Doug Marrone - Wednesday, February 27, 2019

(Opening statement) "It is good to be back here. I think when you look back upon last season, which we have had a lot of time to reflect and you will see that we had a lot of expectations going into the season and obviously it was a very disappointing season. We started off well and we had a good camp, a good first quarter and then injuries and, I myself, I didn't do a good enough job as the season went along trying to manage our way through that type of adversity. I am excited. We have some new coaches that we have hired. We have been working diligently at the playbook, changing some things on offense, defense and special teams, preparing ourselves for free agency. We are down here, which is our first time to get a look at college players. We had a little bit of a peek at them these past couple of weeks. I am excited to get this process going with the draft and rebuilding our football team. Rebuild is not the right word, but get back with our football team to start building the foundation that I truly mean, and I am excited. I am excited to get our players. I am excited to talk to them, coach them and get ourselves back on track to where we want to be."

(On what he looks for when bringing in a quarterback) "I think there is a lot of things that go into that. What type of veteran are you trying to bring in? Are you trying to bring someone who is going to lead your team and be a leader and has the ability to win games? I have been in situations in where we wanted to bring a veteran because we had a younger quarterback and we wanted that veteran quarterback to help him along. I have seen it where we are going to bring this veteran quarterback to be a bridge. I think there are a lot of different situations as you go through it. When you look at college you look at the production on the field. I think that you look at the leadership ability. It is the one position that outside a title, meaning captain, it is a natural leadership position. The quarterback usually drives the boat. The more experienced or the more knowledge your quarterback has and the perfect scenario for me is I like it where the quarterback knows more and everyone else has to catch up to the quarterback. I think that's what keeps people on their toes. If you are waiting for the quarterback to catch up to everyone else on offense, then you are not going to progress the way you want to."

(On the importance of retaining Marcell Dareus) "I can't say enough about Marcell. Our relationship goes back to my time in Buffalo. What a great player he was then – just a guy that when he is in the building loves to practice, loves to play. When we had the opportunity to acquire him, we were able to get him and the emphasis for Marcell at that time was we are acquiring you and we need you to come in here and help us stop the run. He is a very focused individual. He came in and he did a heck of a job. He did the same type of job last year. I think when you look at our football team, you look at players around the league, he is probably an underrated player in terms of the type of job that he has done in stopping the run. The one thing I remember about Marcell though is the opposite. My first couple years with him in Buffalo he always wanted to rush the passer and was a good pass rusher. When he came here I think he wanted to do such a good job of stopping the run – I told him where is this guy that can get after the passer because he is a very, very talented player. He said, 'Coach, you know I came here to stop the run.' I said I know that and I appreciate that, but I really believe we are going to get more out of him and he is going to be a more dominant player going into next season. I am excited. I spoke to him. He is excited. I am glad we are together. I told him in the beginning that I started with him and I want to be with him as we work our way through this next season."

(On why Leonard Fournette has been working out in Wyoming and his performance this season) "I think last year was tough with the injuries. I think anytime that you are young and you have a lot of expectations put on you then I think when you have some injuries that it is tough to deal with. It is a tough situation for anyone, not just Leonard. I think after the season was over it has been noted that we sat down and spoke, he and I, and I really believe he is in a good place. He has been in a good place. He has been in the building. He has been working out. Working hard and then obviously when he told me about Wyoming, I was like, 'Wyoming?' He might be the first player ever, nothing against Wyoming, but the first player ever. I was like, 'Wyoming? Why are you going to Wyoming?' I think hopefully the only thing I can look at is the sole focus for himself. To go out there and train and really get away. I believe him, and I am excited for him when he comes back."

(On the important characteristics of a quarterback) "I think it is very simple that when you are coming up whether it is through high school or college and you can go one, two, three and throw or one, two, three, four, five, set your feet and throw. One, two, three, four, five, six, seven hitch throw. I think that is great, but I don't think it is as realistic in the NFL. I think that a lot of times what you have to do is you have to look at this quarterback or these quarterbacks or whoever it is on any other team, including our own, about where do they get that extra second. That extra time whether it be from the pressure that is coming or how do they avoid it, how do they step up in the pocket. It is not always the most athletic person that is able to do that. You look at what some people describe as true drop back quarterbacks and they are very good in the pocket with moving up, moving sideways to gain that extra time and there are some very athletic [quarterbacks] that are able to get outside the pocket to gain that time. I think that is something that, to me looking outside the other characteristics, is an important one, being able to do that."

(On the challenge to prepare for this season with the uncertainty at quarterback) "It is challenging offensively. That is what the meetings have been. To say to ourselves what do you want to do and a lot of it depends on who the quarterback is and what happens. Basically, what we have been able to do is put a playbook, which is like a menu that has everything covered. Depending on what we do at quarterback and what we do at other positions, we are able to fill that in as we get that player. Right now, we are doing a lot of work and a lot of research that covers a lot of ground, which is exciting and fun, and then it is just a matter of what we need to put together to put our players in the best position."

(On if that playbook is a base that will be added to or trimmed down from) "It will be trimmed. The playbook is like this and then for our players we will look at what we want to install in installation and then get it down further. A lot of that depends on the direction that we go at quarterback."

(On his stance on if there should be instant replay for judgement calls) "I have so much stuff going on that I don't really get myself involved with things that I am not asked about to do or help or any of that nature. I have been in college as a head coach, the pros as a head coach – whatever they decide, whatever decision we will just play by it and go. I haven't put a lot of thought in that because it has been a hectic offseason getting things done."

(On the type of coach the Packers are getting in Nathaniel Hackett) "Innovative. Tireless worker. I have been with him for a long period of time. I think they are going to get a person who is going to be able to help them and guide them along and has a ton of experience."

(On Fournette's usage next season with the potential departure of T.J. Yeldon and the significance of the multitude of offensive line injuries) "I don't look at things of people in that room affecting Leonard Fournette. I just think of Leonard Fournette playing a major role in what we are trying to get accomplished and being a work horse for us and feeding him the ball and making sure he is practicing as a three-down back. When do we take him off the field? That is the problem that I know that I look for. When do we take him off the field? I want him to be out there. I don't think there is an effect on him with anyone else. With the offensive line, it is tough. Everyone knows we had a ton of injuries. We went through three or four tackles. We lost our left guard. We lost the center. Right guard missed a couple games. The right tackle was in and out during the season, but when you stand up here as a coach and you stand up here during the season, people don't want to hear that. For us, we tried to replace them and tried to do a good job schematically and put ourselves in the best position. That is where I came in and I didn't do a good job of putting ourselves in the best position we could to win games after we started losing those starters. That is on me."

(On offensive coordinator John DeFilippo) "The one thing people look into and they will say, 'Hey John came from Minnesota or Philadelphia or Cleveland or Oakland and he has been an offensive coordinator and he is just going to bring his playbook in and teach everyone else.' That is not the best way in my opinion. The way that we have done it kind of like my first time with Coach [Sean] Payton in New Orleans. We got together, and we said to ourselves we all have these types of backgrounds, we all come from different types of systems. Let's put something together that is our own. For us it will be the Jacksonville Jaguars playbook. Not necessarily, John DeFilippo's playbook, but you look at the people we have on offense and you have John, who has some experience. You have George Warhop that has a wealth of experience. Terry Robiskie. Plus, the coaches that we still have on staff. I am involved in it too, so what we are doing is putting together a system, putting together a playbook that is ours. Everyone has ownership of it. Everyone feels comfortable about teaching it and it is something that we can all be proud of. It is not on just one individual."

(On how will the pressure to win this year determine the teams direction in bringing in a veteran QB or a rookie QB) "When aren't we under a lot of pressure to win? You look at the way the league is now, and I can't speak for anyone else, but I look at it as the same every day. There are 32 of these jobs. You can never take it for granted. Every day for me, I am trying to come in and earn that job, whether it is now, tomorrow, because at any given time, if you don't do a good job someone can say, 'Hey, listen, we are moving on and bring someone else in.' I think that when decisions are made I think that is why the management structure is set up the way it is. I think for coaches we understand that. We may put forth decisions to win now and do some things differently that may hurt the organization for the long period of time where I think you have a general manager and we have a executive vice president [of football operations] that they keep the owners best interest for the long term of the organization involved. I think that is a battle and the reality of it. I tend to make sure I am a team player and I really make decisions that I think are best for the team."

(On trusting the quarterback with the offense regardless of experience) "That is a tricky question because a lot of times you will put some routes in at all three levels and you go back to pass and their guy is better than our guy or our guy is better than their guy and all of a sudden you can't throw that ball deep vertically. Then you look to the middle of the field and all of a sudden those linebackers have gotten in the way and dropped back there and then the next thing you know and now you are dumping the ball off. I think a lot of times during the course of the game what I look at is when you have the opportunity to make the big play and throw the ball down the field, that you have to take advantage of the opportunity. There are a lot of players in this league that do a good job of that and there are some that don't for whatever reason, vision or whether they might not see. For me, I have never gone into a game and said we are not going to throw the ball deep or we are not going to throw the ball here. We are going to do this. I think we go in trying to attack and hoping that we have the right play called up against the right coverage or our guys are just better than their guys."

(On how familiarity with a coach can help a quarterback succeed) "I think is part of the process, meaning myself, Scott Milanovich, who has been a quarterback in this league, John DeFilippo, who has coached quarterbacks and been a coordinator. Then you look at the whole scouting side. There is a lot of information that is going through for people to make decisions for what the best option is. I think all that stuff does help for sure."

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