Doug Marrone - Wednesday, January 22, 2020

(Opening statement) "We've been going hard from when the season was over until now and we're happy to have Jay Gruden come aboard and try to help us. I'm able to answer any questions from you guys."

(On how he thinks new Offensive Coordinator Jay Gruden will help develop QB Gardner Minshew II) "At the time, we have three quarterbacks. And situations, they're up, they're down, they can change. And I think that Jay has had some success at that position as a player, so I think he sees things through the eyes of a quarterback which I always think gives you a little bit of an advantage of what you're looking for. I think the diversity that I tried to do offensively, and we're getting together, putting all that stuff together, I think will be a big help. I think the success he's had with different types of quarterbacks, and I go back to Cincinnati when he was there with Andy Dalton and then with the veteran guys like prior to Alex Smith being hurt. So he's been around it and I think he's going to be able to – I know he's going to be able to help our football team. I like the schematics of how he does things and it's more in-tune to what I believe and I'm looking forward to it."

(On if Gruden's track record of developing then-rookie quarterback Andy Dalton in Cincinnati was a factor of him being hired) "I think everything comes into play. I think that we have two guys on our staff now that were in Tampa [Bay] when Jay was coming down there [and] doing work with the Buccaneers, that plays a big role in it. I think going back to your first job, and what you did in college and all those things come into it. And then you try to pick out spots that you're looking for. Diversity of quarterbacks, diversity of the offense, having the ability to not try to plug a square peg into a round hole, so I think all those things do come into play. The analytics come into play when you go back, and you research things. So I would say that from a standpoint of the process of obviously all of the background checks, obviously all of the people that you've worked with whether it's on your side of the ball, defensive side of the ball, management, scouts. You go through that. Then I think you go through the analytics of what has he done, personnel groupings, concepts, teaching methods. You talk to other people in the profession, mostly defensive coordinators that have gone against him, to get an opinion on what was it like with X-amount of guys preparing for them. What did you feel gave you trouble? What was challenging? So the one thing I didn't want to do is try to do something quick and fast. I wanted to make sure it was a thorough process and at the end of the day we can find the best player or the best coach for ourselves as coaches, but more importantly for our players."

(On if Gruden having head coaching experience in the NFL factored into the decision of hiring him) "The one thing that I think the head coaching experience does, obviously it's very diversified in the people that you deal with. Normally when you come up in this profession, you're a position coach, you're dealing with that position. Then you become a coordinator. Now all of a sudden you're managing coaches in the room, and you're dealing with just really that side of the football. And then when you're a head coach, you're really dealing with everyone. So I think all those experiences come into play, especially from the management standpoint of players. I think a lot of times you get people that, if you're a quarterbacks coach, you're in that room with those two or three guys, and then coordinators are speaking in front of the team. But then all of a sudden the head coaching stuff, it leaves things wide open. And also, I think you have a better understanding in my opinion of the whole picture. You get in some meetings sometimes and guys will fight for their position group, or their side of the ball. When I say that, they'll challenge you on, 'Hey, we need this, we need that.' Sometimes you need a little bit of that, but at the same time, you have to be able to see the whole picture. So I think the more people you can have around that can see the whole picture, and that's what we try to create, I think the more success you can have."

(On what impressed him about Jay Gruden's work with quarterbacks in the past) "I just think it goes back to the same thing that I was talking about before. There is diversity, there is different kinds of quarterbacks that he has worked with, whether it be younger guys that are developing, a guy that might have been in the league a couple years developing and a veteran guy … You look for that. Are we able to get the most out of it? It is a position that you would like to get locked in and be with one guy for a long period of time, kind of like my experience was in New Orleans with that quarterback [Drew Brees] or many of these quarterbacks that have played for a long time at a very high level. I think that I want to make sure that we have someone that understands where everyone is within their process or learning process to their development that can have plans for maybe that third guy that is on your roster that you're trying to bring up or the type of backup. Is it a veteran backup, is it a younger guy who is a backup? Is the younger guy playing? Is the veteran guy playing? How you keep those players developing is the key to every organization. Jay has really good insight to that."

(On how important it was to talk to experienced coaches for this role) "Because of our situation and where we are … My experience has been that I have had people with me who have been first-time coordinators, and I think you go through a learning process and you're getting better each year. There is a curve to that. One thing that going into it what I felt was I don't have time for that [learning] curve. I was looking for someone with experience, someone with conviction with what they believe in that matches what mine and our staff believe. Our staff was heavily involved in this, too. We all had time spent with each candidate that came in and together we made a collective decision on what was best for all of us."

(On how he feels Jay Gruden has developed wide receivers and the offensive line position units) "Again, I think that Jay has shown in his past the ability to run the football. That is always going to be a lineman's best friend and running back's best friend. At the same time, we have unique experience with [Wide Receivers Coach] Keenan [McCardell] was a wide receiver when Jay was coaching [in Tampa Bay]. They had a lot of interactions with Keenan as a player and Jay as a coach, which obviously always comes into play. Like I was asked before in what you are looking for … A really good understanding of all phases of what the players are going to want. You have to be able to stand up in front of them and do what is best for the O-line, best for the receivers, best for the quarterbacks, best for the running backs because if they feel when you get up in front of the room that you are putting a larger emphasis one group or another for production, sometimes that doesn't sit well with players. You want to make sure that they are all going to be involved and play an important part in what we're going to do on Sunday."

(On how much influence Gruden will have on hiring a new quarterbacks coach) "We're discussing that right now. In other words, the role of the offensive coordinator, play-caller with the quarterback coach. I've done it both ways where the coordinator has been the quarterback coach before. When you go that way, then you just have to have really good support around the coordinator, more logistic support. I've also gone the other way where now you have the quarterback coach that is out there working, and those guys have to be really in line. I'm talking about step-by-step of there's certain ways that we believe that we want to teach our quarterback, so we discussed it, Jay and I spoke this morning on it. We're going to think about the direction we want to go and then we'll have discussions later on. And if we do, then obviously we'll go through the same type of process of trying to find the best guy who knows what we want to do, knows how we want to teach the quarterbacks and someone that has the skills to get them to improve."

(On how many coach openings are currently available on his staff) "Yeah, I still have two [openings]. I do, I have two. In other words, the two coaches that have left, Scott [Milanovich] went to Edmonton and John Donovan took the offensive coordinator job at the University of Washington. Those two spots are still left to fill."

(On if he is open to the possibility of Gruden serving as both the offensive coordinator and the quarterbacks coach) "In other words, those are the discussions that Jay and I are having now. I've done it both ways. So, obviously it's the discussion we're having. I don't know if we're going to go down that path or not. Like I said before, I've done it both ways where you have one person that's teaching the quarterbacks, coaching the quarterbacks, calling the plays. That's pretty much lock and sync. And then there are other responsibilities for the coordinator that he has to do that may pull him away if he's supported the right way. So, we're just discussing those options now as we go forward, and at the end of the day, we're going to do what's best for the players and the staff. So, it's really an option. We're not leaning one way or the other."

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