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What They Said: McDermott, Marrone, Bills and Jaguars players after Wild-Card game


(On the disappointment on a “day like that”) “Yeah, you know, the guys played extremely hard, and, you know, you don’t get anything for the effort in this game. It’s won or lost on the scoreboard. Obviously we need to score more points. I appreciate the fans making the trip like they did down here to support us. Heck of a year. Appreciate how hard the guys played, how hard they worked all season. This was a step. We learned a lot of valuable lessons today, ones that we’ll carry forward as we move forward as an organization. I’m proud of the way LeSean (McCoy) rose to the occasion. He battled in there, and it wasn’t easy for him, but he put a good week in in terms of getting himself ready to go.”

(On how he thought Tyrod Taylor handled the game, and how he is physically right now) “He’s physically in the concussion protocol, and I thought he handled himself just like the rest of our football team, with class and with a lot of pride. I could say that about every single one of those men in that locker room.”

(On what doing what he did this year means to this team moving forward) “Well, you know, it’s a step. We’ve come a long way in a short amount of time. That said, we’re not where we need to be, that’s obvious. We still want to be playing; we’re not playing next week. So, we learn lessons from today, we learn lessons from all season long that we must use to help us to continue to improve. I know Brandon (Beane) and I will sit down and talk about things as we move forward, making sure that we continue to grow and build on what we did this year. It’s never easy, but we’ll stay on it, and continue to pursue our goals for the organization.”

(On what went into the first play on the drive that led to the field goal in the first half, trying to throw the ball to Kelvin Benjamin when you’ve got a pretty good running game) “Yeah, you know, there’s some calls we want back. That’s probably one of them. Just situationally right there more than anything.”

(On some of the lessons that he’s learned from this game) “Well, you look at playoff football, it’s usually tight margins, and so you can’t beat yourself. We had some situations today where we had opportunities to move the ball, and we hurt ourselves. We hurt ourselves at times with field position, special teams penalties, and when we get in the red zone, we’ve got to score touchdowns, overall.”

(On the defense’s overall performance today) “You know, I thought they played well most of the day. They shut down the running game for the most part, and I know (Blake) Bortles was their leading rusher I believe. Usually that doesn’t beat you. I thought we did a good job on twenty-seven (Leonard Fournette), and gave our offense chances. We got off the field on third down. Probably the biggest thing we didn’t do was take the ball away, so give credit where credit’s due to their offense.”

(On how harrowing it was that the team had to battle through the in-game injuries that they suffered) “Yeah, (the reserves) did a good job, they stepped up. They came in and held the fort down, they did, and that’s really been the one of the stories of our season, really. It’s that all guys are ready to play. They step in, they step up, and I’m extremely proud. I know it burns right now, and it hurts. But I’m extremely proud of every single one of those men in that locker room.”

(On how Bortles did what he did, and if it was unexpected, and therefore hard to adjust to) “Well, he did it on film. I know we weren’t expecting it overall, but when you watch the film, he’s done it throughout the year. One was a broken play. We just need to have better lane discipline more than anything. But that’s not what won the game.”

(On if the touchdown scored by Ben Koyack was a surprise to him) “No, it’s a play we worked during practice. They just executed a little bit better than we did right there. That’s about it.”

(On if he could look back at the season and say that it was as much as anybody could have run out of it in his situation) “You know what, first of all, there’s no moral victories. I don’t believe in those. What I do believe in is continuing to build. We’re not done yet. When we came in here, we set a vision, and put forward a plan to accomplish that vision, and we’re not there yet. I said that before the game, and I’m going to continue to say it. We’ve got a lot of work to do. But there are things that we can learn from that that will help us as we move forward. Playoff experience is important. Home playoff games are important. So there’s a lot we can build on, and we’ll do that moving forward.”

(On if he knows how much time he’s going to take off heading into the offseason, and if he’s made a plan as far as scheduling) “Yeah, we’ve got a plan and a calendar that will lay out the offseason for us, and for the coaches. The biggest thing we want to do is get with Brandon (Beane) on some things, and make sure that we’ve got a good, solid evaluation of who we are, and what we’ve got to do to improve moving forward.”

(On if Micah Hyde is in concussion protocol) “Yes, he is.”


(On how he felt he played) “I thought I played solid. It wasn’t a 100%. It was different, I think the cuts and runs I did were probably made. When you’re out there you don’t think about it. Just a little pain though. Overall I think it was solid. It’s not the reason we lost. We just didn’t play well.”

(On how they did everything on offense but score) “Everything but score. Made some plays that hurt us. Just not converting. We dropped the ball. Not making plays. We have to do our job and make plays and we didn’t do that. We should’ve done that. We had this game. I can confidently say that we had this game. You know it was a tough-fought game. We were battle tested. They’re a good defense. I would never take that away from the defense. Most people know me as a straight shooter; from a bad game to solid, it’s down to the guards up front. I thought we had them tired. We were just running the ball at them. I thought we could have mixed it up a little bit, keep them off balance.”

(On if he was surprised they didn’t run the ball on first and goal) “Well, during the week we had plays set up and if we get the matchups we’ll take it. Then concerning that #20 was out there, I thought we were going to run it. He is a hell of a player but we didn’t run it. I don’t really fight that battle if we should have run or if we shouldn’t have because if we catch the ball and we score everybody is happy. If I run it and I don’t get it I second guess it, and I do score everybody is excited. We need to score here no matter what it is. If I was running it or we are throwing it, whatever it was he’s practicing the same reps. The same situations in the week. That’s the part of the game that hurt us the most.”

(On the pass option play) “It was a pass option. We run it twice. We probably should have run at least one of them on the two-yard line. Even if it was myself or if it’s Mike Tolbert, I think we should have ran it one of those times. Then again, it’s not my call. I don’t judge it because there’s times where I don’t think we should do something and we do it and it works out. Vice versa. I want a running play. It was a play I was lobbying for the whole time and it didn’t work. So, I understand.”


(On penalty near Jacksonville’s goal line) “It was a simple fade route.  I came off the ball. All I did was try to come around and catch the ball and they called pushing. You try to move on from it.”

(On offensive struggles) “That’s terrible.  As an offense, you definitely have to put up points if you want to advance in the playoffs. All you can do now is go back and correct mistakes, and get ready to come back next year.  They were giving us every opportunity in the world.”

(On Jacksonville’s defense) “Their front seven can get to the quarterback and their defensive backs sit back and play balls.”

(On battling his own injuries) “I was trying to make that push.  If I had to go all the way to the Super Bowl, I would do it. It’s the grit. We’re out there playing for each other. You have to play hurt and just push through it.”


(On the success of Blake Bortles running) “There were a couple of broken plays and read zone is something that he does well. But that didn’t beat us. We stopped (Leonard) Fournette when we needed to. It was a critical situation when he picked up the first downs on that long drive. That was really big.”

(On limiting Bortles to fewer than 100 yards passing) “That’s what we wanted to do. We knew they were going to be a run-first offense.  Once we were able to contain them for the most part, and he made some big plays in critical situations when he needed to and that was the difference for the game for us.”

(On breaking the playoff drought) “We want to build off of this and you can’t take this for granted. Next year is a whole new year and have to work hard in the offseason. We did pretty well at home this year, we were 6-2, but we need to do better on the road.  I think we were like 2-7.”

(On the fans’ support) “It’s great they wanted to come down here, for us to have the support, getting off the plane, cheering us on. It’s awesome to be able to feel that.”


(On the injury near the end of game to QB Tyrod Taylor) “It was a scary sight.  I saw him in the locker room and he’s doing better. Hopefully, that will be a quick one to recover from.

(On offensive struggles) “That’s a talented defense. We had some long fields and were able to move the ball.  It’s tough to convert a ton of third downs, so we were just trying to say ‘Let’s get some chunk plays.’ We were able to do that at times in the second half with obviously no points.”

(On LeSean McCoy playing with ankle injury)  “It doesn’t surprise me. He’s one of the best competitors I have ever been around.  That’s what makes him so successful in this league. We definitely appreciate his effort and I thought he played pretty well.”

(On the Jaguars defense) “They’re really good and they have talent at pretty much every position. Then they have a pretty good scheme and run a lot of twists.  You have four or five really talented pass rushers and they will give you a bunch of looks off of that.  It’s a lot of one on ones to win.  Super talented corners. Yeah, they’re really good.”


(On coming up short) “It’s not the end result we wanted, but it’s been such a tremendous ride and it’s been so fun to battle with these guys. I felt like through the adversity we faced all year, it drew this group tighter and guys took it upon themselves and took it personal. That’s how we are walking out the door. People were saying we weren’t going to win anything. I am proud of the leaders on this team and proud of the guys. We fought our butts off to get here and it’s not satisfactory just to get here and lose. We have a goal set to win a playoff game.”

(On only scoring three points) “It’s extremely tough, especially when our offense was moving the ball. We have to do better. We got down there and we had a chance to get seven and we kicked three. We had another drive going and got stuffed with a couple of negative runs. It is frustrating.”

(On Jacksonville’s defense) “They could get after it and they are a good team and great team speed to cover the back end and that’s it.”

(On not getting a touchdown on the 1-yard line) “That was a big play in the game and if we put it in for a touchdown, it could change the whole tone of the game.”


(Opening statement) “Like I told our team, it was a hard fought game on both sides, both teams.  Credit, obviously, to Buffalo.  They did a heck of a job today.  They played their butts off.  I thought we played hard too and at the end of the day we were just able to make a couple of plays. We didn’t start off well offensively, couldn’t get off the field on defense, but we were able to keep that game tied going into halftime.  I thought the one drive was critical.  We started out at the minus-14, and had the big drive with the fourth down, scoring a touchdown there.  The defense came back and did a heck of a job in the second half.  Really at the end of the day it was just a hard fought game and that’s what playoff football is and we were able to get the win at home, which was big.  Just like I told the team, you know obviously the struggles here with the organization, players coming through, in and out, but not being in the playoffs and finally getting a home playoff game for the first time since 1999, being able to win.  After the win we wanted to make sure to recognize the support of our fans, and we’ll be giving a game ball to wherever the best place is, I guess City Hall, for the fans.  I thought they were outstanding.  The energy was just better than Coach [Tom] Coughlin described.”

(On the defensive in the second half) “I thought they played well. We were able to get pressure.  The one drive, I thought that was a key drive before.  We had the two penalties.  They had the two quarterback runs and the offensive pass interference and we were able to hold them to three.  I thought that was a big stop.  After that they broke a run or two here and there, but I thought defensively they did a nice job.  We had Poz [Paul Posluszny] go out.  Blair Brown came in and he did a nice job.  A.C. had his first interception today, Aaron Colvin.  He was sick before the game, not knowing if he would go today.  He woke up with a little bit of a bug.  He went out there and toughed it out, but then obviously we put [Tyler] Patmon in there.  I think that’s been the story of the season, young guys coming in there and doing a nice job.”

(On the difference in the offense between halves) “We were struggling a little bit with the wind, I think both teams. I can’t speak for them, but I know we were going away from the pools, going into that end zone.  We came out and elected to receive, thinking they were going to go ahead and take the wind in the fourth quarter, which they did.  And then we wanted to make sure that we moved the ball.  I think we started off, we had I think a good play, I believe it was Dede [Westbrook] over the middle.  I’m not sure.  One of our young guys caught a nice throw in there.  We made a couple of plays.  Blake [Borltes], the big thing about him today was he made a lot of plays with his feet and the running and then we were able to get the ball down in there and then on fourth down, [Ben] Koyack makes the catch.”

(On concerns about the offense moving forward) “Right now I’ll think about that tomorrow.  I’m really excited about the game, but we never really got into a rhythm and we weren’t able to get anything on third downs, so I’d be a fool to sit here and say I’m not concerned, but I’m going to take a step back and go ahead and look at it again.  I know what happened, but I’m just saying obviously if you want to continue to keep playing you are going to have to do a better job.”

(On what happened offensively) “In other words, we didn’t convert on third down.  I don’t think we did a good enough job on first or second down running the football.  I think those are the things that come to my mind first.  I thought we were going to do a better job running the football.”

(On Bortles’ second half performance) “It was interesting, you know at halftime because we went in there tied 3-3.  I think the players at halftime, it’s hard to describe.  I would describe it as hey, listen, we know things aren’t going the way we want them to go.  We’ve got to keep fighting. We’ve got to keep going, but it wasn’t a high level of pressure, you know what I’m saying, of ‘Oh my god!’ You know what I’m saying? Hey listen, let’s focus. Let’s not make mistakes.  Let’s go out there and let’s play.  For me as a coach, I look at that little bit more of the mindset about what they want to do when they go out there.”

(On if it was a conscious effort in the second half to move Bortles around more) “We tried to move him around a little bit earlier.  Obviously we know, and people who look at us on film know, we like to get him on the move.”

(On the call to go for it on fourth down) “We were going down there and didn’t feel comfortable.  Inside the 1, I thought we had a good play.  I felt very confident in it.  We make the call and we go and we score.  Conversely I was thinking to myself, hey, maybe we can keep them down there if we don’t, whereas before, I though Buffalo did a nice job.  You know we could have flipped the field position a couple of times during this game, and I thought that was probably something that was disappointing that you can’t allow yourself to do is when we caused the first turnover and we weren’t able to get any points out of it.  I thought that was a critical thing that would come back and haunt us during the game.”

(On if the fourth down play was always going to the tight end.) Yes.  That’s exactly what the play calls.”

(On if the team was nervous and when they finally felt comfortable) “Better for them to probably answer that question.  It’s hard for me to tell.  During the week we just went about preparing them, business as usual, knowing that the crowd and everything was going to bring it up.  They are probably better answering that question.  We are trying to get them in the best situation in plays, giving them the ability to make some plays so we can put ourselves in a position to win.”

(On if surviving a game like this gives the young players confidence) “Playoff football is about you just going out there to win.  No one is trying to win a beauty contest.  The teams that are playing, it’s going to be all out, everything is all out on that football field. Like I said, I’d be remiss not to give credit to Buffalo.  They left it all out there, and I thought our guys were leaving it all out there.  Each week it’s a different story, you know what I’m saying, in what you want to do.  Very rarely in my experience does everything go as easy as that and you just wind up going with somebody else.  It’s a difficult time.  It’s tough football.  Each week is going to be geared toward doing the best job you can, but it still goes back to the same thing we’ve been talking about all year.  It’s going to be your performance on that day, and what you are able to do, so obviously we’re going to have to do some better things going forward.”

(On what this does for Bortles in terms of his teammates) “I have no idea. Remember, when you are asking me about someone’s mindset, it’s hard for me to put myself in their situation. Like I said a bunch of times, I don’t know how many people would be able to handle that, what he’s gone through.  For the guys that cover the team the whole time, the amount of criticism from the outside.  He gets on a little bit of a roll and comes down.  When he shows up tomorrow, he’s going to be the same guy.  He’s going to work and do the best that he can.  I can’t really speak to his mindset.”

(On if Bortles’ performance elevates him to a new level of respect) “I’m just looking to win.  There’s a lot of other things that are going on.  I’ve always respected him.  I have a ton of respect for anyone who goes out on that field and plays.  It’s a whole lot more difficult, especially during this time in the playoffs, to go on that field and play.  The game definitely rises.  No doubt about it.  I learned that from Herm Edwards my first year in this league.  He told me opening day of the playoffs, the further you go in the playoffs, the higher the level of play.”

(On the challenge call and whether he saw it or relied on personnel upstairs) “Timeouts are so critical.  I rely on the process we have of making sure it’s 100 percent in that situation.  Once it came down that his foot was on the line, I threw the flag.

(On if he’s mentally exhausted) “I’m already thinking about what we have to do to get better.  I think about what we need to improve on or how do you feel about the way you played.  I immediately go into the mode of ‘Well, we’ve got 65 more snaps for the season.’ That’s how I look at the playoffs.  Once you make it, you are only guaranteed, on average, 65 snaps.  How you prepare for those 65 snaps is extremely important.  Right now my mind is thinking about going forward.”

(On the defensive effort with LeSean McCoy) “I saw the doctors afterward.  I told our team and our coaches, having had the experience with their trainers and doctors in Buffalo, I really felt like he was going to play and the type of competitor that he is.  I didn’t think he showed any signs of being limited.  I thought our defense did a nice job.  Our defense has been doing that for most of the year.  They’ve been playing well.  I think that continued on today.


(On how the first playoff experience was like) “The atmosphere was incredible. The fans, they were rocking from start to finish, and I’ve just got to say thank you to all the fans out there that supported us today and have been around with us all year. It’s a cool feeling, but at the same time, we’ve got bigger goals.”

(On how he feels about the defense only giving up three points) “I feel like we shouldn’t have given up anything, but that’s just me honestly speaking. At the same time, it’s a good thing. I feel like that anytime we hold them to three, the offense will take care of the rest. We’re the best defense in the league, so that’s kind of expected. Just because it’s the playoffs doesn’t really make a difference.”

(On if it was fitting for the defense to make the final plays of the game) “It was a regular game for us. I never felt like this game was too big for anybody in this locker room, and I think that we showcased that today out there on the field.”

(On if it took a couple snaps to get the butterflies out early in the game) “It was definitely heightened. It kind of had a Seattle Seahawks feeling to me, but once you hit somebody, or for me, once I got the interception, it was time to go.”


(On how he thought the offensive line did protecting Bortles today) “I think we did alright. We got to get the running game going more, and I think that starts with us up front. We have to be able to run the ball in the playoffs, as well as protect the quarterback. I think the offensive line is going to take that on our shoulders and work to get better at it.”

(On what it says about Bortles when he breaks out for big runs) “He’s an athlete, that’s what it tells me. He’s going to go out there and do whatever it takes for us to win. That’s all you can ask from a quarterback is to go out there and lay it on the line every time and he does a great job of doing that every week.”

(On if he’s excited he has practice this week) “Yeah, man. It’s good to be out here for another week.”


(On the defensive performance today) “Again, like I said, I just knew that everybody was concerned about the two losses, but we knew what we had to do and that’s what we came out and did. Great week of preparation, not only for us, but for the scout team for giving us those looks and for us to lock in and come back out and have a great performance. Now, we’ve just got to come back and do it again.”

(On his thoughts on finally getting a playoff win) “I’m telling you it feels great. I know that’s simple, but it is what it is. It’s simple in the formula that we did. If you put that hard work in from the front office to the players and to the coaches, you put in that hard work and you’re going to get results, so that’s all you see. Right here, are the results of hard work.”

(On how long it takes before they turn their attention to Pittsburgh) “A couple more hours, just a couple hours and then tomorrow it’s on to the next. It’s short lived but that’s a good thing.”

(On how it felt to step out on the field for his first playoff game) “Honestly, it’s another game and you understand the atmosphere is a little more crazy. I won’t say it’s more on the line, because every game you play, you put the same stuff on the line. You’re playing for that Super Bowl, to get into the playoffs, to get in this position, so it was good. But it was another game, and I think that we did a good job of not getting too over hyped for our first playoff game and God said it’s the next game and we came out and played just like it.”


(On how he felt about being in a playoff game) “Every matchup we have is going to be a tough fight. Everyone knows we’re a running team first and physicality is our number one demand. It’s going to be a fight every game we go into.”

(On what were the offensives challenges today) “Just finding ways to be successful and to give the defense a break, things like that. Instead of having the offense doing things trying to get the first down, it’s the little things we have to do as a whole.”

(On what he expects playing Pittsburgh again) “It’s going to be the same (as last time). It’s going to be a fight and we’re going to see what’ll happen. They are going to come into it with their minds on it. Their defense was challenging us so it’ll be a fight.”

(On how he feels body-wise after the playoff game) “Yeah, I’m good. Just taking care of my body with the little things I’ve been doing this whole season and taking care of myself like a pro like Calais (Campbell). He tells us to take care of ourselves like a pro.”

(On if he was frustrated with the offense not going correctly) “Like I said, it’s very tough but at the end the day it’s not about me. Sometimes you have to put your pride to the side and no matter what happens you have to keep fighting.”


(On holding a playoff team to no touchdowns) “It’s awesome. It’s one of those things that we plan on doing and we understood that they have a dynamic quarterback and a dynamic running back and we knew if we could stop them we could have a great chance of winning the game, so that was our goal to stop them and keep them limited and we did a good job today.”

(On was it emotional being on the playoff stage) “To be honest, not really. I don’t think we really knew what to expect. It’s just one of those things where it’s another day and that’s how we took it as, and we went out there and scratched, clawed and fought and we did a great job today so we’re ready for the next game.”

(On how he can use his playoff experience to prepare the team) “You just let them enjoy the moment and enjoy this time. We’re one of eight that are left and that’s a huge accomplishment. Let them enjoy it and when we come back in, we understand that we have to move onto the next task at hand and that’s a team that had a bye week and they’re going to be healthy and ready to go. We have to make sure we’ve got ourselves ready to go. We’ll let these guys have fun but understand that there are bigger fish to fry.”

(On how they will get prepared for the cold in Pittsburgh) “Wherever we got to go or whatever we have to plan, it doesn’t matter. Our coaches are tough and we’re tough and we go where we’re called and we play.  I think we had great examples [of the weather] in Cleveland and heck, it was cold today, but I think we’ll be ready. I know we will.”

(On Blake Bortles performance on the ground) “(laugh) Yeah you see Blake had more rushing than me, that will tell you a lot.”

(On the atmosphere) “It was crazy, man. They (the fans) came out and supported us. It’s the loudest it has ever been in this stadium and it’s a great feeling.”

(On getting run game consistency back) “It’s going to happen when it happens. It’s on us as a whole to put ourselves in better situations.”


(On how big it was for him to close the game with his interception) “It was big. Regardless of if I would have got the pick or not, I think we would have held them on the defensive side of the ball. That’s just the confidence I have in the defense and the team and what we can do.”

(On how good it was for the defense to be key in the win) “Almost. They had three points though, and we had a couple of penalties the drive they had three points. We did do a good job on the goal line stopping them from getting a touchdown. It was a defensive battle. Their defense as well had a good game. I’m glad our offense got that one touchdown to make the deference in the game.”

(On if the game was ugly but they are happy with it) “Yeah, I don’t care what people call it, we got a playoff point. We are going to come in here for another week while other teams are sitting home.”

(On if our one touchdown was all it would take for the win) “Yeah, we had that in our minds: Just give us one and we’re going to make the rest happen and put the team on our backs.”

(On if he saw his interception coming) “Yeah. Usually in situations like that when we’re up in the two minute with the corners we play 10 yards off and not more. Two plays before that, with (Nathan) Peterman we played the same coverage, we played off and he threw that quick hitch to AJ’s (Bouye) side. They line up in the same formation, just flipped on my side so I figured they were running the same route. I took a read step and as soon as he threw it I broke on it.”

(On if it was emotionally what he expected for his first playoff game) “It was what I thought of it to be. As soon as I got out there for warmups, the energy felt like I was at Florida State again, so I had that swagger going and it was nice.”


(On the playoff win) “Sweet. We get to play again. It’s all you can ask for. Obviously offensively we didn’t play the way we wanted to play. Kind of like our defense has played all year. They were incredible and gave us opportunities. At the end of the day you’ve got to score one more point than the other team and we were able to do that.”

(On if he feels less urgency on the offense because of defense) “Yeah, I think urgency is always important in wanting to move the ball, be efficient and score points. I think when you have a defense like we do it allows you to not press, not try and do too much, not try and force things because you know you’re going to get another opportunity when they go out there. Like I said, we’ve got to find ways to move the ball, be more efficient, put up more points to give them some more help. But they had our back today and we were able to find a way to win.”

(On if he thought he would have more rushing yards than passing yards) “No, that’s usually not ideal for a quarterback but it is what it is. I said earlier I kind of felt like last week I didn’t run a whole lot. I don’t think I ran at all so it felt like we lost and got beat with emptying all our bullets, so I wanted to make sure that whatever happened today, if we were going to get beat or if something bad was going to happen, it was going to be with us going down swinging, using every option that we could. I think the wind was a factor a little bit going one way but I thought we did a good job up front and they did a good job of getting back and getting under routes, so it kind of allowed me to run a little bit.”

(On moving forward to the Steelers) “I think going into the game there is no secret recipe on how to win. There’s no number that says you’ve got to score this many points to beat them. Like I said, you’ve got to score one more point than they score regardless of if its fifth year or it’s three, you’ve got to find a way to outscore them. Next week is a totally new challenge so we’ll get started on that tomorrow and figure out how we’re going to do that.”

(On the trust shown on 4th-and-one play) “Yeah, I think it put us in the lead. I think it definitely helped out putting that drive together coming out. I think it was the second drive of the second half and we were able to go 80 or whatever it was and ended on fourth down with that. It was big. It obviously gives our defense a breather, time to sit over there and relax and gives them the lead. They play well with the lead so any time we’re able to give them that it’s usually a positive thing.”

(On if that call surprised him) “No, I actually thought it was going to come in on third down because we had talked about that being our first play down on the goal line so we didn’t get it. I asked Nate why he didn’t call it on the first time and I guess Doug had already told him that he had two downs so he was saving it for the fourth down if we didn’t get in.”

(On if he practiced that play this week) “Yeah, we put it in this week and worked it a couple of times. If we got down on there on the goal line we were going to call it. Ben (Koyack) did a good job of settling it, everybody up front did a good job of settling it and he made a good play in the back of the end zone.”

(On last time he ran more than he threw) “Probably never, honestly. I don’t think this ever happened.”

(On what does it mean to find a way to win despite not throwing the ball well)  “Kind of reference it to a pitcher. You go out and something is not on right, you don’t have a fast ball, you don’t have a curveball, you have to find another pitch to be able to land and be successful and get guys out. That’s kind of the same thing playing quarterback. Whatever the situation is you’re not able to use your number one option and have that be successful. It’s kind of fortunate to be able to run around, do that stuff and help this offense move the ball and put up points. I’m trying to do whatever I can to help this team win, help this team score points.”

(On first time as playoff quarterback and getting into a rhythm) “It was kind of a weird day and we talked about it a little bit as an offense. Never outside of that one drive we had, we kind of weren’t ever in a groove, in a zone or feeling it. We’ve got to find ways to make moves, start faster and kind of make that consistent throughout the game. There’s a lot of stuff we’ll have to correct and get rolling. I thought that one drive was incredible and then there were some things throughout the game that were good we’ve got to find ways to make those more permanent.”

(On choosing the field goal to tie at end of first half) “You got good field position and we were going into the wind headed that way so it was kind of like let’s give it one or two and if it’s not there let’s take off and run. We were able to move the ball, get down there and give Josh a chance to kick one and tie it up going into the half.”

(On how much was the wind a factor) “It moved the ball a couple of times. I was trying to figure out the wind a little bit, but it’s part of football. When you play outside the weather is going to be a factor. It will be a factor next week I’m sure in Pittsburgh so it’s not an excuse. It’s what teams have to do and figure out. It’s going to happen but you want to limit it to as little as possible and figure it out as quickly as you can.”

(On if he was frustrated at all at halftime) “It felt fine. I think the thought process of the offense was we just played a bad half of football and we were able to come out of it and tie it 3-3. We hadn’t turned the ball over, we didn’t do a whole lot as we felt like we should have done so I think to be able to come out of the first half 3-3 and come out for the second half and get a couple of plays going and put a big drive together was big for the momentum and our team.”

(On if the the overall experience lived up to his expectation) “It was incredible. Talking to guys on the sidelines there’s not a lot of people outside of Marcedes that have ever seen the stadium like that. I think for us to run out of the tunnel and see all of those people there and for the first time since I’ve been here to see the tarps taken off of the upper deck in the corners was special. It was cool to be able to do this in front of our home crowd in Jacksonville, our stadium. Everyone knows it hasn’t been done in a long time so it was really special to be able to do that.”

(On if the late runs in second quarter dictated how he attacked in the second half) “I think a little bit. I think it was part of it. I think it was something we saw and could take advantage of and amp up. The game plan was some zone read stuff so I thought Nate did a good job of figuring that out and calling some of that, stuff so it was definitely part of it.”

(On UCF winning and playoff win here) “National champs. It was pretty cool. It’s always been special for me to be able to play in Jacksonville and be so close to home, where I grew up and where I played. Obviously the year they had this year to be able to watch that. I had a chance to go down for a game earlier and they were incredible. Scott Frost, McKenzie (Milton), that offense was electric and fun to watch so it was really cool to combine those things within a two-hour drive is pretty special. “

(On if he felt like UCF QB McKenzie Milton scrambling for runs) “He’s probably a little more athletic and more agile but I think something we have in common is being able to run, if things aren’t working being able to take off and create things down the field.”

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