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Jaguars News | Jacksonville Jaguars -

Doug Marrone - Tuesday, August 14, 2018

(Opening statement) "We are traveling up to Minnesota today. Jalen [Ramsey] and Dante [Fowler Jr.] are not going to be with us. They will be back on Monday. Again, it is team violations and as I have done in the past, I spoke to both players and obviously those conversations are private. That is really all I'm going to say about it. The next thing is what I'm excited about, obviously going up to Minnesota. We really feel that we will have everyone back practicing except for Eli [Ankou], [Dawuane] Smoot and [Andrew] Norwell. But we expect everyone, with the way they are progressing, to be able to participate. I think that is a good thing. That is a credit to the players taking care of their bodies, doing a good job. Obviously, camp is always tough. It is physical, but they have done a good job – our trainers, our weight coaches, our nutritionist. It is good to be as healthy as we can be. The goal is always to be able to take the full roster into that last game [of the preseason]. If you have done that, you have been pretty successful. That is one of the goals that I have had for myself of trying to get the team there even though you can't control some of those things." 

(On why Dante Fowler Jr. was suspended and not Yannick Ngakoue) "I'm not going to comment on that. I'm OK. I know that everybody has to ask it. Again, those decisions are internal and they are team violations and those are private." 

(On if there is a concern that Dante Fowler Jr. and Yannick Ngakoue will have trouble coexisting) "I don't expect that with any of our players."

(On if this suspension will help Dante Fowler Jr.) "I think when he comes back, that is a good question that you might ask him. I can't answer that for him." 

(On if the suspended players are completely separated from the team) "Well, we are in Minnesota. They won't be with us there. 

(On if he works with the players remotely while they are suspended or if they are totally separated) "Again, how we handle those things is internal. We are not going to discuss what we do with each and every player." 

(On if it is safe to say this is not a vacation for the two suspended players) "Again, I'm not … It's fine to say that. I'm just telling you that they are not with us, and they will be back on Monday."

(On if it signals a problem in the locker room when two players from the same position group get into an altercation) "I don't want to say it's … In my experience, I've seen a lot. Things happen and they will take care of it. That is a better question for the players."

(On how he feels about the defensive line depth heading into the Vikings preseason game) "I feel good. We had 16 defensive linemen on the roster and like you mentioned, we are down two, [Dante Fowler Jr. and Dawuane Smoot], so we still have 14. We have ample bodies and people that can play." 

(On if he reaches out to every team about joint practices or if there are certain teams that fit better with joint practices) "There are certain teams that I think can help us as a football team, that can get us better. Whether it is schematically, whether it is talent. I think there are a lot of things that go into it. I appreciate [Vikings] [Head] Coach Zimmer being open to it. I think that it is an opportunity for us to go against -- in my opinion -- probably one of the most talented teams in the league, if not the most talented. I think they are a complete football team. I think that they have great discipline, and they have a lot of talent. I think it is going to be a good couple days for us and a good test. More importantly, it's a good way to get evaluations on players that are trying to make the roster." 

(On how valuable Myles Jack athleticism is at his position) "I think any … When you say athleticism, it is really at any position, it is going to add value to it. I think that position is starting to change meaning, over the course of the last couple of years, meaning that when you look at most of these teams now … I can remember when I first came in the league coaching that you would have middle linebackers that are like 260 pounds out there. Now, what is being asked of them and with the game progressing the way it is … In other words, with open field, opened formations and matchups being such a bad thing, I think that all the linebackers need that type of athleticism to be successful. I think that is why he is a great player for us." 

(On if he leans on the leaders in the locker room to police the other players) "I don't really … You know, that is a better question for the players – who the leaders are and what they do? I am trying to figure out who is on the 53-[man roster]. That is what I am trying to do now. I just try to guide the team and tell them what the boundaries are, what we need to do and how we can get better." 

(On why Jalen Ramsey's actions warranted a suspension) "I am not going to go through my thought process on what goes into it. I have spoken to the players and they will be back on Monday. I feel like I don't need to [address] something [with the media] that is internal." 

(On if the joint practices have equal value to the preseason games in terms of evaluation) "Not of equal value, but very close. I think if you look at it, you have the practices that you have here as a team versus each other and that is weighted. Then you have the preseason games and I think that is a performance … You have to be ready to go out there and get the results that you need, so I rate that a little bit higher. I think when you go into a controlled environment against another opponent, you are looking at matchups and where your players are. That is probably a little bit more weighted only because it is a limited amount of reps in a two-day period." 

(On how much knowledge he has of the Vikings defense and what makes them one of the best in the league) "I have a pretty good knowledge. I think they match up well. They have outstanding players at each position. When you are the No. 1 defense in the NFL and obviously, we came in second … I feel the same way about our defense. We have a lot of talented players at each position. There are really not a lot of things that you can't expose. I think they do a great job, schematically, and I feel like we do a very good job, schematically. When you look across the board from defensive fronts to linebackers to safeties to corners, they have outstanding, outstanding players. I think that offensively, they have great skill players. Obviously, the offensive line has gone through a lot of adversity. I think we all know that. They have Kirk Cousins playing quarterback and you saw what he did the other night. I thought they looked as good as a team could look coming out of the first preseason game." 

(On how Tony Sparano Jr. is handling his father passing away and practicing with his father's former team) "We have been talking about it quite a bit, obviously, when it first happened. It's just a very, very difficult situation. I have been talking to him about everything. I am just trying to be the best person that I can be for him like the rest of the guys on the staff. I think it will be a very emotional time. I think it will be a time where he is … I think his words, if you talk to him, would probably be better than me trying to say what he feels. But for me – myself, the staff, everybody, the organization, the players – we are obviously all there to support him." 

(On if the players may have a closer bond with Tony Sparano Jr. because of the tragedy and if stuff like that can bring position groups together) "Logically, you would think so. But again, that is a better question for them. I really can't answer that for him. I have the utmost respect. The offensive line coaches in this league are very close, so obviously, I have known Tony [Sparano Sr.] from when he was at Boston university, and I was at Northeastern. I have always admired the job that he did, and I always thought he did an outstanding job with the [offensive] lines he coached. We had a relationship. I would call it that – just a relationship. I have the utmost respect for him and I'm sure those players cared about him as much as a lot of the players that I know played for him [did]. I think that's probably accurate." 

(On if he gave Tony Sparano Jr. the option of not going to Minneapolis) "We talked about it. I [asked], 'Hey, what do you feel is best for you? We are going to support you either way.' He's going through a tough time. It is a tough, tough time. It is not just him, individually. It's his family, his mom and there is a lot going on. Like I said, I have had conversations with him. I want to make sure I am there to support him. We will do whatever we have to do to make sure we are doing the right thing for his family. That is how I look at it. I never want to look back on anything – and I try tell this to players, I try to tell it to coaches – you don't want to look back after things occur and have any type of regrets. I think living life like that in anything that you do is very difficult. I just want to make sure everything is covered and whatever support he needs from me, I am there for him." 

(On what type of progress TE Austin Seferian-Jenkins is making) "Good. I think that he had a heck of an OTAs and a minicamp. He has come in, he has worked extremely hard. He has been available, so he is out there every day working hard, and we are expecting big things from him. As much as you have seen, I still think there is room for improvement and he will just continue to get better. I see him working at that. I think that he works extremely hard on really knowing everything that is going on, not just what his position is. You appreciate that from players and spending extra time doing the extra things. I see all that. [He] takes care of his body, he is in the weight room. He is really working hard, really building it up for the season. I am extremely happy with his progress." 

(On what kind of look the Vikings cornerbacks can give the Jaguars receivers that the Jaguars secondary doesn't) "I think we have a good set [of corners], obviously. I think they do, too. I just think it is different going against a different person. It is not every day that you see someone [from another team]. I think it will be very challenging for them. I think it will be a good matchup and it will give us a good indication of what we need to do, what we need to work on. Things may get … We may feel comfortable about something technique-wise and they might wind up getting stopped and we have to figure out how to get them better or some of these guys may do better than we think and we'll say, 'Well, shoot. We have to take a closer look at them.' That is kind of what we go into those two practices thinking. A lot of time in those practices, we will be mixing and matching things, too. Not necessarily the first group, but we will put things out with different things in the practices to make sure that we get all the reps and see the things that we need." 

(On how important the joint practices are for "bottom of the roster" players who may not get as much playing time in preseason games) "I think it is extremely important. Any time you get an opportunity to go out on the field, you have to make the most out of it and try to make something happen that shows up so the coaches say, 'Hey, listen, we have to take a look at this.' I think it is important now in the way they practice and their practice reps. I don't disagree. You said normally they might get a little bit less in these next two weeks, but they have to show something because they are still going to play the majority of that last game and that is a chance for them to show. Like I have always told the players everywhere I have been, when you go out there and let's say you are at the bottom [of the roster], which I hope no one thinks they are at the bottom from a standpoint of their mentality … But when you go out there, you are not only trying to impress the coaches or our organization. There are 31 other teams that are looking at these films. No different than us are looking at the other films that are going on. It's an opportunity to show or put your resume out there that if for some reason we feel we have 'X' amount of players at this position and we have to let you go, you have an opportunity to get picked up by your performance and how you play."