Jaguars' HC Doug Marrone Quotes 8.20.20
COURTESY OF JACKSONVILLE JAGUARS MEDIA RELATIONS DEPARTMENT
(Opening Statement) "Hey, just a couple things, like I say, I always try to make you guys have a full picture of what's going on. Roster wise, we expect, Myles [Jack] has been sick, but he'll be back today. He'll be on the field. K'Lavon [Chaisson] will be on the field today, working his way back in, so he'll be out there. Also, [Tre'Vour Wallace-]Simms, the offensive lineman, is coming off COVID-19, he'll be on the field. And Rock [Ryquell] Armstead will be on the field today. So, those guys are going to be working on the field and with [former Jaguars DE] Aaron Lynch retiring, we're at 79 [active players]. And then we're working on getting in touch with a couple people, but we'll probably go ahead, and that move will be official, putting Josh Oliver on IR. So, he'll go to IR now and then that'll keep us at 80. As far as practice goes, the things you'll see, CJ Henderson wasn't feeling well today, it's not COVID related, kind of like Myles [Jack], so we're going to probably keep him in. Ronnie Harrison reported symptoms of a concussion, so he's in concussion protocol right now and I think that's up to 80 as far as where the team is and where the roster is. I feel really good about where the team is from a standpoint of health. We've put in two good days and they were off for a day off, but I think because I don't talk to you guys every day—which is probably good for you guys, you don't want to hear [me]. But anyway, one of the things that you're going to see is the guys that have had a history of where we have to manage during the season, you're going to see tomorrow, we'll probably have a bunch of guys inside working, doing things to help us through the season and they won't be on the field tomorrow. So, it's not going to be, when you guys come out there tomorrow, it won't be like 'Holy cow, what the [heck] happened to everybody?' Everyone will be doing something. And you know, we're just taking those players that have had a history of management during this season, or injuries in the past, and working on those specific things to make sure that they're healthy through the season. Because we are getting into a week where, now we go six straight days until the next day off. So, there's a lot of work ahead of us this week and it's a big week. It's a week that we've got to get a lot of situational work in, we've got to get a lot of high contact in. So, it'll be a little bit of a push this week, as far as each and every day of getting better. Saturday, we'll do some scrimmaging and probably get some live plays in on Saturday. We'll come back Sunday, we'll take the pads off on Sunday, do a lot of situational stuff, do a lot of cardio, things of that nature, less of the physical aspect of it. Come back on Monday, be physical. Come back Tuesday, manage players again; young guys out there, short practice. Wednesday work on getting some scrimmaging in again and then obviously it'll be followed with a day off. So, just trying to give you guys a sense of what we're trying to do schedule wise and how we're managing the team and how we're getting everybody prepared."
(On remembering the feeling of having a lot of people in a stadium) "I think there's times where I think that you notice it, but I think that anyone that's been in a competitive environment—you know, there's a point when you're really just focused on your opponent. So, for me, to say 'Hey did I notice a play was loud? Did I notice there was a lot of people? Yes.' But what's funny, I think, is when you get into a huddle and the play is called, I really don't know—all that other stuff is blocked out of my mind. And nothing's going to get me off tilt as far as what my focus is. So, I think that—you know, I've talked to a lot of people in baseball. Obviously, you guys know I'm a big baseball guy. So, I've talked to them a lot about 'Hey how do they handle their players? And what their players think when they're playing?' If that's where you're going with this. I've talked to a lot of those people about how they got the players ready, how they addressed them, what the deal was. And they kind of went about it the same way. A lot of the players at that level, they just say, hey listen—they're focused in, they're locked in, they're working with each other. So, I think it goes from individual to individual, meaning that if you used those situations to help you perform, then you've got to find a different avenue to help yourself there. But if you were just the guy that was focused and really focused in on your job and everything like that, then they feel like they didn't have any issues, it wasn't a big deal. Now they do, in baseball, they play in front of smaller crowds, like in training camp and things of that nature. I think, for us, that's something that we'll talk about. I've taken a bunch of notes and done everything. But we're not ready to address that yet to the players. Until we find out who are the 53. It's something that I jumped on early because I knew the way the stadiums were going to be, I knew that would come up."
(On playing in high school with a few thousand people) "No, let me just tell you about our high school. We played at 10 a.m. on Saturdays and I never knew why. And then I asked, 'Why do we play at 10 a.m.?' And we played at 10 o'clock because that's the least amount of crime going on at that time. So, mostly all the drug dealers and everyone are in—true, this is true. And then, I played in the middle of the projects, that was our home field, so you'll see—we never took our helmets off and I've got pictures of officials with hard hats on because people would throw things off the projects, the high-rise, and you could pretty much die. So, I would say we had about 50 people a game in high school. Yeah now I'm thinking, when I drive in, I'm looking and see all the tailgates, I'm thinking 'Damn that steak looks good. Mmm that sausage and pepper sandwich. I wish I had that right now.' You know, so I think it goes through different things. I think a lot of these guys are playing—you know, when I first came into the NFL, they were like 'Well, we're playing in these stadiums and it's loud and it's the NFL,' and I'm thinking, 'Wait a minute, I've been in the SEC for two years, we average more people. You know what I'm saying, it's louder in the SEC than it is in the NFL.' I think for some of the younger guys, I think it's one of those things like hey—probably the biggest thing I would say that people recognize is when you're putting on that equipment. So, whether it's gone from high school in the varsity, or to the college or to the NFL, when you're in there and you're putting that thing on, you're like 'Holy [crap], I've got an NFL pass, I've got an NFL helmet on.' I think that's what, the first time when you go out there, I think that's pretty special for everybody."
(On OL Ben Bartch's performance and transition to guard) "You know, I try not to—in my experience, I've had a lot, well not a lot, but I've had success with guys that come from small schools and a lot of times people will think guys from a small school—he's not going to be as technically evolved or has been coached as well. You know, it couldn't be further from the truth. I think when you look at coaching, there are a lot of great coaches in high school, Division III, 1AA and on. I've always said, just because you have an NFL logo, doesn't all of a sudden make you a better coach than anybody else. I mean, I think there's great coaches at all different levels. But I will tell you what I've seen from Ben and a lot of these other young linemen, is that—Ben specifically has the power, has the ability. So, I'm really excited about him. You know, now a lot of times with linemen—sometimes when you're always trying to do things the right way, you tend to overthink a little bit and it kind of holds you back and you've got to work yourself out of that. I think he's done a really nice job—I think even when you watch guys in their second or third year, with Will Richardson [Jr.] coming in, I think Tyler Shatley is playing really well right now, I mean, there's a lot of guys playing upfront better now than I've seen before. I think the young tackles that we have coming on, [OL Tre'Vour Wallace-]Simms is coming on. I liked him in college, we'll see where he is today. But you know, [OL] Blake [Hance] has done a really good job, he's improved. It's an interesting group. I think that we put a lot of—I think when you start after the season and you're like 'Hey I expect this group to make a big change,' people maybe on the outside are wanting change and that's all going on. And to think that players don't hear that, you know, I think they do. A lot of times we say we don't listen, we don't do this, but I think they did because it was coming from inside too. 'Hey, listen, this is what's going on and you guys need to take a big step up.' You know the young guys coming in have competed, I'm excited. I see the same types of things that go on in the progression of becoming a player that's going on with those players. There are flashes of really good things, things that they might not have seen before. And that's what happens with pressure patterns and things of that nature. And they just need the reps and that's what we're getting now. But I think that he's a guy that can play multiple positions. I think he can play guard, we've got him training at center and then obviously we've seen him play tackle before, so we feel [really] comfortable. He's done a good job along all those young guys. The decision of the depth of the team and potentially where the players go in these next couple of weeks, it's going to be interesting. I think that so many young guys have shown, even though they're not from the big-name schools, where there's Miami of Ohio or St. John's University, those guys are doing a nice job, they really are. A little bit probably more progress than I would think coming in."
(On the amount of contact with pads due to COVID-19) "No, I don't think that really came into play for me, saying as far as that. What really came into play for me as far as what we're doing and how we're doing it, is one, I went back to college I looked at that. Two, is not having this offseason, you know what I'm saying. And players not having the ability to train the way they wanted to train –I mean we've all done some things. So, I think I took that into consideration because the two most important things to me, my principles of coaching have always been what I've asked for from the players: two things, coachability and availability. The coachability is the communication between the player and the coach and we have to be able to communicate. But availability, now I've got to do a good job of making sure we're training this team the right way and, in an area where it's never been done like this. So, you're going to see people doing different things. And you know, I kind of make a goal for myself each day saying, 'Okay here's how many—you know I'm trying to get—if I've got 80 players on a roster, I want 80 players out there practicing.' So, my goal is okay, 'How can I get everyone out there practicing?' Because if I can get everyone out there practicing, I've got a chance to get everybody better. So, I think for me, it wasn't the COVID and maybe that type of contact, because it's going to happen. So, I want to see what happens now. If anything has become, as far as limited change whatever it may be, it's more from not having the offseason and getting the players ready for the season. You know, for any of the things that we've done. But I haven't—I was interested to see what happens in that and how the players react, but I wasn't going to put more anxiety in there, if there's any anxiety in there at all. I do think it's different, you know."
(On changing the approach for scrimmage) "I'm not going to give all of that stuff away now. Right? Isn't that the fun part about coming in? No, it's going to be like we did in college and like I've done in the NFL as far as—you've got to remember most of the time we scrimmage before on usually the week before your preseason game, I've always had a scrimmage. It's not going to be your spring game, per say, it's going to be some drilled, controlled, situational scrimmages. There'll be a lot of team—it's not going to be like you guys say, 'Holy [crap] I've never seen this before."
(On the progress of the offensive line as a group) "Yeah, absolutely, I think that, like I said, I don't want to—you know, it's always hard. You've got Tad telling me that 'Hey make sure you're all excited, that you're upbeat, and—But I don't want to oversell or undersell a specific group of guys. But I will say this, somewhere along the line of whatever happened after the season until now, that group has changed in a positive way. I think that group, from what I've seen, and this I know for a fact: A, that group is stronger, so they're a little bit more powerful now on sleds and things of that nature. I was surprised to see how athletic—they seem more athletic; you know what I'm saying. Which is—I think they've worked hard. I've seen a lot of improvement technically, I think we have guys that were injured, like Cam [Robinson] just trying to survive and technically. But now, technically, I see us continuing to get better, continuing to stress that, which I think is going to help us. So, I'm not ready to anoint this group, per say, but I'm extremely happy with the way they're working, the way they're preparing and right now in their progression. Do we have a long way to go? Absolutely. But I think that group is—but to me, it's the right thing. You know, [Jaguars Offensive Line Coach] George Warhop is an excellent football coach. Last year was his first year with that group. This is his second year; this is when you should see the development between the player and the coach, and those players develop. So, you know, I kind of knew that going in, I have mentioned that in past interviews, and I think that's what we're seeing. So, we've got to stay healthy and keep getting better. And we've got some good young guys."
(On the situation with DE Yannick Ngakoue) "I think it's interesting. So, rarely, you guys know, I mean, I'm not—the only person that—my wife may call me because she wants me to, I've got something to do or I didn't do what I was supposed to do, right? I mean, that's the only time I'm ever on the phone. But so, yesterday, I get people from national media, how they get my number I don't know, but they're like asking me about the same thing that you just asked me, like the situation. I don't know. I go back to what I've said before. I think that, as we go through training camp these things are going to come up. What's real and not real, I don't know, I really don't. I think [Jaguars GM] Dave [Caldwell] has said it before, when something does come up, if something is real, he'll come out and he'll announce it. But I think it's going to be speculation. It's going to be like what I told [Director of Public Relations] Tad [Dickman]. I'm like, 'Tad, we're not going to chase all these things, every time these things come up. I mean, I still go, at the end of the day, hey listen, I want what's best for Yan. I mean, he's done everything I've ever asked him to do. I think he's an excellent football player. But now, it goes back to the business end. Where, at the end of the day, I hope everybody gets what they want. For me, I just want the player to be happy. And then, we'll just see where it goes. Right now, it's just hard for me, like when you say 'monitor', here's how—the monitor is Tad telling me 'Hey this is what's out there,' or me getting a phone call from someone I would never expect saying something and then I go to Tad. But I've got so much stuff going on here with these guys, I really don't have time to spend a lot of time—you know, I can't even watch I just—I couldn't even watch the Yankees game last night, I had to go to bed. You know, so I don't monitor that stuff."
(On assessment of backup quarterbacks) "Yeah, I think everyone, there's competition. I mean, I'm not— I don't really know right now, who's two. I think sometimes it's always great if you can make a decision early, but if those guys are competing and doing a good job, I think you've just got to let it play out. I mean, that's probably the best way to say it. I know it's not probably the answer people want. I'm happy where [QB] Gardner [Minshew II] is. I mean, he's really in tune with what's going on. I think all of those guys that have been here have gotten better. I think [QB] Jake [Luton] has done a really nice job for a young guy. I feel good about where those guys are and I think we're going to have some tough decisions of who's two, who's three and we may wind up keeping all four or keeping three. You know, but they're making it a little tougher, depending on the roster."
(On addressing the issue of penalties last year) "Oh yeah, absolutely. I think it's interesting. If you talk to anyone in analytics, they'll tell you that, really, penalties don't play into the wins and losses, to a certain extent. You look at teams that have won the Super Bowl that have been heavily penalized. But when you're not—when you don't have the ability to overcome, right. Like sometimes, people have—they just have great playmakers on either side of the ball, or defensively you're able to cause a bunch of turnovers and offensively you can make these big plays. Then, I don't think penalties come into play as much. Does that make sense? Because you're able to overcome them. I think, when you don't have that, those things aren't occurring, there's a big difference. And we've started to talk to our team about it, we're constantly coaching it, because I do have a concern. I have a concern of—we as coaches, I know it takes me a while to practice, to get myself ready to do a better job coaching. Does that make sense? Usually when I get on the field, I can see a little bit, but I can't see the whole picture yet. And then eventually, after a couple practices, then I can start seeing everything. Then, I'm kind of in that mode. Players are the same way, right, they come in. Well, why would the officials be any different? And I'm a little—now the officials aren't doing really that type of training or on the field. So, I keep telling the players, I'm really concerned about that. That, and I want to make sure—and now because of the tiers, on what we can have here—we used to always have the officials at practice, where we can keep an eye on that. Well, we don't have them because we can't afford to bring in Tier 1 people just to go to do practice. So, we as coaches have been on it quite a bit. So, we've talked about, you know, I look at penalties a couple different ways. Of course, errors are inexcusable, sometimes they're going to occur. Sometimes it's worth taking it rather than giving up touchdowns. There's a lot of situations that go into it, but yes, we've been on top of it, we've been talking about it, we're working on it, we're making the players aware of it and we're doing the best job, I believe, we can to solve that problem. Because, you're right, it is a problem for us."
(On the performance of some of the players on the defensive line) "Yeah, I think first, well – everyone I think knows Taven [Bryan], Taven has gotten a lot better, I'm really excited about where Taven is. Abe [DT Abry Jones] is a guy that has been very consistent with us and can play multiple positions. And then DaVon [Hamilton] is really starting to come on now. So, a lot of these guys are coming in, especially up front. Like I've always said, the closer you are to the ball, the harder it is to play. Because of the physical aspect of it, there's a lot of things going on, it's quick. So, DaVon really, in these past two days, has really taken a good step. So, I'm excited for where he is and his progression as he goes, because we know he can play. It's the same thing, like when we're talking about Ben [Bartch], a lot of these guys come in and they're thinking a lot instead of just going ahead and playing. And then, it's a normal progression to work themselves through that. You know, obviously, we brought in Tim Jernigan and I think he's done a really good job. I mean, he's a guy that's played, so I'm happy with where he is. Carl Davis [Jr.] is a guy that we won't be able to have in for his first couple of days, but he's a big guy in there. What's interesting is the next couple of guys— Cassius [Marsh] has done a really good job for us. Adam [Gotsis] we've gotten from Denver, he played, he's going to really be able to help us at the big end position. [Dawuane] Smoot has really gotten a lot better. I just think in the next couple—the next week of these 6 days, I think we'll know a lot more because of the physicality that's going to pick up, as far as the line play. And I'll have a lot better feel for where those guys are. But as far as their effort and trying to do the right thing and everything, I have no issue with. Now, it's just a matter of 'Hey are they going to be good enough for us to win games and stop the run?' I mean that's what we've talked about since the beginning. I think they have the ability and now we're going to see. We're going to see the physical part of it, we're really leaning on it and seeing how they can handle these next couple of days, seeing their progression."