Doug Marrone - Monday, November 11, 2019

(Opening Statement) "Well we started the [team] meeting today, obviously [it's] Veterans Day, so God bless the people that have served and the people that are serving. I told the players, time to take a little break and think about those people that have sacrificed everything for us for our freedom. So, it's important to me, it has been for a long period of time, my whole life. That's one that I think you want to just take a step back and do, just recognize it, and I think we did a good job of that today as a team. Obviously, when you look around the room, everyone knows somebody that's in the military, and we appreciate that. Going into the next thing, we expect everyone to be out there practicing. So we're healthy after the Bye [Week], which is one of the goals that you want to do, get yourself a little bit more time and get yourself ready to go. And we feel that right now we feel good about it with the players going out today. Jake Ryan is on the non-football injury list, he comes off and starts practicing, so we expect him to practice today, that's good. And then obviously during this week we went through a ton of self-scout, and we go through all three phases and then I usually handle the team phase. And I talked to the players today about the turnovers, where we are, how we fought during the season and we're at minus two right now. I also talked to them about field position, which we're 30th in the NFL, which is something that we have to address and improve upon. And obviously schematically, offense, defense and special teams have things to work on. It's always good that when you get a chance to kind of take a step back, and look at some of the things that you're doing and look at the tendencies that you have and what people are looking at, so I think we've learned a lot about ourselves, I'm talking about coaching-wise, in this past week. Players are excited to be back, coaches are excited to be back, and we're going to focus on having a good day today as an extra day and work our butts off to put ourselves in position for a good performance when we go on the road versus Indy."

(On when he had an idea that QB Nick Foles would be ready for the Week 11 game at Indianapolis) "I think like anything when people are injured, and it's something like a collarbone, or a wrist, or something where it has to do with the bone, I think you have a pretty good shot at knowing when as long as there are no setbacks. So, I think probably when he was injured, I knew that there was an opportunity, that if there were no setbacks that he'd be able to come back."

(On if breaking the left side of his clavicle made a difference in his return) "I don't know about the situation before [Foles' broken collarbone in 2014 with Philadelphia], but to answer is it better with the non-throwing part of it than the throwing? I think absolutely. I think the stress on your throwing shoulder is obviously a lot more than your off shoulder. I think that's really all I know about that."

(On if Foles being a veteran will help him get back to speed quickly) "Well he's been practicing now, so we've already gone through the progression of, OK, when he first came back we were focused on doing this, and then we were focused on just really building it up. Building up the reps, building up the amount of speed around him, I guess that's probably the best way, because early on obviously we don't want anyone around him, we don't want any setback. And then we just started putting him on the move, doing a bunch of different things and he's up to speed as far as where he should be physically, and throwing and all of that. So, we're not going into this week limiting anything that he should do."

(On how tough it will be for QB Gardner Minshew II to be in the role of a backup) "Like I said before, we had a good conversation, a tough conversation for me, because I appreciate what he's done. And specifically pointing out a couple things that we need to keep progressing with him and working on. And I'm sure he's a competitor. I'm sure there's some level of disappointment personally, but the great part about Gardner [Minshew II] is that he's going to do whatever he can to help this team win, and he knows that there are things that he's going to work on and he's going to improve upon, which is going to make him even better the next time he has an opportunity."

(On what Minshew II can do for the remainder of the season if Foles stays healthy) "I think some people that look at the film may get to know that I'd rather not give out the scouting report on him. There are about two or three things that we think are coachable, that come with experience, that we're going to be able to show him and he'll just grow. It's not anything that is limited from a physical standpoint of what he can and cannot do, so that's what's encouraging about that."

(On if he approached the first half of the season with the mentality that around a .500 record at the Bye Week with a backup QB would be a success) "I'll tell you, a lot of times in this profession you hear that term, meaning that if your quarterback goes down, your backup comes in, 'Hey listen, you want to be .500.' I don't necessarily agree with that. I think it's probably a more realistic approach that people will be able to take, but again, I go back to our job is to win football games, so hey listen, what do we have to do to win games. And I don't put it all on Gardner. I put it on myself. So, he did everything that he can possibly do to put us in that position, and I go into thinking, 'Hey listen, we've got to win everyone.' I think when you look around the league there's a lot of players that have won a lot of games as a backup quarterback. And when I look back [to] this past Bye Week, I think there's a lot of things that I know I could have done better to put us in a better potion. So, I feel I have to do a better job in that."

(On why he believes backup quarterbacks are having success in the league) "I don't know. I think it goes from team-to-team. I think its really team-to-team and what they have around you, how they're playing, how they're winning games. I don't have a lot of time to study that, I didn't know that. I'm not surprised by that, the one player is Teddy [Bridgewater] with New Orleans, I know that he won all of his five [games]. But I really can't answer that for the other teams, but I know for us at the end of the day I think we all could have done a better job."

(On the challenge of winning back-to-back divisional games) "So [the Tennessee Titans] have a Bye Week, and I think it's the same thing, when you start looking at two games. And this is kind of what we talked about today with the team. When you're looking at two games, or you're looking at two road games, I think that you can look – you're looking too far [is] basically what I've told the team. I think that I have to do a good job of making sure that where we're doing the right things to put us in position with the two road games that might put a little wear on you as a team. But again, we're coming off of the Bye [Week], so we had a good chance to get away and rest up really. So, my focus really isn't thinking about the two road games in a row right now, even though that's the truth. We know that that's a fact that's there. My talk with the team was, 'Hey, let's not get ahead. Let's not go too far. Let's work on what we have to do today,' which this team has done a good job of working hard and preparing during the week and getting on our schedule so that we can have a better performance on Sunday. And that was my talk to the team, so I try not to talk to them about looking about two games on the road or whatever it may be. I think that's something that I have to do a good job with, with the scheduling, and how we practice and how we travel."

(On if the upsets in Week 10 in the NFL are proof that anything can happen around the league) "Well I'll tell you, yesterday was the first time I was able to kind of watch some stuff and I don't normally do it. But I got around and I watched that NFL Network Red Zone [channel]. That stuff's crazy. It goes from game, to game, to game. It was crazy. I didn't know they had that stuff. But I think it goes back to the same thing I said before, I think that it is extremely difficult to win on Sundays. I know sometimes you look at it, and you look at records and all this stuff, and you're like, 'Well, this team should win,' and then all of a sudden at the end of the day, get a couple turnovers, this happens and the next thing you know a team that you thought should win on paper doesn't win. And that's why it's such a competitive league, and I said it before when we played some teams that have poor records, that we really don't look at that. We understand that every team has people that can make plays and do things and it's still based upon your own performance that you don't give the game away; which people do. And that's always been my philosophy. A lot of times you wind up losing the game then actually competing to win the game, and you talk about turnovers and other things that factor into it. So, I think that where a lot of people may be talking about a run, I think that you can't get on a run unless you do a good job where you are right now, today, which is Monday, and then obviously work at that. So, our philosophy with the team has been let's take each day, and try to win each day and gear up for a great performance on Sunday and really not look at, or use the terms of, 'Hey, we're getting ready to do this, or getting ready to do that.' The only thing we're getting ready for is having a great Monday."

(On his thoughts on this year's Cortaca Jug game between Cortland State and Ithaca College) "You're talking about the Cortaca Jug? Yeah, it's at Met Life [Stadium]. It's probably going to be the biggest crowd that they've had. I think it's probably one of the most unique games that I've been involved with. I got a question a long time ago when I was at Syracuse [University] and coming off of – we were in the NFC Championship Game, and coached a bunch of big games and everything, and someone asked me, 'What's the biggest game you've ever been in?' I mentioned Cortland State-Ithaca and people were pissed, they were like, 'Bull crap, that's not true, that's not true,' and I said, 'Well, if you look at the standards in which I judge games, it probably comes out'. When you wake up, and it's eight o'clock in the morning and there's lines in front of all the bars, that's a pretty big game when you go and do that. If we played in Ithaca, if you were to bring something back from Ithaca, you got a free drink. It got crazy for a while. I think it's a great game, it's a great rivalry. I think that's what makes college football so great, is that you have these rivalries and you have these fans and the alumni that are involved in it. No different than the game down here, which I'm happy to see them extend, the Georgia-Florida game."

(On his confidence in the tight end position with the return of Foles) "I think the players we have now playing are doing the best job that they can. It all depends on what team you're on, where the playmakers are. So again, before he was on the team [Philadelphia Eagles] that had a lot of playmakers in that position, multiple playmakers actually at that position. So, you're going to be able to take advantage of that. I think Nick will do a good job of going through the progressions of which players are going to be able to get open and which matchups we can win on, he'll be able to take advantage of."

(On his expectations of DE Yannick Ngakoue the rest of the season) "When you see the production by him you have to remember that teams are doing a lot to stop him, especially in the pass rush phase. He's had a bunch of quality rushes, but he also has a bunch of double teams that he's fighting through or chips. I think he has improved greatly in the run game; I think he's done a really good job there, and I think he has improved as a pass rusher and has done an excellent job. The numbers may not show that, but when you watch the film and you see how many people they are putting on him, I think at times that can be very discouraging, and he has done a great job in a lot of ways. He has been great in the locker room, he's been great in practice, he's doing everything he possibly can to help this team win and you couldn't ask for more from a player."

(On if he will continue to 'platoon' the offensive line going forward) "I do. I like where we are with that. I don't think either one of those players [A.J. Cann and Will Richardson Jr.] have separated themselves to a point where you stick with one. I think that for some reason both those players playing are giving us good production, and I think in the long run that's something that is going to be very beneficial for us. I feel good about both players. If one of them starts playing better than the other, then the reps will start going maybe a little bit differently, but right now it's pretty decent, pretty equal, and both players are playing. If that production stays up or increases, then that's good. If it goes down, then I think you'll see one going in and playing a little bit more."

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