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Doug Marrone - Wednesday, August 15, 2018

(Opening statement) "I really appreciate [Vikings Owner] Mr. [Zygi] Wilf and obviously, [Vikings Head] Coach [Mike] Zimmer for giving us this opportunity to get better. We just got together. Really, our goal is to treat it just like we are one team trying to get better on both sides of it. We had the players meeting there. I think it went extremely well. I think everybody understands the goal of what we are trying to get accomplished. Now, we have to go out there and work against each other, and I look forward to it. That is what I am concentrated on. As far as our injuries, the three players … [Dawuane] Smoot didn't make the trip with us. He is back rehabbing. Obviously, Eli [Ankou] didn't make the trip. He's back rehabbing. [Andrew] Norwell is with us. You will see him on the side. There are a couple other players that are limited. Taven Bryan [and] guys that are coming off [injuries], their reps may be limited, but you will see them on the side working in practice. It's good to have those guys back and obviously it is good to be pretty healthy going into the second preseason game." 

(On how the joint practices came together) "I reached out to Coach Zimmer when I saw the schedule and who we were playing. I asked him if he would be interested in it, and it was just basically a lot of conversations and a lot of talk. It was a lot of logistics. There are a lot of people behind the scenes that work on the operations part of it that get it to go well. Up to this point, everything has been great. It really has. Coach Zimmer has opened everything up for us. We can obviously use the weight room and things like that. We have a locker room here which we are able to change in. It is not like some situations where you have to change in your room and go. We appreciate the University of Minnesota giving us the opportunity to do our walk throughs there, not because we weren't invited here. We were invited as guests, but just because of the logistics, it is much closer to where our team is staying. 

(On if part of the reason he reached out was because of the reputation of the Vikings franchise and Mike Zimmer) "I think it is probably both. Coach Zimmer, I have known him for a while. I worked with his son [Adam Zimmer] when I was in New Orleans. I have a great deal of respect for what he does, and I have a great deal of respect for the players on this team. Watching him play last year, both schematically and their ability, I think it is a good sense for us to go out here. A lot of times you have players where you don't know maybe if they should make your roster or not and when you look at the reps in preseason, you do become limited in what you are trying to get accomplished. Sometimes you don't get as good a look as you want, and I think these two practices will give us the ability to look at some of our players going against different types of players whether it be height, range, speed and give us an evaluation of who is going to be on our 53-[man roster]." 

(On if he emphasized to the players the importance of not wasting this opportunity) "Yes, we have done this before. I have done it almost every year I have been a head coach in this league. I have seen great results from it if it is done properly. I think our players understand that. I think when we went up last year and we did this in New England, they saw the benefits of that and how it helped us. I think they are going in to this situation the same way. This will be very beneficial for us and help us be a better football team." 

(On if more plays will be available and players will get more work in the joint practices) "Yes. There will be more work, and we have gone through who we need to see more reps with. You will see a lot of things whether it is teams or by position that we will be working through in the practices. There will be different matchups that we may want to see during the practice time. Some of those things you can't really get in a game." 

(On if he saw Jalen Ramsey's comments from his recent GQ feature article) "No. [Jaguars Director of Public Relations] Tad [Dickman] told me about it coming out because my focus has been trying to make sure we are ready for this and doing all of this." 

(On if it he concerns himself with players comments on other players) "Right now, I have not put much thought about it. For me, a guy that had a cup of coffee in the league, I respect all the players that are out there. Like I said, I have not looked at the actual stuff. My focus right now is not on that. My focus is on our team getting ready to practice." 

(On what he remembers about Rashod Hill) "I remember I used to tell Rashod, 'If anyone breaks into my car, I am going to blame you because he was right from Jacksonville.' (laughter)I really liked him. He did an outstanding job. He was very conscientious. He reminded me of some of the players I have worked with in the past as far as guys that were free agents and really kind of the light turns on for them and you see them putting in the extra time and the extra work. I feel fortunately for him [that he is with the Vikings]. It does not surprise me that he is playing. Unfortunately for us, we were going through a coaching change, and he felt it would be best for him to go somewhere where he would know where the coach was. Obviously, I have the utmost respect for him. I love the kid. I call him kid. He is obviously a young man, but he works hard. He has good length. He busted his butt every day in practice when he was on the scout team and did those things. He had the ingredients to give himself an opportunity to play in this league, and when I put on a tape and I see it, I am happy for him. I really am." 

(On what allows Kirk Cousins to direct the offense so effectively) "I think his leadership ability, his ability to distribute the ball, the ability to hang in the pocket, the accuracy. There is really not a lot that you are looking at and you are saying, 'Hey, we might have an advantage here.' He can escape, he's mobile. I have a lot of respect for him. I saw him when he was doing it in Washington, and I don't know what is being asked of him here, but obviously what we saw on film is a guy that is really playing well and a whole team that is playing well. That is what I took from watching the game. I think the preseason is hard. You want to work out some kinks and things like that, but I even told Coach Zimmer. I said, 'Hey, that is as good as you can look coming out of the box in a preseason game.' They have done a good job. We still have a ways to go." 

(On if he talks to Vikings Head Coach Mike Zimmer about getting back to their respective conference championship games) "No. I think we go through it. We were talking more about what we are planning to do now, and I tend not to look backwards even though a lot of times people are going to take you there. We are trying to see what is best now. This is the 2018 season, which is obviously going to be different. Even though you might have the same faces, the chemistry is always a little bit different on new faces that are in the locker room." 

(On if they will work on goal line situations) "Not right now, not to my knowledge. Everything is up for discussion. Coach Zimmer has been great. We looked at the schedule and if we want some of this, we can do it. We can add it. We can take it out. We can do things. Everything has been very flexible, but I don't know [about goal line situations]. If I wake up tomorrow and Coach Zimmer wakes up and we think we can get something in, it's not a problem for us to do that."

(On how much he discussed limiting trash talk and any scuffles between players) "We don't want to talk across the ball. That is something that we talked about to our team before. We don't want to talk across the ball. We are here to get better. We are just here to compete, get better, get evaluations and go out and get work. As players, I believe it is a whole. You have the NFLPA and the players, and we are going to go come out here today and we want to make sure that we represent the players and that they represent themselves in a professional manner. In a [manner] I hope can be appreciated and turned around and people say, 'These two teams went out there, they practiced hard against each other and they did a heck of a job.' I do not think there is enough of that that goes on. A lot it gets caught on the things that go wrong, which I understand why that is reported. I hope we have a fair share [reported] the other way if it goes that way, which we expect it to." 

(On the perception of Mike Zimmer and the Vikings franchise) "I have the utmost respect from ownership all the way down to [Vikings General Manager] Rick Spielman and everyone just watching the moves and watching how this team has come together. From afar, again, I'm not on the inside. I have a lot of respect for what they are doing. I think they are an excellent football team and they are well-disciplined, they are well-coached. They have good coaches. Those are the type of teams that you want to come and practice against. I think you asked the question before – was it [Coach] Zimmer, was it Rick [Spielman]? It's all of that. You want to be up here. I think it is always good. I feel very comfortable where we are with our owner and obviously [Executive VP of Football Operations] Coach [Tom] Coughlin and [General Manager] David Caldwell and our players. I just think it is a class organization and they have done things the right way. It is unfortunate that there is that bond that we have right now with [former Vikings offensive line] Coach [Tony] Sparano Sr. with his son [Tony Sparano Jr.] working for us, which is a difficult situation really for both sides. To be able to come up here somewhere where at least for myself and be able to see his wife, pay my respects and for Tony [Sparano Jr.] to come back up here, I think it is very emotional, and I think with what the plans are coming up, I think it is well-said. Tony [Sparano Sr.] was obviously a line coach. I was an ex-line coach. I knew him when I was at Northeastern, and he was at Boston University, so that goes way back. I have always watched the way his players play, and I have always appreciated it and tried to aspire to have my players play the same way and play for me like they played for him. I think that it is a tough time, and I think that it is on a lot of people's minds as we are up here working." 

(On what he has seen from Jalen Myrick) "He is doing a heck of a job. He is fighting like a lot of people. It is competition in camp. He played quite a bit in the first preseason game and really wasn't tested, but like I told him, 'I promise you will be tested up here.' It will be good to see him out there and getting tested to see what he can do."