It was a day of big hits in the NFL on Sunday. And it could be a day of big fines today. Included in that bunch is Denver’s Joe Mays, who delivered a big blow to Houston Texans quarterback Matt Schaub. The hit actually took off a piece of Schaub’s ear as his helmet came off following a deep ball thrown down the field.
Mays says he was intended to disrupt the throw, but was never going for Schaub’s head. He also admits that he knows it doesn’t matter, because he hit a quarterback with contact to the head, so he’s simply awaiting how much it’s going to cost him.
Joe Mays joined KKFN in Denver with Alfred Williams and D-Mac to discuss the big play in Sunday’s game, the team’s morale, if he could’ve done differently to avoid hitting Schaub in the head, if he’ll do something different next time and the Broncos’ struggles to get off the field.
Walk us through what you were feeling and seeing on the hit to Matt Schaub:
“What I was thinking is, I’m just reading my progression, my gap blocks, so I’m thinking, try to get to the quarterback as fast as I could, try to get him down before he gets the ball off. I see him back there, I’m coming, I’m coming and I see him cock back to release the ball, but I’m still going to try to hit him so I can affect the release a little bit. So, he threw the ball and he kind of ducked his head because he saw me coming. When he ducked his head, that’s when I came in and hit him. It looked worse than what … I mean, it didn’t look good. I’ll just put it that way. My intention was to go in there and get a hit on him, not hit him in the helmet. Unfortunately, that’s what happened.”
What’s the morale of this team at 1-2?:
“We’re not happy with what happened with us losing our second game in a row, being in the same situation that we’ve been in and not changing anything. We’re not happy about that, but there’s still more work to get done. We’re not going to sit around and dwell on it. We’re going to move on to the next game.”
Back to the hit, is there something else you could have done?:
“I guess I could’ve been lower. … Probably, yeah. Possibly. But, I mean, when it comes to, nowadays in the league, when it comes to defending the quarterback, they’re going to give it to the quarterback every single time. That’s rightfully so. I definitely wouldn’t want anyone hitting my quarterback, just hitting him and dragging him to the ground — not to say that I did that, and not to say that I intended to do that. It just happened. … I guess I could’ve been a little bit lower.”
Will you do something different the next time or is it mayber worth it to get a hit like that on a quarterback sometimes?:
“If you hit him, that let’s you know that you’re going to be there and you’re going to be coming. Not only you, but the rest of your teammates are going to come like that as well. But if you hit him like that, you can also get fined. Who knows how much money they’ll take away from me? When it comes to quarterbacks, they’re definitely going to protect them. I’m waiting to see what’s going to happen to me.”
On the trend of being unable to get off the field on third down:
“We definitely have those moments. As soon as third-and-five, third-and-six, whatever it was, came up, we’re like, ‘We’re going to get off the field this time around. Just make sure everybody’s in position to make a play.’ We failed on third down once again. We’re going to get better. … It’s going to happen. It’s the third game of the year. You want to be playing your best football, but at the same time, you definitely want to correct your mistakes and we’re going to do that this week.”
Listen to Joe Mays on KKFN in Denver here (Interview begins at 25:30)