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Doug Marrone - Tuesday, July 30, 2019

(Opening Statement) "First week obviously is in the books, and I'm very happy [with] the first week of practice and what's gone on. They had a day off, and we're back, and we're continuing to install and put things in situationally. Today you'll see red zone going in, so we'll get a lot of work in that. Same three players that will be on the side, and then obviously with A.J. [Bouye] and Thomas Rawls, they'll be on the side too. You'll see those guys. I don't think it's going to be a problem, but we have a scrimmage Friday, a team scrimmage, so again, we're going to be cautious with these guys as we go. So, if they'll probably be back then, we'll probably hold them out and see where we are next week."

(On if he expects Bouye and Rawls to be on the sideline the whole week) "Yeah. They'll be ready. I mean, they may be ready before then, but if they're ready Thursday and we're scrimmaging on Friday, probably just going to hold them out. You'll see them, though. They'll be running on the side and doing all of that stuff."

(On if there is a timetable for Jake Ryan's return or if it's gotten any clearer) "Hasn't become clearer. Not trying to hold anything from you."

(On how rookie running back Ryquell Armstead is looking) "Good. I like the way he looked there, and I think it's a matter of when we get into the games. I think a lot of it, when the lights come on and you're playing in the preseason games, with the younger guys you can probably see a little bit more as far as where are they in terms of being able to contribute during the season. I think now you can eliminate some guys. If you're not doing well now then pretty much you don't have to worry about when the preseason games come, but everyone's doing fine, so I'm excited. I think there's a lot of competition out there, there really is. It's kind of like with A.J. [Bouye] being out for a couple of days there's room for people to step up. We're looking for that position, looking for guys, and when you have that ability and people go in there, we'll rotate a bunch of guys through. O-Line—I can't thing of a position really on our football team that doesn't have competition as far as a roster spot, and I think that's pretty cool. You go in there, and you watch them go, and we'll see which ones grab them and we'll see which ones, you know with special teams and things of that nature. I think that's exciting."

(On if he's happy with what he's seeing out of the running back position) "I feel really good about where they are. I think with Thomas [Rawls] having the injury and out for a couple of days, I think if it was something that was longer than that, then I think you always have to be mindful of making sure you get enough people at that position. So with us feeling that he'll be back soon, we probably won't do anything., but if we had one more injury or someone out for a little bit, then we would have to maybe look at brining someone in. But I'm happy with the guys that we have here now. I just don't know how it's going to shake out."

(On if Breon Borders is playing consistent football) "There's a lot of guys we want to look at. It's interesting when you look at those guys, a lot of different players back there with size, shape and speed. Borders has done a good job. [Tre] Herndon's done a good job. There's a couple other young guys that are out there. [Quenton] Meeks has been someone, but there all different types. They're big, they're long, they're short, they're fast, so it's a great look. And we'll be able to rotate those guys around, and see them against some of the better competition and put them up there with the first group. I think there's a difference when you're a player and you're fighting for a job and then all of a sudden, you get put in there with the so-called first group of starters. It's always interesting to see how someone is going to kind of react. Some guys go in there and it's easier, there's better communication, which you would expect from a coach, have better communication out there. That player fits right in, he communicates, he's ready to go. Sometimes it's a little bit uneasiness or at the end of the day maybe that player is not good enough for that level of competition, depending on who they go against. So, I really get excited about that, I do. I like watching it."

(On the jump he's seen in Ronnie Harrison) "I liked Ronnie last year, I really did. Ronnie, as far as football intelligence – even last year we had a lot of talk about where is this kid from a standpoint of football intelligence, meaning how much has he seen or anything like that, and I think that's the one thing about coming from Alabama, and obviously with Coach [Nick] Saban's background as a defensive backs coach and it's pretty much hands on back there. You rarely, even with our guy [Savion] Smith who's from Alabama, both those guys are very, very, knowledgeable. So it's not a standpoint of that and it's a credit to really the program and the coaches at Alabama, so those players have seen pretty much everything that they're going to see here. Now, with Ronnie, again, we feel that he has the ability to make plays. Sometimes you have guys back there, they can play the position, they can defend. They have the ability. And when I say make plays, I'm not talking about tipping a ball away or being able to cover someone. I'm talking about being able to go up, get a ball, create turnovers, be physical in tackling, create turnovers by tackling, create turnovers and actually getting the ball and probably scoring. I think Ronnie possesses those type of skills, so I look at Ronnie as a guy that's a playmaker back there. And I think that last year we had two veteran players back there that have worked together, and I think what you're seeing now in training camp is Ronnie and Jarrod Wilson working back there and getting a feel for each other, and I'm very pleased with where they are." 

(On his thoughts on Cedric Ogbuehi) "Yeah, I think we have to be careful. I mean we have to watch. Obviously with expecting Cam [Robinson] to come back. I'm going to give you guys an update. We have a plan right now in place and when we get closer to it I'll give you a couple days' notice of when he's going to come back. But he's done well. Jawaan Taylor I'm very happy with. [Josh] Wells, [Leonard] Wester, Will Richardson [Jr.] has really, really has done a nice job if you watch. I think that from last year to this year it's like night and day, I think he's going to be competitive in there. Donnell Greene is a young kid. I mean we've got some guys that can play that position. You're going to see we're going to move some people around, not Jawaan though. You'll see him. He'll run with the first team a little bit, but he's done a nice job. And Ced[ric] will go over and get some reps at left, just want to make sure that we're covering everything, but I've been very happy with him and we'll see as we go along. Like I said, we're going against our guys now. You kind of have a little bit of a better sense of what they do and who they are. I think when you go to Baltimore, and you're facing against different rushers and different types of guys, I think you'll see there's a better evaluation in my opinion of what we can see from our players."

(On how Andrew Wingard ['Thor'] is performing in practice) "Good, good. I think it's going to be interesting back there. I think that Cody Davis coming back, I think you can see Cody is better with the schematics of what we're doing, so you see that back there. I think [C.J.] Reavis has done some good things. Where is he going to be? Andrew's back there. [Joshua] Moon's back there. Those two young guys, the two guys that we picked up recently have been getting reps, so it's going to be interesting back there. Obviously, Cody's has done very good from a special teams standpoint for us, but where is this next guy, who's number four, who's number three. Who's the third safety, who can play and contribute on special teams. I think the players that I mentioned all have that ability, and just going to see how it works out."

(On if there's value on signing a player like Wingard who has an extensive amount of playing time at a smaller school like Wyoming) "Yeah. I think you look at it, and they can do it, and we know he can do it. The question is can he do it at this level with the elite athletes, and I don't care where you're from. Even if you're from Alabama, or you're from Wyoming where Andrew's from, I think at the end of the day you're just looking at, 'OK, I know they can do it in college and we respect that,' and that's why we like them, that's why he's here, and now, 'Hey listen, can you do it at this level consistently?' And obviously we're all pulling for him, for everyone, all those players should be able to show that, the angles. A lot of times with the space players – when I talk about space players you're talking about safeties – a lot of times what you're doing, they have to get a feel and they have to have obviously a certain amount of speed, but the angles are big. And then when you have the angles, we're talking about open field tackling. Some players can go and play special teams and look really good at open field tackling, but all of a sudden defensively I think it's a little bit different. When someone breaks the line of scrimmage and it's in the open field, or receivers in the open field, that's what you want to make sure, that those players have the angles and they can get people down at that safety position."

(On if Quincy Williams has been able to handle the workload) "I'll tell you what, he's got the most reps on defense as far as snaps. And it's interesting, when you talk to him what I really love is that you have a player, 'Hey, how's it going, I know you're taking a lot of reps, how's it—' 'Coach, I need the reps. I want the reps, I need the reps.' To me, l like when a player has that type of mentality, he knows it. I think what we see is are there some mistakes out there? Absolutely. But what you see is as soon as the mistakes made, boom, recognize that I have to do that better. That's important, because you're going to go through those types of pains. No one is going to go out there and not make any mistakes and not do anything. I really think at the end of the day, and I know a lot of guys on our team are going to get pissed at me for saying this, but really when the ball snaps I think he might be the fastest player on our football field right now. I mean, when you watch him, he is fast. I know Dede [Westbrook] will be pissed. There will be a lot of the receivers that'll be pissed off, but I'm just telling you now. And you guys know, you're seeing it, I mean he is fast. Fast."

(On how Alfred Blue is performing) "Good. Alfred is a good pro, consistent. We feel like he's a downhill power running back. [He] will be able to help us on special teams and in protection, and he's doing everything that we ask him to do, and he's doing fine. Really doing a nice job."

(On Jawaan Taylor being rotated in with the ones and if he will stay there) "What we want to do is just want to make sure that, hey listen, we're going to move some people around, and what young players, I personally, my philosophy, is I never want them to feel comfortable. They have to earn it more so than, not more so, but anyway, they have to earn it. I never want them to think, 'Oh hey, I'm coming from college, I was running with the two's now I'm with the one's, I've arrived.' You don't want people to feel that way because they're going to be challenged during the season on a week-to-week basis, which is probably a little bit different in college. Even if you're in some of the tougher divisions where you're facing guys week-to-week, it's not like the NFL. I always used to say, you take the best guy you played in college and you're going to play against him every single week, and you've got to bring your A-game every single time or else you're not going to perform well."

(On if Leonard Wester is someone George Warhop liked in Tampa) "I think everybody is somebody that you liked somewhere, whether it's the head coach that likes him, the coordinator, the general manager, the scout that has that area. I think there's always someone that's going to like somebody and that's where this job, for me, becomes really interesting. I try to stay out of it, meaning that I don't fall in love with someone, because I think then you have an agenda where you're pulling for this guy but you're not pulling for [another guy], so I try to stay Switzerland. I can look at it, and it take discipline now to just watch the tape and say, 'That person.' And I try not to put a name on the jersey, but hey, this number here is doing this, this number here is doing that. I think that's important and I think that's from scouts, to general managers to head coaches, to coordinators, that's the one thing. And I keep preaching that, 'Hey listen, we're evaluating them from what we see on tape now, not with what our past relationships are with them.' I'm not just talking about Wester and George. I have past relationships with a lot of players. There are players that will consistently call, that are on the street maybe, that you've coached that have been veterans that are like, 'Hey coach, you know I still got something in me.' And guys that have played extremely well for me, but hey, at the end of the day these are the guys that we have, we like where we are, and you've got to perform. And like I said before, that's probably the biggest mistake you can make. 'Hey, this player did this for me last year, this player has been this type of player in years past.' You've got to evaluate them for what they're doing for you right now. It's a what can you do for me now type business."