What they said...post game quotes after Jaguars lose to Steelers


JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The Jaguars lost their sixth straight game, falling to the Steelers 20-16. Pittsburgh quarterback Bel Roethlisberger scored the game-winning touchdown with five seconds left. Here are post-game quotes from the Jaguars as provided by the Jaguars PR staff:

Jaguars’ head coach Doug Marrone
(Opening statement) “I think going through the game, I think early on obviously I felt we wanted to run the ball and be physical, and I felt we were able to do that.  I thought defensively we played outstanding.  I think at the end of the day, talking about the first half right now, that when we created those turnovers that we couldn’t turn into touchdowns.  I think out of the turnovers we just had three points when we had the first two and we had it in the plus territory.  That was disappointing, but we still had the lead going out, then we get another turnover and then we’re able to march down the field and go 80 yards and get the touchdown and then go up.  Obviously, defensively we played well.  We should have had safety help on the long ball to Antonio Brown, so that was a play that we gave them.  And at the end I think we had three or four three-and-outs at the end of the game.  You know, that’s what’s tough.  You’re physical and running the football.  Protection-wise we could’ve done a better job.  We were getting beat a little bit, not schematically, but just up front, but still we have to be able to get first downs and close the game out.  If you just had one first down on any of those drives you had a chance to win that football game, and we weren’t able to do that.  That’s disappointing.  We’ve got a week coming up here.  Guys battled, fought, [were] physical.  Give them some time tomorrow and come back Tuesday, which is like a Wednesday for us, and then try to get this thing completed where we can put a complete four quarters together where we don’t slow down at all.”

(On how he gets the team emotionally ready again following this loss).  I go back to the same thing.  I’ve said this before: we’re professionals.  We have to understand that.  Emotionally we did put a lot into it, and I think that’s why, I told the players, ‘Hey, tomorrow take a step back.’ You know what I’m saying? Just take a step back.  Come back on Tuesday.  We’ll be ready to go and try to gear this thing up and put it all together and go out there and play well and take pride in what we do.”

(On if he considered passing on third-and-five toward the end of the game) “I did.  I said, what’s the best pass play we have, and we wanted to run the football and put it in our best player’s hands.  I think at that point, obviously when you don’t make it, it’s discouraging.”

(On if he considered a sneak on that third-and-five play) “No.  We didn’t have that play up. I didn’t consider that, but I did consider throwing it and running it.”

(On if he considered it, but was talked out of it) “Yeah.  I said, ‘Hey, what are we going to throw?’ And we were worried about the protection, and said, ‘Hey, we’re going to run it,’ and we gave it to Leonard [Fournette].”

(On if the Steelers made any adjustments at halftime to stop the running game) “The only thing that we saw, and we saw it early in the game, was they played a front that they haven’t played that much, but they always played it against us, so we knew that was a possibility coming up.”

(On if Blake Bortles looked off today) “Yeah, I’ve got to look and see.  I know on the one that got batted down we had the under, it was coming open, the ball got batted down.  I know that one, looking at it, I was more concerned looking up front and the physical battles and what we were doing there and then getting my eyes late down the field to the receivers.  So that’s something I have to look at.  I know the two plays to Leonard [Fournette], they brought the free safety on that play.  Obviously, you lose the coverage on Leonard and are able to hit him two times. He got hit a couple of times early pretty good.”

(On if he’s okay with the way the defense was playing considering the penalties) “You’re going to have emotional plays and things.  Calais’ [penalty] was one I was a little disappointed in because he kind of got wrapped around the waist as he came out there and tackled the quarterback and just didn’t get his hands out on the ground, so they called it for weight. I couldn’t see the play on the other side of the field, the face mask. The personal foul on the other side of the field was probably a good call.  You’ve got to stay off that guy there.  I can’t look everywhere on the field and see everything, but those things, obviously the holding penalties on offense, we had two when we were driving, on the left side of the field. Those things hurt you, knock you 10 yards back.”

(On if this was the style of game he wanted to play) “We want to be a physical team.  We want to be able to run the football, but we also want to be able to make some plays.”

(On how much Blake Bortles’ confidence was affected by having three back-up offensive linemen in the game) “I don’t know.  I try to put one of those things in there where you got to have confidence in the guys that are in there, no matter what you do.  If that was the case, then I would be disappointed.  I don’t think that was it.  You do have to watch, early on, when you get hit pretty good.  I saw that early, but that was a twist game and things like that are going to happen, but you’ve got to keep coming at it.”

(On why the team struggled to run the ball in the fourth quarter) “One time there was a check, they were coming down on a late rotation that they did.  One time we didn’t go backside, we miscommunicated at the front on one play and just basically holding on to the blocks and finishing the blocks.  We did a better job of it in the first of that than we did in the second half.”

(On his thoughts on the receivers and their ability to get separation) “We were getting a lot of zone. We weren’t getting as much man.  So again, it’s those areas of the field where you’ve got to just find those spots and get those things open.  I mean, really, at the end of the day you’ve got to find those cracks and seams in the zone coverage and at the end of the day when we did drop back it probably wasn’t good enough.”

DE Yannick Ngakou
(On the defense’s effort today) We basically all locked in.  We knew each other’s assignments, and we had to do them. We all focused, and it showed. It just didn’t come through with the win.”

(On how pleasing was it for the defense to get multiple turnovers) “Yeah, absolutely. Turnovers win games, but unfortunately, we didn’t win this game. Just got to suck it up, take that one on the chin, and just go back to work next week. That’s all we can do right now, ain’t nothing else we can say.”

(On how disappointing it was for the defense be on the field so often) “It sucks because you want to be in the position where you can chill as a defense and not have to worry. At the end of the day, it’s football. Those guys are good too defensively, Pittsburgh, so you’ve got to tip your hat to them as well.”

QB Blake Bortles
(On what he thought about the final third-and-five play) “It’s situational football with the way we’d been running the ball all day and the confidence that we’ve got in Leonard (Fournette) and the guys up front and the rest of our backs. I have no problem with that call, as far as making them use a time out. That’s situational football there.”

(On why the Jaguars were able to have success running the ball early in the game but not late) “I’m not sure, we’ll have to take a look at it. It got rolling early and I thought I got Leonard [Fournette], Carlos [Hyde] and T.J. [Yeldon], I thought they all ran hard, and the receivers did well and we were rolling early. At the end of the third quarter, it kind of slowed down and stalled out towards the end of the game and that’s part of it and you get in those situations and you run the ball and try to run out the clock and all you need is a first down or two to make them burn their timeouts. We work on it every week, as far as our four-minute offense and we weren’t able to close it out.”

(On his thoughts on an emotional loss) “It’s tough. It’s tough anytime you lose, and none of them are fun, but it’s tough. There are six games left, so we have to line up and go play six games.”

DL Calais Campbell
(On the loss) “This is as tough as it gets. There are going to be some games you definitely lose and some you’ll definitely win.  But when it comes down to that last play, and you’re on the losing side of it, those hurt – especially in a situation where we’re a desperate team in need of a win.  It hurts even that much more.  We played a good ball game – just not good enough to win – against a worthy opponent who were like gladiators today.  You have to take your hat off to them.”

(On the team not giving up)  “We just have to look forward to next week and try to get back in the win column.  There’s a still a lot of life left. I don’t know if 9-7 will get us where we want to go. It might. It might not.  We might need some help.  It is what it is, but us getting there is the goal. If we do, I can live with that. These guys in the locker room believe.  Nobody’s quitting and nobody’s giving up. Who I am and who we are is not going to change either.  We are going to keep fighting. We don’t know what the future holds, but we’re going to keep fighting one play at a time.  If we can go and play our best ball and find a way to a 9-7 record, hopefully that will be enough to get in.  At the end of the day, this team is going to give everything they have. It’s hard to win six games in a row in this league. But it’s possible. It just starts with one. ”

(On the defense stepping up today) “We prepared the right way.  We saw the tide turning. We were focused. I had a great week of practice. We were locked in and engaged and we were communicating. They have some weapons and made some incredible plays at the end of the game.  They had a little help, but it is what it is.  We have to bounce back next week.”

(On his roughing the passer penalty which negated a Jaguars interception) “I try to play football the only way I know how to. I guess I stayed there too long on him, but I can’t control whether they’re going to throw a flag or not.  I try my hardest to play the game the right way within the rules. Sometimes they’re going to call you for a penalty.  That would have been great field position.”

LB Myles Jack
(On how much this loss stung) “Yeah, that was definitely a tough loss. It wasn’t how we expected it to go, and I was proud of our team, all three phases came out there and played hard. That last play, I’ve got to make a better play, that’s on me.”

(On Roethlisberger’s game-winning touchdown) “They just ran the shovel pass, and I’ve got to take a better angle on Big Ben to make that play. I’ve got to make that play.”

(On if this loss came down to finishing) “Yeah, they scored, but guys played hard all the way through to the last minute, so it’s tough to blame it on necessarily they finish.  They just made the last play. That’s a tough team, and we played them tooth and nail. We fought, played hard, so you’ve got to give credit to them.”

(On how to keep it together) “Man, we’ve got six, seven more weeks. It’s our job, so we’re going to show up every Sunday, keep playing. I’m not going to quit.  I’m going to continue getting better. I’m sure guys in the locker room are going to do the same.”

LB Telvin Smith
(On if this loss hurts more) “Everyone hurts, you know what I mean? It’s not that this one hurts because…every one of them hurts. This one was tough. Just like every ‘L’ that you take in life, this one was tough.”

(On if he’ll have to take a different approach in leadership style) “It’s not really taking a different approach, it’s just dialing in more, trying to help the guys understand more of the critical situation that we’re in, and man, just trying to get a ‘W.’”

(On if it felt like they were playing the Jaguars’ defense) “Yeah, we played it for 60 minutes, it just didn’t work out in the end. It’s tough because everybody that’s questioning our confidence, our play, ‘do you all still got it in you?’, we are who we are, you understand me? A couple wins and losses don’t change who we are.  It changes how people see us.”

(On D.J. Hayden’s interception at the end of the game) “Game over. We thought the game was over. Tough break.”

WR DJ Chark
(On his thoughts on the game) “It started off like it did at the beginning of the season, playing against a really good team but I felt like we had their number. But that’s a team that will continue to fight and down the stretch of the game they made more plays than we did.”

(On what he feels needs to happen for the offense to find a rhythm) “I think we have to keep making plays. I felt like a lot of times that the defense came out to stop the run like they did today but our running backs were able to make plays. But with that being said we have to make plays on the perimeter and it’s believing in Blake (Bortles) and Blake believing in us and just coming together as a whole, and I don’t think we’ve done that in a while. I don’t think that we can’t do it but I feel we did good as a whole with the receiving corps and I think we eliminated some of the drops that we had. And I felt like we were getting open but you know everything accounts for a pass play like the blocking, the throwing and timing and its never one person. So I think we have to get our rhythm back and find our stride.”

(On if he feels like it’s realistic to fix the issues on offense) “If you’re in this locker room you’ve got to be realistic and none of us are giving up. The moment you give up is the moment that teams will take advantage of that and I think that’s one thing that this team isn’t going to let happen. And we’re going to continue to fight and we’ll continue to go for a win. We lost five in a row and today we came out to win and we’ll continue to practice, so there’s never a time we won’t think it’s realistic.”

RB Leonard Fournette
(On if this felt like a bigger game) “We play with emotion for every game.”

(On if Pittsburgh changed something in the second half) “Yeah, I mean for them to come out and do that. They came out in the second half and switched things up.”

(On how to approach games moving forward) “I couldn’t tell you.”

(On how much the team concentrates on the success from last year) “Like I said, it’s hard to have the same results each and every year. You’ve got to come out, do your job, win one-on-ones.”

(On if he walked off the field in disbelief) “I think everybody did.”

Cornerback A.J. Bouye
(On his thoughts on today’s game) “I’m proud of our boys; we fought hard. We tried to come out with a win for the fans but the real ones will respect what we did. We’ve bounced back and I know everything hasn’t been pretty in the last few weeks, but that was a tough-fought game against a team who’s been rolling and we did everything but win.”

(On if he feels the team has lacked confidence) “It’s not confidence, we were out there competing. They just made plays; it’s the NFL. They had a good plan in the fourth quarter and we just didn’t capitalize. D.J. (Hayden) had a key pick and the flag hurt us.”

(On his thoughts on the play of teammate Jalen Ramsey) “I told him it’s more of a mental thing. We threw our egos to the side and we knew that we weren’t doing what we needed to do as a defense, especially in the back end where we’re the number one pass defense. But we’re busting plays, but we play as a group. We did a lot of good things out there but we can’t just let that last drive hurt our confidence.”

(On how he feels the team needs to get past today’s game) “I think today was a positive. We won all three phases of the ballgame but we just didn’t finish. That’s life and you’ve got to learn from it and it’s happened in the league plenty of times, where people ran the table. And we have a great opportunity and we’re here for the challenge.”

CB Jalen Ramsey
(On if he walked off the field and wondered “how in the world did we lose this game?”) “No, I walked off the field pretty mad. Pretty mad was my emotion.”

(On his reaction to the trade rumor) “I didn’t use it as motivation. It is what it is. I don’t control that. All I control is what I put out there on the field. When the offseason comes, we’ll have some conversations to have. It could be whatever. Get a contract extension or something. Something’s going to happen. We’re going to wait until that time comes. I’m trying to live in the moment and thank God every day.”

(On if anybody talked to him about the rumor) “Coach Marrone came and hollered at me for a second, a quick second. I was really trying to focus on the game, I wasn’t really trying to hear too much of it. It’s cool, showing their support.”

(On if this game was viewed as normal or a bounce back) “A little bit of both. I ain’t never going to sit down. I’m always going to bounce back. I was just coming out here trying to play to the best of my abilities. God blessed me with a whole lot of talent and I work hard to develop it and go out there and play for his glory.”

(On if the matchup with Pittsburgh has the defense playing so well) “It was a completely new week, new Sunday.”

(On how to get players motivated) “I couldn’t tell you. I can’t speak on behalf of everybody else, everybody’s a little bit different. We’re going to have another opportunity. Tomorrow’s going to be a whole new day.”

(On if the first or second interception was harder to retain possession) “In the moment, I’d say the first one just because I knew it was going to get close to hitting the ground and I had to get my hand under it.”

(On the confidence level in Coach Marrone) “Cool, I’m rocking with him.”

(On what Coach Marrone has done differently to right the ship) “He’s done a lot of things internally to try to get it right. It just hasn’t happened yet. It is what it is.”

(On how he’s coping with this losing streak) “I’ve been pretty pissed off, I’m not going to lie to you. I have. I’ve been battling with my emotions, trying to hold them in. But you know I truly believe I don’t have any bad days, I have hard days sometimes, but God’s blessed me too much for me to have a bad day. He blessed me with a beautiful daughter that I can go home to and make everything better for me. I’m going to go home, spend some time with her and I’m going to be good.”

(On if the team has to keep the frustration in check) “You need a little frustration, though. If people are in here and they’re content, not saying anybody is, but if people are content with losing and things not going right, then that’s not the type of guys you want on the team and that’s not the type of team environment you want to have. You need people a little pissed off when they come into the building, when they come to the facility, when it’s time to practice, when it’s time to play. you need people a little pissed off and with a chip on their shoulder.”

Safety Barry Church
(On Steelers’ game-winning drive) “They put the game in our hands at the end.  They were able to make the big plays and get down there. Big Ben jumped over the goal line.  It sucks, but you have to go back to the drawing board, I guess.”

(On defense starting to get turnovers) “They say takeaways come in bunches.  I had a pick and Jalen had two. We could have had four.  Hopefully we can keep that momentum going into next week and find a way to get a ‘W.’”

(On defending Steelers QB Ben Roethlisberger)) “He’s extremely dangerous.  He’s not the most athletic guy in the world, but for some reason, he seems to be able to buy time and flick that football as far as heck.  He’s still one of the top quarterbacks in this league, and I have a lot of respect for that guy.  He showed us why he’s a winner.”

(On Steelers choosing not to run near goal line) “I was very surprised that they kind of gave up on Conner early in the game. We did a good job against him in the run game, but Ben was just able to make more plays than we were able to.”

DT Abry Jones
(On getting off to a good start) “We came and started from the jump.  In the last couple of games, the first couple drives haven’t been that solid.  We decided to come out with the mindset to be solid all the way through.  That’s how we started the game.”

(On getting back on track) “You have to go to practice. You have to put the work in, and you have to win. There’s no small detail that will put us right on track.  To get on track, you have to win.”

(On Pittsburgh QB Ben Roethlisberger) “He throws the ball well. That’s all I can really say.”

(On the attitude of the team) “The guys are fighting. We’re going to keep fighting.  I’m going to keep doing my job and keep talking to people, trying to motivate people and remind them that this is how the slippery slope starts.  If everybody doesn’t come to their right mindset, you get a couple of guys that quit and things can really get off the rails.  But I don’t think we have that type of team.”


About the Author: