Jaguars' DT Abry Jones Quotes 8.13.20
COURTESY OF JACKSONVILLE JAGUARS MEDIA RELATIONS DEPARTMENT
(On the turnover in defensive personnel) "Yes, pretty much. Every year unfortunately we have had good people leave. Some people really see it as friends and brothers, but we always continue to bring great people. It's always good to meet new people- new young guys, new vets from around the league that pass on the knowledge of the game."
(On being the longest tenured player on the roster) "I see it as, I came in the league with dreams and goals and I feel like I've been accomplishing a lot of those and trying to be a true professional to keep continuing my job. A lot of young guys come in and I like to talk to the undrafted free agents to let them know that there's a place for you in this league if you just keep working. I'm just excited to keep this thing going on and keep having that title about myself."
(On what it takes to make it on a roster as an undrafted free agent, especially this year without preseason games) "Practice is everything. They film everything from individual to team reps. So I feel like as an undrafted guy you just have to take advantage of all that. You have to be a real classroom guy- take the proper notes, being able to answer the questions coaches ask you. Even without preseason games, we're going to have practices and the depth chart is going to shuffle around. When you get your chance you have to take advantage of that. You can move up on the depth chart just because you know how to run a certain play over somebody, so that's one of the things. Another key part, for these young guys to make the team, is going to be on the shoulders of us older guys. We have to acknowledge that this is a team game, that we need everyone on this team, and we can't just be trying to shun out the young guys to try to keep a job. We need to teach them and bring them along as fast as they can because we have some great talented rookies that we need to play."
(On rookie DT DaVon Hamilton) "I'm loving what DaVon's bringing out there with his
work ethic. [He's] very strong. I think that's one of the key pieces he's going to need to play his nose guard position. Another thing I really like about him is his hand placement. Every time we do drills I let him know about where his hands need to be and he's very teachable. He listens to 'Rebs' [Defensive Line Coach Jason Rebrovich]. He listens to me. He listens to any vet that's trying to give him advice. I think he has a good head on his shoulders, and he knows what he can come in here and do."
(On his leadership role this year) "I've got to put a little bit more on myself. Even though I've been the longest tenured guy, I've been kind of lucky in the vocal leadership department. When I was here we had Roy [Miller], then Malik [Jackson] took over for a little bit, then we had Calais [Campbell] - and everyone knows how great of a leader he is. Ever since Calais left, I had some guys hit me up and just letting me know what everyone needs them to do to get done. They're behind me fully. I'm just trying to go around and make sure I'm harping on guys to work on their technique, work on the little things that's going to make us a better d-line than last year."
(On his leadership regarding the Coronavirus situation) "Plain and simple – first of all, it's hot in Jacksonville and you shouldn't be outside regardless. Two, I feel like you made the decision to come play football so don't ruin it for yourself, don't ruin it for your team. Just letting guys know this is really affecting people's families. When we come in this building, we're all brothers but if you're out doing your thing outside the building and you bring something in to us, we're going to be pissed. There's going to be separation in the room and it's going to divide the team and that's something we can't have."
(On his communication with Yannick Ngakoue) "I talked to Yan a couple weeks before coming in, just checking up on him and seeing how he's doing. He's doing some great things back in PG County where he's from, handing out Chromebooks to the students and things like that."
(On if he's talked to Yan about his agent or playing status) "I know Yan. When he's ready to come to work, he's going to go to work and he's going to be ready."
(On how they plan on stopping the run better this year as a defensive line) "Attention to detail. We saw a lot of things where we were probably in position to make a play but little things, like hand placement, keeping our shoulders square, kept us from doing that. [We're] really just having to put it on our shoulders. I'm telling the guys that we lost people off this D-line. The outside noise is expecting us to drop off and we just have to use that to motivate ourselves. We watch film every day and everyone feels like they have a chip on their shoulder because they know they're a better player than that."
(On if the younger guys are ready to step up) "Most definitely. We all come to the NFL to play ball. Whether you're ready for it or not, when you get your opportunity, you have to play. If you're not, it's not going to turn out good for you."
(On his social justice work) "We had a couple meetings with MP [Director of Player Engagement and Youth Football Marcus Pollard] and just talked about the things we want to face. I think MP's done a great job showing that we have a lot of people that want to tackle this issue but we have people that want to attack certain issues within the whole. So, we're just going to break it down into a committee thing- have some people going here, some people go there and then we just each take a part and we do what we can."
(On if it's going to be hard balancing his social justice work with football) "I don't think so because the things that you were passionate about before, you're going to be more passionate when it's time to go back. When it's time to play football, you play football. MP's doing a great job with helping us on that front. When it's time to go from football to facing those things, he's going to have a set schedule, talking points for us to attack, and just really writing down the ideas we have. I feel like when you play football, when you come in the morning, you have to make sure you come in and leave home at home and it's time to go to work. Once work is over, we can face these issues."
(On if training camp feels normal) "It's starting to get to normal. We would like to have preseason games. I think today would have probably been preseason Week 1. We miss out on that, but I know a lot of vets probably are kind of happy to get knees not so much worn out or tired and things like that. But, it's starting to feel more like it with all the walkthroughs. We're starting to go against each other in walkthroughs, the longer hours. It's starting to feel more like a camp getting more into the individual and football type drills."
(On whether he considered opting out of the season) "No. I'm good friends with Calais [Campbell] and he was our NFLPA rep so when he was up there having the discussions with the owners and talking about things like that, I was in constant communication with him. He was letting me know what they were working for and things like that. I feel like as bad as it is going in the country, I want to get back to normal too. I feel like sitting at home, worrying about things, I probably would have been bored out of my mind. I didn't want to regret see[ing] the country make a big turnaround and we get this thing under wraps and a football season is played without me."
(On how the new players on defensive are adapting) "I feel everyone is picking up well. Rebs [Defensive Line Coach Jason Rebrovich] is doing a good job of trying to cross-train a lot of guys to play different positions. Every morning when we're going, we're increasing our football knowledge- trying to quiz guys on what they have to do in different positions and in their positions, formation recognition, to recognize what plays we're going to get next year. And really harping on film and recognize what we were weak at last year. I feel like everyone is really focused. Guys are asking questions when they don't know anything. I think if we keep the ball rolling like this we'll be good to go."
(On his favorite drill) "My favorite drill is when we do third down pass rush stuff because I'm not on the field during third down so I just get to watch Josh [Allen] and all the other guys put in work. I love to be their biggest cheerleader so any days we have pass rush and third down, I'm good to go."