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John DeFilippo - Thursday, September 12, 2019

(Opening statement) "It's great to see everybody. I hope everyone is having a great day. It's obviously a bummer for Nick [Foles], our offense and our team [with him getting injured]. We feel for him. We feel for his family, and we hope for a speedy recovery for him. Obviously [Head] Coach [Doug Marrone] gave you the update in terms of his surgery was a success. We are all really happy about that and we are anticipating him getting back in the building very soon and helping the team out in other ways than playing. We know he's looking forward to getting back in the building, being around his teammates and helping us win football games."

(On how much the play calling strategy changes with Gardner Minshew II instead of Nick Foles) "Not a ton. Gardner is a really smart guy. He really understands football. I tell him all the time – I have never met the man, but I have all the respect in the world for [Washington State Head] Coach Mike Leach. I think he has done a fantastic job wherever he has been, not only coordinators, but with offense and the team in general. He's been well schooled before we got him, and he really understands football. He's a bright young guy and he has a lot of confidence in himself. He has a lot of confidence in his teammates and the system. Whenever you have the qualities you do, you are going to have a chance to have success."

(On the intelligence of the quarterback room) "I remember Joshua [Dobbs] from the draft process and interviewing him and those things. Just getting to know him a little bit yesterday and he's a really nice kid, a really great kid. Obviously, he's going out there and just trying to keep his head above water. We're going to try and help him and get that process started as quickly as possible."

(On what he's asking of Joshua Dobbs) "His role right now is just try and get acclimated with the offense first and acclimated with his teammates and the coaches and the system. Obviously, if a situation – knock on wood – happens Sunday, you go into the situation to say, 'Hey, what are you comfortable with?' Those are the cards we are dealt. I talked about it last week with the hurricane situation a little bit. Those are the cards we were dealt, and we are going to make the best of it and try to go win a football game."

(On what he saw from Leonard Fournette) "I thought Leonard ran the ball really hard. I was pleased with the way Leonard played and that's what we expect from Leonard. I've demanded a lot of Leonard since I have been here, and he has responded. I have challenged him several, several times and he has responded. I thought he ran it hard. I thought he caught the ball well. You saw him catch the screen and make a really good football player miss that had peeled off on the screen. We are looking forward to Leonard continuing to play well and be a big part of our offense."

(On how hard it is to play the way Gardner Minshew II did) "It's never easy playing quarterback. I don't want to put words in anyone's mouth, but I'm sure that Tom Brady would say it's not easy to play quarterback in this league. For him to do what he did, I was very proud of him. [Quarterbacks Coach] Scott [Milanovich] does a great job with those guys and getting those guys ready to play and getting him prepared and those things. It's a tribute to Gardner as well and the fact that he prepared as he was going to be the starter and he may have to play. We are fortunate that we have him here and we are looking forward to continuing to play well. He's the type of young man, I don't think anything is going to go to his head. He kind of had that aura around him at Washington State. I think he's kind of used to that with the whole mustache thing and all of that. We are looking forward to him continuing to lead our football game."

(On if he learned anything about DJ Chark after watching what he did in a game) "That's a good question. I don't think anybody in our locker room was surprised by DJ's performance on Sunday. I think he has been doing that from training camp on. You saw flashes in the spring in the OTAs. I think from training camp on, he's been a force to be reckoned with, especially down the field. That is a big man that can run fast. Whenever you have those combinations and you can high point the football … He was covered on the touchdown. You never feel bad for the opponent, but I was like, 'Man, you can't get any better coverage than that.' He did a great job of leaning back on the defender and shielding him off. It's exactly what we teach, and he has bought in to what we're teaching, and I think that he approaches the game every day at practice with a very serious mindset. He's a very serious guy and I like that. I like guys that love football. That is why he has gotten a lot better."

(On settling on staying in the coach's booth during games) "I think a lot of it is staff makeup and I feel really confident in the guys we have on our offensive coaching staff to know that they are going to get communication to me on what's going on the sidelines. At the end of the day, the way I looked at it was, 'Where can I be where I can help the football team the most?' That's what the decision came down to. I went back and forth. I called games in college in the booth and on the field. So far in my NFL experience, it's all been from the field. I kind of wanted to get back up in the booth. I tried it in the preseason, really liked it. I think it gives me a little bit more of an advantage point. The downsides are you don't get to feel the game at times. There are benefits and drawbacks. You don't get to look the quarterback in the eye, but that goes back to having [Quarterbacks Coach] Scott [Milanovich]. He and I have such a great relationship both on and off the football field that I trust what he's telling me. I don't want to put words in his mouth. I think he trusts what I'm telling him, and I think when you have that relationship with your quarterbacks coach and you have all the trust in the world in him, I thought personally, I could help the football team more upstairs."

(On what Nick Foles' role will be going forward) "I texted him this morning. I said his new title until he gets back is assistant offensive coordinator. He's going to be another set of eyes for us, and that dialogue that Nick and I have in terms of the trust he and I have in each other, and being around each other for a long time, and being in the same system and know kind of – I don't want to say we know this system in-and-out, because you don't know anything ever in-and-out, but I'd say know the system well. We're always growing and we're on the same page when it comes to football. I think Nick can be another great set of eyes. As a coach, I think you're wasting resources if you don't use a guy like Nick Foles. A guy that knows football and has been in this system, been in big games. I think if you don't listen, I think you're losing a great resource. So, I'm looking forward to getting him back. I know he's going to do anything he can to help this team."

(On what he thought of the offensive line in Week 1) "We averaged 5.1 yards per rush. We have one sack and that was not on the O-Line, that was actually – and Gardner [Minshew II] knows this. I would never say anything in the media that I haven't talked to the players about first, I would never do that – that was a mistake by the quarterback. We should have thrown it to the tight end right over the ball right now on a plant throw. So, whenever you average 5.1 yards per rush, and really there's no sacks on the O-Line, I'd say that's a pretty good start. And so, we just need to keep growing, and keep growing not only in our play, but in our communication. The way we communicate pre- and post-snap. So, that's what we're looking forward to growing in to."

(On what a realistic expectation for Minshew II at Houston is) "Go win us a game. Go win us a game. That's why we play. That's why we're showing up in Houston. That's why they're showing up is to win a football game. And that's our expectation level, to go out and win. Whoever's on our team, whoever's on their team, that's the expectation level, is to play well enough to go win a football game and however that is. Whether that be you fight through it, you struggle early, and you fight back, and you win it in the fourth quarter or you go out, and play really well and jump up on them early. However you have to do it, and sometimes on the road it can get a little dirty. So, that's our expectation."

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