Q: The Jaguars were on national TV and didn’t look good on Monday night. How do you make sure that the players don’t have any letdown? How do you make sure they approach it the same way they approached the Colts game?
HALEY: “I think that came up yesterday, Nick, and I think number one, that’s your opinion of how they looked. I think that our guys, our staff, our players are very aware of as you watch that game that both these teams are the two most physical teams in the league on the first point. Secondly, Tennessee has been a very good team in the league for awhile, last year they had a tough start but they’ve been a team that’s won a bunch of games. Most importantly as you watch that tape and as you’ve watched any of Jacksonville’s losses, they’re 3-3, any of the games they haven’t come out on top, it has not been, that game included, an across the board poor performance – it’s been a lot of good plays and two or three that really changed the outcome of the game and kind of turned it into what the final was. I think you can easily be fooled by looking, just watching and enjoying yourself and then seeing the final score. Our guys, they’re very respectful of this team. This team really beat us up last year pretty good and it’s a lot of the same guys. They’re a team that has won a lot of games themselves. We’ve got to do everything we can to get ready. They have one of the best backs in the league. They are as big and physical of a team as we’ve seen and we have not seen a team like this and our players understand that. And we’re 0-1 in this quarter of the season and we need to figure out a way at home to go out and really play our best game to have a chance.”
HALEY: “It was the right 45 for Sunday, at that time, with all variables as they were. I think both players could have played. That was the 45 that we went with and unfortunately things didn’t work out the way we needed them to work out the way that we needed them to work out. Really, again, this is about this week. We’re 0-1 in this quarter of the season and our goal is to get to three and the only way we could ever get to three in this quarter is to get ourselves ready a be a little better this week than we’ve been each week previous.”
Q: You said that they’re one of the most physical teams in the league. What is your definition of physical?
HALEY: “I think that when you watch a team across the board, offensively and defensively, there are some real physical defenses, there are some physical offenses and there are some physical special teams but when you watch this team and you put on all sides of the ball including special teams, you see I think generally a little bigger team, I don’t know that to be fact. Obviously you look at RB Maurice Jones-Drew and he’s not the biggest stature but they keep giving it to him and he keeps pounding the heck out of you. I think a team that as you watch the tape and you watch the injury reports following weeks that this team plays you tend to see a number of names on there from the opponent. They are a big, physical, run-and-hit team so you see a lot of contact as you watch the tape, and that includes special teams. They’ve got two of the better special teams cover guys I’ve seen in a long time in WR Kassim Osgood and FB Montell Owens and they fly down the field and they hit and they can disrupt the game as much as anyone.”
Q: So they’re aggressive, they’re strong, they’re big?
HALEY: “And you use that. You see that across the board. You see that in the way they tackle and you see it in the way they run and the way they run block. For instance, and example of it is the double teams that you see from this offensive line are as good a double teams as I’ve seen to this point. They do a tremendous job of getting movement on interior defensive linemen, most specifically three-techniques. And they move them now and they’re not worried about much else. That’s an example of it. Watching their defensive line, they’re a heavy blitzing team, they’re defensive line, we saw this first-hand last year, this number 96 (DT Terrance Knighton) has a funny nickname (Pot Roast), but he is a disruptive, strong, big force inside that truly can disrupt anything you’re trying to do and he did it at times last year and you see it continuing on tape and it looks like he’s just improved. I think those are just a couple examples of it Bob.”
Q: Do you think your guys have made enough progress where they should be expected to win a game like this?
HALEY: “That’s not for me to answer. This is a process. We’re in the middle of it and that’s where we are. The most important thing we can do as a young, transitioning team is continue to improve, learn from mistakes and things that we’ve done in the games that we’ve lost and in the games that we’ve won because I think if we don’t at this point learn and grow every single day then we’re going to get to where we’re going in a longer time than any of us want. We’re making progress. That’s the key thing. The key thing is that each and every week, even in a losing effort like last week, I’ve seen progress and that’s from a big-picture standpoint.”
Q: Do you think you’ve gotten the same amount of effort, commitment and focus from WR Chris Chambers this season as when you picked him up last season?
HALEY: “Chris is part of the equation that I was just speaking about. I think that he, like everybody else involved, has continued to be a part of us improving. And that’s not always able to be seen. I talked a little bit yesterday about one of the things where I feel like we’re growing as a team is I’m continuing to see this leadership of our team or the guys with a little more experience than maybe others that are continuing to help and work with these young guys in private settings and Chris is one of those guys. There isn’t a day that goes by that I don’t see him talking, working. So I think that again, I wouldn’t look at Chris and say production-wise or those things there’s something that’s different. I see something that’s better: he’s improving and he’s a big part and going to continue to be a big part of us going forward and trying to become a good team.”
Q: QB David Garrard has been ruled out by the Jaguars. So you’re either going to get QB Trent Edwards who is questionable and has only been there about three weeks or two guys that are new to the team this week. How do you make that guy feel uncomfortable, whoever it is that’s back there?
HALEY: “Well, I think that just like you make anybody uncomfortable, all these guys, anybody that plays on Sunday at that position has played in the league and played a significant amount of snaps so I don’t think you can place too much on that of saying that we’re going to have a distinct advantage. This is a big, physical offense that runs the ball very well and that’s what they’re going to do. They run the ball 60 percent-plus of the time and they run it as efficiently or as close to as efficiently as anyone. That, as any other week, will be the number one thing we’ve got to do is go out and stop the run as a defense and then from that point, if we can do that, then do the things that we do when teams are or have to be throwing the football and that is push the pocket, disrupt the quarterback, reroute the receivers, understand the route pattern combinations we’re going to see and how they relate to the coverages we’re playing; communicate well as a group, which is a work-in-progress when you have a bunch of young guys working and we had the noise up there again today for that purpose, to try to force the guys to continue to learn how to communicate and in some of those situations you’re not going to be able to hear each other. That’s just where we are and the important thing is that I feel that we’re making continued movement in the right direction and this will be a very good test. The Jacksonville Jaguars have been and continue to be a good team in the NFL that has won a bunch of games over the last 10 full years.”
Q: Tell us about the role offensive line coach Bill Muir has played to take three new starters and your group has come together better in six games better than it did at any point last year?
HALEY: “I think that number one, as I’ve said a few times, I was so excited that things worked out the way that they worked out and he was available when he was available and he chose to come work for me, someone that I was running around filling out defensive breakdowns for him and if I didn’t get it right, he was after me. I was just excited to get him here because I knew how important that guy is to us. I think though that this is more about the combination, the time spent from day one to where we are in some of that development that you see. That’s an area that there has to be some, obviously we just talked about the secondary, but there has to be some continuity and complementary play on the offensive line for you to ever be successful, running and passing. Bill has continued to work and push these guys and in my opinion, I think he’s a great football coach and you can see that in the time spent with all these guys. Now yes, we’ve brought in some new guys that he’s now assimilated into the group and done a great job of that but I look at it more as a big-picture for whatever month we’re in now going all the way back to last year development because there are enough guys, when a T