Skip to main content

Jaguars News | Jacksonville Jaguars -

Doug Marrone - Wednesday, October 24, 2018

(Opening statement) "I met with both quarterbacks after [my podium session Monday]. I don't know what time, but it was in the afternoon. I made a decision to go with Blake [Bortles] [as the starter] and like I said, looking at his leadership, looking at a lot of things that he can do and we're excited about that and going. I think we have a good understanding of what needs to be done. But in the same sense, it's hard for me as a coach to control the message of what's going on in the outside. It's not just at that one position, it's everyone. And it's all of us as coaches. When people say, 'What's going on? Why does this team look different? What's the situation?' I always say the first thing that comes to mind, which is, 'I have to do a better job and it comes to me.' For me, that's what I have to do. I have to do a better job with this team in all areas – coaching all-around. We all need to take our level up. I showed them a couple clips this morning about, 'Hey, listen, this is the team that we want to be from this year.' Pictures of when we're excited, we're going and we're making plays. We're not playing like we want to play or should play. Obviously, the thing that has been getting us – the first one is obviously takeaways and giveaways. For us – and you'll see it today – we're going to spend extra time and put it in the practice schedule to make sure we're putting more of a major emphasis on that. It's something that – you guys know me well enough – we have emphasized since the first day I have gotten this job. I have always emphasized it every time I've been a coach and especially when I've been the head coach. That's what we have to do; we have to get out there with a lot of enthusiasm. We have a lot of things logistically that a lot of us have been through before with this trip going over to London. We have to get ourselves mentally prepared for that, doing all of the things that we have done in the past and get on the field and go practice and look forward to getting out there, putting in the work, look forward to getting out there to play this game."

(On what was the tone of the conversation he had with Blake Bortles on Monday) "I've always said that I'm going to keep the conversations with the players private, but it was a good conversation. I think most of my conversations with the players are matter-of-fact. It's a lot easier to do it when the emotion of how we feel about what's going on is gone. And that's everyone, including myself. Make no mistake – and you realize this – there is frustration. If everyone comes out one time and just blasts everything then that's kind of chaotic when you do it. When you think about it and you do it, you start every conversation and you have to believe this because it is a team sport … You start everything where the first thing you do is you look yourself in the mirror and you say, 'Look, I have to do a better job.' I think when that happens, you open it up and it goes. I think I talked to the players – I have to do a better job. We all have to do a better job. We're not doing what we need to be doing and it's all of our responsibility. I know obviously ultimately in this room, it falls on me."

(On what gives him confidence Blake Bortles will play better) "Because I've seen it before. I think I've seen it before. It's going to go a lot back to that position [QB] a lot of times, but I don't want anyone to lose sight of what I said after the game, meaning that I made that move because it's the only real move you can get to grab attention and grab focus. The problem that you have when you make that decision as a coach? Make no mistake about it, I did it for that reason so I can evaluate things better and get a better feel, but when that decision is made and you tell people about that decision, the next thing it's going to do from a standpoint of everything outside of the building is it's going to open everything up. It's going to put the focus on the quarterback, and that's where I have to do a good job of everyone here being like, 'OK, is that a part of it?' Sure, we need better play. But the bigger picture is that we all need to play better. That's what I have always tried to communicate to the team, and I think that's hard to do from a standpoint of when you get out here publicly. It's a better story when it's the quarterback stuff. But that's the nature of the business, I get it. I don't have any issues with that."

(On reports that Cody Kessler will be getting first team reps this week) "I'm going to go back to what I said on Monday. I sat here, looked you guys all in the eye, said that whoever the quarterback was at that time is going to take starter reps. I believed in that my whole entire life. I answered the question on Monday. I will answer it again – Yes, Blake will take all the starter reps. Does that mean Cody doesn't take any reps? He will take the normal reps that he did the last six weeks, seven weeks."

(On if the QB backup takes any reps with the first team offense) "Last week we got him [Kessler] a little bit, a couple of second team guys, two to three. The only time I really adjust reps is for injuries. When I put someone in there, I put them in there with the belief that they are going to play. The only time I ever look at someone where they might be on a short-term period is when the starter is injured and now the starter is going to come back and play. That's the only time I look at things that way. But as far as everybody that's on the field, I put them in there with the belief that they're going to be able to get the job done and continue it and turn this thing in the right direction and keep playing well and win football games."

(On if he has a seen the focus from the team this week) "I've had a lot of time. I think it's the same thing. You always get yourself in trouble when in this profession, it's a performance-based business. You have to put the work in during the week, but if you don't perform how do you sit up here and say we were focused all week? We had a great week of practice and then we play that way. For me, I never try to fall into evaluating the day. I would rather just say here is the performance and now I'm going to go back and evaluate the week of either what we need to do a better job of or what we did a good job, maintaining that and see what was the cause. That is difficult sometimes in a performance-based business."

(On if Carlos Hyde has been able to catch up) "I think we're in pretty good shape. The offense that he has been involved with, terminology-wise, is kind of close. In other words the philosophy, the principles, the foundations of the system is the same. I think that he has been very hungry and eager and today is the first day that we'll get out there and see it. We're excited about that."

(On the challenge of facing Eagles QB Carson Wentz) "He's getting better and better each week coming back from that injury. He's a big, strong quarterback that can make the throws, shake things off, meaning defenders that are around him. He can run the ball and he has a lot of weapons around him too to help him."

(On if playing to the team's identity can fix some of the team's offensive struggles) "Make no mistake about it, we have had quite a few injuries on offense and people are brought here or drafted and developed here to play a certain type of football. Not to say that we can't play any other way, but that's what we have worked on. If we can play to the identity that we want to play then we feel that will help us become a better team and start winning some games."

(On what the wide receivers need to do better) "Overall, we just have to make sure when we have the opportunity to make plays we have to be able to make those plays. I think that a lot can be said about this catch or that catch. Obviously, everything that's close to them that they can get their hands on we have to be able to catch the ball. We're looking for the run after catch, which we had. We're looking to run behind people. We have done that here, this year, with those players and we have to do a better job. A lot of times for them to operate, like the quarterbacks and the running backs [operate], other people are going to have to do a good job. Meaning that you have to protect, you have to deliver the football. The people that are not getting the ball or are not the read are clearing it out and making a space for that person to get better. Obviously, we all need to just keep getting better and we need to start making plays. Look at the three games we won – we made some plays. We made some big plays. When you look at the games we're not winning we haven't made plays in all three phases. We have to concentrate, keep working and make some plays."

(On if he has addressed the quarterback decision with the whole team) "I sent a [message through TeamWorks]. I don't like getting things out there [publicly] early. It went to the team. Then it went to the local people. I talked to them about everyone needs to do better. Everyone needs to focus. I tried to explain it before. I told you the reason why I made the decision to get everyone focused, but everyone is going to put it back on these two players. That's not the case. The case is it's on everyone. You have to go through these things because you have to make sure you're doing a good job like I do at every position and think about [decisions] before I make it. It is what it is. It's not what you are trying to make it where it's the biggest thing in the world. It's not as big to us because I already talked to the team prior to that about why we were doing it."

(On what kind of clips he showed the team of this morning in the team meeting) "All three. Offense, defense and special teams."

(On what games he showed) "All three games that we won. We took it from all three. We had about three or four clips from each phase, offense, defense and special teams."

(On if the players-only meeting helped the team refocus) "Working on it. That's the goal from a communication standpoint. The only way to right it is to make sure everyone is pulling in the right direction. That's what we have talked to the players about. For a boat to go forward, everyone has to be rowing the same way. You have to have the mindset of everyone going in the same direction. Like anything else, if you're off a little bit, you are never going to get to where you want to go. That's the one thing I have been trying to talk to this team about. If there are any issues, problems or frustrations, come to me because at the end of the day I'm the only one that can make changes."

(On the team's depth at cornerback) "[Tre] Herndon is coming back. Herndon is a full-go and he's ready to go, so that helps."

(On if the team has enough bodies at cornerback) "Yes."