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Head Coach Doug Marrone: October 7, 2020

(On what's great about blocking for RB James Robinson) "I think it's' not about whether it's our line or anyone's line. I think everyone would appreciate it. I think anyone that can gain positive yardage, that really understands the scheme, that works the way that he works, the way that he credits the guys that are around him, not just the offensive line, but the tight ends and receivers and fullback and everyone around him, I think you have a great appreciation for that. Styles, they all depend. There's still different styles that can be productive. He's got a couple of them, there's a couple of things. I don't know if I would ever pigeon-hole him into one, but I think the one thing that I would describe him, for myself watching him, is a very disciplined type runner that's always looking to get the positive yardage. I think that was a big thing that I saw during training camp. I think that's what you're seeing on the field. He has the ability to make people miss, which is obviously a key thing for that position, but his understanding of the scheme and his protection and just really all the aspects of what you need someone to do: protection, catching the football, carrying out fakes, understanding the scheme, being productive. I think really he's someone that checks all the boxes."

(On if RB James Robinson will stand out more in situations where the offense needs to run down the clock) "Yeah, I would say that [in regards to] the last part [of the question], he has stood out. I think you look already if some of the runs that were negated for penalties, not just the other one last week, the 50-yard run, but there's been another run, maybe two or three, that have been negated. If you look at that and you put that in there, it's quite impressive for what he's done. I don't look at it that way. I think he's someone that can affect the game at any point. It might not be the yardage you see in the run game, even though our yards per carry is very good right now, but you can see him. He can also affect it in the passing game because he does have the ability to make people miss, he is difficult to tackle. So, I don't know if it's one or the other. I think he can be effective in either way a game goes and affect the game."

(On his reaction to former Texans GM and Head Coach Bill O'Brien getting fired) "I think most everyone knows that Bill [O'Brien] and I obviously have a friendship that probably leans towards more of a brother type relationship, so, for me, speaking to him is not an unusual thing. We speak quite a bit. I know this, definitely in this league, I would say that I probably know him better than anyone and I know that he's an outstanding football coach, he's proven that. I know that he's very loyal to his coaches and players and organizations. I think that he's a guy that has won four out of five titles in the AFC South and I think he's someone that's an outstanding family man, he cares. I mean there's just so many great qualities. I can't believe I have to say this publicly now because normally I'd bust his chops. But he's a great friend and it's always sad when you see things like this and I'm sure that he'll have opportunities down the road because of all the things that he's done. It's just the way [it is]. I think we all understand this is the way the league is."

(On an injury update) "We'll have some guys practicing today for different reasons, but the only one I don't feel good about is D.J. Hayden. Everyone else has a chance. So, I don't want to say I feel great, but everyone else has a chance to play on Sunday, so I'm excited about that."

(On if he's ever been fired from a coaching position) "No. I remember George DeLeone, who was my offensive line coach at Syracuse and [has] been around a period of time, he told me one thing. He said, 'If you haven't been fired then you haven't been coaching long enough.' I thought, 'Well, maybe I've been lucky I haven't coached that long.'"

(On how he reacts to positive COVID-19 tests across the league) "I think with the way we tried to address the situation right from the beginning is that we hit on the protocols. I would say probably we may not go more than a day or two without talking about COVID and the protocols and things of that nature. So, to answer your question, I think if you haven't said a lot about it and you just had the protocols in place, then I think you can create a lot of anxiety or issues or problems, but I think when you're talking about it, pretty much on a daily basis, that you're able to always keep reminding the players and keep them going. So, when things change and knowing that every time we have talked about the protocols, I've always talked to the players about it's a season of change. These things can change as they go and they're coming from people that are experts, like I said before whether it's the league or the PA or both of them working together and scientists. It can come from states and government. It can come from a lot of things. So, I think they way we approached it from the beginning has helped us to be able to talk to players, like really yesterday and today we spoke about it quite a bit of what we have to do and how we have to stay on top of it, along with the staff. For us, we look at it as 'Let's talk about it. Let's make sure we're in compliance. Let's make sure we're doing everything the right way. Let's make sure we're sharing the information that we're getting from the league and the PA' and that's how you always start. Then, all of a sudden, it's like, 'Now, we understand all this stuff. This is why we have to do it. Now, let's get our focus back to football.' So, I don't see the anxiety or the issues that maybe some people may think are [happening]. We understand it and we accept it, and we move on. I don't think it's something that we're trying to fight or we disagree with or maybe we don't understand. I'm never going to say that we may like a lot of this stuff because some of it is straining from a standpoint of not being done before, but we accept it. So, I think that's where we are as a football team and as an organization and I can't say enough about the people around that we're all doing a good job and we're all policing ourselves."

(On facing a team that just fired their head coach) "A lot of times, that team will go out there and [still play hard]. The Texans, watching them on film, have played extremely hard and I think that they've played some, at least two, elite teams in our conference in Baltimore and Kansas City. I think everyone knew when the schedule came out, I think there were reports on how brutal the beginning of that schedule was. I think it's even tougher when you don't have an offseason. I mean I know everyone else didn't have an offseason either, but to give yourself the time and preparation, it's tough. I don't know. I can't look back and say it, but normally what happens is human nature takes its course as they wound up either firing the head coach or benching the quarterback. I think then all of a sudden people start looking and saying, 'Hey, we have to step up our game', so usually you get the best effort from a team."

(On the return of DT Carl Davis Jr. and the status of RB Devine Ozigbo) "I think with Carl [Davis Jr.], that's always a possibility of something happening there and creating a roster spot for him. I think with Devine [Ozigbo], he had a good offseason. We're just making sure he's ready to go from a soft-tissue thing. We don't want to bring him back and all of sudden get and injury because we we're really excited about him. He was having a really good camp. Two years ago, he had a great preseason and camp when he was with New Orleans before we had gotten him. So, we're just making sure he's fine and doing our due diligence there."

(On the status of RB Ryquell Armstead on the COVID-19 list) "I don't see that…you know what? I'm really not sure. I'd have to go back and look into that to being to give you an answer. I've been focused on so much of what's going on here that I don't know, so I apologize for that. But, if you need it, just tell Tad [Dickman] and we'll get you something on that."

(On QB Gardner Minshew II's pocket presence and trying to simulate pressure in practice) "I think it's always difficult. It's less challenging to simulate maybe the coverage aspect of things when in practice, but it's little bit more challengeing to simulate that rush. Those are things, not just for us, but I think everyone goes through that. That's happened everywhere that I've been. When you get off the footwork and you're moving around, you can simulate scrambles and work on scramble drills. Everyone around the league does that. So, it's tough. If you look at it, I think the things that we wanted him [QB Gardner Minshew II] to work on, he's worked on. I think people have to remember last year was the first year really playing. This year is his first year as a full-time starter, so I see someone who's going to be getting better and better each week. I think that the amount of experience that you get on game day, I always wonder what you can compare that to [in terms of] practice reps or scrimmage reps or things of that nature, so everything he's getting. In talking to him the other day, there's some things that he's done really well and there's some opportunities out there where he knows that he can do it and he wants to do a better job of so he can take advantage of it offensively. So, he's in a good place because he's probably one of the most competitive people that I've ever been around. Obviously, he's smart and obviously he continues to work to be the best he can for our football team."

(On an update on S Jarrod Wilson) "I think there's a good possibility that he might be able to come up this week."

(On reflecting on this year from the last time they went to Houston last year to now) "Gosh, that's a question I really don't put a lot of thought into. I apologize for that. I think I've always been one to say that when I have time, which I don't have, then I'll look back on some of things. Right now, you're in a mode of always trying to get better, trying to improve, always trying to handle coaches and the players. So, it's very difficult for me to look back, so I apologize for that. I can't. I'm a deep thought guy. It would take me [awhile]. I'd need a couple days off probably."

(On the challenges facing the Texans and QB Deshaun Watson) "I think it's like everything that you see. You're talking about a guy that's one of the top quarterbacks in the league [Deshaun Watson]. He can beat you in so many different ways. They put a lot of pressure. They have the read-option game. He can drop back. He can scramble. He can boot, he can naked. He can extend plays. Again, you see a lot of quarterbacks in this league and then when you see the ones who have the ability to run and throw the ball deep like he can and keep his eyes down the field, it creates a lot of challenges. So, he's an outstanding football player, that's obvious by what he's done. At times, it's been tough [for us] to get him down. For a quarterback you'd think once you wrap him up, he's going to go down, [but] he can escape tackles. I think he makes everyone around him better, he really does. So, I think all those things that come into play create a great challenge and we've done a good job at times against them and fell short [at times]. We know that it's going to be a great challenge and we have to do some better things."

(On seeing a coach get released this early in the season) "I can't speak for all the coaches. I learned a long time ago, when I was a player and then actually making a decision to get into coaching, the evolution of when I first started and started out in Division III and kind of worked my way up, [I] started to see the changes. I recognized the business part about football because when you're in high school, that relationship you have [with your coaches is different]. Like my high school coaches and I and my teammates are still really close. All of us that have played team games or team sports, men or women, understand that bond that's out there and it's a special bond. Now, my high school coaches were also teachers in the school and you build this great relationship and in your mind, as a young man, you think about that relationship and you expect it to be that way at every level. Then, when I went off to college, after my second year, my offensive line coach was released and that's kind of the first thing that kind of shocked me a little bit of someone that was naive to the business part of it. In the ensuing three years, I had three different line coaches, so I started to realize that. Then when I went in the NFL and I played and I bounced around, I started to realize the relationship between coaches and players and the financial aspect of things. Now all of sudden you're listening to contracts or incentives or whatever it may be from the players side, which that's the side I was on. Then, when I first started coaching in Division III, a lot of those coaches were tenured, they were professors, taught something at the school and had their Master's. There's always pressure to win just because you're competitive, but as you start moving up, obviously what's changed is that if you don't perform, you don't win, someone has to go. So, I think as I progressed in this profession, I've realized that nothing probably would ever shock me [in terms of ] what goes on in the NFL when things happen and I think we all look around and we all know that. It's kind of like when you get the questions of your job security. Every day you're working to keep your job. The perception on the outside may be different for some people, but a lot of people approach it that way. I can't speak for any one specific coach, but that's what we're all striving to do."