Monday Press Conference

November 5, 2013 · By · Filed Under Football 

Head coach Joey Jones met with the media on Monday to reflect on the Jaguars loss to Arkansas State. He was joined by quarterback Ross Metheny and defensive lineman Romelle Jones. Below are highlights from the press conference.

Coach Jones opened by talking about the team’s ability to move forward after so many tough losses. “I think that comes back to our leadership, the leadership on our team and our staff, and making sure they understand that whatever cards you’ve been dealt is in the past. Our players are learning a life lesson and I’m learning a life lesson, but you have to move on. How you compete when the going gets tough is how you find out about people. The one thing I’ve found out about this team and our staff is they are competing every minute of every day. You saw how we played the other night, if you looked at how we played the two-time Sun Belt champions, we were knocking them around. I thought we played a very good game but were a play or two short.”

“This program is getting better. I told our team we want to win, everybody knows that, but if you look at the whole picture we’re taking every team that we’re playing down to the wire. We have to find a way to close it out.”

Coach Jones addressed what he wants to work on during the teams bye week. “We always back off and work on fundamentals, any time you have extra time we want to clean those up. The game with Navy is not going to be a schematic game, it’s going to be a game about blocking and tackling, especially playing their offense. We are going to work hard on what they do, it’s totally different, but it still goes back to fundamentals.”

Jones then answered a question about another close loss serving as motivation. “I’ve answered that question about 40 times, all I know is we’re going to keep working and fighting, that’s the character of the people we have. Rather than it being such a negative, I think it can be a positive thing. Our guys have really worked their tails off to get to this point, people ought to know that.”

“Do we want to win? You’re right we want to win. But our guys have fought to get where they are, which is a tribute to them. You look at last year’s team and this year’s team, not taking anything away from last year’s team, and we’ve improved a bunch. We have to keep focusing on that. We’ve lost a couple of close games but we have to keep moving.”

Jones spoke about how disappointed he is for the student-athletes. “From my standpoint, I want the kids to be successful, that’s my main goal in all I do. Going into the season I don’t think anybody was expecting to win too many games, now that we have been so close on so many it’s what could’ve been. That hurts because I want them to be successful, but I told them yesterday that they’ve been successful to me because of how they have reacted. They could have given up a long time ago and let the previous game take away from that. That’s what’s great about this football team.”

Jones also answered a question about how hard it is to get the team to come back after the losses. “It’s hard, but that’s where leadership comes in. We can all do things when everything is going great and the ball bounces our way. The ball hasn’t bounced our way a few times this year, so what do you do? It comes back to leadership and learning that we have to come back and fight. It speaks volumes for our players for what they’ve done because they have done that.”

“You see a lot of teams experience defeat like that early and fall apart, so I think it has a lot to do with the character of our young men.”

The offensive representative was quarterback Ross Metheny. He began by talking about the focus of the team going into it’s final off week prior to the final four games of the season and the goals heading into those games. “The bye week is key for us to be able to regroup and get refreshed. Also, to put the past in the past and move forward. We’ve had some tough losses this season, Saturday’s especially, but we can’t change any of that, so we’ve just got to move forward and press on. I think this bye week will be good for us and comes at a good time. We’ll get ready and focused for Navy.”

Metheny answered a question about if the close losses this season have any affect on the way the team prepares for the final part of the season. “There’s no question that they’ve been tough. To have so many of them and so many in a row is frustrating, but again, I think that we’re the kind of team where there’s no quit in us. We’re going to come in each week, prepare and fight like we always do. You’re a crazy man if you think we aren’t going to put our heart and soul into these last four games and try to win them. We’re going to do as much as we can to prepare and fight and come out with some wins.”

Metheny then spoke about if it’s frustrating knowing that this team is better than last season, but not having the wins to show about it. “We’re still in the building process of where we are as a program. I feel that we can take some satisfaction out of the fact that we’re setting a pretty solid foundation for where we are as a program to build off of in the future. While we would have liked to have had a few more wins, we do feel confident in our ability and feel good about how we’ve been playing.”

Metheny answered a question about how much it takes out of them as players to have so many close losses. “It’s definitely taken an emotional toll. I don’t think that there’s anyone in this program who has experienced so many close losses, but then again, we can either sit here and focus on those or we can focus on how to finish, improve and keep moving on. We’re choosing to do that and put the past behind us and focus on next week.”

Defensive lineman Romelle Jones was the representative from the defense. He addressed a question about the focus of the team going into the final off week prior to the final four games of the season and the goals heading into those games. “Myself and some other guys do have some little injuries, so one of the biggest things that we’ll have during this off week will definitely be for us to get back healthy. Going into an off week is always tough, especially going into one after a loss, but it definitely gives us something to work on all week and it keeps us motivated to continue to practicing as hard as we’ve been practicing all year.”

Jones spoke about how the close losses this season have had any affect on the way the team prepares for the final part of the season. “With the type of guys that we have on this team, it doesn’t matter if we lose by one or win by 21, we’re still going to come out and prepare. That’s the type of leaders that we have on this team. The younger guys are only going to follow behind the things the leaders do on the team.”

Jones then addressed a question asking if it’s frustrating knowing that this team is better than last season, but not having the wins to show for it. “To be honest with you, it’s frustrating to take these kinds of losses. Any kind of loss is frustrating, but it’s even more frustrating when you’re that close and you can just taste it several times to only feel that it’s been pulled from right under your nose. We are tons better, looking at that gives us motivation and makes us want to work that much harder because I know we are only one or two plays from victories every week. If we can just continue to work hard next week, it shouldn’t be an issue.”

Jones then spoke about his return from the injury he suffered against Texas State, an MCL sprain, and if it provided any lift for the defense on Saturday. “I don’t know if it provided a lift for them, but for myself, going into a conference game, no matter how much pain I was in, unless there was some type of structural damage I was going to find myself out there on that field. I had to be there for my guys, even if it was just going to be for support. They definitely did respond well. We played a pretty good defensive game. We had some miscues here and there, but if we can just put it all together and play like that every week, we can definitely get some ‘W’s’ these last few weeks.”

South Alabama has Saturday off before traveling to face Navy on Saturday, November 16.


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