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Doug Marrone - Friday, September 20, 2019

(Opening statement) "I really wanted to open up with… I took a long, hard look, and we looked at the running game. And my experience has been, at times, with Curtis Martin, and even Deuce McAllister and Reggie Bush, at times, those guys, they can't become too frustrated. Meaning that what our issue is, we're not doing a good enough job up front. I have no issues with how Leonard's [Fournette] working and trying. I think he may be trying too much because of the frustration. I think that he has the ability to be a great player, but we have to do a much better job all around, both coaches [and] myself. I look at the leverage stuff, what we're doing, and we've got to get this thing going. And I think that a lot of people are going to point out [how] he makes plays that sometimes go unnoticed. I thought the third-and-fourteen where he was able to pick up eight-or-nine yards and get us the field goal was a big play in the game, so we're going to really put a lot of work into getting that right because we know that as we keep going, it's going to be very difficult for us to keep winning games unless we get this run game going."

(On if he likes the progress that Josh Allen has made over the past three games) "Yeah, and I go all the way back to [when] he had a little bit of a setback and we wanted to be really careful with him in the beginning of the year, I'm talking about OTA's and then minicamp, we had to make a decision and then we come back, so I've really seen a guy that really works hard at the game, really studies it. Plays with a lot of passion. He can play the run. He's just going to get better and better and that's what so exciting, and I think it's going to be really good for our football team. I think he gets better each week. You can see the one thing, as good of a person as he is off the field, and it's kind of like Calais [Campbell]. I think the one thing, make no mistake about it, there's a ton of intensity on the field. And I think when you watch him play, you can see that intensity and I think it not only benefits him, but it benefits everyone else around him."

(On what he can do to mend the relationship between the team and Jalen Ramsey) "I try to stay focused on what my responsibility is. My job is to do the best job for all the players, for the organization, [with the] focus being on winning football games. It's one of those things that has really helped me over the years, and sometimes has hurt me, where my focus is so high on one thing that I really try to avoid all the things that are going on around me. So, I've just been focused on really helping the players, really helping this team to win football games. All the other stuff, you guys know me better than anyone, my social skills aren't very good."

(On Gardner Minshew II improving from week-to-week) "Every week I come to think, 'OK, what's going to be the hurdle? What's going to be the stopper of the progress?' And I think you're correct in your statement, you just see him getting better and better each week. And I really was going into this game, I'm thinking, 'How many times has this guy played a game and then had a short week to prepare to play another one?' That doesn't happen in college. In college you have some time, you don't have a lot of short week's against NFL defenses, and no disrespect to college. You know how I always say it's hard to put my finger on it, but nothing rattles this kid, and he's such a hard worker and he prepares so well. And he has a lot of support around him. [Quarterbacks Coach] Scott Milanovich has done a great job, obviously [Offensive Coordinator] Flip [John DeFilippo], Nick Foles is involved. Even Chase [Litton] and Joshua [Dobbs]. But the kid has a lot of self-confidence. He has a lot of great demeanor, meaning he shows real good energy. If he does something well, you'll see him pump his fists on the field, but by the time he comes over to the sideline, he's moved on, he's ready to go. 'Hey, I have to do this better. Hey, this happened on the fourth play of that series. Hey, did you guys see this the way I saw it?' He's really good at communicating, and I think he's really good at preparing himself and I think that he's really good at making sure that there are no surprises out there for him. And that's just a guy that has a maniacal work ethic."

(On how rewarding it is to see a player like Dawuane Smoot get his first-career sack and the importance of having depth on the defensive line with players like Taven Bryan) "A lot of times, when you're sitting down and you're thinking about your football team, and you're thinking about – I'm going to try to give you a genesis of it – You know, you can go get a great player here or there, but more importantly, when you look at successful lines, it's about waves. How you can bring them in in waves, and keep them fresh and keep them going, so that's one thing that you need. And then when you talk about Smoot and Bryan, with Smoot, he's really come a long way. He was someone that we looked at, and we really liked him, and then he came in and we had some dietary stuff going on which we kind of joke about today. Then all of a sudden, he's really made a really great commitment to nutrition, to the weight room, to all those things. And he's a worker. He's out there, all those plays, when he makes those plays, he's just outworking his opponent. I'm just happy for him because I've seen him now for quite some time like you said, do all of the things he's supposed to. He'll be on the scout team, he'll get his reps on defense, he'll do all the things he needs to do or we ask him to do and now finally, that's the one thing about this game, about having some type of patience sometimes. Finally, now you're seeing him producing for us and he's really coming up big. I think with Taven, it's always tough that first year, that transition year. Especially when you're a first-round pick, everyone has such high expectations and they plant numbers in their minds in doing that. Taven's been working extremely hard. It's been kind of up and down, but I think these past couple of games, these last two games, you're seeing some more consistency, which obviously is going to open up things for everyone around him, as well as him being able to produce and people seeing that he is obviously affecting teams' offenses. I think that's great to see, because he's a humble kid; he really doesn't say much. He just goes to work every day and I think that that's an appreciation that I have that sometimes doesn't get out there and I probably do a poor job of bringing it up, but those guys have worked hard and we're getting production out of them. And I think if that can just keep growing as it goes along, that's going to help us be a better football team."

(On what he saw out of Quincy Williams in the Week 3 game vs. Tennessee) "With Quincy, I think it goes back to the beginning. Every time someone mentions his name, I think of that Murray State film that we watched. There's a guy that's moving at a different speed, and a guy that you can see hitting guys and tacking, and really not knowing how it was going to show up at this level knowing that it's going to be a lot more complicated. And we were fortunate, we were fortunate before his injury in camp, we wound up getting him about 120 snaps. And then he had that lapse of time where he was rehabilitating and then getting him back the first week, so we're still trying to catch up with him. I think you'll see some really good plays and then you'll see some plays where the lack of having experience, a full training camp, shows. But he's someone that can run. Whenever he sees something, he can go ahead and really go get it, so he's been a big plus for us. Again, he's another young football player, like we talked about the two before, that as they keep growing and keep getting better, it's really going to help this football team and we're really happy we have him."

(On If he wants to see Jalen Ramsey on the team for the long-term) "Again, I think it's the same thing. My job, and my role, is to coach the guys and do the best job I can for the guys that are here. I think if I start commenting on this and that, then that's outside my job description. My job is to coach the players that are on the roster. I don't have control of the roster, nor do I want control of it and that's what makes me be able to do my job better. If I start worrying about all of the other stuff – I've seen it before where coaches get out of whack and it's not very good for the team and it's not very good for the whole building. So, I'm very comfortable in my role, I'm very comfortable [with] what I'm doing with the players and where my focus is."

(On if he has found the best five offensive linemen or if he is going to continue to rotate players) "I think it's fair to say that we felt very comfortable with Cam Robinson being our starting left tackle. We weren't really looking to see who was going to be the starter at that position. What we were doing was trying to make sure we were working Cam back in there because he has missed so much time. I thought really for the first time being out there … I know he had the holding penalty early on in the game, but I thought he looked good. I think it was a good start and I think that if we can build on that and get better. It will be a big improvement from this game to the next game, which is what he's going to need because obviously we are playing some real great players that play on the edge. As far as Cam's situation, we always felt that he was going to be our starting left tackle. I think that during training camp Will Richardson Jr. really did a nice job. He was playing well to a point where we were going to get him to obviously start competing with A.J. [Cann] at the right guard spot. It's probably more of what Will was doing than what A.J. was not doing. We were happy with his progression and what happened was when Cedric [Ogbuehi] was injured, obviously coming in, we thought would be our swing tackle and we weren't sure if Cam would be ready. Then, really, the next best option we had in our opinion was to move Will Richardson Jr. to left tackle. Now that Cedric [Ogbuehi] is back and we think Cam is back and now Will can concentrate on the right guard spot or the inside spot and be a fourth tackle or even a third tackle, we'll see if there is still competition there. I don't think it's fair to look at last night. [Richardson Jr.] hasn't played guard for a while and it's not something that you can just go in, jump in … You like a more veteran player that might be able to go in there and play at a higher level, but we are really happy with where Will is and I guess to answer your question, I still think there will be competition with the guards and Will. We feel very comfortable about our tackle situation, having really one, two, three, four – having five players that can actually go into a game and play that position. I feel pretty good about that."

(On impact plays made by rookies last night) "I think it's great, especially in these big games. They are all big games, but sometimes when the lights are on and you are the only show on, it's big. It started right off the bat with Andrew [Wingard] running down the field and creating that turnover. Leon [Jacobs] who is really a second-year player doing a nice job there [recovering the fumble]. It's good. I think it's a great deal of energy when there are a lot of guys making plays around and people are sharing in that. I think it helps your football team. I think when you are relying on one, two or three guys, then obviously you are putting a lot of stock in that. Our young guys are coming around. I really love the draft class that we had this past year. I think they are doing a heck of a job contributing, which sometimes is not easy and obviously the more they contribute, the better off, we will be."

(On what plans he has to fix the run game) "It's a great question. What we have been talking about and obviously something that I look at as someone who has coordinated the run game for a long period of time in this league is leverage. Sometimes we are not doing the best job putting our players in the best position from a standpoint of leverage, meaning are they closing the point of defense? Are they constricting where we need to run and things of that nature? That is the first thing. I'm always going to look at everything from a coaching point first and then second, with Cam [Robinson] coming back, I think that's going to help quite a bit. I think that when you look at our past when Cam has played for us, we have done well in the run game. I think he brings some energy. I'm not putting it all on Cam, but I think obviously that is something that can help us. Then, I think overall inside, we are repeating some runs, doing things of that nature and we have to make sure that when these linebackers are coming downhill, we are able to come off and block them. I think the one thing that you see, the one stat I used to always look at when I was doing the run game, was you are always going to be successful when you look at the first point of contact of when your running back is getting hit. Obviously, it makes sense. It's not like I'm reinventing the wheel here. I don't know what ours is right now, I was going to look it up this afternoon, but right now I feel like we aren't giving Leonard a chance. Things are happening too close to the line of scrimmage or even on our side of the line of scrimmage. I think the first thing we have to emphasize is creating that push or being able to get into the line of scrimmage before something happens. I think those are the things that we are looking at. It's tough. You don't want to get frustrated at any of the positions. You want to lay out a plan like he said, which we'll do for the players – here is what we have to do, this is what we are looking at, get everyone on board and then you have to go out there and execute it. I feel real comfortable with it. I have been in this situation with Hall of Fame running backs, Pro Bowl backs, things of that nature, really good offensive linemen. We have to do a good job as coaches and be great leaders and show them the way."

(On if he's comfortable with what the team is getting at left guard) "Yes, I think there are some good things. Let's make sure with the offensive line, the one thing I want to say that I think is important is I think we are doing a heck of a job in protection. Running backs, tight ends, offensive linemen, we are doing a heck of a job in protection. We really are. We just have to pick up the run game, but again, in the run game, it's never really … I think when people look at protection, you say, OK, we have to get a better player at this position or a better player at that position. It's very easy to pinpoint the protection issues. When you go with the run game, a lot of times with the run game, it's really collectively, how you play collectively together, tight ends included. Fullbacks, tight ends are included in that. You definitely need more cohesion to be better in the run game than the pass game, which obviously you need everyone to do a good job in the pass game, but it's a whole lot easier to see what the problem is in your pass game."

(On Myles Jack's health and Najee Goode's pass deflection against the Titans) "That was a big play [by Najee Goode]. I kind of went back and had to slow it down today. That was a big play because he was coming up and Delanie [Walker] was behind him and he deflected that pass. If that pass gets over his head, it's a touchdown. That was a great by Najee of being ready and being ready to go. With Myles, he does such a great job for us defensively not just from a standpoint of the way he plays and performs, but getting guys lined up and helping everyone around him. Right now, he is in concussion protocol."