STEELERS VS. JAGUARSAFC WILD CARD PLAYOFFSaturday, January 5, 2008at Heinz FieldKickoff 8 p.m. on NBC
JAGUARS PLAYER QUOTES - JANUARY 1
RB FRED TAYLOR
(do the Jaguars have an edge in winning three weeks ago?) "I don't think either team has an edge. I think because we went up there and won up there this year gives us confidence, but I don't think we will be overconfident in our approach this time around. We will prepare like we always have and just take our approach and do what we do, as far as they are concerned. They may say the first time around was a fluke or something like that but bottom line it comes down to who comes ready to play on Saturday night. Regardless of what has happened in the past or all the smack that may come out, it has nothing to do with what's going to go on Saturday night."
(on the importance of the lack of playoff experience) "I think the younger guys will just follow our lead. There will be some energy out there. I'm sure we will be pumped up, but all of that will settle down after the first hit or two. Guys will be ready to play football. I don't think (the lack of experience) matters."
(is it as simple as just going out to play football?) "You don't want to put too much pressure on your shoulders. I guess you have to find that good mix. You don't want to say it's simple because it's still NFL football and it's not simple. At the same time, though, you don't want to go out there and worry yourself half to death with all the pressures that come with it. I think if we continue to stick to our routine we will be fine."
(on how special this postseason can be for you personally) "Right now I'm on a pretty good football team. I'm having fun. We have good chemistry going on and I think this is the best team I have been on as the word team is concerned. On past teams we have had some great players, these guys on the team now, there are no selfish players. We look up to each other. We thrive off of everyone else. This is just a good opportunity for us as a team and for myself to just go out and play as hard as I can each game."
(on drawing on the success on the road this year) "That just gives us confidence in knowing that we have done it. But that is over and done with. That boat has sailed and that book is closed. We have to start a new chapter right here with Pittsburgh on Saturday night. It helps a little bit by doing it, but I don't think it has a whole lot to do with Saturday night."
(is this year's team better than the 2005 playoff team?) "I think we are better considering that we have more guys now with playoff experience. When we took that team up there two years ago, there was probably five guys that had played in a playoff game. Now we have guys that are talking about having a sour taste in their mouths. They had to go home and watch the playoffs at home that year and see the team that you thought you had a chance against. With that being said, guys preparation may be different now. Guys may get into the cold tub a couple more times or some other things that they might do differently, but at the end of the day, if we don't win, it's the same thing as in 2005."
(what is it about Pittsburgh that brings out your best?) "I don't have a clue. I would try to duplicate it against other opponents if I knew, but it's just coincidence. I don't think it's anything in particular. They are a good team."
RB MAURICE JONEs-DREW
(on your first playoff game) "It's going to be a great experience. Everyone's excited, last year we were close but we didn't get a chance. Now we get an opportunity to play a really great team and it's going to be fun."
(on talking to veterans about the playoffs) "Obviously, it will be faster and there will be a lot more at stake, but other than that it's football. Come out and play your best."
(on your approach this week) "It just more of working the process. The coaches will make the game plan and we are going to dial them in and study just like we have been doing every other week. You get a little extra in the playoffs when you have time to study and you work hard. We will have a tough challenge on our hands, but it's football."
(what does beating the Steelers three weeks ago mean for this game?) "That was three weeks ago. It doesn't mean anything. It only means that we will be playing with a little more of an edge."
(on whether playing well on the road this season can help in the playoffs) "Every game is different. We were decent on the road this year, but we have another challenge that we have. We have to be able to go out and pick up their blitz, make plays and it's going to be tough. It will be a loud playoff atmosphere. It will be fun, though."
(on the pressure of the playoffs) "In the playoffs, one minor mistake or one turnover can cost you the game. We have to go out there and do everything at 100 percent."
(on the team's limited playoff experience) "You can't worry about the excitement, the NBC Saturday night airing; once you get hit you get right back to football and that's how we have to play this weekend."
QB DAVID GARRARD
(on going into the playoffs as a starter for the first time and his thoughts on the team) "We are very excited as a team. I know everybody in this lockerroom can't wait to get this game started. It's going to be a fun, grind it out, two chinstrap game, just like Jack (Del Rio) has said the last couple of times we have played them. I don't expect it to be any different. We know as a team that we can't just expect to walk in there and win again. We know they are going to game plan as hard as possible to take everything we did positive last time away from us. We have to make sure we can do the same things and some different things. We are game planning as hard as possible to come out with a win this Saturday."
(on if motivation is even an issue this week) "I think Pittsburgh is always mad at us and we are always mad at them. It's just that kind of game. We know it's going to be a physical game and it's going to come down to the last second on the clock…We are going to be ready for it all. We are going to fight as hard as possible and I'm sure they are going to be ready, too."
(on if there is a certain approach you have to take when you play against Pittsburgh) "You just have to stay with the process. Jack (Del Rio) has been saying that all week long. It's that kind of game. The conditions are probably not going to be that great whether it's just the field or if Mother Nature decides to show up and do something special. We have to stay with the process, stay with what us got it here. We don't have to go out and do anything extraordinary and try and be Superman on a particular play. Do what you are taught and prepare as much possible. They do a lot of things on defense to confuse you so we have to make sure we have all of our T's crossed and dot our I's…We are going to do everything possible to get ready for this game. Win and you keep going, lose and you go home. We want to make sure we keep going."
(on his lack of playoff experience) "I have had years in the past where I got gametime experience. I got to get out against the Patriots a couple of years ago and play in that game toward the end. It was garbage time, but the environment and the excitement of the game are going to be turned up another level. I have watched the playoffs my whole life so I know how it turns up. As long as we play together as a team we can withstand anything."
(on the hype of the game) "It's another game just like they have been all year long. The only thing is if you lose you don't get to keep going. We don't need to hype it anymore. We already know it has all the hype. We just need to go play our game. Just focus on that and don't focus on the media and the hype of getting to the Super Bowl. It's just another game we need to prepare for and if we do the things that we know we can do then we will be fine."
(on if the game at Pittsburgh earlier this year has any meaning) "We need to make sure we are ready this week. That was the past and this is the present. We need to make sure we are prepared for this game. That one is not going to help us. The only thing it is going to do is give us looks on film. It's going to be a whole new ballgame and have its own circumstances in the game and we need to make sure we are prepared for all of them."
DT JOHN HENDERSON
(on playing against the Steelers) "It's the physical type football that you got to love. For myself, I just love it. That is what football is about, being physical at the front line, the D-line and the offensive line."
(on playing in the cold weather) "You shouldn't care, it's football. You've been doing it since you've been little and that is what it is all about. I don't care how the weather is, let's just play."
(on leading the younger players without playoff experience) "I just say play the game and don't worry about the playoffs. You got another opportunity to play football and just play. We know it is a very important game so let's go out there and play like we have been playing. That is just how I'm going to go at that."
(on playing well this year as a team) "It is a team game and that is just how we've been playing. We are playing as a team and everybody is doing what they have to do to make this team better, that is why I feel that there are not any individuals and no selfishness on this team. Everybody is just playing."
(on good chemistry) "I think there is a lot of good chemistry on this team. I think a lot of guys stepped up with Marcus (Stroud) and Mike Peterson going down. I love it."
(on chemistry through out the season) "I think we have been building each time we play, each time we go out to practice; we are building every time. We did a lot of building, now it's just guys are stepping up."
(on the team leaders) "We have our three captains and everybody as far as leadership, we have guys stepping up."
(on the win in Pittsburgh three weeks ago) "That game does not matter right now. At this point it is a whole new ball game, it is 0-0 and it is time to go out there and play."
(does last game matter to the Steelers?) "It probably matters to them but they know they have been in the playoffs many times. They know the regular season doesn't expose you because your intensity changes during the playoffs."
(on Willie Parker being out) "We are not overconfident. We are ready to go out there and play some Jaguar football. Najeh Davenport is a great running back, we've seen him on tape. He is doing good so we have to go out there play football and tackle him."
(on your first playoff game) "I'm just going to go out there and play football. It's just the playoffs. A lot of guys go out and get excited, but it is just the playoffs and we are ready to go out there and play some football. That is what it is about."
(how do you keep yourself composed?) "I just keep myself visualizing what I need to do to help this team. Sometimes I get a little excited so I'll calm down and catch my breath later."
DE PAUL SPICER
(on this week) "As far as I see it, we have a lot of work to do. Going up there to Pittsburgh, a good team, it's hard to beat a good team twice. We have our work cut out for us. I know they are going to come with everything. Right now, it's one and done. That is the attitude. There are no games after this if you don't take care of business in Pittsburgh. We have our work cut out for us."
(on no one ever winning twice in Pittsburgh in the same season) "I'm not worried about history. I'm worried about right now. If we are going to make history then let us go make it. I know one thing. We are going to prepare and get ready to fly up there on Friday and get our rest and get up on Saturday and get ready to kick some butt. "
(on if he worries about the lack of playoff experience on the roster) "No. We have experience playing football. We have a lot of guys around here that have been to the playoffs, but we have a lot of guys that haven't been. For the young guys, it's up to us (veterans) to teach them. It's on us for us to show them and let them know throughout the week what's in store going back up there. It's not going to be the same atmosphere when we go back up there this time around. I'm sure their crowd is going to be into it. They were talking about it wasn't a sold-out game, but it looked like it to me when I was up there last time. It looked all yellow and black when I was there. I'm not worried about that. We just have to get up there knowing that if we are going to take care of business we can't have the mistakes. We had a little letdown in the second half of the last game and we can't have that letdown this time around. Right now, it's one or done."
(on if it's still just a game even though it's the postseason) "When you break it down it is. The media is going to do their job and you guys are going to do your job to hype this thing up and blow the smoke up our butts all this week. Guys have to understand that we can't just sit there and listen to the media. It's about what we do and what we take up there. If we don't go up there with the right mindset and have the right attitude then we are going to get our (butts) kicked."
(on the pressure of playing in the postseason) "You have that sense of urgency. You just can't go up there and make the mistakes you make in the regular season. You have to almost play the perfect game. If you don't, everybody in the playoffs is good enough to beat you. Everybody wants to jump on the Patriots and say this and that. Everybody is susceptible to getting beat. If you don't come out and play your best game then you are going to be one of the teams getting beat."
(on if the tight chemistry on this team will help in the postseason) "It's going to be more of a factor as far as getting ready for Pittsburgh because we have to be close. When we go up there it's nobody but us. We would love to bring all the Duval (County) fans with us, but that is not how it is. We played our way into the playoffs and we didn't play our way into a home game. Right now we have to take care of business so the fans here in Jacksonville can have something to cheer about come Sunday morning."