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Lewis, Dalton News Conference Transcripts 11/1


Head coach

How often is a trade derailed because the paperwork isn't filed?

        "I don't know that I've ever heard of one. Obviously on draft day there's a little more urgency because if you don't get it in, the next team can go ahead and jump you (in the draft order). They may take your player. If we have an idea that could happen (then we need to do something). But in this case … enough said."

Have there been trades in the past in which it was made a bit after the deadline but the league granted it anyway?

        "I have no idea. All you have to do is notify the (league) office that you're making a deal, and that's an easy thing (to do). We spoke to the person in (the league office) that does things there."

That's all you have to do? Notify the league office?

        "Again, my job is the Jacksonville Jaguars. I just know that, at the point that I last checked..."

Jeff Driskel was your No. 2?

        "I didn't say any of that. I just said when I last checked ... It's not a good situation. AJ (Bengals QB AJ McCarron) is a very valuable member of this team. I told him that yesterday after (the trade deadline). Frankly, I was relieved that I don't have to go through those gymnastics of the next steps. He's a great kid. True team player. He's a leader – a leader on this football team. And that's why we feel like he's such a valuable asset, and (Bengals president Mike Brown) was very clear about that. (That's) how we felt about him. That's the key.

        "So, are we good there? Jacksonville?"

On the Jacksonville Jaguars...

        "This football team is really put together well. (Jaguars QB) Blake Bortles is really coming (into his own), with having three or four seasons – whatever it is – under his belt now. He has a cast of people around him that are very, very skilled. He's doing a good job of taking care of the football. Fournette (Jaguars RB Leonard Fournette) and Ivory (Jaguars RB Chris Ivory) have given them two very formidable runners. The offensive line has big, physical men. The tight end, Marcedes Lewis, is probably playing his best football that I've seen in a long time. And then they're very athletic at wide receiver. It's very well-put together on offense. Their goal is to run the football, and that's what they do. And, they're doing it very well. Then you look at them defensively, and obviously they've restocked, retooled the defensive front over the last couple seasons. They've added players that are being very productive right now. Their linebackers are very smart and athletic, and they've added some guys in the secondary. It's well-put together, and we've got our work cut out (for us). That's what it should be at this point in the season – 'Go make hay.'"

What has the impact been of former coach Tom Coughlin since re-joining the Jaguars as executive vice president of football operations?

        "I'm speculating, and that's the thing – you know I don't like to speculate. But, I think it's a sense of direction that everybody can feel good about. He's a proven winner, he makes good, rational decisions all the time, and he's been a stabilizing force. (Jaguars general manager) David Caldwell has worked his tail off down there to help put this football team together, along with (Coughlin). I'm sure there's just a confidence factor that everyone has from up top that they're doing the right things. And that's good. It's good for the staff, it's good for everyone in the building. The players have to go play anyway. It gives everyone a sense of direction and confidence."

You prepared for the Jacksonville teams of the late 1990's when you were with Baltimore. Are there many similarities between those teams and this one?

        "There's been a lot of football games since the 1990s. Obviously, (former Jaguars RB) Fred Taylor was an excellent back, when they had him down there at that point. They had the two great receivers in Smith (former Jaguars WR Jimmy Smith) and (former Jaguars WR) Keenan McCardell. This is different. I don't know if they were ever stocked this well on defense during that period of time. This is similar in that it will remind you of the Super Bowl team of the (New York) Giants with Strahan (former Giants DE Michael Strahan) and (former Giants DE Justin Tuck) and those guys they had – (former Giants DE Osi Umenyiora). They were well put together that way. (The Jaguars) are doing well. We've seen them, frankly, with every opponent we've prepared for this year, other than Baltimore — and that game was over in London, so I saw that game. We've seen them week in and week out. We've followed them playing an opponent, other than the (Los Angeles) Rams."

What are they doing up front to reach their sack totals? Is it simple?

        "They're doing a little bit of everything. They're doing a great job when they straight rush you, they're doing a great job (limiting) gains. They're pressuring at times – (Jaguars LB) Myles Jack has two sacks. They're doing a lot of good things, and they're all fitting together well. They're doing a great job in coverage, which is providing them some of those opportunities (to rush the QB). They have 10 interceptions. So they're doing positive things throughout the defense."

A guy that gets overlooked on their defense with all of their big names is LB Telvin Smith. He's a great player, isn't he?

        "Telvin Smith is a great player. (Jaguars LB Paul Posluszny) is also a hell of a player – has been for a long time. That's the thing – (Posluszny) is so smart with directing things in their base defense. Again, I'm very complimentary of what they're doing."

How important is it for the run defense to be present with a few games coming up against run-heavy offenses?

        "It's going to be important that we do great things. We have to do a great job tackling, we have to do a great job with our assignments throughout – no question. "

Is there a different mentality that you have to take on the defensive line against those running teams?

        "Yes, I would say that there's a different mentality. But, as the game plays out, we have to be able to adjust to the ebb and flow of the game. The key element is to play well on first and second downs and to get in situations where their down is more in our advantage, which is the same thing on the other side of the football."

How do you think your run defense has been so far?

        "We've had some ups and downs with things. The quarterback runs have been more (detrimental) than anything. If you take out the QB runs in the stats, it's a whole different ball of wax. But it's important, because those still count. You don't get to (take those out) (laughs). That's part of it."

The Jaguars are averaging 5.0 yards per carry, which is best in the league. But, on defense, they're giving up 5.2 yards per carry, which is the worst in the league. Does that surprise you that they're giving up the run so much?

        "They've had the ability to have the lead and hand the ball off. And teams against them, when they get the lead, are going to hand the ball off. You get opportunity, you create creases that way. With going out and trading for Marcell Dareus, they tried to strengthen the entire line a little bit."

Is that the key to the offense on Sunday? To run the ball?

        "The key to Sunday is to be productive."

To go down and play at Jacksonville against that pass rush… The key has to be communication, right?

        "It's all going to be a part of it. We have to play well, yes sir."

You talked after the Indianapolis game that there were some issues with the offensive line communication, mainly in allowing some free runners. Is that going to be emphasized this week?

        "We have to do a good job. We have to sing from the same hymnal."

News conference transcript

Nov. 1, 2017

Paul Brown Stadium



What have you seen out of Jacksonville?

        "They're talented. It's not just one guy that's getting to the quarterback. Obviously there are a lot factors going into it. For me, I've got to be on time with everything we do, because you never know how much time you will have because of how talented they are."

They have been building that front four for a while, is it a chemistry thing?

        "I think it's part of it. The guys that they have are really good. Different guys are winning. They've got veterans, they've got young guys that are doing it. They're doing it all over the board."

With the pressure you've been under, what can be fixed?

        "We just need to execute. With the different stuff they're going to do, we need to know what we're doing and what they're doing, and then react. We just need to execute and make sure we get our job done."

With everything that happened with the reported AJ McCarron trade that didn't go through yesterday, do you feel for him?

        "It's obviously a crazy situation, and I'm sure there are a lot of emotions that happened for him yesterday. But at the end of the day he's still a part of this team. I know he's going to put in the time and the work. He wants to still be a part of this team — he's got no choice now obviously at this point. I don't think anything is going to change with him."

How have you seen McCarron handle the situation?

        "The biggest thing is he has no control. He can't do anything about it. He's handled it the right way. Obviously everything yesterday was so crazy with everything that went on."

With how everything unfolded, was that one of the most bizarre things that you had ever seen?

        "Yeah (laughs). It happened, it didn't happen, it happened too late. Whatever it may be, it's pretty crazy."

So did you follow what was going on?

        "I'm like everyone else I saw it on Twitter and saw everything that was going on. It's just a crazy situation."

So how do you get over the hump this weekend and get a win at Jacksonville?

        "Whatever it takes to win. Everyone talks about the Pittsburgh game, but in our last four we are 3-1. So we're trying to be 4-1 at this point. All we can do is worry about what we do this week and keep trying to stack wins on top of each other."

What are your thoughts on Jacksonville's secondary?

        "We've been talking about the front, but their secondary is very talented too. They're great in man coverage, they're great in knowing their scheme and what they're doing, and they're making plays. It's just a talented defense."

A.J. Green said after the game on Sunday that this team doesn't win without you, and that the offensive line should take pride in protecting you. What does that mean to have him say that?

        "Obviously it means a lot. A.J. has been so supportive throughout my time (in Cincinnati). The more talent I can have back there, the more opportunities we will get down the field. It will help us as an offense."

Considering it's coming from A.J. Green, is there a different resonance about what he says? Do the guys respond to that?

        "Everybody understands we expect more out of what we've done, especially on the offense. I don't think anybody here is taking it as getting called out — everybody just needs to play better. That's what it comes down to. When you've got a guy like A.J. who's done so much for this team and been part of so many great things, it's good to hear him say stuff like that."

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