Thu, 22 Oct 2020

TE Jonnu Smith

Titans
21 Sep 2020, 18:03 GMT+10

TITANS vs JAGUARS

Sunday, Sept 20, 2020

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Q. Jonnu, just wanted to ask you about your chemistry with Ryan and how much it pays off on off schedule plays like that first touchdown and how much did working one-on-one with him in South Florida during the off-season pay dividends?

JONNU SMITH: It translated huge, just building that trust in one another, him just seeing me do it over and over and know we're good. That builds confidence, and you know me, that things get off schedule, he's going to be looking my way. So just trying to do everything I can to continue to build that trust and hope I'm making those plays.

Q. Ryan was just talking about the confidence and the belief that you all have on offense. Can you speak to that and maybe how much your confidence and knowing what you're capable of is helping you to have outputs like you did today?

JONNU SMITH: Yeah. We all have a standard that we set on the offensive side of the ball. We're just having everybody just play for the finish. Guys just flying around and making plays. Like I said before, if you continue to see people do it over and over and over again and have progress -- you know, we all have a sense of trust, a certain amount of trust. So we set a high standard with one another, and we know that we just got so much ability and belief in one another. So we just go out there on Sundays and just let loose.

Q. Jonnu, on the first play of the game, what did you do to shake loose? And when you are that wide open, how long does it take the ball to get there?

JONNU SMITH: Yeah, just trying to navigate my way through a lot of traffic. I just -- you know, I was just bluffing a guy and kind of just trying to find my way through all that traffic. I popped free. Ryan made a great throw, a great catch, and I'm actually kind of mad at myself because I wanted to score on that play, but I made up for it a couple plays later.

Q. This is the second week in a row you guys have been in position to drive down the field to try to set up either a touchdown or a game-winning kick. What was different about last week as opposed to this week? And what were kind of the emotions that were going on in the huddle as you guys were preparing for that?

JONNU SMITH: It's not even -- I won't even say it was different from last week. We just put ourselves in that situation. We go over so many situations in practice, and we execute in practice. We know whatever situation is called upon us, man, we've got to execute.

It was very similar to last week. Like last week I had all the faith in our kicker to go out there and do his thing like he's been doing the past few years. We got down there, and he got it done.

Q. Jonnu, it seemed like all through camp, almost every day you made some kind of big play. At what point did you feel fairly certain that this sort of maybe breakout season was on the way for you? What led you to that point?

JONNU SMITH: Just when opportunity meets preparation. I work hard, man, and I've been blessed with a God given ability. It would be a disservice to my teammates, myself, if I didn't live that out. So it's been -- this is my fourth year.

I never started the season out as tight end one, and with that comes a lot of great things, man. You're able to have more opportunities and make plays and put yourself, put your team in a better position to win. So I just work really hard, man, and I'm so blessed and humble to actually be able to showcase everything that I've been blessed with and work for.

Q. I'm sorry I missed the first wave here. Your ability to make such a big impact early. How good did it feel to set the tone in this one with the big play early and then the touchdown early?

JONNU SMITH: It's always great to get the guys going early, man. As you all see, there's not a lot of support due to everything that's going on in the country right now with COVID, but we've got to bring our own energy. Just having to make those plays early, man, and bring the guys momentum is always great to get them going early.

Q. Jonnu, if you could describe your relationship with Coach Vrabel, any time he's asked a question about you, he goes on and on what a great guy you are, what a great teammate to be around, and he even brought your mother up today and said she did a great job raising you. What's your relationship like with Mike, and kind of how much does that make you want to play even harder when you have a coach who supports you like he does?

JONNU SMITH: I played this game for a long time, man, and to me, the best coaches that I've been around were those who were more than coaches, and that's what you've got in Coach Vrabel. He's more than a coach. You don't just see the football side of him. You see genuine love and care for all of his players. I respect the heck out of him for that. To come here every day and actually care what's going on in our lives outside of football.

So to be around a man like that for the past three years, it's been great for me. I'm blessed to have the opportunity to be coached by a man like him. Just happy to be here and happy to be a part of this organization.

Q. Jonnu, so far, three touchdowns in the red zone. What is it that's clicking for you and Tannehill in the red zone that's making you so effective that way?

JONNU SMITH: Just the trust, man, like I said. Just doing it over and over again and seeing me make those plays. He just has the trust in me that I'm going to go up and get it. This is what I've got to continue to do and practice, making sure we're on the same page in meetings, and it's all going to translate out there on the field.

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