RB Jerome Ford (1.1.24)

Hey, Jerome, why do you think the run game was so successful versus the Jets, after the struggles the previous couple of weeks? 

“We were just able to hone in on our coaching this week and gel together. O line was clicking and we were clicking as the running back group, so I feel like that was one of the big things, being able to get that done in practice this week and go out there and do it on the field.”


Did you feel like you ran any differently in that game? It looked like you ran really hard. 

“Yeah. Like I said, offensive line, just seeing them push dudes out and reset the line of scrimmage, put dudes on their back – it kind of just traveled to the backs and we were like we got it. We got to do it.”


Hey, Jerome. As a player heading into this last regular season game, knowing a lot of starters have the potential to rest. What’s that mindset in preparation for the Bengals and even looking forward to that first playoff game?

“Pretty much has been same focus as every other game. We’re looking to go 1-0 this week. We got an opponent in our division and we know they’re going to come out and give us their best shot. So, we’re going to go out there and put it on them and go out there and give our best shot.”


When you’re in the room this week and with the potential of some of you guys resting, are you talking to the guys that would step up and having conversations with them for their moment like you have all season? 

“Just the same as always. You never know who could go down or something like that. So, we always talk about whoever’s number’s called, make sure you’re ready to step up. And yeah, pretty much we looking to go 1-0, whoever’s number is called, we’re going to be there.”


Jerome, just wondering when you got a chance to watch your 50 yard catch and run over again, were you pretty proud of the way you looked? Just like ready to run through a wall on that particular play, the tackles that you broke and all that kind of stuff? And did the fact that – were you a little even extra fired up, that Nick (Chubb) was there, smash the guitar? I mean, did you feel like you had to go out and represent for him and all that sort of stuff? 

“Yeah, definitely, always. Ever since Nick went down, we’ve kind of been like, we going to play for Nick and that kind of stuff. But my favorite part about the play actually is if you look at the very end of the play, you can see Marquise Goodwin shoot across the field and just knock somebody out. And I felt like that was a big help in the touchdown and I didn’t realize it until I watched it again on film. I’m like, ‘Dang, he really smacked that dude.’ So, yeah, that’s my favorite part of that play.”


Hey, Jerome, you obviously worked really hard this year. Would you like some time off Sunday to rest up for the playoffs or how do you look at that personally for you? 

“Like I said before, AFC opponent in our division, looking to go 1-0. So, I’m ready to come up, step up, do what I got to do to get the win if my number’s called.”


But do you think you need rest? 

“That’s probably something for Coach (Kevin) Stefanski.”


Jerome, I was looking at what you said about that 50-yard touchdown after the game and you talked about the scramble drill aspect of it. I guess, what’s that been like developing those kind of plays and that kind of chemistry with Joe (Flacco) since he got here so late. And how do you think you guys have done that? 

“We had already been practicing it and just to get Joe involved. You can see it paid off for us on Thursday. I was going to say Sunday – but, you know, just continuing to drill the little things because when a game comes and the situations come up, they can be big plays for us.”


Going to the playoffs, it’ll be your first time. How will you personally handle these next two weeks, whether you play or don’t, just kind of getting prepared, whether it’s mentally and physically for the trip to the playoffs?

“Right now, we’re not even looking at the playoffs. I’m just continuing my routine and getting ready for the Bengals right now. So just making sure my routine is still intact and making sure that I’m ready when my numbers called on Sunday to play against the Bengals.”


And I know you had that big touchdown, the play after Elijah (Moore)got hurt, but I was watching the replay and you’re standing right there, you’re calling for the medical people. So how scary was that moment for you to see Elijah down like that? 

“It was really scary. I ran over there to pick him up, and everybody could see what happened on the play, but he wouldn’t get up and he kind of jolted and it was scary for me – especially seeing a teammate like that. And I didn’t know what was going on. I just knew he needed help, and I wanted to make sure that he got the help as fast as possible.”


Jerome, in watching some of the highlights, again, know, you see Joe out there yelling, let’s effing go and fist bumping and pointing to the sky after your touchdown and just all the things that he did during the game. And I think a lot of people think of him sometimes as sort of a buttoned-up guy. So my question is just how fiery is he? How fired up does he get and how maybe, I don’t know, are you surprised about any of that stuff? 

“Joe gets real fired up, as you can see on those big plays. He gets fired up all the time. Yeah, he can be a buttoned-up dude, like you said. But I feel like, for the most part, in practice, in games, he can get real fired up, and he brings a lot of juice and energy to the team.”



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