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Doug Marrone - Wednesday, October 2, 2019

(Opening statement) "First off, congratulations to Josh Lambo. He's done a really nice job for us. It's comforting as a head coach when you've got to make decisions of kicking field goals, when you want to do them, what you want to do, and it's good to have someone like him that you feel is reliable, you can count on. I think what a lot of people don't see is how hard he does work at his craft, just with controlling the football on onside kicks and things of that nature. And even from a standpoint of a leadership role, a guy that's been around the league for a while. I know sometimes people don't look at specialists that way, maybe from the outside, but I always have. I always thought that since I've been playing and coaching. It's interesting – the guys who are in the locker room the most, just because of the way it's set up, are always your punter, your kicker and your [long] snapper. So, if you ever want to really know what's going on in the locker room, they're usually the first guys that you go to when you do that. So, that's good. I think going ahead, I spoke to the team today and we're playing a Carolina team that I have a ton of respect for having played against them, having gone against [Panthers Head] Coach [Ron] Rivera. I know a lot of the guys on their coaching staff, [Panthers Offensive Coordinator] Coach [Norv] Turner is an outstanding football coach offensively. You look at them offensively, obviously Christian McCaffrey is a great player. I mean, he is a great player coming out of Stanford. He can run well inside, outside and he is deadly in space, he'll do a hell of a job and hurt you. I think the quarterback's [Kyle Allen] playing extremely well. The receivers are good, they're really good after the catch, making people miss and being able to take it to the house. The [offensive] line's playing well and obviously [Greg] Olsen has been a guy that's been a top tight end for many, many years. Defensively, they're outstanding. Probably be one of, if not the best, one of the best defenses we play all year. Probably the most disciplined defense that I've been able to see; they do a great job. They're up front, their wave of defensive linemen is outstanding, the depth that they have there. The linebackers are great players. They're not good players, they're great players. They're instinctive, they tackle. They're right where they should be all the time. They read, they diagnose and their secondary is playing extremely well, so it's going to be a great challenge for us. We're going to go on the road again coming off the road in Denver with a trip and we're just trying to get our players back on the field and fresh both mentally and physically."

(On what challenge Panthers LB Luke Kuechly presents) "I hate when I play against him, but I love watching him play against other teams. I just think that he's sharp, smart, reads, diagnoses. I don't know what he doesn't do well, honestly. I mean, he's just an outstanding football player. I'm just glad we only have to play him once."

(On how big of an issue Gardner Minshew II's knee injury is) "I think you always have to be careful and I think that's probably the best way. I think we just have to do a good job and be careful. He'll be limited today. Anytime someone shows up on the injury report I think you just have to be mindful of it. I don't think he can just come out here and go, 'Everything's fine, everything's great.' I just think that we have to be careful leading up to the game."

(On what the timetable is for Jalen Ramsey's back injury) "No, I think we're going to look at it. Talking to Jalen [Ramsey] today, basically it's going to be a day-to-day type thing."

(On if inexperience is causing the high amount of penalties from the offensive line) "Good question. It's hard to stand up here and say inexperience, you know? You play your whole entire life and the rule is not to hold. It's probably the one rule if you're an offensive lineman, you pretty much understand that if your hands are around somebody, and you drag them down or you pull them, you're going to get called for holding. I think where the experience does come into play is putting yourself in better position. So, I want to make sure I'm clear on that, and I think those are the things that we're talking to our players about, about putting them in better position to use their technique so they don't put their hands outside. So, you're working on that, and then I really don't have any way to answer the red zone stuff because even an X [and] O offensive lineman, an X [and] O offensive line coach, there is no excuse. It doesn't matter what happens, you cannot hold. And we addressed it again today. It's something that we do address with the players and especially this week when you're playing a very disciplined defense that is going to make sure that you're patient. And if you get behind on the chains, you're not going to get first downs. They're a good defense and you're not going to do that and it's going to put a huge burden on yourself offensively. So we're going to continue talking about it. I do think the players understand. It's not something that they don't understand. I think in the heat of the battle, when they're going out there and they're trying to do their job they have to become more disciplined at it and we have to do a better job of coaching it."

(On if he has a bigger concern over the lack of a pass rush or the pass coverage from last week's game) "I think each game is going to present a different challenge. I think that going into the game versus Denver, Joe [Flacco] was one of the quickest quarterbacks in getting rid of the football, so we knew that going in. I just think it's always a combination, I've said it from day one. When we've gotten picks, when we've gotten sacks, it's always a combination of being able to cover, [and] making the quarterback hold it a little bit longer. Because I think it's very difficult, unless you clearly, cleanly, beat someone right off the get-go, which doesn't happen often that you're going to be able to affect the passer. So, whether someone can go in and make the quarterback sidestep, whether you can cover the first read, the second read, things of that nature, that's all the stuff that goes into it. So each week it's a different challenge. I think that when you are a team that people know that could get after the passer, there's going to be a lot of focus, a lot of scheme put into that game of making sure that you don't have it. Because when we do create turnovers, when we do get sacks, it kind of just comes in bunches for us. So I think there's a big thing that people do scheming-wise, and getting the ball out quick and we've got to keep doing better. We can't get frustrated, that's the one thing that I'm looking for, we don't want to get frustrated on it. And the other thing I look at is, is the people keep winning. It's like last week when we were talking about the two rushers that we played against. They've been winning, they just haven't gotten to the quarterback. We have guys that are winning, but the ball's gone. And a lot of times it's for underneath stuff, which you know that at any time. The quarterback gets off of the first read, he goes from one, he goes to two and he dumps it. It's going to be hard to get to the ball that way."

(On what his assessment of the safeties' play has been through four games) "I think it's gotten better. I think a lot of it depends on what we put in. Meaning sometimes we put too much, which I'm always in there trying to say, 'Hey, let's make sure we don't put too much in so it can be clear communication, real quick.' In doing that, I thought it was really good in the last game, because you get presented a lot of challenges with tight formations, bunches, things of that nature, how you want to play it. Obviously, we have multiple ways of playing a lot of different looks that people give us, so the communication's big on the road. Sometimes it can get loud even though you're on defense, so whether it's signals or whatever we're doing, but I do think it's getting better and better."

(On how you defend against McCaffrey in the passing game) "Tough. You almost want to put a corner[back] on him when you look at him because what's unique about him is that not only is he outstanding with the route tree out of the backfield, but he's also outstanding with the route tree lined up as a receiver. So he's a very, very talented player, really can do a lot of things. They're going to find ways to get him the football. We understand that and we just have to make sure that we have a lot of people around him, because he's very difficult to bring down if there's space one-on-one, and you can see that on the film. He's a really good football player. He leads the league in rushing and leads the league in all-purpose yards, also."

(On if other teams have put a cornerback on McCaffrey to defend against him) "No, I haven't seen that, no. I think it's very difficult when he's coming out of the backfield. Because they still have really good guys on the outside too. You'd have to have a bunch of pretty good cornerbacks and it'll be a challenge for us on how to cover him this week."

(On if QB Joshua Dobbs will get first-team reps in practice this week) "He will, yeah. He will."

(On if young quarterbacks are more ready for the NFL right out of college compared to the past) "I wouldn't know about the other ones. That could be one, I don't know. Maybe we've conformed a little bit more to what they do in college, I think that maybe helps them. I think that could be an issue if I sat down and thought about it, but I really haven't thought about it. I did read that though, about all of the young quarterbacks that are playing."

(On what he's seen from Panthers QB Kyle Allen on tape) "Good in the pocket, good presence, poise. Goes through the reads, has the ability to move. And like I said, Coach Turner is one of the best coaches, offensive coordinators, to ever coach this game. I mean, he does a great job with them, always has, and the guy's really playing well for him."

(On if he has talked to Washington State Head Coach Mike Leach recently) "No, I haven't. I told you the story, the only time I give Mike a call is when I go down to Key West and I'm looking for someone to drink with."

(On the injury update for TE Josh Oliver) "Yes. He's going to start practicing and we'll see. And I think the same thing, we're going to take it day-by-day and see where he's at. We're going to keep trying to progress him. We just have to get past that certain point, whether it's 95 (percent), 90 (percent), up there, being able to really push off and use his whole strength at 100 percent."