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No regrets

Posted Nov 21, 2011

Del Rio on late-game decisions: 'We had two really, really good looks'

A day later, Jaguars Head Coach Jack Del Rio said he had no major regrets.

Del Rio, one day after a 14-10 loss to the Cleveland Browns, said Monday he didn’t regret not using a timeout with about 30 seconds remaining facing 1st-and-goal from the 2 – and that the offense needed to get to the line of scrimmage more quickly to have a chance to run four plays.

The Jaguars had one timeout remaining and used it with eight seconds left after running back Maurice Jones-Drew ran one yard on first down from the 2.

Quarterback Blaine Gabbert then threw incomplete on the final two plays of the game.

“The thought again was to get up and pound them again there and then have the ability to have a time out,” Del Rio said Monday at his weekly next-day press conference at EverBank Field.

“If you lose that time out then you almost assure yourself that you have to pass, and so I think we gave ourselves an opportunity to run it there. I would have liked to have seen the execution of that play go off quicker, which would have allowed us three passes into the end zone.”

Del Rio reiterated what he said Sunday – that the major thing that went wrong during the final 30 seconds was the offense not getting to the line of scrimmage quickly enough following a three-yard run by Jones-Drew on 3rd-and-1 from the Cleveland 5 with 41 seconds remaining.

“I thought we executed well,” Del Rio said. “The one thing if I could do it again I’d like that play to be pulled off a little quicker so that we would get a fourth down there. In the end we had two really, really good looks at the end zone, well designed plays that gave us a chance. “

Del Rio also specifically discussed the final two plays – incomplete passes to Jason Hill and Mike Thomas – and said he had no problem with either play call.

“We got what we expected,” he said. “On both plays we got what we expected. We ran those plays in practice, we felt good about those plays. I’d feel good about having that same sequence come up and do it like we did it. We gave ourselves a chance, we just didn’t quite come home with a smile on our face because we didn’t make that play.”

Del Rio reiterated that that he was not unhappy with the play-calling at game’s end and was not unhappy with offensive coordinator Dirk Koetter.

 “That was never an issue,” Del Rio said. “I just said if you want to get into specifics, you know I let my guys call the game, talk to them. I think that kind of got played up a little more than it deserved yesterday. I was being honest.”

Specifically, Del Rio said he had no problem with not running Jones-Drew in that situation.

“I liked our play,” Del Rio said. “I think everybody would have liked our play had we scored and I think anytime you don’t make it happen then that’s a natural question, and I certainly understand.”

Also Monday:

*Jones-Drew also said he had no problem with the game-ending sequence. “Everybody wants the ball in their hands at the end of the game,” he said. “That play was called and we had expected it every day in practice. I was very confident in it. They made a better play than we did. That’s all it was.”

*Del Rio said there were no updates on injured players from Sunday. Linebacker Clint Session and defensive end Matt Roth sustained blows to the head and did not return. He also said he doesn’t yet know if defensive tackle Terrance Knighton (ankle) will play Sunday.

*Del Rio also said while Browns cornerback Joe Haden may have interfered with Hill on 2nd-and-goal from the 1, an interference call there might not have had a major effect on the outcome. “I thought he (Hayden) got in there a bit little early but it wouldn’t have been called a touchdown,” he said. “It would have allowed for another opportunity and we had that and we just didn’t hit on it. All in all I thought the execution on that drive was pretty solid.”

*Del Rio said while he considered having Josh Scobee kick a 57-yard field goal just before halftime, he opted against it because of a strong wind and the slim chances Scobee would make the kick. “At the end of the day, (I) didn’t like the odds of going,” Del Rio said. “It wasn’t a bad wind but it was a little bit into the wind. It was at the top end of the range in pregame warm-ups and I just didn’t feel comfortable giving them an opportunity there with a low percentage play, give them the ball with 10 seconds, I believe. Two shots basically to get themselves into position or potentially take a shot down the field, and it just didn’t feel like the right call so I elected to go the other way.”

*Del Rio said Thomas should have run a more “defined” route on the game’s final play, and that Gabbert should have thrown a better pass on the play. “Mike’s got to define that right there for Blaine, either pivot away or continue crossing,” Del Rio said. “He kind of got in between on it and Blaine delivered a ball that was, it just didn’t hook up. We had a chance there to execute that play. We needed a more defined route and a better throw, and we didn’t get that and so we didn’t connect on the play.” Thomas said he had an option on the play. “The linebacker who was guarding me, he flashed real fast to my side,” Thomas said. “One my options was to run through it. Me and Blaine have to get on the same page with that and clean that up. We just didn’t execute. You have to play based on how the defense is playing and make your adjustments and on that particular play, we just didn’t execute.”

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