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Doug Marrone - Tuesday, August 7, 2018

(On if he has decided how many snaps the starters will play on Thursday) "No. We will do that tomorrow night when we were at the hotel. We will talk about it. Again, my philosophy is everyone has to be ready to play. I told you before that I am a firm believer that I don't ever like giving pitch counts per se because what I struggle with is if a player goes out there and says, 'I have X amount of plays.' I just don't want that type of mentality. I want a player to prepare himself like he is going to go in there and play the whole game. Even though you might say, 'They know they are not going to play four quarters.' Well, it is still their mentality. I think that helps – in my opinion – player safety. [It helps] being able to prepare like that." 

(On if there is a difference in evaluating preseason games versus training camp practices) "I think there a couple of things. In practice, coaches are around, your teammates are around. We try to get the coaches off the field at times. We do have a couple of periods where we have gone live, but now it is going to be live. I think what I look for is, one, obviously the mental aspect from an assignment standpoint, and I look from a technique standpoint, an effort standpoint and at the end of the day, the thing is did you get your job done or not? That is the bottom line. I think there are some players, it happens every year, you might be excited about right now, but if it is a defensive player you are excited about and he shows that he can't tackle, then that is going to be an issue. If it is an offensive player that you are excited about, whether it is a running back, a receiver or a tight end and now you are coming over the middle and there is physical contact and you can't hold on to the ball, those are things that are being looked at and penalties, obviously, the discipline of the player, technique-wise. You are looking at things that you can't evaluate on a full scale of practice when you talk about the tackling and breaking tackles." 

(On if his time coaching in New Orleans shaped who he is) "Absolutely. We came down there post [Hurricane] Katrina, and I remember my first thought process was the pictures and the coverage on TV didn't really do justice to what happened down there. The resiliency of the people, not just in New Orleans – but of that region – to come back was amazing. I give credit to [New Orleans Saints Executive Vice President and General Manager] Mickey Loomis and [New Orleans Saints] [Head] Coach [Sean] Payton. We actually went out in the community and tried to build the community. The thing is that we didn't go out there and take a picture with a shovel with the team and have the media out there and say, 'OK, we're done' and then got on buses and to back. We actually went to work. We were fixing houses and doing things like that. We put ourselves in the community at a time where I would believe now looking back Mickey and Sean were trying to build a team that just came off a 3-13 year, but they knew it was important enough to go there. I will always remember. I think one of the greatest things in football and what football means in general was when we opened up the Super Dome on that Monday night versus Atlanta. I always say the story, I remember sitting there and it was like a Super Bowl type atmosphere. I remember right before kickoff I turned around and just looked into the crowd and there were three or four rows of people that were just crying in joy that it was almost like a rebirth and the city took off. For me, it is always going to be special. It's just a special place, and I think what I learned the most is that football does have an impact on people's lives. It is a very positive impact, and we need to keep that in mind in everything that we do." 

(On how Sean Payton influenced him as a coach) "I learned a lot from Sean. Sean is probably one of the best communicators I have ever been around. Obviously, he is extremely intelligent. I thought it was interesting, initially when we came in there and put together a staff, I think we were the youngest staff in the league at that time. Sean is very organized and very good with personnel. I think for me Sean helped me the most with communication amongst the staff. I had ran some of the meetings, and he really helped me along the way of building a staff, what he looked for in a staff, and things of that nature. I owe a great deal to Sean." 

(On if there is anything specifically he wants to see from Cody Kessler on Thursday) "I don't know if it's something that is as specific as one thing. You keep it broad. You just want to see their performance. You want to see the results. You want to see how he handles the huddle or handles the situation with the quarterbacks that you haven't been with before. People that you have been with, whether it is offensive linemen, quarterbacks or receivers, you want to see them out there obviously competing, but doing everything the right way and have a better understanding of what is going on." 

(On if he knows what players won't play on Thursday such as Calais Campbell) "Still out on him. Eli [Ankou] won't play for sure. Taven [Bryan] is day-to-day. Just him, Eli [Ankou], for sure and Dante [Fowler Jr.] because he is on PUP."

(On what improvements A.J. Cann has made) "I think the biggest thing that was interesting was how we come out with a new helmet rule and obviously I was the one that did the tape for the offensive linemen. The first player I put on the tape was A.J. A.J, I don't want to say had a problem, but A.J. would drop his head at times and put himself at risk and other players at risk. The one thing now that I have seen is that he plays quite a bit now, he's playing it with the proper technique and his head up. Because of that, he has been playing better. It's something that we want to just see. We don't want to jump too far ahead of ourselves, but he is doing a better job. He is playing better now than he ever has. Can he keep that up? And there is still room for improvement for him. I am excited about seeing how he progresses and what happens when he starts playing in the games." 

(On how the players have adjusted to the helmet rule) "We have done everything we can. We showed them. I really believe, I can't speak for the players, but for me, I think that my responsibility is to make sure that we show them all of the tape so that they have watched every single tape that has come out on helmet [rules]. We have taken clips from practice and showed them to some of the officials that came in last night. We are continuously coaching on that because I really believe it's extremely important to make our game safer. I think it starts with us as the coaches because then I think it will get passed down to college, youth football and things of that nature. It is a challenge for us, but again, it is the right challenge with player safety and trying to play this game in a safe way without losing the physicality of the game." 

(On if it is tough to do what he wants with the running game in preseason) "You mean like people getting a rhythm and stuff like that? No, because it is kind of like practice. In practice, they go in there for a couple of plays and they come out. Then, they go back in, then they come out. During the course of the game, you are getting a lot of information as a player if you are on offense. How he is playing the reach, how he is playing the cut-off, how he is playing the double team. You try to get a lot of prep work. There is not a lot of prep work that goes into the preseason games, at least from our standpoint. We are practicing against ourselves today. Tomorrow, we will just briefly go over what we expect from New Orleans, so there is not a lot of game-planning involved." 

(On the team struggling in practice after having an off day and if that could continue in preseason considering the team has a day off before the Saints game) "Well, I think that is something that we have talked about improving upon. I do not want to say it has been sloppy and it is not everyone. It has been that way from a lot of places I have been. Our expectation is that you come back, and we are immediately right at this high level. Sometimes, it takes a while to build up to that. That is a concern that I have that I point out to the players. You have to make sure that on this day off … [I ask], 'Hey are you stretching? Are you doing things? Are you eating right, nutrition?' You just don't want to be laying around in bed or laying around on the couch so this way when you come in the next day, you are ready to go. That is something that we feel that can help us become the better team. Not necessarily that we are not doing it well or we are doing a poor job of it. It is just something that we want to emphasize, but we don't have to wait to build it up and then start practicing well later in that practice or the next day. We want to come in and practice well right off the bat. That will help us be a better team." 

(On if there has been an undrafted guy that has stood out to him) "There have been a couple, but like I said, I like to wait and see until the results of the game. I think that we have some guys that have done a really good job, and it is hard because when we get in the personnel meetings it is like, 'Hey, listen, I really like this, I really like that.' If it is an offensive player, 'Hey, do you think he will be able to do it in a game situation?' If it is a defensive player, you love everything about him, but if he is a DB, is he going to be able to play within the rules? I think a lot of that goes on and then the matchups change. It is different matchups, especially with the interior guys. I have always said this, though. In my experience, there is one person that you may like that is probably going to let you down and there is one person that you aren't really counting on that is probably really going to play well and all of a sudden be in the mix. That happens almost every year." 

(On his evaluation of Cody Kessler and Tanner Lee) "I like the way they work. They work extremely hard. I have seen flashes at times. Both of them have done a really good job. I'm looking to really see how they do in these upcoming preseason games where you are going in there and they have to study whatever play we are planning on working on. Then, they go out there and see how they execute in that type of atmosphere. I like the way they are working. They spend a lot of time in the playbook. I think they have done a good job of picking up what we are trying to do offensively. I think they are trying to do what we are teaching them, which is good. Now, it is a matter of really how they play and the results." 

(On if he thinks that Tanner Lee and Cody Kessler will probably get the bulk of the reps on Thursday night) "I am not going to tie myself down. I haven't talked to any of the personnel people. I haven't talked to [General Manager] Dave [Caldwell] or [Executive VP of Football Operations] Coach [Tom] Coughlin. I have not talked to our coaches yet about it. Like I said, we have a practice today so we won't want to jump too far ahead. We wait for this practice to be over and then we grade it. We have the players tonight. Tomorrow morning we go and there is a break in between. We are done tomorrow with the walkthrough and then at night, that is when we will discuss who is playing and who is available." 

(On if the Jaguars defensive line is the deepest defensive line he's ever seen) "No, I wouldn't say so. One of those years [coaching] with the Jets we were pretty loaded [on the defensive line]. When Denny Marcin was the [defensive line] coach, I remember that he came to me. They were good and they were deep. I was like, 'Jesus, Denny, you think maybe I can get a first-round pick one of these years? You keep getting all these picks on the d-line.' I'll never forget, Denny Marcin looked at me and he said, 'Marrone, you can't even understand how hard it is to coach these first-round picks.' I said, 'Denny, I would love to find out.' (laughter)We were pretty deep there, though."