John DeFilippo - Monday, August 19, 2019

(Opening Statement) "It's great to see everybody, I hope everyone's having a great day. We're excited to have the opportunity to go down and play the Miami Dolphins. It'll be the first time we have a chance to game plan a little bit and go through the season schedule with both the coaches and the players, so I'm really excited to watch our guys go out and play and play well and it's a great opportunity for us.'

(On where the offensive line is as a unit) "I think that it's great to have Cam [Robinson] back, without a doubt. He just brings a physicality and athleticism to the offensive line that's just another piece for us. And I think that the more those guys can play together early, and often, especially with Nick [Foles] in there, I think it's going to be a good thing. So, we need to play well, we need to be firm up front. They have some good players on defense, so we will have our hands full on Thursday night."

(On how much better he feels about the offensive line with having Robinson back) "It's great to have him back. He loves football and he brings an energy to the field. He was really great when he was hurt [about] being enthusiastic and those things, but I like seeing him out there enthusiastic playing, so we're really happy to have him back for sure."

(On if playing in a game rather than practice is different in terms of continuity for the offensive line) "Without a doubt, without a doubt. The bolts are flying, so they say, it's another opponent, you don't know what's coming at you. I don't want to say we know what's coming at us when we're practicing against our defense, but as you practice, and practice and practice against your defense, you kind of know their techniques, you know what the guy across from you is good at. So, I think anytime you have a chance to solidify the offensive line up front when you don't know what's coming, and you're playing an opposite color jersey, I think that's a good thing and we're happy it's happening sooner than later."

(On how much work in a game setting it takes before cohesion occurs on an offensive line) "That's a great question. I think each group's different. I think if you have a bunch of rookies in there, I think it could take some more time. I think if you have guys that have played and have seen things that an NFL defensive line shows you, and linebackers, and blitzes, and coverages, and seeing rotation and all those things— I think that having Brandon Linder here really helps us and helps speed that up, because Brandon's a really sharp guy and he's a really good player. So I think that whenever you're solidified in the middle of the offensive line, and a guy that knows what you're trying to do in terms of the mike [linebacker] points, the rotation of the safeties, is the nickel pressed or not, is it outside leverage, is it inside leverage, depending on what blitz is coming. I think the fact that we have Brandon in there, that he's seen an experienced a lot, will help that cohesion grow faster."

(On if he's been able to give Grander Minshew II more things based on his ability to learn quickly) "Yes. And you go into each preseason game with a plan, and our plan in Baltimore was to run the football. We wanted to see some of our young linemen come off the football. We wanted to see if we could get some push up front against a really good defense. I mean, that was the number one defense in the NFL last year. So, they're really good, and they're really deep and they're really fast, so that was good for us to see. And then you saw us open it up a little bit with Gardner last week a little bit more. So, you go in to a rookie's first game not wanting to put him in harm's way too often if possible. Now, he took some big-time hits and we had some things go on, some snafus go on during the game. That's going to happen in the first preseason game, but then as you go along, you feed him more and you give him more, and you see what he can handle and I thought he did a fantastic job the other night for the majority of the game. There's some plays we wish we could have back, but I think you see his football IQ and his reaction time really quicken up as he plays more.'

(On if Minshew is at a higher level with learning than other rookie QBs he's coached) "Here's where he's picked up some things — we have some unique things we do in terms of when we break the huddle. The quarterback has a few different options on certain routes that he can signal a receiver, but off of the leverage of a defender. And he's been able to pick up some of the nuances faster than other young quarterbacks I've worked with. I've been very fortunate, I've worked with some pretty good young quarterbacks. Carson Wentz, Derrick Carr and I'm sure I'm leaving somebody out, so I mean those are two pretty good players. But he's done a good job, and he needs to keep grinding. Where I challenged Gardner this week, I challenged him Week 1 from an operational standpoint. I don't want to see snaps on the ground, I want to see us get in and out of the huddle. Then we did that, improved on that from Week 1 to Week 2. Our next step with Gardner is situational awareness. So, case and point, the other night, we're at around the plus-35-yardline. It's third down. We call a play, and the purpose of the play call was to get us within field goal range right before half time. We take a sack, he holds on to the football trying to push the ball down the field. That's an example of situational awareness where we need to take that next step."

(On how much stock he puts into a player like Tre McBride who continues to produce in preseason games) "To me, if you have two guys that are pretty close, you go with the guy that does it in games. We're here to win, and I don't care if it's preseason [Week] 1 or preseason [Week] 4, or the playoffs or whatever, you're there to win the football game and perform when your number's called to do the job. So, it's big for these young guys and I told them that right before we played Baltimore. I said, 'Guys, this is important for a lot of men in this room.' Tre's one of those guys that's taken that to heart for sure."

(On what concerns he has regarding the amount of penalties in the first two preseason games) "I think I'll have a better feel for that after this week. I'm not trying to pass the buck, I appreciate the question, I'm not trying to pass that, but I want to see when we have some of our starters in there. And I'll have a better feel of where we are offensively. Now, is this game going to decide whether or not we have success as an offense this season? No. You don't put that much onus on anything in my opinion, but I think this will gauge where we are in terms of where we need to smooth some things out from a communication standpoint. We've already done that from a preparation standpoint in terms of just the way we install. We've had to smooth some things out. So, it's great, I love that [Jaguars Head] Coach [Doug] Marrone's having us go through a test run in terms of game plan because I'm new, and Nick's [Foles] new and a lot of new pieces going on this week in game planning."

(On how many plays he scripts for a regular season game) "We have a first 15, but I skip around. Some guys may go boom, boom, boom, I don't. I don't want to give away any of my play-calling tendencies, but if you did that, you could find them out. I'm sure the Dolphins have studied that obviously. I'll skip around. It's feel for me more so than just going down the list."

(On what he's seen from scouting the Dolphins that presents a challenge) "I've known [Miami Dolphins Head] Coach [Brian] Flores for a long time, he's a BC [Boston College] guy and played at BC when my dad was the athletic director there. So, I've known him for a long, long time and he's a fantastic coach. He does a great job with those guys and it's cool for him because they run a lot of those things that they did in New England, but you can see he's got his own little spin to it as well. He's done a great job in those two games so far, so I'm looking forward to seeing him. But I think they're always going to try to outnumber you in the box, very similar to our defense. They're going to have an extra guy down there a lot, so our receivers are going to have to put on their big boy hats a little bit and get down in there and get dirty. So, they're going to have their hands full a little bit on Thursday night, so they're going to have to strap it up and go. But that's going to be the challenge for us: where do we find that extra hat to get on their extra hat?"

(On if he likes the variety of skillsets in the running backs room) "Yeah. All those guys bring a little bit of a unique skillset. I think that having Rock [Ryquell Armstead] back now is going to expand that role for those guys even more. I thought that he ran it hard when he's been in there, and he's shown that he can catch the football and he's been solid in protection. I was talking with Leonard [Fournette] this morning, I think that's the number one thing Leonard's improved at number one is, he's always been able to run the football, but his knowledge and want-to in terms of the pass protection. So that's where we have to make sure, I think we have plenty of juice there, but we just need to make sure we're honed-in on protection."

(On how he balances early down work for Fournette to keep him fresh for third down situations) "I'm still learning that with Leonard. I'll know a little bit more after this week in terms of how many plays he gets winded and all those things in a game-like atmosphere. But I know Leonard's goals. Leonard's goal is to be the best back in this league and unique star players play a lot of football. So, to me, he needs to play and so that's where we're at with that."

(On the challenge of integrating Marqise Lee back into the offense) "I watched Marqise run, and he's running well. It's just a matter of the volume, of how much running he can do at this point. So we're looking forward to getting him back out there, and he's been working hard with the trainers on the side. He's been getting some extra throws with Nick during the special teams periods. He's always over there catching balls for us, so we're excited to see what he can do. I saw him on tape, but he's a new toy for me as well, so I'm looking forward to seeing what he can do."

(On if there are specific things he wants to see out of Nick Foles on Thursday) "To me, this is not Nick's offense. This is the Jacksonville Jaguars' offense. I want to see our offensive unit go out and work in cohesion [with] all 11 players and move the football and convert on third down and convert in the red zone and those things. There is going to be something bad that happens Thursday night. Those guys are coached too. There is going to be something bad, and I want to see our guys overcome it. I want to see us do the things that you need to win consistently in this league. That's our goal for Thursday night."

(On what he remembers most about Nick Foles the day of the Super Bowl) "It's funny, we were talking about that the other day. He and I didn't even see each other after the game until way after the game. He was holding up the trophy and doing all of that jazz. We were laughing about it the other day, but no, I didn't see him until later on that night. That was a fun moment for sure."

(On what he remembers about Nick Foles the day of the Super Bowl before the game) "Well, we are all creatures of habit. You get into that game day routine and did we know it was the Super Bowl? Sure, but it was business as usual. That's the professionalism you need as a team to be on that big stage and perform the way he performed. It is business as usual, I'm here to do my job. I have belief in the plan, I have belief in my coaches, I have belief in the system and I have belief that we are going to go out and win the game. You keep things as consistent as you can when you are on the big stage like that."

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