Doug Marrone - Monday, December 16, 2019

(On the offense's confidence level at halftime) "Well I think when we went in at halftime, and we were down 16-3, I think everyone knew we weren't executing well on offense. We had given up some explosive plays on defense and weren't able to get off of the field. And when we went in there at half time, everyone felt like, 'Hey listen, we can go out here, we can win this game,' which I think is important, that type of mindset. [There] wasn't a lot of yelling and screaming or anything like that. It was like, 'Hey listen, let's get this energy, let's get this thing going. Let's work our way back into this game and have an opportunity near the end to win it.' I think if you had to pick one play, because obviously there's always a lot of plays during the game that are turning points, but it would probably be the stop and getting them to punt on that fourth and one close to midfield. That was a big, big stop, which gave us the ability to have the possessions we needed to score."

(On what gives QB Gardner Minshew II the ability to come from behind and win games) "I think with him, I would say it's probably just his make-up. Just his mentality that the belief he has in himself that anytime that we have an opportunity on offense to get the ball back, that we have the ability to drive down the field and score. Yesterday he was able to score on the final three possessions and he really played an unbelievable fourth quarter. And I think what shows the most is really not getting off to a good start for a lot of different reasons, where we took some shots, or it might have been some pressure, or we weren't able to get open at times. There was never a, 'Here we go again,' or, 'I'm not going to be able to work my way out of it.' He's got a ton of heart and fight. I think the team knows that, and they're able to rally around it. I think he has done a really good job, and people always ask he what he's improved on, and obviously his ball security has been really, really good. And just trying to find the right combination, because when he starts to go, just like in the fourth quarter, he was 10 of 13 [for] 88 yards and two touchdowns, and he ran the ball for two first downs. Those are the types of things he can do, and we have to figure out a way to get him [to be] more consistent and that starts with us as coaches."

(On the impact of having edge rushers in DE Josh Allen and DE Yannick Ngakoue) "I think you look at both those players and just their work ethic. I always say that. A lot of times you can't see that obviously, because you're not at the full practice or anything of that nature, or you're not in the building, but those two guys work extremely hard, and not just on pass rush, I mean both guys are competing really tough against the run. Josh [Allen] has really improved in the run game and being disruptive. And Yannick's [Ngakoue] probably coming off of his best game that he's had from a standpoint of playing the run, rushing the passer. I think those guys take a lot of pride in their work ethic and wanted to be better. I think they both want to be special players in this league. And I just look at when we were able to put teams in tough situations, and we're talking about third and 18 twice and third and 13. That's something that we've told our defense before. I think when you have players like Yannick and Josh, and you're able with Calais [Campbell] in there, and you can put people, offenses, in that position; it's difficult to block them with one, two, whatever they may be, how many ever players they want to put on those guys. So, they think they can win all those matchups on third and long and they do heck of a job, so we're real fortunate to have those guys playing at the level they're playing at."

(On if the Week 15 game at Oakland was the best game of the year for rookie OT Jawaan Taylor) "I would say yes. It was a clean game. The penalties have been a big thing for him. We've been talking about him there, and just some of the things technique wise, using your hands and being able to throw them. I would say that if you look at the season, this has been his best game. And now it's important to be able to build on that. Build on that type of confidence and really end this thing well. Like I've always said, I really believe he's a good player now. I think he has the ability to be a really good football player and play a long time in this league. But the one thing you have to do is you have to keep progressing and taking advantage of these opportunities of these next two weeks of practice and these next two games to continue on that path."

(On the injury update on WR D.J. Chark's ankle) "I think it's good. We got great news today: he's going to be out on the field running and cutting. So, once they get him on the field, and he's running and cutting, then we'll see what they say afterwards. If he can do it, and whatever percentage he's at, then I think there's a good chance he'll be able to come back and play. I know that's what his mind set is, so that's good, but like I said before, he's on the field running and cutting. I haven't gotten the report from that yet but that's a great sign."

(On how the feeling was after the victory against Oakland) "For me, I'm always pretty much exhausted mentally, physically – not that I'm in the best shape of my life, so I got those issues going on. But I think when you start losing games, you're going to get a lot of these questions of, 'The players have given up,' or 'The coaches have given up,' or the team. You're going to get that, it's natural. It's natural. And at times it's true. There are times where it's true, but it hasn't been true with this team. I think that I always appreciate, even though we were losing those games, the way they went out there and practice. Because I've been on some teams where we've hit these types of losing streaks where one or two guys are shutting it down, three, then all of a sudden, it's three or four. It starts going through the team and before you know it, you're having terrible practices and you're going out there and having terrible performances. I think for this team that they had a good week. There was a lot of energy despite all the distractions. I tried to get them to focus on what we can control. I try to tell them what things are going to be said and not to take it personal, because these things are said about teams that lose football games, and the only way that we're going to be able to go out there and win a game is we're going to have to be mentally tough, and block this stuff out and then gain some confidence, gain some trust in each other. And I'm talking about players and coaches. Try to find a way to get this game close where we have the ability to win it in the end and all the work that we put in during the week will do it. So, it kind of played out that way. As a coach, you wish that it was a whole lot sooner. You didn't want to go through losing five football games in a row, but it's a good feeling. I think that we're going to make sure our players are rested coming back from the West Coast. We're going to get them ready to go, and I feel like we'll have a really good day on Wednesday and get ourselves to play Atlanta."

(On his reaction to the play clock stopping after Raiders QB Derek Carr slid down with 2:05 remaining in the game) "At first, my first reaction obviously if you saw the game was there was a no-call that I thought was pretty obvious out there in space. And then when he went to slide out, I didn't see that. My focus was on the no-call and trying to get the officials' attention to that. And then when the clock stopped – And then really when they threw it on that third down, because I was thinking to myself, 'Here we go, we're going to get the ball back at 1:10 [left on the clock], maybe somewhere around that.' And then when they threw it, and it was incomplete, I'm thinking to myself, 'We're going to have pretty good time [left on the game clock],' because I was thinking that, 'Alright, here comes the field goal unit, we have to be able to score the touchdown.' And then I was thinking to myself, I saw in pregame [Raiders K Daniel Carlson] from the left hash miss two [kicks] wide left. And then this ball was on the right hash, so I'm thinking, 'Shoot, if he missed two of them wide left, he'll probably make them down the middle,' which is tough. And then he wound up missing the two. So again, I thought it gave us a little bit more opportunity, gave us a little bit more time. That was my thought process, because I'm trying to tell the offense, 'Hey, we're going to get this ball, this is what we're going to have left [on the clock],' when all that stuff is going on."

(On where his mind goes when watching some of Minshew's rookie mistakes during the course of the game) "I think for this game we got off to a tough start. I think we all did offensively. In the beginning we were trying to – we wanted to take a couple of shots. We hit one with [Keelan] Cole down the sideline on the double move, so that was good. And then I think we kept trying to go down the field and be more vertical early on, and I think we might have lost sight of some of the things that were going on underneath. So, I think that's something that we just have to keep working on, the communication between myself, coaches and Gardner. And then we started talking about, 'Hey listen, let's just get him some completions and get him into rhythm to get him going a little bit.' And then all of a sudden it started to take over, so I'll take the fall for that. And then like you said before, he's still a young player. He's still learning, going through the progressions, but the one thing that you see with the kid is this love and intensity to go out there and play. So, we appreciate that and then you see those signs. 10 of 13, 77 percent [pass] completion, 88 yards, two touchdowns, ran twice. Those are what you're trying to see more consistently and not just from him, but overall. I think that a lot of times you're going to look at the quarterback, but you want everyone to play at that high level all the time, not just when the game's on the line and you have a chance to win it."

(On if he has confidence that Minshew will do something 'magical' because of his ability to do so in past games) "Yeah, I think you go through the game, whether you hand the ball to Leonard [Fournette] and you think he's going to break one for 30, or you throw a deep ball up there -- DJ [Chark Jr.] wasn't playing – [Keelan] Cole, you think someone's going to come down with it. I try to keep thinking that way all the time, where something good is going to happen. We've got to put [ourselves] in position where they can make a play and know that they can do it. I think that's probably more of my mindset during the game, no different than defensively. 'Hey listen, if we get them in third and 12, or third and 18, I really think we're going to get a sack, and a sack-fumble and recover it.' That's the kind of way my mind works during the course of the game. I don't try to put any type of negative energy in what we're trying to get done."

(On what it meant for him for the team to show fight in pulling out a win against Oakland) "I really don't put that in my category. I don't look at it and say, 'Hey, that's great for me, it shows this, it shows that.' My whole thing is the players have worked. The coaches have worked. They're the ones that deserve all the credit. Pushing, trying to get the right thing, trying to get the right plays. The players [are] playing extremely hard. I think it's more of a benefit for them, just so their work ethic is never questioned, because I get a chance to see it 24/7 around here. Attitude wise, it's easy to go in the tank and all that stuff, and it's been really tough for us, but watching guys hang in there and kind of pulling for each other. And then you were able to go out and win a game, it kind of takes all those questions out of it as far as playing hard and everything. These guys have done a good job, and now hey, the key is let's go ahead and do this again. Let's do the best job we can and go out there and get a win. So, despite how disappointing the season is, and how poor of a job that I've done, let's be able to go out and get some wins and at least put a better taste in our mouth."

Advertising