OFFENSIVE COORDINATOR TIM KELLY
How much different is coaching against this Jaguars defense than in the past?
"Obviously, schematically it's a little bit different. But you look at the players, they're still big, they're still long. They can still fly around the field. They've got two big, long corners that can run on the outside. Obviously, with (K'Lavon) Chaisson and (Josh) Allen on the edge, they still have perimeter players that can rush the passer. Myles Jack's still in the middle running around, running and hitting, doing what he does best. While the scheme's different, it's still a lot of similarities in terms of the types of players that they have out there on the field."
What are your plans with the interior depth on the offensive line for this game?
"I think we've got a bunch of vets that are there that can go out and play well on Sunday, whether it's Marcus (Cannon), or 'G' (Geron Christian Sr.), or Tytus (Howard), or any of those guys. Any combination of those guys that can go out there and put us in a spot to go out there and win the game."
What have you thought about OL Marcus Cannon since he's been back?
"He's done a really good job. Obviously, for having a little bit of rust on him, he came out and he's knocking some of that off, but he's doing really well. Still working on the conditioning, and as far as the schematics and everything along those lines, he did a great job staying involved and staying locked in when he wasn't out there on the grass. So there hasn't been much of an issue with that, and I'm looking forward to see him on Sunday go out there and play well."
With guys as experienced as OL Marcus Cannon, does it take less time for you to get him back to speed?
"Yeah. Obviously, probably more so than someone who hasn't played as much as he has. He's played in a lot of big games. He's seen every look that you can possibly see, so he's played a lot of football. Having that kind of experience definitely alleviates some of those issues."
What have you seen from WR Anthony Miller this week since he got back to practice, and what do you think WR Danny Amendola brings to this team?
"Anthony's out there, he's running fast. He looks good in terms of his movement and he's doing a good job picking up the offense with his limited exposure to it, because he did get hurt that first preseason week. He missed a couple weeks there, but he looked good yesterday coming out there and running around and catching the football. Danny's obviously got some experience in the system, so (we're) looking for a guy that can come in and be reliable and make plays for us in the passing game."
With five running backs, will it be game planning, the hot hand, how will you all decide which running backs are active and who gets the carries?
"I think that obviously has a lot to do with it. Who's got the hot hand, matchup-wise, protection-wise, who do we feel is going to be able to exploit different matchups on the perimeter, whatever it may be. I think there's a lot that goes into the game planning portion of it, and once we get into the game on Sunday, whoever's rolling is rolling, and let's go. Obviously we're going to have a plan for how we want to use those guys, but you and I both know that as soon as you get into the game, a lot of that can change based upon what's happening and how they're feeling and how they're running. But luckily for us, we've got a variety of guys with different skillsets that have proven it at this level that they can go out there and be productive. Looking forward to working through that on Sunday."
Now that OL Laremy Tunsil is activated from the Reserve/COVID-19 List, are you starting to see more energy from him as he's had some more weeks of conditioning?
"Yeah, that's never been an issue with Laremy."
With a veteran team and an extra regular season game, do you have to worry more as a coach about load management, especially at running back?
"I guess. Right now, I would say no. Right now our focus is going through and figuring out ways to go out and beat Jacksonville. If you ask us that question 14 weeks from now, I'm sure you'd get a different answer. But for right now we're focused on doing everything we can to be 1-0."
Is QB Tyrod Taylor where you want him to be?
"Tyrod's right where we want him to be. Again, similar to some of these other guys that we've talked about, I'm excited for him to be able to get out there and play on Sunday and let it rip."
How game ready is WR Danny Amendola at this point?
"He's working himself back into shape, so we'll see where he's at at the end of the week and then we'll go from there."
SPECIAL TEAMS COORDINATOR FRANK ROSS
Tell us about K Joey Slye
"Joey (Slye) comes from Carolina, couple years in the league, a lot good experience so at this point consider him a veteran. I'm happy that when he gets here under the circumstance just gets to a new team, a new city and he gets the chance to prove himself as he works through with a new snapper. He has a strong leg and excited to work with Joey. He has been great as far as his professionalism and trying to get to speed as quickly as possible."
What does that mean when he has had 71 touchbacks tied for second in the league last year and has a great hangtime when getting the ball inside the five?
"When you see him in person for the first time, the guy is 220 pounds he is built like a linebacker, he played linebacker growing up. When you look at Carolina the past few years, they were banging touchbacks and he has the ability to do that. We will definitely use that to our strength depending of the situation of the game."
What happened with K Ka'imi Fairbairn?
"Just a pregame warm up injury as Coach Culley said. Unfortunate. Not expecting that to happen at any point especially for a kicker. Just an unfortunate deal for Ka'imi (Fairbairn) but he is going to recover., and he is making his way back."
What are the chances that DB Justin Reid handles kickoffs?
"There is always a chance. That was a dream come true for him but that proves that at some point everybody on this team is a football player, not just a position player or a specialist, but that was fun to see and opened up some eyes for sure.'"
In general, how much work do you give an emergency kicker?
"Everybody works every week, those little details matter and when they come up and your unprepared you are leaving yourself suspectable, so we work on that on all phases."
Are there things that K Joey Slye had to do to become game ready?
"Anytime you add a new player to the roster you have to get him up to game speed as quickly as possible. But this is the NFL and the professionalism of each player on a position by position basis will rise to the top. But getting him up to speed has been not necessarily a challenge, but a fun process because they are hungry they want to prove themselves every time they get out there and get and make a kick or every time they get the chance to score a point so, I think whether it's easy or hard is not really the question, it's just take it one step at a time and whatever is front of us we are going to work for."
Will you use WR Andre Roberts in the return game or keep DB Desmond King II back there?
"I think even with the addition of Danny Amendola I think we have a probably more experienced return group in our room, and we are going to use everybody who is available to us on a week to week basis. Sure, the return game in the preseason was a good starting point, but as we move forward, the returner is not doing it himself, there are 10 other guys on the field trying to get their mission accomplished, trying to get their one on one matchup so whoever is back there for us, we are definitely going to play to their strengths."
What have been your impressions of the Jaguars special teams after watching tape?
"They have a very experienced coordinator and it is going to show up on their tape. I was in college in Cleveland in 2008 watching Nick Sorensen run down and cover kicks for the Cleveland Browns. It's showing in their tape, coming over from Seattle, you see a lot of his things. They are preaching fundamentals and technique but they are playing with some fire, and definitely going to have to be ready for anything they throw at us but that goes for any week one opponent, new coaching staff, a lot of new players on that team, so we have to be ready for anything and everything."
ASSOCIATE HEAD COACH/DEFENSIVE COORDINATOR LOVIE SMITH
What do you think of Trevor Lawrence as a quarterback and what do you expect from the Jaguars offense?
"Coming from the college game, I feel like I know a little bit about him. I know he's been a good quarterback. As a matter of fact, I even remember going to his high school way back in the day, watching him workout. An off-season workout, early in the morning, pretty impressive. Everything that should have been said about him has been said. He's got all of the physical ability in the world. He's been a good quarterback for a long period of time. Make all the throws, doesn't know much about losing a game. For us though, it doesn't matter really whether it's Trevor Lawrence or whoever the quarterback might be. It's always about what we do. There's a way that we like to play defense. And part of being able to play good defense is to be able to control the quarterback as much as possible. In order for you to be a good quarterback though, you have to have good skill around you. He has excellent wide receivers around him with size, speed. Good running backs. We understand an offensive line has played a lot of football. Any offensive line coached by George Warhop is going to be pretty good. So, a big challenge for us, and we're just excited about getting the season started."
How do you approach the long- term options that are available for the defense?
"First of, long-term – you don't think long-term. Bradley (Roby) was a good football player for us. He wasn't playing this week, so our preparation has been without him. So how we're going to approach it is that we have two starting corners in Terrance Mitchell and Vernon Hargreaves that are going to tee it up, and we'll go from there."
Were you trying to recruit Trevor Lawrence to Illinois out of high school?
"No, we didn't have much of a chance to get him. I saw him workout is what I saw. You recruit a lot of schools, and you're looking at a lot of players. Their high school had a lot of players. We were looking, at that time, another player at that high school. Everybody, of course, starts talking about him right away."
What do you see out of DB Terrance Mitchell and DB Vernon Hargreaves III?
"Both, first off, have played a lot of ball, familiar with both of them. We've had them, from my time here through training camp, gotten a chance to work on the football field with them. We've played three games together. If we have a starting corner, these guys want to tackle. Both guys want to tackle. And they have a skill set that's kept them in the league for a long period of time. I know they're anxious. They came here for a reason. Seems like most of the guys on our defense, most of us have something to prove. So just excited about getting it started."
When you are preparing for the Jaguars offense, do you focus on what Urban Meyer has done in his college career or in their offensive coordinators which have a long NFL career?
"You mentioned offensive coordinators. Brian Schottenheimer, he's been a good football coach, OC, just good football coach for a long period of time. Of course, Darrell Bevel, the same, we competed against those guys in the past. A lot of experienced, I mentioned George Warhop also, NFL Coaches. But when we looked at all of that video but you have to also look, it also started with the head football coach, he's an offensive guy, have a little bit of history with him. We have to look at everything they have done and that's what we have tried to do. The first game of the season with two new staffs you never know, so you cover the waterfront and as much as anything you go back to what we do. We have rules that you go with, it's that way for most first games of the season. That's definitely the case for this week, a lot of video, a lot of different ways it can go. Nut eventually they are going to run the ball in some form and pass the ball in some form and we will be ready."
Does having a team made up of veterans help you do that?
"That's a good point, yes I think it helps a lot. You look at our defensive roster with guys that have been in a lot of different places, so they are used to that change and dealing with the unexpected a little bit, not knowing, but when you are a veteran you know that you have to be ready for just about everything and there is a reason why the guys on our team have played as long as they have in the league. Watching them come together have been pretty neat, they bought into what we would like to be, who we would like to be defensively and we have seen it in practice and to an extent in games, the preseason games and I can't wait to see it in the regular season."
Can you talk about what you learned from your defense in the preseason and Training Camp and what do you expect from them?
"Well they are coachable and coming in new, coming in at the same time. I know as a coaching staff we knew what the names were, but we were going to evaluate everything on the field. Guys understood that and started showing us who they were. Like I said after training camp and the preseason games, we have an idea and we are excited. The way we play football, and it always starts with stopping the run and you have to be discipline, we play a gap control defense like most people do and we feel we have enough talent to be successful."
What do you see after adding DB Jimmy Moreland off waivers and DB Cre'von Leblanc to the practice squad?
"As we talked this DB/Corner in general, there is a skill set that we are looking for. Yeah, you want guys to be able to run, change, transition, change directions, and I mentioned before as wanting to tackle as a corner. We have a profile that Nick (Caserio) and the rest of the personnel department has done a good job in getting the type of players that we want. These are two more that you have mentioned, we haven't worked with them a lot yet, but we feel like that eventually they can find a role with us."
Are you happy with where the run defense is compared to last season?
"Right now, yes with what we have seen. Like most teams we spend a lot of time, it always starts with that and it's just about being discipline, trusting your teammate, being in your gap. There have been a couple of breakouts that we need to take care of, but we like the way we have played the run so far and it's not just the preseason games we are talking about. We are excited to play a new offense, but our offense does a great job. You know Tim (Kelly) and the offensive crew does a great job in putting us in a lot of different situations that we have seen and I feel like we have held up pretty well against the run. That will have to be the case this weekend."
When did you meet Head Coach David Culley for the first time?
"That's a pretty personal question, I'm kind of telling my age, is that what you are asking me. I'm just joking. I really can't remember, it seems like David and I have been coaching forever. I know David came into the league a little bit before and I didn't really get to know him till we both came into the league. I came into the league in 1996 I guess, and he came in a little bit before that. I knew who he was before I really got a chance to know exactly what type of guy he was. But his reputation preceded him a little bit and through the years you keep track of the guys that do a good job in their position, and David has worked on a lot of good staffs. That's why it was pretty easy when I got the opportunity to come down here, something that really just jumped at the opportunity, you want to always help the good guys, the good coaches that deserve the opportunity to lead their program. He's done a super job with the football team daily, they believe in him and they want to win for him and that is pretty important."
What did you hear about him when he was in the league before you really got to know him, what did you hear about him and how has that perspective changed or maybe not changed since you have gotten to spend more time with him?
"When we both came in, we were both position coaches and I have always believe that if you do a good job as a position coach you will move up and move up. When I say do a good job, David has always been know as a good detail, football guy that is more than just about football with him and I think that is what he portraying to the football team. Character, what you do and what you say is pretty important and doing things a certain way. That's what I saw from him back then and that's what I'm seeing from him and that's who I knew he would be as a head football coach."
DB VERNON HARGREAVES III
What is your reaction to CB Bradley Roby being traded?
"I was surprised. I was surprised a little bit, but that's the business. I've been playing long enough to know that things like that happen. I mean, it was surprising at first, but you got to keep going, continue on. We've got a season to play."
What have you seen from the Jaguars receivers on film?
"It's just preseason, I'm not taking too much from it. They've got a good group of receivers. I've played against most of them before, so know a little bit about them, but preseason is just preseason so I'm not taking too much from it."
How much preparation was needed for this game?
"I'm always ready, always staying ready. Like I said, I've been in the league long enough to know that anything can happen and you got to stay ready. It wasn't no different of a year for me, after the trade, as far as me handling my business."
What did you take away from last season that you feel like you can improve?
"Just getting a full 16 (games) in and staying healthy, and knowing that I can stay healthy. You know that I've had little injuries in the past that I've been dealing with, but staying healthy was my biggest concern for last year. I did that, and that's my concern this year. Be available for all 17 games."
What have you seen from Trevor Lawrence?
"He's a great player. He's a great player, he was picked number one for a reason. I don't got to speak too much on him. We'll see what his first game is like on Sunday."
Where do you think your experience has grown you the most?
"Just mentally. Mentally just growing up, and just going through stuff that you go through as a player in this league. It's kind of hard to explain, but you go through things and you have to be mentally tough or that can run you out of here. Just understanding how the game works, understanding how the business side of this whole football thing works, and understanding that you got to handle your business every day, one day at a time."
As a corner, what do you do mentally to recover from giving up a catch or first down?
"You got to forget about it. You got to just forget about it. I mean, I don't know if there's a technique or a way to forget about it, but you just got to move on. Guys that play corner, we know they're going to catch the ball on you. You got to move on, got to forget about it and try to make the next play."
How does Defensive Coordinator Lovie Smith's system compare to others you've played in?
"A lot of zone. A lot of zone coverages, a lot of eyes on the QB. Read and react type defenses. Not so much man-to-man where you're back is turned and you can't really see the ball all that much. It gives everybody a chance to break on the ball, react on the quarterback, get to the ball and cause turnovers. It showed a little bit in the preseason. I don't think it's benefitting just me. It's a whole defensive thing. It's going to help everybody. Everybody is going to be able to read and react, play fast and get to the ball."
Has Lovie Smith changed at all now that it's the regular season?
"No, Lovie is the same dude. He's going to stay the same way the whole time. He was jacked up there in the preseason, trying to get us ready and get some turnovers, get guys to the ball. He's going to be the same way."
How deep did you go to try and pick up Trevor Lawrence's tendencies?
"Well, it's a lot of unknowns. We don't know what they're going to do, necessarily. We got some ideas, what they put on tape for the preseason, but we don't really know yet. We'll figure it by probably the first quarter, halftime, we'll know what they want to do and we'll adjust from there. For now, it's just getting your body ready, keeping your mental ready, making sure you know what you're doing on your side of the ball. We'll go from there on Sunday and we'll see what they throw at us."
How do you think the pass rush can make your job easier?
"We got a great group. We got a great group, and if they get to the quarterback and I don't got to cover, shoot, that's good for me. That's how they make my job easy, get a whole bunch of sacks and fumbles and strip sacks, all that kind of stuff, and make me not have to cover, so we don't got to worry about it."
Do you still get excited for the first game of the season?
Of course. All of that. Nerves, excitement, all of that. It all comes out. Not so much right now, but on Sunday, oh yeah, we'll all going to feel it. Everybody in the building is going to feel it. First time, well not the first time since the preseason start, but fans are back. It's going to be electric out, so of course."
RB PHILLIP LINDSAY
What do you notice about this Jaguars defense?
"Jaguars' defense is very, very talented. They're young, they're fast, they're explosive. Of course, you've got people like (Myles) Jack that's a ball hawk into the ball, they shored up on their corners and safeties. So all around, their defense there – they're going to be a physical, athletic defense. We're going to have to go at them all game. It's going to be one of those games where you're going to have to be tough. It's going to be a tough-hitting game."
Offensive Coordinator Tim Kelly told us how you go in with a plan with running backs, but it usually turns into who has the hot hand. How do you approach that in a game?
"You've got to take advantage of the other reps that are given to you at the time. Like you said, when you get hot, you want to make sure that person's in so that they can continue to get hot until they kind of get cool a little bit, then you hope for the next one, too. That's anywhere you go. When somebody is hot, you want to keep them going. That's definitely what you want to do."
Is it important in the first game to establish yourselves as having a hard-nosed mentality so they respect the running game?
"Yeah, any team that can establish the run early, often, usually is going to have a good game throughout the whole entire game, because it sets the tone, you can control the clock and you pretty much can do what you want to do when you can run the ball. That's the toughest thing, though, is establishing the run every play you can get, every chance you get. The goal is to go out there and establish it with a mindset of physicality. You can do that non-stop, after a while you'll get some big ones."
You said one of the things you wanted to work on during training camp was catching out of the backfield. Did you improve on that?
"Yeah, I think that I was able to improve on it with the best ability for me and the opportunities given to me. I think I've done a good job with that. So now it's about taking it out there and when I get the opportunity to catch the ball, catching the ball and making explosive plays. It's just other ways of getting in the open field, and I think that's going to serve me well if I can get in the open field and get some explosive plays."
Have you ever been on a team that has had five running backs on its roster?
"I've been on a team that's carried three or four, I think four. Four for sure. Usually you do three running backs and a fullback, but nowadays people don't carry fullbacks like that. Running backs, it's one of those things where you need more running backs, one: for special teams, two: the game nowadays, they're just so big, man. It's just one play and you're out. You guys are probably seeing that around the league right now and we haven't even started yet. So it's very important. The running back position, even though it's downplayed, it's a very important part, and you need a lot of them because of the long season. 17 games, it's the first time for us ever having to do that. It's about the depth."
Is there anything you're doing differently now to take care of your body than when you were a rookie?
"That's just putting the time in. Taking care of your body, it's a full time job. The thing is, you can't just do it one time out of a week or one week. You have to be consistent with it, because you're trying to take care of your body, and the things you're doing now are supposed to lead up to two or three weeks from now. That's how I think about it, is I'm trying to do things for later on so that when you get to Week 10, Week 11, you're feeling good and you're not feeling like, 'Dang, I'm ready to be done.' It's all about the type of hits you make, and that's why you have so much depth. For us, we have a lot of talented running backs where you want to be able to keep everybody fresh and keep everybody healthy for 17 games. This is probably the way to go."
You mentioned as a team early in camp the disrespect factor you guys have felt. Can you reflect on how now that you're about to start the season, what you hope to prove and how it's being perceived?
"I mean, we want to go out there and we want to win. We want to go 1-0, and that's all that matters. Everybody has done their talking, their predictions, which is all cute and all and I guess that keeps everybody going for the offseason. But the good thing about football and this sport is you've got to go out there and showcase it. The fact is why do we play the game if we're going to listen to what people say? You play the game to win, you play the game because you don't know the outcome. You write your story, and that's what we have to do. We have a lot of veterans, a lot of players that played a lot of football, and I think that we've done our job. Now it's time for the coaching staff to do their job throughout this week and get us in the right situations, and we need to do our job for them and we need to execute those situations. That's how it goes, it's a two-way street."
How do you guys as players process when the team makes a move like trading DB Bradley Roby for a pick?
"For us, that's not our business. Our business is to play football. That's what they pay us to do. So for us, we all know each other, but we also know the business of this game, and that's just how it goes."
You were undrafted but you were very productive in Denver. Do you still carry that same chip on your shoulder and that same mindset of being an undrafted rookie trying to make the team?
"I mean, I will always have that chip on my shoulder because that's the type of person I am. That being said, some people are always going to say something just because you were undrafted. For me, that's what drives me every day, is knowing that I had to come from the mud, pretty much, to be able to have the success that I did and to want to continue the success that I've had. For me, it's just about playing my game, and I know for me it's about making plays, being explosive. So that's what, going out there, my mindset is: being explosive."
DB JUSTIN REID
What do you think about Trevor Lawrence?
"I think he is a special kid. I think he has tremendous arm talent. I think he has some ability. I think he is still a rookie. Rookies are going to do rookie things as far as wanting to see receivers open and things like that. But he is the number one overall draft pick and we are going to give him the credit and respect he deserves because of that. Talented kid. Like I said, it's his first game under the lights when the games count, so we will see how he does."
What did you think when you heard the Texans were trading cb Bradley Roby?
"Honestly, it caught me off guard. But that kind of is not my job to even think about. My job is to think about what we are going to do this week. He wasn't really even playing in this game to begin with, so it doesn't change our scheme per say on what we are planning on going forward. But we got who we got, next guys up are fully capable, and they are going to step up and we are going to ride with them."
Has that been the overall message in meetings?
"Yeah that's the mentality, we can only control what we can control. The defense isn't built on one person. I mean I can be down next week, I can roll my ankle tomorrow, knock on wood. Hope that doesn't happen. But the mentality is that the next player always has to be up and ready to play. We have a lot of depth, so those guys are going to have opportunities and I am excited for them to take advantage of those opportunities."
What have you seen from the Jacksonville Jaguars wide receivers?
"I think that is their strong suit on their team at this point is their wide receivers. They got Marvin Jones, they got DJ Chark, they got Laviska Shenault. They have some talented guys that are over there. I think that their scheme is going to be suited to Trevor Lawrence more than anything to make sure he is comfortable with getting the ball out and around. But their receivers are their strong suit."
How do you marry the two ideas of wanting to win and Nick Caserio making moves to better the team?
"When I was in college, I had a coach, Shannon Turley. We had a saying that we always live by, I still live by it today. Hand over Hand. What that translates to is you can only control the tasks that is happening right now. You can't control what's happening a week from now. You can't control two weeks from now. You can only take pride in and attack the moment that you're in right now. So, that has always been my mentality for really kind of every phase of my life. What's happening right now is Jacksonville. They are going to make their moves, that's his job to make for the team, for the future, for the franchise in general. My job and our job as players and coaches is to use the tools that we have at our disposal to go out there and win a football game on Sunday. That's what the focus is, you know what I mean. It doesn't matter anything else that happened, everything else is a distraction. It is up to us to be professionals and see things that way and attack the game and figure out a way to win it."
When you talk about next man up does that mean are you prepared to kick?
"If I am asked. I am fully prepared to kick if I am asked to do that."
How much confidence do you have in being able to kick if they need you to?
"Joey (Slye) is a tremendous kicker, first and foremost. But with that being said, I have been asking to do this for four years. I am extremely confident in what I know how to and what I can do. If that gives their special teams coach a little more things to think about when he is going to sleep at night, then I am happy to add that to his plate to think about."
What's your field goal range?
"I'm good from 50. I'm not joking. I really am."
Did you watch Clemson's tape as well as Jacksonville's preseason?
"No directly. I've watched more Trevor Lawrence in his preseason games and I've focused more on the offensive coordinator's schemes, coming from Detroit, and what he is used to more than Trevor Lawrence himself. But we know the kid is talents, we know he has an arm, we know he has legs. We saw that in the preseason games."
What about Ohio State?
"Yeah, the coaches do a better job in breaking that down and making it easier for us players to digest. But they did take some concepts from all of that and added it to the game plan."
How does it feel to be one of those veteran guys in the locker room?
"The turnover has been interesting. But I have always been opportunistic. For me, I just want to be the guy that helps guys win. At the end of the day that's what I am here to do. I just want to win football games. I want to help the player next to me, my teammate, be the best player he can be. Anyone wants to talk ball, anyone wants to talk resources, game planning, anything like that. I make it an emphasis to make myself available to do that with them because that's what I care about. I want to put the team first. I want to just be a resource for everyone."
Is that something you learned when your locker was next to Tyrann Mathieu?
"I learned that because I had role models like Tyrann, like Kareem Jackson, like Jonathan Joseph. When I was a rookie, I had my iPad, I literally wrote down everything they said about techniques, keys, things that will make me play faster that I didn't know until they told me. I feel like the best way you can pay forward someone taking the time to teach you when you were young, is to pass that forward to the next guy. And that's how this game really evolves and keeps going forward, is one generation passes it down to the next generation and it keeps going like that."