Doug Marrone - Wednesday, September 5, 2018

(On how he feels about the roster heading into Week 1) "I think we have been doing it all through the process of camp and everything, trying to see who the best 53 are. Not that we have stopped ourselves -- because we haven't – by looking to see if we can get better, which we are always going to do. You see that especially now, dropping people and adding people to the roster and deleting people. I think it is important. I think our guys understand that if you are not in a role where you are going to dress, then your role is, if you are running cards or things of that nature, then you are going to be evaluated on that and you have to be ready to come up if we have injuries. I have always believed that. You have players here in the building and if they are good enough to come up, then you need to bring them up and play. I said this to the team before the last preseason game and I talked about the year before and I was saying the guys that were in camp with us the year before, the guys that ran the scout team, they are just as much a part of whatever success we have as a team, even though they may not be here. I really feel that way. I think the people that get overlooked are the guys you wind up releasing during camp and the guys that played scout team that never get picked up. Everyone can see what you have to do with your starters and the people that are playing and how they have to study and how they have to prepare, but the best way is when [the scout team] can give [the starters] a good look to what they are going to see. This way on Sunday, it is something that is not completely different."

(On when Austin Seferian-Jenkins injured his core) "He has had a nagging thing going on and he has been practicing. The other day, he went for a ball and wound up falling down and it is sore. We are going to be smart about it." 

(On if there are concerns he won't be available Sunday) "I feel like he will play, but you never know. That is me saying it, not him or the doctors." 

(On if the team has thought about bringing a fourth tight end on the roster if Seferian-Jenkins is limited) "I don't know if we are at that point yet in our process. He is a guy that has been around, knows his body, so it would be different if it was a younger guy. Then, I think there would be more of a concern." 

(On the strengths of Giants TE Evan Engram) "What he doesn't do well would be a whole lot easier of an answer. He is an all-around guy. He is a matchup problem, matchup nightmare. He has a big body, but he can run all the routes as a receiver and do all those things and get open. The combination of all their skills players, whether it is [Sterling Shepard], Odell Beckham [Jr.], the running backs – they have a lot of weapons. It is going to be a great challenge for our guys. Eleven guys are going to have to do their job and do it well. Eli [Manning] is a guy that will find the guys that are open. You are not going to give him a lot that he hasn't seen before. It is going to be a combination of everyone really playing well. I don't think it is any different. If there is a hole or there is a breakdown I think the one difference is these skill players could hurt you and turn those into touchdowns. The quarterback can go ahead and find it." 

(On the luxury of having two All-Pro cornerbacks and it having to be all on Jalen) "No one has really asked any of that other stuff. Probably because they know it is 11 guys that have to do it. There are 11 of those battles going on every single play. You have to try to win it. Some guys get a little more publicity. It depends on what is being written or what people are writing about and some guys don't. A.J. [Bouye] is a very, very good football player, obviously. He has gone to the Pro Bowl and you have the guys that have done that. He has worked hard this offseason and improved his game. We are excited about that, but there are a lot of other untold stories. You guys know that have been here before. Guys that get overlooked a bit that aren't out there in space sometimes. Maybe [they] get push in the pocket and the quarterback moves to his right a little bit and it changes the trajectory of the throw and then it is an interception. All of a sudden it is a great play on the interception, but no one talks about how we moved the quarterback off the spot. I think the same thing offensively. Anytime running backs have a great game rushing the football, a lot of people [talk about] what a great job the offensive line [did], but no one talks about the tight end or the receivers down the field. Usually to break big runs, the receivers are the ones that are really getting after it with their blocking assignments." 

(On the addition of Nate Solder to the Giants offensive line) "I think that whole left side. They have the rookie [LG Will Hernandez] in there, who we watched a bunch of film on. I have watched him and I think he is a heck of a player. He is a kid from UTEP who was well coached, [former UTEP Head Coach] Sean Kugler, is an excellent football coach, especially an excellent line coach. He has been trained properly. Solder is big, tall, long, athletic in space, so they have a formidable left side and we know Pat [Omameh] is on the right and they moved [Ereck Flowers] from left [tackle] to right [tackle]. He is a heck of an athlete playing out there. Flowers is a big kid out there. Pat is a big, strong kid. For our guys, it is going to be a tough matchup for them. I think those guys are a pretty good unit and playing well and it is one that they upgraded. They can run the football and they can throw it, so it is going to be a challenge." 

(On how aware Blake Bortles needs to be of Giants S Landon Collins) "You start looking at it and I think he is an outstanding player. He is a safety, so depending on what their system is, those guys are like the generals on the back-end. I have all the respect in the world. He can play the pass, he reads the quarterback well, he fills the alley well. He does all those things well and they have another good safety next to him and they have two good corners in Janoris Jenkins and Eli Apple. They have played a lot of football and they have caused a lot of fits for players. It is opening day and everyone is going to be geared up. You have to go out there and you have to play well." 

(On his thoughts on the offensive line) "I think everything is kind of shaky until we start playing and then watching them play together. The way I look at it is, we do our best to go out there and put those guys together and basically a lot of those guys have been based on availability with a couple injuries and mix-matching them. We have had a lot of practice time together and now it is matter of when we go out there, how do we perform? That is the thing that is hard to answer now. You could look great during the preseason and go out there and all of a sudden not perform well and then really what does it matter in the past? You could have a poor preseason and go out there and do that. Our focus on a daily basis is, 'Monday, we went out there and had a good practice. Wednesday, now we are focusing. We need great practices building up.' It is like the other day – Gene you asked the other day, 'What do you need to see out of Blake?' We were talking about the turnovers and the touchdowns. I thought about that when I went back in [my office] because I don't spend a lot of time thinking about how to answer questions because I just tell you guys the truth and then move on. That one, I started thinking about. I am thinking for all our of players, when someone asks me what I am looking for in this player or what looking for in this player – we are looking for that player to play well enough to win games. To win football games, really at the end of the day. It just caught me a little bit and that is what I believe in. We are doing everything we possibly can to win. Even from a team standpoint, they have made some moves. They brought in the kid [Nate Stupar] from New Orleans who is a heck of a [special] teams player, the linebacker. They have some players down there that can play returners. We are going to be challenged on that end. You like to feel comfortable, but obviously, as you guys know, it is an uncomfortable feeling. You don't have a lot of film. You don't have a lot of things to study. You don't have a good feel. You haven't been out there. This is where it counts. This is where you have to go out there and perform." 

(On concerns with Brandon Linder) "No." 

(On if he says anything or jokes with Executive Vice President of Football Operations Tom Coughlin about returning to New York) "First of all – do you joke about it? There is no joking with Coach [Coughlin]. Do I needle him? That would not be a smart move by me or anybody else. Would you needle your boss? We are very focused, and we are focused on our team and we are focused on what we are about. I have always said this … Even for me, when I have gone back to London or gone back to Buffalo or the Jets or back to New Orleans, all these places that you do have a connection to, I think on the outside it is more of a big thing than it is on the inside. One of the things that I have learned long ago about this profession from a gentleman that I have the utmost respect for and is really a mentor for me -- a guy named Jimmy Raye II who coached with me with the Jets. My first year in the league, I was kind of just working, working and working. He said, 'Yeah, you aren't going to make it. You have to get into a routine. You have to get in a schedule. That is the only way you are going to last through the season because it takes a toll on you.' I think that what happens is, when you come down to preparing, you are just in that preparation mode and you are in that routine and you are going knowing that if you start thinking about things outside of it, I think it is going to be tough, because you are going to hit these little waves of up and down. You want to be sharp, as sharp as you can be with a lack of – for all of us as coaches – a lack of sleep, time or anxiety. All of that stuff that is going on with us to begin with." 

(On how Lerentee McCray has developed) "He's done a good job. At first, we were thinking, 'OK, let's take this player. Let's acquire him, he has played [special] teams. Let's see if he is good enough to play.' Really, honestly, when we took him. All of a sudden, he is playing and he is playing well. He made a lot of tackles, he had a good leadership role and then all of a sudden, I think that he picked it up and he has shown us that he can go in there [and play defense]. He has always believed that he can go in there and play defensively. I think that he has done a nice job of becoming a very good all-around football player for us. Obviously, he has become a leader for the special teams [unit] with them voting him captain. I am excited for him because he does put in a lot of work in both [special teams and defense]. It is hard. He is a [leader] by example because sometimes the younger players just want to concentrate on whatever phase they are in. [They think], 'I am a special teams player, I am not a linebacker. I don't have to worry about linebacker.' Or [they think], 'I am a linebacker, I don't have to worry about special teams.' I think with Lerentee, which I have always appreciated, is that he is able to put the time in on both. Leadership is important in that locker room, however they feel. We had 'Poz' [Paul Posluszny] in there for a long period of time, who did a great job. They voted for Telvin Smith [Sr.] and I think he has obviously stepped up to his role. Calais [Campbell] is there, but I think we have a couple other guys, too, that are doing a nice job there. Leadership and from the team standpoint, I am happy where Lerentee is."

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