Doug Marrone - Wednesday, November 13, 2019

(Opening Statement) "Monday we got a little bit of a jump start, which was good, but it was more about looking at us and I was explaining to the players what we did as coaches over the week, and then went out and started bringing back and get into a routine, which I think is the most important thing right now when you come off of the Bye Week to kind of get ready for your routine. We just have to get ourselves ready. I think we have a lot of respect for Indy and [Colts Head Coach] Frank [Reich]. I think those guys have done a great job, they have a good football team, so it's going to be a great challenge for us."

(On what sticks out about the Indianapolis defense) "I'll tell you what, you talk about – they play extremely hard. Really good east to west, north to south. Good up front. They make you earn everything that you have. They have a lot of good players. They do a heck of a job of getting after the ball. So, I think schematically it's tough, it's a challenge. And it's a challenge every week, but they do a really good job, they really do."

(On how much the game plan changes depending on who starts for Indianapolis at QB) "We're focused on ourselves. I think that we looked at both [quarterbacks] and we think that, obviously today, there might be an announcement of who's playing. We think we're expecting Jacoby [Brissett] to play and we have a ton of respect for him. He's a really good player, really improved quite a bit from the first time that we faced him years ago when he was a backup, and he's really come into this league and has done a great job as a starter from a standpoint of completion percentage, leadership, playing hard. They have probably one of the better offensive lines in the league. [Marlon] Mack is a really elusive runner, he's probably the best jump-cut runner that I've seen in the league, and he's difficult to tackle and you have to run through him. You have the tight ends, you have [Jack] Doyle and you have [Eric] Ebron. I mean, those guys, they can put a lot of pressure on a defense. And outside, I know they've been banged up, but those guys have come in there and played well, stepped up."

(On how much he expects QB Nick Foles to help the team in the red zone) "Obviously we're banking on that. I think that his experience down there, and the things that he can do, hopefully that will be able to give us a bump there. But I don't think it's going to just be one player. I think obviously the quarterback's an important part of it, but I think everyone else has to increase their play down in there also."

(On if Colts C/G Quenton Nelson is one of the better guards he's seen play in the NFL) "Probably. I've been fortunate, I've been around. When I was in New Orleans, I felt like I had the two best guards in the league with Jahri [Evans] and Carl Nicks. Very fortune to coach those guys. I think Quenton's one of the best guards that I've seen throughout my whole time in the NFL. He's an excellent football player."

(On what makes Nelson so good) "Strength, speed. Just finish-ability. Leverage, technique. I think if someone's going to go draft a guard, and you're a coach, and you want to go into management, you say, 'Hey, get me a guy like [Quenton].' He's an excellent, excellent, football player and he's been an excellent football player from high school on up. From high school, went to Notre Dame, Harry [Hiestand] coached him at Notre Dame, he's an NFL [offensive] line coach, he's back in the NFL now. So technically, from that start, he's been technically sound and he's a master at what he does."

(On if the Colts' offense has changed dramatically since Brissett has taken over for Andrew Luck) "They don't really look at it that way, so I really don't have enough information to answer that question because I looked at it, it just says Brissett was there and going, and then we know if he doesn't go then Brian Hoyer goes and we know that he's a good quarterback and when he gets hot, he can light you up. I've played against Brian before and I have a ton of respect for him."

(On how much stress the Colts tight ends Jack Doyle and Eric Ebron put on a defense) "A lot. Those guys can take advantage [of] different levels of the field. Plus their catch radius, catchability, matchup issues, there's a lot of things that go into that. So, when you have those types of players, those two types of players, [they're] just weapons. That's how you look at it. When you look at the people across from you, whether it be offense, defense or special teams, you start looking at who are the weapons, who are the playmakers, who are the guys that can get things done, and those guys can."

(On the challenge Colts LB Darius Leonard poses to the offense) "I go back, he reminds me [of] when I first came into the league and we played Miami. They had a guy named Zach Thomas. And I know I talked to the team and I said, 'We have to make sure we have to get at least maybe two [players] at times,' and we have to change up our scheme, and we have to do a lot of different things, because this guy can make every play, every tackle. I mean, east, west, north, south. Passing game, he's always around the football. So, he's someone that you have to know where he is and you have to make sure you have at least one, maybe two guys on him. Because he's going to find a way to make the tackle and be where the ball is and disrupt it."

(On if having Foles around the team helped the transition) "I think it is important. I think the roles change but being around is big. You do not want to all of a sudden be absent and then come back in and now that your role has changed where before Nick's role was doing everything he came to support not only Gardner [Minshew II], but everyone else around the room, which he did a great job of. Everyone will tell you that. Being in the locker room with the defensive players and being around them is important. Being around the coaches, being in the meetings, seeing how things are going, seeing how guys are playing, getting a feel for the receivers, the line, the protections. Having that feel just watching it and being in tune – Nick is the ultimate professional. He was in tune with it and then now it changes a little bit. Gardner is supporting him and now Nick is more vocal of, 'Hey, this is what we are going to do. This is what we like and working together with the coaches.'"

(On Foles having come in as a starter late in the season before and if there is something to be said about doing that) "The coming in cold part – I can understand what you are saying, but he has been practicing for a while. Now, getting into a game, that is legit. That is legit for sure. The experience of having played a lot before really helps that knowing how the game is going to be played and knowing what you are seeing and seeing those live types of reps in practice as far as coverage and everything like that. I think that part of it is good. I think having been a backup before coming in, I think that helps, but I think it is more of the mentality of the player that does it meaning that if that player is in tune ready to go, ready to jump at the opportunity then I think they are always going to be ready for … A great example is Gardner [Minshew II] in the first game in Kansas City. I do think all those experiences for all those players whereas Gardner you might not expect that because you do not really know. I should not say you don't expect that. You expect that from everyone, but you just do not know the performance of it where Nick has done that before. He is ready to go, and he has looked good and has been real professional about the way he always handles his business."

(On how much uptick he anticipates from the tight end position with Josh Oliver having more games under his belt and Nick Foles back) "The situation that you always get is, 'Hey, this player is with this team and he had great success with this position.' When you look at the position, you are talking about one of the top players in the league – you know what I am saying? I think it is a matter of the quarterback taking advantage of the people who are the playmakers rather than what you might say what the comfort level is for a quarterback. A lot of times when people talk about Nick, they will talk about how you need a great tight end or a tight end with him to do that. Obviously, we like the way Josh is progressing. We want to see more and more from him each week and he has been doing a very good job. I think that can help us because it will give us another guy that we believe can also make plays. Is anything going to be forced to anyone? No. That is not how Nick operates and that is not how we want to operate where we say, 'OK, we are forcing the ball to this guy, it is a 50-50 shot.' I think to answer your question, we are happy with where Josh [Oliver] is coming. We are going to take advantage, Nick is going to throw the ball to who is open, to whoever can get themselves open and not put anything on, 'Listen, he is not going to be as effective because we do not have what he had before somewhere else.'"

(On the progress he has seen from the offensive line) "I think it's always a work in progress. Each week in the NFL gives you different challenges of who you're playing. We're either playing a penetrating defense, a reading defense, a stunting defense, a pressure defense. I think we have done a good job. I thought protection-wise, for the most part I think we've gotten better, even though the numbers may not show that. The run game-wise, I think when you look at where we are rushing and rushing average, I think all that stuff looks good on paper, but I think we can get more. I think we can do a much better job, especially when we talk about first down, and second down and get some more manageable situations on third down for ourselves. I don't think we are doing a very good job there."

(On whether he thinks the Week 11 game at Indianapolis is a must-win game) "I look at every [game], you go into it like that. I try to address it to the team as, 'You have to avoid all the stuff on the outside because this league is crazy, and you never know what's going to happen.' You only have 16 opportunities; you go in there and give everything you have for each one. Our focus in on ourselves and playing well and performing well. I never really talked about must-win [games] until you get to the elimination rounds in the playoffs."

(On how he thinks DL Taven Bryan has played the last few weeks) "Good. I like it. His reps have increased. We met as a staff and I was telling the staff a couple days ago, the one thing about this game is you can take a player and you can coach a player. You can coach the heck out of them on the field, and in drills and all that stuff. Then it gets to a certain point where the only way you're going to get better is by playing. I'm sure a lot of us have got through that in whatever sports that we've played. And I think what we're seeing from Taven is that he's playing more and you're seeing the progress. Now, is it not as fast as what maybe he wants, everybody wants? Probably. But it's going in the right direction. So, we're excited about that and if we can keep him playing at the amount of snaps we have him playing at and he keeps getting better, he's going to be able to help our football team in a big way because he's already doing a nice job of what we're asking him to do now."

(On the job that CB A.J. Bouye has done this year) "Good. He's been good, he's been solid. I think his game has picked up recently. Leadership, back-end conscious. I think he's doing a good job and he's going to be challenged. There's a lot of good receivers that we play, starting this week with Indy and he's got to keep that going and keep getting better. A lot of people will say, 'You're [in] Week 11, you are who are you are, you are what your record is.' But, the one thing we talked about as a staff is that we still have to keep developing, we still have to get these guys better. We need to get better and better each week as we go."

(On why he thinks the opponent's average yards per rush is so high and if it's because of injuries at the linebacker position) "I think it goes beyond [injuries]. It's easy to sit here as a coach and say, 'Oh, you know what, you're exactly right.' It's part of it. The way we look at it is when we're doing everything right, when we are in the right gaps, and we have everything filled, we're doing a pretty good job. When we have been able to stop the run, we've been able to win football games. When we haven't been able to stop the run, we haven't. That's easy to know. All it takes is one guy to be out of their gap, or a missed assignment, or someone gets actually moved out of a gap for these types of things to happen. Outside of the scrambles, which you always want to do a good job of [defending], obviously you're looking at the run game and we're facing a really good offensive line and a really good running back."

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