Monday Press Conference

November 19, 2013 · By · Filed Under Football 

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Jaguars head coach Joey Jones spoke with the media on Monday to reflect on their game against Navy and to preview this weekend’s game against Louisiana-Monroe. He was joined by defensive lineman Alex Page and wide receiver Shavarez Smith as representatives from the offense and defense. Below are highlights from the press conference.

Coach Jones spoke about how tough it is at the end of the season to have had so many close losses. “The biggest thing I challenged them with yesterday is we’re going to finish the season [strong]. I think it struck home with our seniors, they realized that they could still make something special of this year. They’ve done some really good things to get this program where they are now, and to do something special these last three games is within our grasp. It really comes down to going back to work and having the same energy we’ve had for almost every game this year. I see a different look in our seniors’ eyes right now, because I think they see it coming to an end and they want to do something about it.”

He answered a question about if he has been surprised by how the team has responded. “I’ve told the players this is one of the toughest things I’ve ever been through in my football career, just because you’re doing so many things right but you don’t see it on the scoreboard like you want to. Let’s face it, we’re maybe three plays away from three more wins, and that’s difficult to go through because you tell kids all the time don’t worry about the scoreboard, worry about the process, but that scoreboard matters at times.”

“It’s difficult, there’s no doubt about that, but they’ve laid a foundation and are doing things right,” he continued. “I don’t know that I could look back and say that I would do anything different. We’re a growing program right now, Yes, I would have liked to have won two or three or four of those close games, but the players have brought it every week and that’s the thing that is so satisfying to see. You always say it doesn’t matter what happened last week, but do you really believe that? To me they do, they believe they are moving forward and are going to take these last three games to heart.”

Jones talked about the keys to Saturday’s game against Louisiana-Monroe. “We have to go back to work and do what we’ve been doing. The tendency sometimes when you lose a game is to tray and revamp things, but to me we’re doing a lot of great things. The kids are working hard, paying attention to video, we’re having good practices, and they are mentally charged up for games. When you lose a game like we did last weekend to a really good Navy team, you have to go back to work.”

“I think we’re doing the right things. I believe in the system we have here and I believe in our players.”

He also talked about what aspects about the team impresses him that others cannot or may not see. “The biggest thing is how much they care about each other and how much they care about this football program. It means a lot to our seniors that they want to build this program in the right way, when they came here there was nothing, and now here they are in their senior year and they want to make something of it. They have goals and dreams, and one of those goals is intact, but they want to see this program be the best it can be and do it in the right way. It’s not just about winning football games for them but in doing things the right way, and you can see they truly believe that.”

Jones spoke about the Warhawk’s and some of what they have learned through scouting them. “They are very good on offense, I think everyone knows about Kolton Browning. He’s what I call a magician out there, he just makes play when you don’t think he can make one. He has an uncanny ability to scramble, run towards the line of scrimmage, see someone 40 yards downfield and throw it for a touchdown. He does things you can’t coach.”

“Offensively they have weapons and a power running game they didn’t have the last couple of years.”

“Defensively they run every front known to man, they are by far the most multiple defense of anybody we’re going to play. They’ll have all sorts of fronts and blitzes that we will have to block and protect against, it will be a great challenge for us.”

Jones addressed a question about how much last year’s game will help the Jags prepare to face the Warhawk defense. “I remember we had a decent game against them last year, I think that was one of our better games toward the end of the year. You certainly remember some of the personnel. You leave a game sometimes taking notes on what you wish you had done and bring those with you the next year. Anytime you play anybody you gain experience and know what they are thinking, how they make adjustments. We, in turn, will try to make adjustments from last year.”

Defensive lineman Alex Page talked about facing Navy’s triple option. “The triple option requires so much discipline. It’s so hard-nosed and it takes a toll on your body throughout the game. It’s tough. But being able to get away from that this week and pass rush and do the things that are fun as a defensive lineman is exciting. It will get you going for this week. That’s what you want. You want to be able to run around and have fun out there.”

Page spoke about the things they need to do in order to succeed in the Jags final three games of the season. “We just need to keep doing what we’ve been doing. You can always say you could have done more, but we’ve played as hard as we could in each game and studied film and learned from the coaches as much as possible. We’ve done all these things. We’ve just had some bad breaks. But knowing we have three more games left, you want to make sure you have every little detail fine-tuned. And you want to make sure the game plan is as ready as it can be. We just have to be as prepared as we’ve ever been.”

He also spoke about Browning at he ULM offense. “They have a great quarterback in Kolton Browning. He makes them go. They get it out on the perimeter, they can run and catch the deep ball. They make big plays. That’s what you see in the league each week. They’re the high-powered offense that we always see in Sun Belt games. We know that we have to contain the quarterback if we want to have a chance. It’s not much different from last year. They are very similar to last season. We just need to contain the quarterback and avoid the big plays.”

Wide receiver Shavarez Smith spoke about the upcoming game against ULM. “This team has a tremendous amount of respect for our seniors. As a whole, we’re going to do what we have to do to send them out on as good of a note as we can because we really respect what they’ve done for this program. We’re just going to go back to work and do what we do every week. We’re going to do what the coaches ask us to do and work as hard as we can.”

He also spoke about what the team needs to do in order to be successful in the final three games of the season. “We just need to be confident. I believe we are a confident team, and we believe in what we do and our abilities. So we just have to be resilient. We have to work hard, believe in our coaching staff and teammates, and just continue to work to win.”

South Alabama and Louisiana-Monroe are scheduled to kick off at 6pm at Ladd-Peebles Stadium on Saturday.

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