Jack Del Rio: It's About Us

Jacksonville's head coach Jack Del Rio shared his thoughts with the media on how this week's game is more dependent upon how they play than how the Colts play, Jaguars RB Fred Taylor, how to deal with injuries, the Colts' secondary, and more!

On the Jaguars-Colts games always being important, but this one is in particular...

"The way I look at it, Indy is 3-3 in their last six divisional games and so are we. We've split the (last) two ballgames between us, we've battled since the first time we met and we're sitting here one game behind with an opportunity to go play them and earn a share of first place. I think right now, really it's more about us and what we do and less about them and what they do. So we're just going to do our best to prepare hard and go meet this challenge."

On RB-Fred Taylor calling it a ‘Championship Game'...

"I think it's a little premature for that, but certainly it's a big game. But like I said, I think it's more about us and how we prepare and what we do."

On opening the last game with the Colts by passing the ball...

"It was just part of our plan. We're going to throw it, we're going to run it. We're going to go after them the same way they're going to go after us and put a plan together and go compete. We don't have to do one thing or the other. We think we can throw it well, we think we can run it well. They got us slowed down enough to win last time, and we'll get another opportunity to compete this weekend."

On despite being a great running team, still trying to stay balanced...

"We're just developing our football team and the phase that has needed the most attention has been the passing game, and we've been working on that. I think a couple of things have happened that are very favorable for us: one, we've really settled on our quarterback and he's playing very well for us; and two, now that we've had him back, we've been able to pick up where we left off in terms of continuing on as an offense and in the passing game being able to make the plays down the field. I think when you can do that along with our running game, then we'll be difficult to slow down. I think when you look last week, David (Garrard) had close to 300 yards passing. He's been very efficient all year protecting the football and making plays on third down and sustaining drives. He's at the top of the league in his third-down passer rating, he's at the top of the league in all the ratings as a quarterback. I think he's done a nice job for us and certainly gives us a lift."

On how they will prepare not knowing whether WR-Marvin Harrison will play...

"We'll continue with our preparation for their very best and adjust accordingly."

On if a win proves something...

"It will prove that we've earned a share of the division lead if we can go up there and scratch out a win. Right now, we're just not really worried about making statements or making proclamations. We're really just concerning ourselves with preparing to do the best we can do and go out there and have a little fun and let it rip."

On surviving the war of attrition being a must to be at the top of the NFL...

"The NFL season is a long season and it really is a testimony to a team's ability to overcome different periods of adversity. They come in different shapes and sizes and forms, but as a football team, to make it through a 16-game season, you're going to deal with some adversity. We've been a resilient bunch, so we're just going to keep on working at it."


LB Mike Peterson
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On dealing with injuries...

"We've missed I believe close to 40 games by starters thus far this year prior to this game coming up. We understand the need to carry on and plug a guy in and keep going. We lost our strong safety (Gerald) Sensabaugh, we lost Brad Meester for four games, lost Garrard for three games, Chris Naeole is out, Marcus Stroud has been out for four games, Brian Williams, Mike Peterson, Rashean Mathis, they've all missed time. Josh Scobee, we finally got him back last week, and now he's AFC Player-of-the-Week (after hitting) five-for-five on field goals. So I think being able to plug somebody in and keep rolling is part of our trademark. We want to be a resilient team that will come compete with you. We've been able to do that. We have to battle and hang in there, and that's the way we'll keep going."

On DB-Rashean Mathis' health...

"He was actually good to go last weekend from his standpoint. We just wanted to give it another week to make sure it was behind him. He should be ready to roll this week."

On his appreciation for RB-Fred Taylor...

"I think the real story is that here he is helping this football team win. He's been here over a decade now and he's been probably one of the premier players in the history of this organization, one of the, if not the premier player here in Jacksonville. He continues to be an explosive weapon. He ripped off a nice touchdown run last week, went over 100 yards in a nice win for us. He's a great teammate, a great football player and we're real happy that he got past the 10,000 yard mark here at home."

On his appreciation for RB-Fred Taylor's tough running style...

"I know I have a great appreciation for his ability. We studied to defend him when I was an opponent, and then to be able to have him here on my side, I like that a lot better. Any time you have a back that's as big as he is, that runs as fast as he does and is as elusive like he can be, that's a dangerous combination."

On RB-Joseph Addai...

"I think he's a fine football player. He's done a nice job getting into their system and making a smooth transition from Edgerrin to him. As a rookie last year he was very good, and this year I think he's even stronger. He has good balance, good vision, it seems like he's always falling forward. He's a good football player."

On the 2006 running back draft class and Joseph Addai and Maurice Jones-Drew...

"There was a group of backs there, and suddenly those are two of the finer backs in the league now and they came out of the same draft. We thought that we had good grades on both players. I know they're happy with Joseph and we're very happy with Maurice."

On the Colts' young secondary being physical and able to cover...

"It's imperative, I think, to play good football to have the ability to do both. Marlin Jackson and Kelvin Hayden are both good, young football players. I know neither one of them ran real fast coming out, but they ran fast enough to be good football players. I think Marlin was taken at the bottom of the first round and Hayden in the second, and they're good football players. They're playing like where they were selected. They weren't forced into action right away, they've done a nice job growing in their system and they're playing well for them."


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