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Doug Marrone - Wednesday, December 4, 2019

(On how he plans on motivating the team for the next four weeks) "It's really – It's your resume that's out there. You're all professionals, and you've got to go out there and play well. My job is to win football games, obviously I'm extremely disappointed in the job that I've done. I'm extremely disappointed to let down the fans, like I said before, the sponsors, ownership, the rest of the building. But the players have been fighting, focused, practicing well, and we just have to figure out a way to win games and get a good taste back in your mouth. It's such a bad taste when things are going the way they are right now. You can't control what's going to happen afterwards, but you can control everything while you're here, so I'm trying to make sure that we have a clear vision of what we have to do. We have a clear goal in what we want to accomplish and [to] be able to stand up and motivate and lead the coaches and this team every day. And I think that in life, there's going to be shit like this that happens, and this will help you down the road with it and you better deal with it the right way or we'll put somebody else in there."

(On if Chargers QB Philip Rivers is dangerous to play against) "Yeah. I think you look at Philip's [Rivers] career, I haven't gone against him much, but I've always admired him from a distance. Just the way he goes about it, just the consistency. He's played a long time, he's tough to fool. It's not like you're going to give him something that maybe he has not seen before. I think he's seen it all. I think he's extremely intelligent. I think he's an unbelievable competitor, and he has guys around him with Keenan Allen, and Mike Williams and Hunter Henry, plus the two running backs with Melvin [Gordon III] and Austin [Ekeler], so he has weapons around him. And he's a guy that, he'll spread it around. He'll throw the ball to those guys, or hand it off to them, or run screens to them. So, he's going to do whatever he can to win, so it's going to be a big challenge for us matching up with the skill [players] that they have. Their line's a big offensive line. Philip's the kind of guy, when he gets hot, he can really light you up. So, we've been working on a lot of things and trying to figure out the pieces that we have to put in to give us the best chance to win."

(On the season Jawaan Taylor has had at right tackle) "Yeah, I think you can look at it two ways. I think with young players, obviously, you get a little bit disappointed with the penalties because he's a better player than that to get those types of penalties. I think that he is growing as the season's going. I think you see those growing pains with young players, but I really believe he's going to be a much more consistent player and that's what we're looking for here at the end of this season. We talked to the team today about, 'In order to be successful in anything you do, you can't make the same mistake twice, and that's the one thing.' And I told them before, whether it be like the holding penalties or whatever, and I went through a couple things with the team, and I said, 'In anything in life, you just have to learn from it, and you have to go.' I've seen us learn, and then go backwards, learn, and then go backwards. It's one thing after another, and that's the same with us as coaches. And that's my job, that's where I haven't done a good job. It's my job to make sure that we're a hell of a lot more consistent then we've been, and we haven't. But I do think that he'll get better. I think it's hard to judge the year when you're not playing well [as a team], but he's going to have a lot of experience and I think these last four games will say a lot about the direction that he's going."

(On what specific area he would like to see an improvement in for the offensive line in the last four games) "Just controlling the line of scrimmage. I think it's as simple as that. I think you can tell when you're playing a game, when you're controlling the line of scrimmage. Whether it be the run or the pass, I think we have to be more consistent and do a better job of that. I think that when you look back, the games that we have played well, and I know it's easy to put it on one group, but usually when your offensive line or your defensive line plays well, you have a good opportunity to win. When you're not playing well on either side, or both sides, then it gets tough in this league. So, we've got to be more consistent and I would say that that would be the one thing, look to have control. What I mean by control is you're not going to go out there and just dominate every single snap, but you want to be able to control the line of scrimmage. Control what's going on, and that's tight ends, that's [running] backs; there are a lot of other people involved in that."

(On if RB Leonard Fournette has exceeded his expectations this year) "I think this game, you have to prove it every week, whoever you are, it doesn't matter. I think that he's done a nice job. I do think that he can get better. I think we can maybe have put ourselves in better situations at times for him, coaching-wise, myself. I'm not looking at [Offensive Coordinator] Flip [John DeFilippo] or anyone, I'm saying for me, as far as running the football schematically at times. And I think he probably feels like he can do more and get better, and I think that's the right attitude to have and how you handle it. He's obviously been productive when you look at the numbers. But he's had a lot of touches, he's got a lot of receptions. He's seventh in rushing and he's third in overall [yardage]. Sometimes you like to be able to distribute more of that around your offense, where you have a little bit more going on. I think DJ's [Chark] had some of that, but I think you always want more. You always want more, and usually not from one [player]. Like I said, I think in this league, sometimes you can stop one, it's hard to stop four or five guys like that. But yeah, he's done well."

(On if it awkward to return to a place where you have previously coached like Chargers Defensive Coordinator Gus Bradley will this week) "I think each person deals with it differently, so it would be hard to talk about it individually. I know for me, it's different things. I think when I go back to – when we play New York, because I worked for the Jets, and then when I go back to Buffalo, and I worked in Buffalo, my focus really is on getting the guys ready to play. Because you really don't have a lot of time during the week to put your personal feeling – and the players, [in] my experience, the players don't really give a shit about your personal feelings towards what might have happened. I think they might recognize it at times, but to me, there are a lot of good people at the Jets that I worked with, there was a lot of good people in Buffalo. And then New Orleans is a little bit different because I left there for different reasons, to take a job, so New Orleans is a special place because of what happened in Louisiana. So, for me, I look at all the positive things, all the people. And you get to see some of them, which is exciting, either pregame or after the game, so that's how I look at it. I don't go back and remember the bad stuff, or the challenges that happened. I just try to always remember the good. It's a shitty way to live your life if you're going to go back and look at all the bad, what went wrong or what happened or anything like that. So, that's how I look at it. But each person I'm sure is different."

(On his relationship with Gus Bradley) "Good, yeah. Obviously, Gus gave me an opportunity. You're always appreciative of anyone that gives you an opportunity and you're appreciative to be able to learn from anyone that's around you. I saw Gus and Michaela [Bradley] this summer, it was great. There is nothing uncomfortable about it."

(On if Bradley's defensive scheme is similar to Jacksonville's) "You get a lot of questions about scheme a lot. 'Hey, this scheme, our scheme or Seattle,' and then you have 3-4 schemes, and then I think you take third down, you can throw it out because everyone's a little bit different with what they're going to do. But you notice schemes and there's enough in it to keep you where you can't say, 'OK, I know they're going to be in this.' You say, 'I know that a percentage of the time, they're going to be in this or that,' but it's just the personnel. That's the big thing. You can run the same scheme on 32 teams, but you're not going to have the same type of results, it's going to be the personnel. So, do you know the scheme? Sure. Each week you go in, normal downs, you pretty much know a couple different things that you're going to be getting from mechanic-wise, coverage-wise, but the problem is that you say,' Hey, is my cat better than your cat,' and, 'Are we putting our guys in a good position to where they have leverage to make plays happen,' and I think that's how I look at it outside of third down and maybe some red zone stuff where people sometimes can get a little bit more exotic in their packages."

(On if he saw improvement out of QB Gardner Minshew II during the last few weeks) "Like I said before, when we first went for the move with Nick [Foles], one of the things that I've always had an issue with, personally, in this league when I was a player, was a lot of times you'd get better during OTAs, and minicamp and training camp, and then if you're not a starter, and you're running the scout team, you're in the meetings, but there was a whole lot of responsibility on yourself to get better when I was [playing] back in the 80's. I don't falter coaches, I don't, because the coaches have a job to get the guys that are playing ready to go. So, I felt that there was always a cycle of lost development, so I always tried to build into the schedule where you can keep these young guys playing because if you don't, when you start up again in the spring, you're pretty much going to have the same player you had in the preseason, you really are. So, when we made the switch, we made sure that Gardner was going to take his reps on the scout team, but that's dictated by what the other team does. But we wanted to do something at the end of practices, and on Thursday and Friday, we'd put stuff in there at the end of practice that we felt that he needed to get better on. So, from that standpoint, yes, we did see that."

(On how much of a challenge the Chargers edge rushers pose) "Good. I mean they're good. They're strong inside. I think [Melvin] Ingram's playing as well as I've seen him play. I think he's a tough matchup for the tackle, he's a tough matchup when they put him on the guard. I think [Joey] Bosa, obviously, has great speed and strength, and he can go outside or inside. I think the inside [line]backers with [Denzel] Perryman in the middle, I've always liked him. I think he's really active. He runs around, he's a big hitter, he sees things. And then, obviously, I have a background with Thomas Davis [Sr.] from the beginning, who I have a ton of respect for. And he's still playing at a really good level, and the secondary is playing well, so when you have good edge rushers and the balls have to come out, and you want to try to push the ball vertically down the field, it puts challenges on you. Because if you're going to keep people in to help, then you're not going to have many people out there and they have more cats to cover. So, those are the challenges that [happen] every week. I think each week, you go in and everyone has at least one [edge player], and then when you have two, it becomes a greater challenge, and then when sometimes you have three, when there's an inside player, it's even a greater challenge, and it goes on. But that's why I think your question earlier was, 'What do you want to see from the offensive line,' you want to see them being able to control that."

(On what advice he has given Minshew II to execute better in the red zone and commit less turnovers) "I think the first thing is obviously the turnovers. That's the first thing, the ball security. That's the one thing that he had a lot of fumbles and we wanted to make sure that we clean that up. The other stuff comes from a couple different coverages and reads and what we want to do with him. So, I'm probably going to stay away from that, obviously, I don't want to publicly say it, but we've worked hard on it. And just having a better control of, 'Hey listen, this is what we see, this is where we want to go.' We know he can extend plays; we know he can run. Now we just want to get him on the different types of coverages that he might not have seen in college as much. And then like I said, Thursday, we spent all these Thursdays working on third downs and all these Fridays we're on red zone for him, so I think that's going to help him.

(On if he recruited Thomas Davis Sr. to Georgia) "Yeah, I was the one that initially recruited [him]."

(On how he discovered Davis Sr.) "Someone said, 'Hey, they got this player over in this part of Georgia in the western part of the state that is a quarterback/free safety that's a pretty good athlete, but not many guys have really come out of the school for a while. They had one player that went to Florida, I think, three years prior. I had just gotten to the area, so I just wanted to go around and make sure I met everyone, obviously it's an in-state school. I met Thomas and I saw him play quarterback and free safety and I was like, 'This guy's an unbelievable athlete.' Real humble, good kid. Went in there and just brought him up, recruited him. I left to go to Tennessee, and I remember telling Rodney Garner, I'm like, 'Look, you have to take this kid, this kid's going to be – he's a great player.' He came up to our camps, came up to everything. Every time we see each other -- we're not close -- but every time we see each other, we always make sure we say 'hello' and he always says, 'Hey coach, thank you.' I think that goes a long way. It does. I didn't do anything, he's the one that did all the work academically and got himself ready to go, and obviously physically, but he's one of those guys you look back on, especially in recruiting, because that was the same year – the year before I was involved with Daryl Smith at Georgia Tech. So, I was fortunate. You don't realize what they're going to be, but Thomas is a story that's one I'll always look back on and be really appreciative of, knowing how hard he's worked, and what happened and how he's changed everything. And he's just such a great person. And you knew if he ever had the opportunity to play a long time in the NFL, that he was going to give back, and he gives back so much. I can't say enough about it. I wish I was these the whole time with him, but that's the nature of this business. It's hard to stay some place for a while."

(On why he didn't recruit Thomas Sr. to Tennessee) "I think it's hard when you go into someone's home, you're pushing a school, and then all of a sudden you go to another school and you're trying to get people to jump. I'm not that type of guy. I mean, one minute I'm telling you this is the best place for you, then all of a sudden, I'm changing my mind. But some people do that, yeah. Recruiting's tough now. You look at all the schools that recruit well in good areas, they've got talent now. It's like getting a bunch of first-round draft picks every year. Credit now, you have to work your butt off now, it's tough. You have to bang the bushes and you have to build relationships. You have to know everybody. That's the one thing I found out; before, you just had to know the kid and the coach. And then you had to know the kid, the coach and the youth league coach. Then the kid, the coach, the youth league coach and the pastor, the priest, the grandfather, the uncle, the little league coach. I remember I had one kid, I had 22 stops to talk to one kid, where he worked part-time, all that stuff. Like I said, you meet a lot of people, you look back on your life and good deal."

(On if Thomas Sr. was his best recruit as a recruiter) "I would say probably, yeah."