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Doug Marrone - Thursday, August 15, 2018

(Opening statement) "We are ready. Again, I can't say enough about the University of Minnesota and [Director of Athletics] Mark Coyle and [Minnesota Head Coach] P.J. Fleck letting us use their facility. Today is the last day we would use it as far as the walkthrough. Obviously [thanks to] the Vikings organization from top to bottom and how we have been treated. We are excited about it. We felt that – I know for myself yesterday – we got better. That is the goal coming in here and today is another day to work against a really, in my opinion, an outstanding football team and very well-coached. We are looking forward to having another good day."

(On what needs to happen for Blake Bortles to be sharper today) "Yes, I think a lot of times when people look at that, a lot of times you can turn it around the other way, and I think it is a little bit of both. We say, 'We have to get more separation. It is the No. 1 defense in the NFL and it shows out there on the field. That is what I was saying. It is a great test for us to go out there. We are running plays, so nothing schematically that we are trying to scheme against each other. We are still in the evaluation process. I don't want to take anything away from the job that those guys did in the secondary and obviously I think that we as a whole – not just one person – will do a better job."

(On if Blake Bortles confidence can be derailed by a subpar practice) "I don't know. People say, 'subpar practices.' It is easy when it is an individual thing that you are doing, but I think when it involves a lot of other people, a lot of other moving parts, I think it is a lot tougher to … not really tougher to evaluate, but to know where it should be and it shouldn't be. If people are open and we are not getting them the ball, that is an issue. If people aren't open and we aren't getting them the ball, what do we do? Again, I don't want to say it was just the receivers or anything like that. I think that we just have to keep working and do a better job. That is why we are here."

(On if he is looking to see how younger players are responding to being taken out of their comfort zone) "The first thing I look at between new players or first-year players is do they understand what we are looking for and how we want to practice? The one thing you didn't want to do in my experience is you come out here, you have a young player who thinks he may show you something by doing something that may not be agreed upon or talked upon. That would be very disappointing. That has been pointed out already. Again, I think a lot of these guys come from colleges and they go on the road and do a lot of things. I think the first time you put the uniform on and you walk into the stadium, which is really preseason [Week] 1, I think there is a little bit more of that. I think other than that, they are coming out here and they are just trying to get themselves ready to compete."

(On if the team has been doing more situational practice and if that is a trend in the NFL) "Yes, it is true. You have to remember that last year was really our first year implementing the offense. Obviously, the defense had some stuff that they could fall back on for the players that became available. I think that once you kind of get caught up to speed with that end, then there are new challenges that you have to go forward to. Not that we didn't work on situations last year, but you just have more time now to get those in practice and work on them. The goal is – and it's very difficult – situations in games come up so many different times and there are so many different variables to it that we are trying to get as many as we possibly can, so this way when we are in that situation, it is discussed and has been talked about and the players have a better chance to go out there and perform."

(On if there was anything that caught his attention yesterday or if it was just a normal practice) "Not to go in all the details, but I think I do look at this a little bit different when you see the matchups and you look at the talent on the other side of the ball from Minnesota. You are looking at that and you are going, 'OK, listen. These are the type of players that you have to go against to be a heck of a football team in the NFL.' I look at it from that standpoint, but I don't necessarily know … there is so much information. I must have watched about 400-and-something clips, 421 or 418. From one-on-ones to special teams to all different angles of how we were filming everything. You kind of just take all that information and you are taking notes and writing things down. You are going over it with your coaches and taking personnel notes for players. There is a lot going on. I guess I just process it and don't really put a lot of time into it until [later] because I know I have another one today. Tomorrow, I will go back to those notes, look at them a little bit more and just go back to some film, look at some things, just to make sure that what I saw is correct. Then, I can make an evaluation and present it to [General Manager] David Caldwell and [Executive VP of Football Operations] Coach [Tom] Coughlin."

(On what has impressed him about what he has seen from Vikings WR Stefon Diggs) "I was impressed with him when he was in college. I think that group as a whole [Vikings receivers] looked very good yesterday. I happened to be on that side of the field. I thought they were crisp, sharp and practiced hard, ran good routes. Again, I think it is a good group of players that are competing."

(On what type of combination he thinks Latavius Murray and Dalvin Cook can be) "I think they are two great players. Latavius, I have known from when I was a head coach at Syracuse. He is from that area. I love him to death. He is a great young man. [Dalvin] Cook is obviously very talented. I do not know him in a personal way. I think it is hard to judge running backs in my opinion when you are not tackling. Latavius has played before. Obviously, we saw Cook in college. I think those guys are going to be fine. They are good. I can't judge where they will be at. I would imagine that you are going to have to make sure you know where they are."

(On the benefit of the Vikings having two really good running backs versus one guy who gets the majority of the carries) "I can't speak for how [Head] Coach Zimmer or [Offensive Coordinator John] DeFilippo are going to use those players. That is a difficult situation, but having a couple backs with a background of the offense, those things, not to say it makes it easier, but it is great to have. It really is. I obviously have a great amount of respect and I knew a lot of people down there in New Orleans, and it is easier. It is just another thing that the defense has to be ready for. It is another plan. Another, 'How are we going to take this guy out?' If they start taking people away – and I'm not talking about Minnesota, I'm talking in general – and you have people like that, it's difficult to defend. That is a common trait when you go around the league."

(On what he sees from Tyler Patmon and what he wants to see on Saturday) "I think 'Pat' is working his butt off. He has done some really good things. I think just to keep working and keep evaluating and from an individual standpoint at the end of the day, we are just making decisions on who we feel is best for our roster. I think I can say that not only about Patmon, but a lot of players that are out on this field. That is why we are out here. That is why you see those guys competing the way they do."

(On if the team prepares schematically for the game on Saturday) "No. I am not like that. We will put some things in. We don't want to go out there and not have things that we do, but we will look at how we want to work on, who we want to feature a little bit, see what we want to do. Matchups, mixing personnel and things of that nature. We are still on that stage."

(On Cam Robinson facing a different defensive line than he has in training camp and how to evaluate that) "I think anytime you play this game and you are competing at a level where you can totally focus in on the one-on-one, depending on which way you want to look at it. I have always addressed those situations as you are looking at them. You are looking at, 'Hey, listen, you are playing against one heck of a player. Here is what you need to do better. This will help you. This is what you need to do well.' I have always looked at things from that case. The other extreme is that if you are playing against a great player and you are not as talented. What are you going to do? What are you going to do?"

(On his general impressions of Kirk Cousins) "A gentleman that when I was coming in as a freshman was just graduating and was a graduate assistant for us [at Syracuse] – Dave Warner – was his college coach at Michigan State for all those years. I know a lot about him. I know how he was trained, and he is everything that you would want. He's great back there. He's competitive. I don't know him from a personal level, but the thing that I think we all appreciate down on the field is you watch these players and you watch their competitiveness and how hard they work. Kirk and the rest of the quarterbacks are doing that."

(On if there is anything Taven Bryan can bring to the Jaguars defensive line) "One can be availability when he gets in there and starts practicing. That would help. I think I would be better equipped to answer that question if I saw more of him, so hopefully today a lot of those guys are going to be out of here. [Austin] Seferian-Jenkins is going to be trying to go. Taven, we are going to try to get him out here and do some drills against Minnesota. I think when we start seeing those things, I'll have more knowledge to be able to answer that question, but obviously, we are looking for him to do good things for us."