DEFENSIVE COORDINATOR BOB SUTTON
Q: What do you think of Phillip Gaines' play he made at the end of the first half against the Colts?
SUTTON: "Well, one it was great to have him back out there, you know. Two, for him, like we talked a week ago, the more times he gets to stack these experiences, the more beneficial it will be for him – his reactions – all that is just going to keep getting better. You have to remember this guy didn't have spring football, didn't have training camp. So, really, if you add it up, he really hasn't had a lot of practices. We're excited that he's out there and getting a chance to see things. Every time you're out there and you see things, you get a little bit quicker. That was an outstanding play by him. Obviously, he read the route right, and I thought he did a great job at catching the football. One of the things that we talk about in takeaways every year after the season, we go back and we study ourselves and try to figure out how you can get more takeaways – how can you do this? We always come back to the number one thing – taking advantage of your opportunities. I would say every year, without making an ESPN highlight catch, there's probably 12 to 14 times out there where you left one on the field that you could have had. That's a huge part of it – all the numbers and takeaways. Takeaways are down this year in the NFL, so you've got to work hard at it, and you have to catch. It was a great catch – it really was. He was in tight confines, they were both competing for the ball, but great play. It led to a touchdown, and it was a big time play."
Q: With Dee Ford, has this been the virtue of opportunity, so to speak, that he's been given chances to make more plays or is he doing things differently?
SUTTON: "Well, I think Dee [Ford] is playing better, and that is a tribute to him and Gary Gibbs – who coaches him. Like I said, the evolution of Dee really started a year ago because a year ago I think he started to become a better, overall player – the run game, pass coverage – all that. He hadn't done any pass coverage till he got here, and he's become pretty good at it from that standpoint. Then, I think this year, he's kept that thing going and made some really big plays for us in the pass game. Now, I think he's taking his pass rush game and he's improved that and made it more complete. I think you learn and you understand and say, 'Okay, look.' There's certain elements of pass rush that have to be present all the time. There's no way in our league that you can be an effective rusher unless you're just relentless. It just can't be done, and you have to be relentless – like we talk about all the time – within the play. You can't give up. I don't care if he has you locked up. You have to keep working, keep pushing because you don't know when that quarterback is going to step up or out, and you can make the play. One thing that he has – he has such great speed that if a quarterback does step up or does step out, even if it's away from him,
he can track them down. You have to be relentless within the play, and then, relentless within the game. You've just got to go. Like we talk about all the time, I don't know how many passes were in that game, but let's say there are 40 passes, I mean you're rushing 40 times. He had an unbelievable game. He had three some sacks, but that's 37 other times you got going. Like we say, in baseball you would be back in the minors if you followed that. So, that's what I'm saying. It's a mindset. Being around Justin [Houston] and Tamba [Hali] they have the ultimate, to me, mindset for being a pass rusher. They're going to make it as hard, as physical and as tough as they can on you. That's what it is. It's like a giant wrestling match. You got a 330 pounder that's just trying to hold you out, and you have to just keep pushing him back. That takes a lot of physical excursion, but probably more, it takes this mental toughness and grit – whatever you want to call it – you have to have it to be a good rusher."
Q: How do you feel the state of the defensive line is going into this game on Sunday?
SUTTON: "I feel pretty good. I don't know what Jaye's [Howard] status will be. Hopefully, we're going to get him back. If we get him back, we'd probably be in our same normal rotation. If we don't, then Chris [Jones] has to stay in a little longer. I think we'll be fine in it."
Q: Does it put more pressure on your defense with so many injuries on the offense side of the ball?
SUTTON: "I don't think so. We go in every game, and you do what you have to do to win the game. Sometimes, it's not exactly what you'd like it to be on defense. Sometimes, we play like we did in the first half at San Diego where we didn't play very good. I talk to the players about this all the time. We'd like to never give a touchdown, but if we do give up some, just remember, the objective – the most important statistic of all – you want to lead the league in something – it's W's. That's what you want to lead the league in. So, you say, 'Look, we have to find a way to win this game right now.' That game at San Diego was like, 'Hey, we got to go out, and we have to get us some stops here.' So, I think that's one of the things you do. However the game plays out, it plays out. If it's a six to nothing game, then you have to be good. You have to keep them out of the end zone. What you're really charged on, on defense it is your job to limit points to the fewest that you possibly can, and you try and get the ball back as fast as you can for the offense – that's the two things you really want to do. Everything else in between doesn't matter. Obviously, if you can score on defense that's a huge deal. That's what you do. No, we don't worry, honestly, who's playing on offense or who isn't. We've just got to go and just do our job. If we do our job, we're going to be fine."
CO-OFFENSIVE COORDINATOR MATT NAGY
Q: From your standpoint, does anything change when you have a quarterback change like you did in
NAGY: "No it doesn't. We have our first-15, we have our plays that we've gone through all week. The difference is that Nick [Foles] didn't have the physical reps during practice, but he gets the mental reps. So we just keep rolling."
Q: The playbook and the play calling doesn't change at all -- it stays the same?
NAGY: "No. It stays the same. Coach [Reid] calls it right off the sheet. Nick [Foles] knows it, Tyler [Bray] knows it. That's part of mine and Coach [Brad] Childress' job throughout the week. You always prepare for Plan B. The only way you can do that is by giving them mental reps. A guy like Nick, you have the benefit of his playing experience and the lights aren't too bright. So that's an advantage for you."
Q: What have you seen from Bishop Sankey?
NAGY: "I've seen fresh legs. I've seen a guy who's looking good in regards to speed and hitting the hole and speed through the hole. Again, picking up this offense and trying to understand the verbiage -- it's like learning a different language. You can't quite play as fast when you're doing that, but so far he's been proving us wrong."
Q: Is it reasonable for him to play on Sunday?
NAGY: "The obvious answer is that it's not going to be a normal load. But I don't know that answer. That's something we'll see in the next few days here. We'll see how much he picks up. Coach Eric Bieniemy is doing a great job with him -- just hammering away at the plays and mentally getting as much as he can in practice. We'll see what he can digest."
Q: Has Tyreek Hill become a part of this offense faster than you were expecting?
NAGY: "Yeah, I think so. The ball skills that he has are phenomenal. He does that stuff in practice and he makes great catches and everyone knows he's obviously a fast receiver and he's quick. He's taken this offense and the role of it at the wide receiver position and it's been kind of slow to him. It hasn't been a whole lot. We just have to be careful of not giving him too much and make sure he can still play fast."
Q: What stands out about the Jacksonville defense?
NAGY: "They're aggressive, physical, they play fast and they play with confidence. I think in last week's game versus Tennessee, that's not who they are -- and we know that. They came out on short rest and obviously didn't play how they wanted to play. In the defensive category, they're a top-10 defense and they play that way. Trust me, we're well aware of that. I think like you said, about the rookies, they have three guys that they drafted in the first, second and third rounds that are starting for them. They're all playing well and one of them is their sack leader."
Q: Is there an advantage against a non-division opponent when you give them a different look at the QB position?
NAGY: "That might mean a little more because they were used to Alex [Smith]. For instance, if it was an AFC West team. Nick [Foles] did play these guys a few years ago so they're familiar with him at the same
time. There's going to be a few things that make you attack a quarterback a certain way based off his knowledge of the offense or his attributes that he has at the position. So there's some merit to it."
SPECIAL TEAMS COORDINATOR DAVE TOUB
Q: On success of the punt coverage unit.
TOUB: "It's a combination of all those guys. It starts with Dustin [Colquitt]. He's hanging the ball up, putting the ball where we want it to be and then the gunners beating single, double coverage, they're really playing well right now, getting down there, forcing fair catches, causing fumbles. When you cause a fumble you get a zero return, stuff like that. Hopefully we can get those turnovers now, which would be the next step. I'm pleased right now where we're at. We have to keep it going."
Q: You had an opportunity for a fumble recovery on a punt, is that just kind of a right place right time moment?
TOUB: "He timed it up, [Demarcus] Robinson went down and hit the guy, perfect timing, caused the fumble, ball was out. The guy that was supposed to be blocking him was the one that fell on the ball, he was chasing him and just happened to be in the right spot. When the ball is out we have a real good shot at getting those balls. Hopefully the next one we do."
Q: How about Demarcus' [Robinson] play in that position this year?
TOUB: "He's been great. His effort has been outstanding. That's really what it comes down to. He's a physical guy and he has great athletic skills, but his effort has been, you really have to outwork a corner in those situations or a safety, whoever is blocking you. It's a tough position to play and he's really taking to it and doing a real good job for us."
Q: What stands out to you about the Jags special teams?
TOUB: "Great punter, [Brad] Nortman he's top five in the league right now, numbers wise. [Jason] Myers is doing a good job, the kicker. He has a real strong leg. We may even not get a chance on kickoff return because he can bang them out of the back of the end zone, that may be what they want to do, we'll see. Nortman the punter is going to put us in situations where we have to get everybody blocked up because he hangs the ball so well. Hopefully we can get one with Tyreek [Hill], get him a chance to get a return. Coverage wise they're pretty good, they're solid, they're a well-coached group. We expect a challenge."
Q: There's been mid-season all-pro rankings that have come out, Tyreek [Hill] ended up on the list, do you see him playing at an all-pro level right now?
TOUB: "Yeah I do. When you see teams kicking away from a guy and having a plan, you know where this guy is, and everybody watches the tape and sees how explosive he is. He's had some touchdowns called back, but I think everybody knows how good he is and how dangerous he is. We see it every day in practice so we're not surprised, but he's definitely playing at a Pro Bowl level."
Q: What happened with [Cairo] Santos on the missed kick?
TOUB: "Well he shouldn't have missed it. The ball was on the 10, a 28 yarder, he's going to make that 100 percent of the time, him being a pro kicker. What happened on that one was we didn't get the ball spun. That was one thing. But still Cairo, he still needs to be able to kick the laces and don't let that rattle you. It kind of slowed him down a little bit and he was a little hesitant coming through and he pushed it right. Hopefully we learn from that mistake."
Q: The decision to bring up Terrance Smith from the practice squad, what did you see from him?
TOUB: "He's been developing. He's been on the practice squad with us so we've been watching him every day and he's really developing and he's been in the meeting room, so he's listening to everything we're talkingaboutweektoweek. Wejustfeltlikehewasreadytobemoveduptothe53.Hewasasolidplayer in the preseason, made a lot of tackles on special teams. I think he's going to be an asset to our unit."