Head Coach Jim Caldwell Quotes

HEAD COACH JIM CALDWELL (on the AFC South race) “What we try and do is try and focus in on ourselves more so than anything else. Our challenge is getting ready for Jacksonville.

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"What we try and do is try and focus in on ourselves more so than anything else. Our challenge is getting ready for Jacksonville. All of the ancillary things we leave to other people to talk about and discuss. We try and concentrate on the things that we can control. Like I said, it really boils down to us and what we do. One of the things you'll hear me say from time-to-time is that I try to reduce things to the lowest common denominator. I leave all the other stuff out. The lowest common denominator for us is preparation to win and winning. Those are the things that we try to focus in on more so than anything else. The other things take care of themselves if you're playing well."

HEAD COACH JIM CALDWELL (on what point in the week do you go and tell a practice squad player that they need to get ready, that there is a chance they will play in the game on Sunday)

"It all depends. It depends on when we know. Sometimes we don't know until late and sometimes it's a possibility. We talk to them about all those issues. At the start of the season, I tell each and every guy that's on our team that whether you're on the practice squad or you're on the 53(-man roster) and in some sort of a backup role, that you have to prepare like you're going to play every single week. That's something that we talk about. We try to stress it as much as we possibly can. We have several examples to support that, as well."

HEAD COACH JIM CALDWELL (on if you do anything different in practice to get those guys ready to play)

"It depends. Sometimes you know, sometimes you don't know. Sometimes you won't know about a guy's health until the end of the week. We try and certainly plan ahead in that regard. Where we think we may use him, we'll start to work him in those areas where we can and try to get them some reps. Obviously, we aren't going to put them out on the field without having practiced at all in those situations."

HEAD COACH JIM CALDWELL (on how OT-Jeff Linkenbach played)

"He hung in there. He played tough. He's a scrappy guy. He gets after it in there. He did some things that young guys do. He's coming along."

HEAD COACH JIM CALDWELL (on if it's different for a guy like LB-Cody Glenn versus WR-Blair White in terms of getting their first significant playing time)

"Probably because of the fact that one (Glenn) has been around a year longer than the other. That would probably be the only difference. He does indeed understand that those possibilities are real, but that's probably about it."

HEAD COACH JIM CALDWELL (on QB-Peyton Manning throwing zero interceptions so far this season)

"I think he's doing a great job, but the fact of the matter is that it doesn't always depend upon him. A lot of times people think interceptions are the quarterback's problem, but a lot of times they are not. Sometimes the receiver is not running the proper route, sometimes you're getting hit as he's delivering the ball. There are a lot of factors that go into it. He's doing a great job. I think that is obvious. But the fact of the matter is it doesn't always strictly depend upon him and his arm. It all ties in together. I think the protection has to be there. The route runners have to be in the right place and do what he anticipates they are going to do. Those things all come into play."

HEAD COACH JIM CALDWELL (on not paying attention to Jacksonville's last game and result)

"I think it has a lot to do with our mindset. I think it has a lot to do with veterans that have been around, that certainly communicate the message to the young guys, as well. Coaches, we tell them all the time, I mean there is not an opponent that we take lightly, and I think sometimes they may find ways to tune you out as a coach, but the thing about it though, I think that is where you get reinforcement from the guys that are playing the game with them, that help get that message out. We know we're going to face a very, very tough and difficult challenge with this team."

HEAD COACH JIM CALDWELL (on if it bothers him when the defense gives up a lot of yards)

"The key is scoring. If you can keep them from scoring points, obviously, you're going to end up in pretty good shape. You have a chance to win, at least. But you're not happy at all, obviously, when somebody can gain an inordinate amount of yards against you and how it's done, I think that, more so than anything else, is what we have to correct. A lot of it was due to missed tackles. A lot of those big gains, if you get them tackled where they caught it (you limit their yards). There are good receivers in this league and a lot of good quarterbacks. Their timing is impeccable and oftentimes they are going to be able to put it in a place where you can't get to it. But the thing you have to do is keep them in front of you and get them down on the ground. It is very, very difficult to stop the guys with the kind of timing that some of these guys have in the league. It's tough to stop QB-Peyton (Manning) and (WR-Austin) Collie and WR-Reggie (Wayne) and WR-Pierre (Garcon) and TE-Dallas (Clark) and etc. That's difficult. You can anticipate that that is going to happen some, but the real key is let's keep it contained, which we didn't do a great job of. I think we had seven passes over 20 yard gains. That is certainly something we have to take a look at and get corrected."

HEAD COACH JIM CALDWELL (on chance of getting WR-Pierre Garcon back for Jacksonville)

"I'm not certain."

HEAD COACH JIM CALDWELL (on injury status of LB-Kavell Conner)

"He's being evaluated today and the next couple of days. If we have something that breaks, that is big, we'll release it like we always do."

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HEAD COACH JIM CALDWELL (on –Blair White being indicative as to how important roster spots are)

"One of the things we talk about is we say that anybody that is on this team, number one, you are here for a reason because you can do the job. Number two, you have to anticipate that at some point in time during this year, we are going to need you because that's been our history. There have been a lot of young guys and guys in backup roles that end up playing, and because of the fact that you are going to get guys bumped up in this game. It is just the way it is. It is 100 percent injury rate.  So you have to have young people in position to step up and do the job."

HEAD COACH JIM CALDWELL (on –roster spots being so valued if 18-game season takes place)

"I am not going to get into a long discussion about that issue because we are not there yet, but I do certainly think those topics will certainly be addressed and communicated as we go forward."

HEAD COACH JIM CALDWELL (on –the first quarter of season finishing up this week)

"That's really the only time we talk about it. We only talk about it based on four game slices, more or less. So we'll talk about it when it's over. We still have one more game to go. We certainly will talk about how we would like it to finish, but we know we have a challenge getting prepared. Here is the other thing that is the way I think. I don't even get them to the point where they are starting to look forward to the particular ballgame. I try to get them focused on practice because I know that if we can practice and practice well, the ballgame will take care of itself, but if you start looming and looking ahead, I think it diminishes your focus a little bit in terms of what you have to get done. The most important thing for us is to get ourselves healthy. That's what we do here in the next couple of days. They get time off, they get treated, etcetera. Wednesday we have to practice and practice well. We have to do the things that we do and do them even better. Thursday and Friday is the same, Saturday is the same and come Sunday that part of it takes care of itself. But if you start gazing off into the future, I guarantee that not a whole lot of good things happen as a result of it."

HEAD COACH JIM CALDWELL (on –if they were close to letting Charlie Johnson play against Denver)

"I'll try not to be long with this answer and I'll be rather short. We have a medical staff that is second to none, doctors and trainers, etcetera, and those are the guys that make the decisions on whether or not a player goes."

HEAD COACH JIM CALDWELL (on –Austin Collies' development over the past two years)

"He's one of those guys that you could see it when he walked in the door. He was intent on learning and not in a superficial way. He really works at improving his craft. I think you guys probably remember last year we talked about how he was in here early in the morning and stays late like they all do, but he s really trying to find ways of earnestly getting better. He's not doing it to impress you or me or anybody else. It's innate within him. He's one of those guys that instinctively just has a burning desire to get better, and that's what I think more so than anything else that jumps out about him. He stays around and works on his catches and stays after and is always catching the ball. He would be your proverbial gym rat if we were talking about basketball, but in this particular case he is always in the complex trying to find ways to get a little better. So we can see him progressing in terms of his route running, certainly his ability to catch the ball consistently, all of those things are there. He continues to improve upon his run blocking and his knowledge of our offense and how we operate, but also the unique thing is it is one season for him and three games, and he has to prove it every week. So he has another challenge ahead of him."

HEAD COACH JIM CALDWELL (on –players like Collie and Powers playing older than they are)

"We think that is a great quality and it does not always happen that way, but you do find some guys that are kind of like old souls that play a bit more mature than you would anticipate for their particular age. (Collie) would certainly be one of those."

HEAD COACH JIM CALDWELL (on –being able to see when an undrafted rookie or free agent, like Linkenbach, start to settle in)

"I think the nice thing with him is he got a chance during the preseason to play a pretty significant amount. So he got quite a few reps underneath his belt. He had an opportunity to match up with some of the talent within the league early on and that helped him. They just continue to get a little bit better, a little bit more comfortable, but it doesn't happen in a matter of weeks or months. I think it's years, particularly at that particular position until they get really, really settled down. We faced a couple of guys last year that were rookies at the tackle position and by the time we saw them that following year, things had changed. They had become more confident, they understood how to use their skill set and they'd improved. I would anticipate that he's going to follow the same graph."

HEAD COACH JIM CALDWELL (on –Linkenbachs' playing time against the Giants aiding him versus Denver)

"Any snaps that he can get are helpful, and I do think it was certainly great that he had an opportunity to step in and play while Charlie (Johnson) was out during that game. It kind of got him acclimated somewhat to playing regular season ball. Any amount of reps he can get will help him think."

HEAD COACH JIM CALDWELL (on –whether or not to challenge the fourth-and-one play at the goal line)

"It was a tremendous play. He was running to our defensive right and I think for the most part their left tackle and tight end did a pretty good job on the combination block, and the first guy to get to him was Gary Brackett. Brackett came and put a lick on him. (Maroney) was certainly angling away from Gary just a little bit, but two guys that made an unbelievable effort on that play. From the backside Philip Wheeler came from our side of the line of scrimmage down the line and he had to lay out in order to get his hands o Maroney, and then on their side of the line of scrimmage, from behind the line, Robert Mathis came down the line of scrimmage and he did exactly the same thing. Both of those guys laid out and made contact with him to help thwart his effort to get into the end zone. So they made the tackle that looked like he may have extended the ball over the goal line. From our vantage point over on the sideline, obviously you couldn't tell necessarily. Robert Mathis jumped up immediately and says 'Hey, throw the flag. He didn't make it.' The coaches in the press box were obviously waiting for a review on the television, and I was waiting to no avail for one on the jumbo-tron. That certainly was not going to happen when you are away from home. Word came from upstairs to confirm exactly what Robert said, so the challenge was made and they were absolutely right."

HEAD COACH JIM CALDWELL (on –players being right when they ask for a challenge)

"It just depends. Some of them are pretty accurate. You can see they are pretty adamant, particularly in a guy that caught a ball and says 'I caught that ball, I didn't trap it. I got my hands underneath it.' You can typically tell by their reaction whether or not they got it done. Maybe sometimes they show one thing out on the field and then come over and say, 'Hey coach, I didn't catch that thing,' but most of them, these guys are experts at what they do and they know and have a good sense of things happening around them. So their information is pretty accurate for the most part."

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