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Doug Marrone - Wednesday, July 25, 2018

(Opening statement) "I hope everyone had a good offseason. A lot of things have gone on. One of the things that I think that is important to mention for us is, obviously, with our guys and their commitment that we want to make to the community. I know a lot of guys did some youth camps here, did some fundraising, whether it was early on or after we got done with [mini]camp or just right before we started. Some of the players [did community work] back in their hometown. That is something that we want to make sure we are committed to. Just a couple of days ago, obviously, it was unfortunate Tony Sparano [Sr.] passed away. My relationship with Tony goes far back. When he was at Boston University, I was at Northeastern competing against him. Obviously, over the years, being part of the offensive line group, I became close to him. It is just a shame. Obviously, it hits close to home for us. His son, Tony Jr., is here with us, and he will be up there taking care of the responsibility of his family – his wife and the rest of the family. Our thoughts and prayers are with him. I told him [Tony Jr.], 'Make sure you take care of everything, and make sure your mom is good and the rest of the family is good.' I just hope that we can all hold his family in our thoughts and prayers. I think you can see how well respected his dad was amongst the community, and you have seen a lot of things come out, not only from former coaches or people that he has worked with, but former players. That is one of those things about coaching. You can touch so many people's lives and obviously Tony touched a lot of people's lives and he was a part of mine. I appreciate that. The next situation is – I'm sure most of you know since it was tweeted out – Jalen [Ramsey] is now a proud father of a baby girl, Breelyn. We are excited for him. This is something that we did know about probably six months ago. Jalen had made me aware of it – that this could be a situation that comes up. We have been in constant communication, and basically what his plans are now are, he just wants to make sure the baby and mom are okay. Once they are okay and that is settled, we expect him to come back here. Again, I don't have an exact time from that, but we want to make sure that, just like all of our players, that there is a balance. Family is important as we get ready to step on to this field and start preparing for the upcoming season. He is there. The two roster designations that we want to talk about are obviously that Dante Fowler is on the PUP with a left shoulder [injury]. He will be working to strengthen that shoulder. You will see him on the side working out there. When the strength level comes to a point where we feel very comfortable and obviously our doctor clears him, then we will put him on the field. David Grinnage was injured during the running test when he came in – just his left knee. Really, we are looking at him trying to get better and get out there. Brandon Smith just had a non-football injury. He just has a cut that we are just waiting to heal to put the pads on. You will see a lot of those guys working. Really, outside of that, we are expecting everyone else on the field."

(On how long it takes to see the retention level and if it is a level where the coaching staff is pleased) "I think the challenge is how do we …. We talked about this as coaches – how do we do a better job of teaching? How do we do a better job of developing? To think that we are going to go and do the same thing that we have always done … We have to be different. There will be change, and we have to make sure that we do the best job we can for the players. I think that like everything else we look at in football, it is what you see on the field and what you see on tape. That is where you see the results of the hard work, the preparation, the development. Really, everybody is involved with that from nutrition to the strength coaches to obviously the coaches and the players themselves. That is when you start seeing if it is coming together. Otherwise, I think it is kind of BS."

(On if he enjoys the confidence the players have or if he prefers to not discuss specific expectations) "We discuss specific expectations. I think it is like everything else. I think a lot of times right now that there is always this thought on the future. What is going to happen in the future? It is a ways away now for us. People are going to have the conversation or people get asked the question. For me, I have been used to it now for a long period of time when people say, 'What is your expectation?' I say, 'My expectation today is this. My expectation is this.' We have 90 players that are going to be here, and 53 are going to make the team. Really, my expectation is to make sure that we go out and compete, compete, compete, win everything that we do and try to find the best 53 on this team. I think once the team is formed and the team is made, then I think you start looking towards getting ready for what you are going to do during the season. Even though some guys may think that they are here, I like working from a position of being comfortable being uncomfortable, meaning that I want to be uncomfortable. I feel like I am not really looking too far ahead because I have always believed that if you look too far ahead, you are going to lose the day that you have. For us, today is really a pain in the butt day, meaning that all the organizational stuff where you are going through policies for the equipment room, media, all of that stuff that we are doing with the players. I have the majority of that meeting with the players today at 1:15 p.m., which is really on my mind because it is so much information that we have to give them. The thought process is try to get them all this information and then, 'Hey, let's start working on football – what we want to do and what we want to accomplish.' To answer your question, I take it on a daily basis right now because it is still far ahead, and we have such a lot of work to do, and it is a long way to go to even start talking about the season because we are not ready to play a season right now. That is why we are in training camp."

(On if he would feel disappointed if the team doesn't go a step further than they did last season) "I'm always trying to get better. It is very simple for me. Winning and losing – all of those battles – I think any time you lose, you feel disappointed. Any time you win, you are looking to say to yourself, 'Okay, what could I have done better? How do I move forward?' I think it is just human nature. If you and I were playing a game right now and we were tossing pennies to the curb, which I did as a little kid and would probably beat your butt in … I still practice it a little bit in case I ever go back home.(laughter)My point is that if I did lose that, I would be upset. If I went out on the day fishing and I did not catch any fish, I would be pissed off. I think it is the same thing. In my mind, I have each day of what I want to go out and accomplish as a team and when it doesn't happen, obviously I am disappointed and the first person I look at is myself and what could I have done better."

(On players comments that last year was not a success because they didn't win the Super Bowl) "I can't speak for the players. I can't speak for any individual player that might have said those things or done that. Again, I can only … My job is to make sure they get focused on the day at hand and win the day."

(On how much different the daily process is in training camp versus the season) "I would use the world 'grind.' It's a grind. We talk about coaching stamina, player stamina and how to keep that focus for that long a period of time. You are talking about starting a day at 7 a.m. and by the time you are ending the day, it is about 9 o'clock at night. Really, you are going through a lot of different things. Not just football, but in the classroom, out on the field, in the weight room, in the training room, nutrition. All of that stuff is going on. It is a time for us to be together. I think it is an important time. I think it is one of the most important times to get to know your teammates, get to compete and do those things. I have always looked at it as a sacred part of how we train and what we do. For a lack of a better team, it is kind of that bunker type of mentality when you are in training camp. I think that once training camp breaks, you get a little bit more free time, but you hope that you built the right foundation for it to carry over once you break camp."

(On the grueling nature of training camp compared to last season) "We have some things that we changed up. I don't know if anyone is going to notice it or not – things that we want to work on, things that we want to get to a little bit quicker, things that we feel like can help us as the season goes along or help us be better prepared for when the season begins to get some more work on certain situations. I think that is in there, but as far as what we want to look like on the field and what our expectations of running from drill to drill and competing in every single drill, trying to win every single drill … That thing remains the same. Everybody's motivation is different. That is kind of like how Mark [Long's] question was or Gene [Frenette's] question was – how those guys think of what they want to do and what they want to be. I am the person that is in there saying, 'Hey, listen. What are we doing today?' Yes, fine. You guys all want to get there, but my job is to make sure we do what we do today.' I think the players understand that I have a hard time -- having been around the league prior to the collective bargaining agreement -- where I look at this as being tough or a grind. I look at this as trying to get the team best prepared that I can and my philosophy to be able to play a season."

(On if players won't complain about training camp after seeing the success last season) "My philosophy has always been that I like a little grumbling, to be honest with you. I think that if you don't have … If there is not a little bit of grumbling, then maybe you are not doing the right thing. I really believe that. That goes back to making sure that we are being uncomfortable. I believe that. I don't put words like "grueling" or "grinding" because obviously a lot of us have played before and been through tougher situations. I think the players understand … I think the ones that have been here can kind of understand what it is going to be. But they understand why. I think that is the most important thing. I think people get into what is tough. What is this? What are you trying to do? It wasn't like I was trying to shock a team or do something different. It is just my philosophy of what I believe that you need to do to get ready to play this game and play it a high level. We want to be able to play it at the highest level that we can."

(On the good health of the team and if they will continue to use their training and recovery methods) "I think we are always looking to get better. We went out and we looked at a couple of things that maybe other sports were doing to help their athletes. We are constantly trying to educate them [the players]. They are actually educating themselves on the outside. It is amazing. That is probably the biggest part that I have seen is the individual attention once the player leaves the building, as far as who is working with them on nutrition when they are not around here, if it's not someone on our staff. The different types of therapy that go on for each player may be different. We are looking at a couple of things to try and help ourselves because we are always trying to make this game a safer game, and we are always trying to make this game a better game. I think a lot of that goes on the athlete and making sure that they are prepared and their nutrition. We are working on our end to give them that information and make some things available for recovery and things of that nature that we might not have had before."

(On if he's seen evidence of the improved education of his players) "Yeah, I think the way you train, the way you get ready, your mindset. I think those things all contribute to it. Sometimes you just can't help it. Injuries are going to occur in this game. It has nothing to do with how you prepare and what you do. A lot of times, it could be not being hydrated enough, not doing something off a check list that can cause a strain or you to miss some time because the goal is, when people think injuries, they think out for a long period of time. I actually think of it as 'Hey, listen, don't lose your reps. Even if you don't go out just to get re-taped or done that way and you miss reps, that's a missed opportunity. You don't want to do that this time of year.'"

(On Marcell Dareus) "It's a civil situation. I know just as much as everyone else here, know what's been written. It's in litigation right now, so we're just going to see what goes on with that and go from there. He'll be playing and practicing."

(On how often do contact practices expose a player for better or worse) "Contact is a big part of the game. I think that's something we talk about with – you have to watch what you're doing from a standpoint of how much you want to do with the players. You play the game of football and there's contact involved so you want to evaluate players if they can have contact or not. It's a bigger part to me because we just went through OTAs and minicamp where you don't have contact, so you don't want to be misled either way, in thinking this guy is going to be great or I don't know. I think what happens a lot of times is someone that you're not feeling good about before steps up with contact and someone you're feeling good about might step down. I don't think you can see it right away. I think that's why you have to have those days of contact, see how you go against each other, see how you go against other people. That's why the preseason is big. That's why sometimes I challenge the coaches and sometimes I challenge myself that when we start out, I try to move people around. I try to switch it up at times just to see how they do against other matchups. One of the problems that can come in camp is if I'm in camp and I'm playing against a certain player each and every day, maybe I don't match up well with that player and he's going to win a little bit more, then the coaches are down. If I go against five or six other players and I'm dominating those players, you may lose that if you don't have that movement in what you're doing in putting together different matchups."

(On the areas in which he's uncomfortable starting camp) "Everything. You get uncomfortable the closer you get. I get uncomfortable for the reasons that I want to do the best job that I possibly can. I don't get uncomfortable because I don't think that I can do that. I become uncomfortable saying, 'Hey, the way I'm going to say this to the team, is that going to get the message that I want across? The way we're going to practice, is that the best way for us to practice?' Then, making sure we go out there and get the best out of everyone. For me, I think there's a lax, at least for my experiences, that if you ever feel you have the answers, if you ever feel you have it, I think you're going down the wrong path. That's something that I've never wanted to do. I think you have to be hungry. You have to want it more than somebody else. You have to be able to work for it more than anyone else. I think when you work for things, it's a whole lot to give it up when you work extremely hard for it. That's what we want to do. We have to work hard enough so when we go out there, when we take the field, we have an opportunity to win and pay the price. That's what we're trying to do now."