have to go through life experiences. You have to stick your hand in the fire to really believe that it burns. You have to see plays like that that happen. For us to see if we had been doing it this way, that wouldn't have happened. We have smart football players, that won't happen again."

What did you think about how DB Eric Murray played this past game?

"Eric (Murray)'s played well since he's been back in that position. Through the course of a season, your role changes an awful lot. 'Eric, you're the starter. Boom. Eric, going to ask you to take a step back, move positions.' Eric was at nickel an awful lot, but throughout that time as a player, you just stay ready for your next opportunity. I've never seen a player that deserved to play that didn't get an opportunity to play. It happens that way and you have to be ready. Second go-round, Eric has been ready and he played well Sunday, played well the week before that, also. I like what he's doing."

What is it about your defense that makes it so successful in the NFL compared to college?

"I think we teach it the same way. I've been teaching it the same way forever. Some years it looked better. I guess we coach it a little better or the players are a little better, but the defense is sound with everything that it does. It has a history. When you say the defense wasn't as well in college, there are some good things we did there, too. Sometimes circumstances just don't allow you to play your best ball always, just like this season. We played better the last couple weeks, but if you look at the total body of work, that's not what we (want). I look forward to the day when we're only talking about consistent defense that we play."

How does it help when your defense can see takeaways translate into wins?

"You're right, I think it's one thing for us to say that and talk that, and we have been preaching it throughout. If you look at our history, you can go back to the 90s. We've taken the ball away. Our former defense has taken the ball away. But here, you come in and you start preaching it daily, and you keep that mindset going and you have enough football players that believe in it. But eventually, in order for guys to believe something works, you have to see results, and it helps when you get the results. And not only results, the times when you watch video, you see where it could be more. That's what they're excited about where they're critiquing themselves on, 'I should have made this play,' and showing them opportunities to do that. There are a lot of plays out there. The object of the game is to score the most points. The only way to score points is to get the ball back. Defense has an opportunity to do that quite a bit, and we chart it. Right now we have 19 players that have made a big play to contribute to winning football games, and that's quite a bit."

WR BRANDIN COOKS

Are you a fan of mac and cheese?

"It has to be baked mac and cheese. Have to get a little of the crust on top, but definitely a mac and cheese fan."

Who cooks the best mac and cheese?

"My mom."

What did you see coming out of the bye week to spread things out more in the offense?

"First and foremost, I think we got off to a good start. Any time you can get some good field position from the defense that's huge, but just getting other guys involved, everyone around us. Tyrod (Taylor) being able to use his feet. Rex (Burkhead) running hard. Tight ends touching the ball. Any time you can do that, typically you are going to move the ball well. I think we can be a lot better, there's no question. There's some things we can work on, but heading in right direction I think from that last game."

When reviewing the tape, have you seen the Jets allow explosive plays?

"I mean you see that, but at the same time, it looks more like a communication thing because those guys fly around on that defense and they play at a high level. When you see something explosive, obviously they are there but those guys can run, and they also stop that consistently. We look forward to it." 

What have you seen from TE Brevin Jordan?

"You talk about a kid who is continuing to grow. Guy can play. It's just about experience. The more he plays, it seems like the better he gets. He can definitely stick his foot in the ground and separate in man to man coverage. For a young guy to be able to step up and do that, that's been huge."

What did the team take from QB Tyrod Taylor's performance against Miami and his attitude that led to the win at Tennessee?

"I think the biggest thing is that next game mentality. Learn from your mistakes and get back at it, having that confidence that you belong and can play at a high level, sometimes games just happen. His ability to flush it I think was huge for guys on the team."

OL TYTUS HOWARD

Are you a fan of mac and cheese?

"I love mac and cheese."

So, you disagree with Matt Judon?

"(Matt) Judon is crazy. I don't even know where he's from."

What do you think of the Jets defensively?

"I think they are a front running defense. Their defensive line is pretty talented. They got two guys that are at the top of their position for run stopping. That's pretty impressive, so we have to bring our a-game. They have a pretty good front."

What were some things you felt worked well with the run game on Sunday?

"I think we did a better job this week of eliminating the negative plays. That's been a big thing for us this season, so we did a good job of eliminating the negative gain. From my perspective I think we still have a lot of room to grow. I think that's one thing that us guys up front know and we're going to work on it this week. We have a challenge this week. Like I said, the Jets have a great d-line for run stopping, just great guys up front in general. I think that's a challenge for us this week to continue to get better as a front in the run game and we should get better this week."

What do you see from John Franklin-Myers?

"He predominantly plays over the right tackle and right guard, mostly. I wouldn't be surprised if I did see him. He's a great player, a great pass rusher. I won't be surprised if I did see him, but he predominantly plays on the right side."

What have you seen from C.J. Mosley?

"I've known about C.J. Mosley since I was a kid. That's a great challenge to go out and play against a guy that I've watched playing since I was in high school, and stuff like that. He's a great linebacker. He's been in this league a long time and he's played at a high level a long time."

What have you seen from Offensive Coordinator Tim Kelly as a creative play caller?

"I think Tim (Kelly) does a good job with watching the film and just finding the plays that fit us as a group. Not every run play fits each group the same, so I think Tim's doing a good job of honing in on finding the plays that work for us and that can put us in the best chance to succeed."

What have you seen from RB Rex Burkhead and his running style?

"Rex (Burkhead), he's out there running the ball like he's got some young legs. He's doing a great job. I think after somebody hits him, he just keeps going. I think that just brings a lot of energy to the offense, making the run game a lot better. I just applaud him for the type of guy he is. He does this each and every day at practice, so you know what you're going to get out of Rex every day, whether it's practice, a game or whatever. He's a real pro."

What was the message in the first meeting coming off the bye week? Was there a 'jolt' message?

"It kind of was, but it kind of wasn't, because the goals of the season have always been the same. It's to go out and compete at a high level and win. But like you said, we had a bye week, we had a chance to rest up. We came back and coaches preached to us about making the second half of the season what we thought we could do with the first half. We all just came with a lot of energy and a lot of enthusiasm and will to go out there and play hard for each other, and play hard for the coaches and fans. I think that's what our goal for the season is to win more games."

How much in practice do you go up against DL Roy Lopez?

"I go up against Roy (Lopez) a little bit. Roy's pretty good. He's young, which is pretty good. He does well taking on double teams and stuff like that. He's pretty stout in the run game."

How has DL Roy Lopez developed as a rookie?

"As a rookie I think he's pretty impressive, to be honest. There's a lot of other stuff that you've got to learn as a rookie, but I think Roy (Lopez) is on the right path to succeed, and he's got a lot of good older guys around him that can help him out, and that's good for him."

DB JUSTIN REID

Opening Statement

"Let me just say this, let me start off by saying Matt Judon is completely wrong. Mac and cheese is a staple and is one of the all-time Thanksgiving dishes, especially with the crumble on top. We got to have that."

What type of mac and cheese do you prefer?

"I like a little firmer, man. Not too watery."

Some people just don't like cheese in general.

"I don't know man. Some people just got some screws loose. I feel like that's almost a sin."

Do you feel there is something you guys have figured out defensively?

"I think that it's kind of what Coach Lovie (Smith) preached as far as buying into the system and guys starting to understand the defense more. Not just understand it, but to really believe and excel in it, having eyes on the quarterback in the zones, maintaining leverage, trusting your teammate to be in their gap and you do your job and just fly around and have fun with it. The two punts the last two weeks in a row, those are just early Christmas gifts. Those just go our way. We're going things the right way. We are building and we just got to keep that train moving."

Does the secondary have a chart like the defensive line has?

"No, we should start something like that, but I'll walk in there and I've seen that they have all the guys on there that they've sacked, and if they got sacked more than once then they are up there more than once. Pretty cool thing that they do."

What have you seen from Zach Wilson on film? Is there opportunity when you play a less experienced quarterback?

"Yeah, there is going to be some opportunity. He's a talented kid. Guy can make all the throws on the field. He does have a little more experience under his belt than he did earlier in the year. That should play in his favor a bit, but he's still a first-year guy coming off a knee injury. He hasn't played in a while. I do think there will be some opportunities there. I think it will be critical if we get a jump start on the game, force him into passing situations early. I think that's going to play a lot into our favor as a defense to create turnovers."

When Associate Head Coach/Defensive Coordinator Lovie Smith got to Houston, where were you on the scale of tendencies and your adaptation to the big picture?

"Some of the things we do here are just different, like how we track the tight end. Everywhere he goes behind the line of scrimmage, that was a first for me. When we played cover three before, we used to stay on the same side. But he has little nuances and it's all in allowing the defense to be more aggressive, so guys don't have to worry about two gaps. You only got one gap regardless. If somebody moves somebody is going to be running with that person. It's a little bit different but I am a fan of it because like I said from the get go, it's a lot more fast, a lot more aggressive. You don't have to do as much side to side reading. It's more downhill, north and south. I think that's created some more pressure that we've been missing the last couple of years."

QB TYROD TAYLOR

What do you see from the Jets front seven, particularly Quinnen Williams, C.J. Mosley and John Franklin-Meyers?

"They do a great job of rushing the passer, stout against the run as well, too. (They're) very strong up front. We're definitely going to have to execute our game plan up front in pass blocking as well as creating lanes for our backs to have some space to run."

When you came back from the bye week, what did you notice from Offensive Coordinator Tim Kelly in how he was trying to fix some of the issues in the offense?

"Just the conversation that we had was looking at a self-scout, basically some of the stuff that we had done well up until that point and some of the stuff that we didn't do well, and leaning on a lot of those concepts that the guys, myself as well as the rest of the offense, had success at. Just building around that, and we're still going to continue to keep doing that."

Did you find yourself looking for more options against the Titans, or was that part of the plan?

"It was just kind of part of the plan."

What made it tougher to target WR Brandin Cooks this past game, and do you think his role will get back to where it was?

"Yeah, I definitely think his role will get back. Obviously, he's our best receiver and he's a guy that's played at a high level for a number of years in this league. Our passing game runs through him. We have to obviously get him the ball to allow him to create plays down the field, even short game as well, too. We were able to get it to him early in the game. Like I said, it didn't necessarily pan out the way the game shifted. It kind of changed as the game went on, but we'll get back to doing that. Like I said, he means a lot to our offense and means a lot to our success."

It seems like you all are close with WR Nico Collins on the fade and with TE Brevin Jordan on the sideline. How are you all working to get those roles open?

"Just continue to keep talking on the field, talking through film, getting extra work after practice, making sure we see it the same way. Those two guys, Nico (Collins) and Brevin (Jordan), have tremendous talent and we're going to need them to keep playing at a high level for our success moving forward."

Is RB Rex Burkhead giving you guys a lift with the way that he runs?

"Yes, he is. Rex (Burkhead) played his butt off this past week. He's done a great job in the run game as well as in the passing game too. Pass blocking, kind of checks all the boxes. That's something that we ask out of our backs, and Rex has done a great job. DJ (David Johnson) has done a great job, as well."

With Thanksgiving tomorrow, is there anything you find yourself reflecting on?

"Just thankful, thankful for family, support, obviously just the opportunity to play the game. I've been playing it since I was five years old. This will be my first Thanksgiving without my grandma, so that's definitely going to be on my mind. Just thankful. I've always been appreciative of this game. Like I said, just having the family in town, just something to reflect on and just be thankful for the moment."

Have you gotten in touch with Joe Flacco, and are you sorry you won't get to see him this week?

"I haven't talked to 'Flacc' (Joe Flacco). I'm going to shoot him a text. It's unfortunate he's going through the COVID protocol now. Eventually, obviously we were going to talk. Josh Johnson, who's over there as well, we were together in Buffalo. A good friend of mine as well, but I'm pretty sure I'll talk to him at the game. If Flacco doesn't travel, which I'm not updated on how that goes, then I'll definitely shoot him a text. I'll probably shoot him a text tomorrow on Thanksgiving."

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