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Jaguars Head Coach Doug Marrone: Friday, November 6, 2020

(On how the Georgia-Florida football game affects the Jaguars walk through) "Well, we're finished today. Mark, we just got finished. So, it really didn't affect us at all. I think—tomorrow we all have passes to come in here. Hopefully they'll have it more where—I'm more concerned about the COVID stuff, of people that are around, passing around, than anything else. And I think they're probably, on the other side of the game, they're probably thinking the same thing. I talked to the players already about, obviously, those who are planning on attending, what the rules are—the protocols are for them. So, I've gone over that with them. But I don't think it's going to affect our schedule because we're going to be in there early tomorrow. And then try to, obviously, get out of here before things start going around. Because obviously, these hallways become open area and we'll get the players—anything to get them out, which is normal for a Saturday and a home game."

(On whether the Georgia-Florida football game will burst the NFL bubble for the weekend) "No. We won't have anyone in these hallways while we're in the building."

(On the track of improvement with the pass rushers) "Well, I think you're seeing it. But the production of it, I think what you said. It comes in stages, meaning that if you're not getting to the quarterback and the next thing you're looking at is, obviously, quarterback hits, pressures, things of that nature. And then obviously, the final is the sacks, which a lot of times is a combination of coverage and what's going on. Make no mistake about it, I think that the ability—you look at teams that can rush forward and get pressure before rushing, have great success from a standpoint of the defense and how they play overall. So, for us, those guys starting to come on is good. But we'll still need to keep thinking of ways to get to the quarterback."

(On working with players, psychologically, when they miss a game) "I mean, I can only give you my personal opinion on it, not the organizational opinion, I can't speak for that right now. But my opinion is, that's what you look for. You look for guys that are durable in college. And then, I think you just have to be aware of sometimes that first injury that they get, how they come back from it, how they handle it. Because that's something, like you said, that they've never handled before. And I just go back to my experience with a player that I had who wasn't injured in college, and he was a really good football player and one day in practice, he got injured and it was almost like someone shot him. He was more in a panic mode and then after a while, once we calmed him down, he was fine, he wound up playing that week. But you know, he wasn't someone who was going to handle injuries well, true injuries. So, I think you work on that and you talk to the player. And I think a lot of it depends on the injury and what they have to do to come back. I think—you see all the time when guys get these ACLs, which are really, really tough injuries. The amount of work that you have to put in to get yourself back, it's tough. And then not to know, when you come back, how you're going to feel. And then a lot of times, it's when you get healthy, are you still favoring things? Are you still favoring ankles, legs, hands, whatever it may be—to get out there and just start playing? So, there is a little bit of time when someone does come back from injury to kind of get them to where they're back feeling confident again. That always weighs into it as well."

(On whether DE Josh Allen has responded well to his injury) "Yeah, I don't think it was anything major, so it wasn't—well, obviously it wasn't anything major, so he has responded well to that."

(On QB Jake Luton's performance and confidence this week) "He's kind of a business-like approach guy. [He] just wants the information. I mean, talking to [Quarterbacks Coach] Ben [McAdoo] and watching how it's being done and he just really absorbs a lot of information, wants to do it. He obviously can get rid of it quickly. There are things that you see in practice that you think that he can overcome in a game, whether it's someone coming free or something like that, he'll be able to get rid of the ball with a quick release and be able to get the ball over the top because of his height and things of that nature. But I go back to the same thing, you just don't know. I mean, for me to sit here and say—I have not evaluated that. That's the one thing that I don't have—that I don't know. Everything—he tells me he's going to be fine and his skill level is high, the ceiling is high. I think we've talked about that all week. But until you get out there and do it, I think it remains to be seen. I'd like to be able to tell you guys, 'Hey listen.' And you say, 'Well why would you say that?' Well, I've seen things in practice, but I understand and I've been around this long enough to see that practice and games are two different things. I mean, that's where it counts, in the performance. So, he's had—I feel good about where he's at. I feel confident, I feel that he will be able to do it, I have all the confidence in the world in him—or else we wouldn't put him out there. And now it remains to be seen how he performs."

(On biggest concern on the Houston Texans) "I mean, there's a couple things, the matchups—I'll work through all three. The matchups and special teams, they've got some big strong guys on teams. Obviously, they lost [Dylan] Cole, who is a really star player for them in teams. But the matchup there—so, overall the special teams, the physical matchup, they're a little bit different. They're a big, strong team. Some teams are staffed, but we've got to watch our matchups with the teams. Offensively, I think obviously, the speed of the receivers and Deshaun Watson is the first guy you've got to talk about. So, there's a lot of concerns, a lot of challenges about him. I think defensively, the third down pressure package—we're probably going to see a lot of things that we haven't seen before, things that Jake [Luton] might not have seen. How we're going to be able to handle that and if we can keep ourselves in manageable down distances, I think that can help us. But if we get ourselves in some unmanageable down distances, I think that can be a problem." 

(On interest in going or watching the Georgia-Florida football game) "I'm not going to the game, first of all. I just don't want to—you know what I'm saying. The protocol to go to a game is probably a little bit over the top, to go through that. Are you having a cocktail party that you're inviting everybody to? No, I'll watch it on TV because I do always have an interest in the game with our past at Georgia. But I do have a good relationship with Florida, so it's kind of gotten tougher over the years. There's a lot of people in this town that are Florida-Georgia fans, so I try to stay in the middle—like Switzerland."

(On who he would've drafted in 2017) "I don't even—I mean, that's so long ago. I really don't know who was available or who not—I would've taken. I don't know. That question, I can't answer, I will not answer."

(On whether one game will be enough to accurately assess QB Jake Luton's ability on game day) "Gene, I think you always want to do that. I think when you look at when these quarterbacks go in and if they play okay, you're like, 'Okay let's see another one.' If they fall on their face, right away, everyone's like, 'Get rid of him.' And if they play well, he's already crowned as a savior. You know? So, I think there's so many different extremes that go into the first time someone's playing in that position. Probably more so than any other position, really, on the field. So, I think it's something that you want to make sure. I don't even know if it's one, two, or three. A lot of it depends on—I go back to something I learned a long time ago, way before I ever became a head coach—I learned this in college, from my college coach Dick McPherson. And I think I've told you guys this story, that he was good friends with Sam Rutigliano with the Cleveland Browns and he told this story—and we were going through some quarterback stuff when I was a player at Syracuse. And he had mentioned, I heard him say this and I'll never forget it, he said that—Sam, one of the things that he felt he regretted was that he made the decision to play Paul McDonald over Brian Sipe when the team still believed they could win with Brian Sipe. And I've kind of taken that philosophy everywhere I've been and most of you guys know all the quarterbacks I've played—which I had to ask Tad, I had to remind myself of the guys that I've played with here in the NFL. And I think that's the way I've looked at them. If the team believes and the coaches believe that they can win with that guy, that's the number one thing, really. So, I think when these guys come in the game and if you feel like the team, they're behind him and they feel like they can win with him, I think that's something you can feel. No one is going to come out and tell you that, you've just got to have kind of a good feel for it. So, the beginning of the question, I don't know. I think even if someone falls flat on their face, can they come back and still be a good player? Absolutely. If they have greatness in them, do you want them crowned right away? Absolutely not. You want to see a good body of work. You know, if they're in the middle and you can see things that they could work on and you want to see a gradual increase every week. But either way, you just don't want the extreme. You want to kind of put it in the middle if you can."