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Head Coach Doug Marrone - August 27th, 2020

(Opening Statement) "Yeah I appreciate everyone today and their understanding of the situation that we're in and just to try and give you some insight of what took place. We met as a team together; coaches, players, myself. We addressed a lot of issues where we find ourselves back to where we were a couple of months ago discussing these things. It's always interesting that a lot of individuals get up there, including myself, and we share personal stories of how things affected us in our lives, we share what we think is needed for change. And I think we have, as a matter of fact, I know we have a good understanding of what's not acceptable in our country today. Today, decisions to go out and practice, I'm sure there [were] players that didn't want to practice, maybe there [were] coaches, maybe it was everyone? I don't know. But what I do know is that we're able to express a lot of opinions, a lot of emotions. At the end of the day, somehow, [we] come together and go out there. And I think that somewhere along the line we've got to figure that out, because obviously we want to do something that's actionable, something that could create a change. I can't even explain or really put into words the emotion of the sadness, frustration, confusion. And when I talk about confusion, please don't ever think that I'm not committed to the support and making this change. Where I beat myself up is like when you're in a position of leadership or you have a voice within a team, you want to be able to show a path, show a way. You listen and you just … Right now, I don't know what that path is. But we are committed as team to finding it and committing to taking the time to get it done. I think that people have a lot of questions, I don't know if I'm going to be able to answer them, I don't know whether we're ready to answer them. I think there's a lot more discussions to go on. Like I said before, as a white guy, a white man in this country, I can't even imagine what it's like. And I'll never say I know what it's like. But I do know this, the fire and intensity to make a difference, grows. Every time I hear the stories from our players, what they've gone [through]. I think the same thing, continue to support themand explore that avenue where we can understand what we've got to get done. And I know I'm rambling. I told players that a lot of times, we're so competitive ... [I ask myself] Did I help anyone? Did I make something better? Did I stand for something? Did I actually participate in trying to get change? So, it's a very emotional time, I don't know. I mean, I was just continuing to ramble. So, there's a lot of emotion that I'm going through right now and a lot of emotion that we're all going through right now."

(On an indication that the day would be different) "I think when I was first made aware of Jacob Blake and got that information just on my own, in other words, no one saying it to me. I think like first, just went through a lot of emotion. I don't know the facts or know what really went on and I think the only thing I've been able to know is from the media. I think at any time these things go on, I think I do realize that there's going to be a reaction and I'd be naïve not to think so. Today, coming in, I knew it wasn't going to be an ordinary day. As a head coach, I wanted to make sure that—I knew that silence is wrong, I knew that listening is important and I knew that creating an opportunity for us to speak is [important]—get up there and talk about your feelings when you're on a team. I mean, to answer your question, did I think something was going to happen? Was I prepared for it? Not prepared in a way of knowing what I was going to say or anything of that nature. I'm not that type of guy. I'm more of just talking from my heart and talking about how I feel and that's what I did with the team."

(On being aware of the platform the players have and their messages not being heard) "I do, from the conversations that we've had. I can't speak for any of the players on anything that's going on. But I think that we do understand that. We have people that have been in the NFL for a long period of time—and again, I'm not speaking for anyone in the organization, I'm speaking for myself—the coaches and players that—I mean, when is enough enough? How long is this going to keep going on? I mean, we draw attention to it, here we are again. I think that I've learned a lot from these players, like I've said before, I've learned a lot. There was talk when George Floyd happened, there were some people that spoke about, 'Hey listen, we're going to find ourselves back in this situation again.' It's hard to really, really comprehend that. You would think that there's enough emotion, enough support, enough people to understand what the right thing is, whatever is decided upon and goes, that there would be attention to it. So, I think that what you mentioned is the greatest challenge. What is actionable? I started thinking about things, writing things down. I kind of told the players, kind of to remind myself, I've got to educate myself on how to understand. What are the avenues to go on? And we touched on some, whether it be voting, whether it be meeting with politicians, and meeting with [others]. But for change, what has to be done? What are the laws that are either being put forth that we feel are working for us or aren't working for us? And if it is there, why isn't it working for us? I think that I just have so many things and I think, I want to say this again, that's where that confusion—when I use the word confusion, that's what it is for me. I'm just not as educated as I'd like to be or able to articulate things as well as I'd like to. But I'm trying to find that path and I think that's what we're all trying to do."

(On what he learned about the team today to still go out there and get work done) "Yeah, when you get a question like that, the first thing that goes through my mind is [that] I don't want to take away from the two-hour conversation that we had. I don't want to misrepresent anything we're about, as a team, together. But I would like to point out something I talked about before, I think that for those two hours, there were people that felt like—maybe we shouldn't practice or should. I don't know what the numbers are, I don't know any of that stuff, the team knows that. But at the end of the day, I know they're 100 percent, as far as what they were feeling prior to these meetings. But to be able to get in there and be able to voice what our opinion is and voice what we think we should do. And at the end of the day, it showed the unity of being out there. It's powerful and I think that it's a characteristic that—a hope that we can use to get us going forward. Because like I said, this affects everyone. And what I've learned in so many different ways emotionally, it takes you in different paths and different emotions. And to be able to work together and try to be able to do something. Because maybe no one is thinking about it, I know when we speak as a team—and I'm sure players won't mind this—we know what we want as the end result. We know we want equality. We know we want justice. We know those things. The path I'm going and what steps to take, those are the answers that we do not have now, but I can promise you that we will work together and find them."

(On describing the atmosphere and the emotions of the morning meeting) "Yeah, I think, again, I can't. You're going to be able to have players that can give you at least what they feel or maybe talk about their teammates. But for me, I can only talk about me, I guess when we've had these conversations earlier, there's a level of where you're upset. For me, there's a higher level of frustration this time around. A higher level of—here we are again. Why did this—why are we here again? Knowing that whatever we've done between then and now—it's kind of like what John said in his first question. What are we doing? Why haven't we gotten anywhere? So, I think, for me, it comes down to … Like I said before, these stories that you hear individually, it's not a battle of whose story is worse, where that is. What those stories do, if you listen, it just, it gives you more maybe more empathy, but it gives you more emotion, or more—[shoot] what am I looking for—where you want to do more. It just gets to that level, you know, gosh, I mean, when are we just going to say, 'Hey enough is enough, we've protested, we've done this, we've done that.' What are the actionable steps that we can really make change that's not going to keep putting us back on square one, on square one, on square one? But again, when I say this, these are the things that I'm feeling, I'm not speaking for anyone else on the team or anyone else."

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