TITANS vs JAGUARS
Sunday, Sept 20, 2020
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Q. DJ, what has Jay Gruden meant for you guys?
DJ CHARK: He's a cool guy. You know, he don't get on to people. He knows everyone's strengths and weaknesses and he plays to them, and he has confidence in us, and we have confidence in him. He's been obviously helping us out a lot. This is the first time in a while that we've been able to move the ball efficiently, and I think it's due to a lot of different just changes and mindsets on the team.
Q. Does it seem like he fools the defense more than what you were accustomed to your first couple years in the league?
DJ CHARK: Yeah, I wouldn't necessarily say fool. I think he just knows -- he understands the coverages. He understands what they're trying to do, so he counteracts that. So if they're in cover-two, running the ball, things like that. Or if they're jumping outside, inside routes, things like that, just taking what they give us.
Sometimes he puts some -- I don't want to say "trickeration" but misdirection, make their eyes go one way and go back the other way. He does that.
Q. You guys were down 30-17; can you just talk a little bit about the resiliency on this football team, particularly in a situation like that? Years ago you guys might not have played the way you played today; it might have been over. What's different?
DJ CHARK: I think honestly we feel like we can go toe to toe with anybody. It doesn't matter. Our offensive line is going to move people off the ball. James is going to run hard. Our receivers are all capable of making plays, and they understand that we expect plays to be made every time the ball is in the air. It's our ball or nobody's ball, and Gardner is out there making great decisions. I think it's just the mentality that we have, whether it's 30-17 or it's a tie game. We understand that we only control what we can control when we're out there on the field, and I think that helps the offensive line but it also helps the defense to know that in years past when we'd get down, it's kind of like a snowball effect, but they know even if the team does score, we as an offense have the potential to go score, too. So you just go out there and keep playing like every drive is a new drive.
Q. You've been with the Jags for a few years now; do you feel like this is the most explosive offense you've been a part of in Jacksonville?
DJ CHARK: Oh, definitely. We have a lot of guys that's capable of making plays, like I said. You can have the rookie Laviska come in and run the ball as well as go out there and catch the ball, that makes the defensive coordinator have to prepare for that, and then you add guys like Cole, Chris, you also have Collin that comes in and makes big plays and has the potential to make big plays.
It takes a lot of stress off of me for sure, and it just feels good because if I'm out there and I'm not -- if it's not my game, if I'm just not having a good game, I know that my receivers are going to make plays, the running back is definitely going to make plays. He's running through the hole. My linemen are moving people. It gives you more confidence and takes a load off everyone's shoulder because it's teamwork now.
Q. How do you guys get off to a quicker start? You guys were getting off to some slow starts last season and then now they've kind of carried over into this year. You've got a game coming up Thursday; how do you go out there on that first drive and find a way to put up points?
DJ CHARK: Execute. Just run our routes, run my protections and execute. I don't really know any other way to start off fast. I don't think it's the play calling or anything like that. We just have to execute.
But you know, it's week two of not having an off-season. This is our first time as a team really getting to compete against people, and we're the youngest team in the NFL. So it's going to be some slow starts. I expect that. But now I think the more we play and the way that we've been finishing, it gives us confidence to start better because we know we can do it.
Q. You were on the field last year, you caught the touchdown that would have been the game-tying one if the two-point conversion worked last year, week 2, against the Texans. Gardner leads a comeback there. Describe for me as that game-winning drive happens what you saw from your quarterback, one year later what you saw from your quarterback down the stretch today.
DJ CHARK: Last year we was just out there competing. I think the difference now is we have a method to what we're doing because we're all a year older, and so I think that's the same with him. He has the ideal of what we're trying to do. He understands the defense, which is why those last -- the last two quarters we was able to move the ball. We understood what we could do to get open. We understood -- and I also feel like he has more help now, so he don't have to go out there and scramble to make every play. He knows he can drop back and deliver the ball and we're going to run our route at the right depth, get open, catch the ball. So it's trying to take just a little bit off of his plate so he can play with more confidence, and I think that's what he's doing.
Q. Speaking of growth, week one to week two, James Robinson, what did you see from him?
DJ CHARK: Oh, he's our running back. He's running the ball between the tackles, and you have to respect it. As long as he's doing that, we're going to be on the outside blocking, and he makes blocking fun because you're blocking for two, three seconds, then you see him running by you. It makes you want to go out there and get you a pancake or something.