Doug Marrone - Thursday, August 1, 2019

(Opening Statement) "Alright, going to go over some injury stuff first. Obviously, Michael Colubiale from UCF after practice yesterday came in and reported symptoms of a concussion, so he'll be in the concussion protocol, so he probably will not be available for the Baltimore trip. After that we have three players that kind of go into, in my mind, the same type of category – Marcell Dareus, Jalen Ramsey and Brandon Linder. Those players, there's some soreness. All three of those players, you'll see them on the sideline, but they can practice today, but again, I just want to make sure that we're cautious with those players. I don't want to turn a soreness into an injury. All three of those players are obviously players that we're relying on for the season and all three of those players have performed very well in camp since they've been here. A.J. [Bouye] and Thomas [Rawls] will both remain on the side. Those guys are getting close. Marqise [Lee] and Cam [Robinson] are getting close. I think hopefully we'll have some news next week for those guys for you. And I think that Jake [Ryan] is probably right after that. So, everything's trending for us in the right direction from a standpoint of whether it's truly an injury with a hamstring or whether it's that overall soreness. I think everyone's doing a good job, everyone's working hard to make sure that we're getting through these tough days and we can enter the season feeling really good. You have got to remember, in the back of my mind I'm thinking, 'Hey, we have three games in a short period of time,' because we have the early Thursday night game coming early. Kansas City, Houston and then boom, Thursday night. So, we just want to make sure that we're good, so that's why I think you'll see a little bit more caution. Does that make sense to everybody? Everybody ok with that? Anyone have any problems with that? You get so used to all these meetings that you have with teams, and coaches and everything that you always say, 'Hey, is everyone good with that? Everyone alright? Anyone have any suggestions? Anything?' We'll take it now. I'm not shy about that. Yesterday you probably saw that we had the officials here. Clay Martin's in, he's a referee and we have a full crew, so when a full crew comes in we do a lot of things. We have a schedule with them where they're sitting with the players. We have a lot of things that we cut out as coaches, questionable things that happened during practice. 'Hey, if this happened in a game how do you see this?,' to try to help the players. Clay spoke to the team last night, showed them the tape of basically what the emphasis is from the officials standpoint this year. You'll see that when we do bring them in, I try to work more situations because mechanics are obviously better. We have a full crew out there, so we do a lot of the two minute and end of half, end of game situations. We'll continue that today, and again, we're happy to be able to have those guys in here and sit in meetings to try to help us become a better team, a smarter team. Like I said before, people look at the records and things like that these last two years, but I think that's one thing that we can definitely improve upon that we haven't done a good job in both years, '17 and '18. So, we tried to put a big, big emphasis on that. And then we're prepping now, getting ready to finish this up with the practice today. We have the scrimmage tomorrow. I appreciate you guys understanding we're moving it up 50 minutes, going to move it up and start at 8 a.m. instead of 8:50 a.m. I'm getting ready for that, so the coaches have been working hard and I've been working with [Baltimore Ravens] [Head] Coach [John] Harbaugh, and we'll be ready to go and we really look forward to a lot of good work against each other, similar to what we did two years ago probably format-wise. We're going to meet after practice today and see what we're going to do from the standpoint of the format for the scrimmage on Friday, too. Since we play Baltimore, we do have a live period of goal line when we're playing them so today in practice we're going to get about two series with the first two groups of some goal line and go live. I don't want to go live for the first time in Baltimore when we're playing them, so we'll get ourselves ready to do that. And then obviously we had the roster move. Unfortunately, Taj McGowan, a really good kid, did a really nice job for us, worked his butt off and he was placed on IR obviously with the ACL injury and we replaced him with Devonte Mays who's been here [in the NFL] before. So, that's where we are roster-wise right now."

(On if he's holding out Linder, Ramsey and Dareus from tomorrow's scrimmages) "I may. I might not. I mean I really don't—You're way ahead of me. Trying to get through today."

(On if Dede Westbrook is back from being excused) "Yes. Yeah, he's back."

(On how Westbrook has looked in camp) "Good. I like the way he's looked. He's done a nice job, you know, respecting him. He's a guy that can make plays, so hopefully he'll make a lot of plays for us. We'll see, but he's been working hard, and he's done a good job."

(On how far back he goes with the Harbaugh family) "My father in law, Coach [James] Donnelly, who coached at Middle Tennessee State, goes back far with John's [Harbaugh] dad who coached Western Kentucky in the OVC [Ohio Valley Conference] conference in that division. And then at the combine I used to sit next to John when he was a special teams coach. I like John, I have a ton of respect for him, I think he's an outstanding football coach. I mean, really [has] done a good job. I have a good friend of mine that worked for his dad, that really loved it, at Western Kentucky. Really learned a lot of football and obviously he's done a good job there. I don't know Jim [Harbaugh]. I don't know Jim at all though, I really don't, but I have a ton of respect for John, so I guess I know a little bit about it."

(On if he's been pleased with his team's response to the new training camp schedule) "I've been pleased. I think it's been more effective. At the end of the day, what happened is there was a lot of research and seeing how to do things. We're still getting the same amount of work in, it's just the way we moved things arounds, and created opportunities for the players with little travel, doing some things back at the hotel which we haven't done before, I think has been very productive. I've been very pleased. The feedback that we've gotten from the players has been very good, which I think is important, and more importantly, as you can see, the work that's on the field. It's not that mundane type camp outlook, they're kind of going out there, and they're kind of excited and working, and anytime that's happening, as a coach, that's a good sign. But again, we still have a long way to go and we'll see how it works out."

(On if he was worried if the team would be able to handle the new schedule) "I'll tell you, it was a pain in the ass. I mean, there's so many things that go into it from a standpoint of how much time we have to study, too much time we'll have off our feet, to how much time we have to lift, how much time we have for recovery, how much time on the field, how we're going to transition. How long does it take to do this? How long does it take to do that? I went it saying, 'Hey listen, I really believe that this is going to be better, let's go through and work on it. If we have to make adjustments, we can make adjustments.' So, I went in thinking that if there was an issue, that we would make adjustments. As of right now we haven't—a little bit, yeah, I lied. We have. We're starting 50 minutes earlier on Friday."

(On if Geoff Swaim is the tight end furthest along in terms of being effective at both blocking and catching) "I wouldn't label any of the young players like that. I think you would expect the [younger players] to be behind and you are hoping that the veteran players are bringing them up. I have been happy with that, and I have really been happy with that whole group. I think that Geoff probably in the beginning was a little bit of a surprise. He's had some injury history. I think that is why he was available. He's been healthy here, which is great and having Jason Witten and guys that have been in Dallas, they had a lot of respect [for Geoff] and really liked him. Coming in here and the way he's going about his business and doing things, it hasn't been a surprise for me. It's kind of been the first time in this business the opposing people didn't lie. (laughter) A lot of times you get a lot of BS. They were like, 'Hey, listen, we really like him and if he can stay healthy, he can be a good player.' That is what we are working on and I think Geoff has shown that. James [O'Shaughnessy] has done a nice job, Ben [Koyack] has done a nice job. I think with Josh [Oliver], I think you see someone that obviously has the playmaking ability, but the other thing that I see is someone who will go ahead and get dirty. He will go in there and do that stuff. We will get a little bit better taste of it as we go through the preseason to see if he can sustain those blocks and make those blocks, but make no mistake about it, he can definitely run and he can definitely catch and do a lot with the ball after the catch. I think Charles [Jones] is probably a guy that … He's a Louisiana guy, he was a tryout guy and all of a sudden, hey, that's pretty good, maybe he gets a chance. Next thing you know … People want to use the word 'surprise.' I don't like using the word surprise because that means you looked at a player and thought that he wasn't very good. Does that make sense to everyone? In my mind, he's way better than what the path was. This guy is competing now for a job. It's going to be interesting to see how that whole group shakes out. I think we have quality from top to bottom and again, it is going to be interesting once we start playing, but there is not anyone there that is a camp type body. Those guys are all competing. I wouldn't be surprised at how it shakes out. Whatever scenario you throw out, I would say, 'I can see that. I can see that.' It is awesome. It is awesome for a guy like Charles to come in and be able to do what he has done."

(On how much different the tight end position is this season compared to 2018) "Last year was so tough because we are signing guys at left tackle, we are signing guys at tight end. You are trying to search, search, search. I think once the rosters are done, like now, I think there are still some good veteran players at certain positions that you can go ahead and bring in. There are guys that are sitting out there that god forbid if teams have injuries, they are going to be able to come in and perform at a high level. I think once you start going through a season and those types of players are taken up, it's difficult to bring someone in here that is going to be productive for you or play at a winning level. It's almost kind of just like a plug and survive type situation."

(On what stood out about how Nick Foles carried himself in the fourth quarter of games during his research) "I think there are a lot of things. You always go back to the beginning. You look at the things coming out of Arizona and then you look early on. Where was he? How did he develop? At the end, you are looking at a player that is playing at the highest level of competition. A lot of pressure and everything and playing at the highest level and being the best you can be – we all saw that. Then you always want to say, 'How did he get to that? How did he get to that journey? What was that journey like for him?' You go back and you look at a player coming out and then you are really just growing and becoming more confident with yourself. I don't know if confident with himself is the best term, but knowing what he can do and what he wants to do and things of that nature. You really saw him grow and then when you look at what he has done these past couple years, it's been outstanding. Then you go back and talk to the people that you trust and they talk about the same thing – great to be around, gets the best out of everyone, really outstanding communicator, leader. All of a sudden, you're not just talking about all the coaches. You are talking about guys that are players on the team. You are talking about equipment managers, trainers, scouts, people in all different avenues of a football team and they are all saying the same thing. You feel pretty good about it. I'm very happy in everything that was said and everything that is going on. That's what you see out there in Nick. I couldn't be happier. He is still going to have to go out there and perform. We understand that. He knows what he wants to do. He knows how to deliver the football. We have a coordinator, John [DeFilippo] that has been with him as a position coach, so he knows them. Hopefully between the two of them they can put our team in the best position to win games."

(On if he can assess the progress Josh Allen has made playing defensive end) "Yes, I mean, obviously we held him out for precautionary reasons during that OTA period and stuff. I think any time you do that, at least from a coaching standpoint, you aren't going to be where you want to be. I think that he's coming here and we just wanted to make sure – OK, let's not just throw him out there. We've never seen him really work before. That is the one thing about OTAs and minicamp. We can get these young guys and see how they work and get them going and not putting themselves in further position for injury or soreness or anything. We did that with Josh coming in. Now, all of a sudden, you are starting to see there are more reps now. You are starting to see athleticism. You are talking about a guy who is big – 271 [pounds], he's strong. You see power moves, you see speed and now you start to get excited. We're excited about where he is. We do know that there is a lot of work to still do with him. He is a guy that he can drop, he can rush, he can play in a three-point stance, he can play in a two-point stance. There are a lot of things going on. I'm sure a lot of people who have a lot of thoughts and they want to do a lot of things with him. Again, we have a plan. Let's just get him good at this, good at that. Like I said before, if you have someone that can rush the quarterback and it looks like right now… He's a player that would probably be a good player rushing the quarterback right now. As he keeps progressing with his moves and things like that, he has the ability to be a very, very dangerous rusher, which is good."

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