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Nathaniel Hackett - Monday, August 6, 2018

(On if it is true the offensive line has been more consistent in terms of personnel) "It is definitely true. I think even looking back at the OTAs we had a lot of movement in there. I give a lot of credit to Jermey Parnell. He has done a great job keeping himself healthy and being able to be out there. He has had a ton more reps working with A.J [Cann]. A.J. has been out there this whole time, which is great. [Brandon] Linder, [Andrew] Norwell, Cam [Robinson]. It's great to see those guys continually work together, talk and communicate. Especially with the pace that we go at practice. It stresses them to have to talk all the time. I think that's something that you see consistently getting better. 

(On having a better idea of the offensive line now compared to last year) "That was a long time ago; last year. It's just great right now kind of where those guys are and kind of working together and improving. It's just everything you see being more efficient. You guys know that's what we're always looking for." 

(On the importance of reps for OL Andrew Norwell in the preseason) "Tons. It's just not the preseason game, it's all these practices. Whenever you implement somebody anywhere on the field, it's going to take time, especially coming from a system that he had been in for quite a while. Now, all of a sudden you put him in a brand new system, brand new calls, completely different people. It's imperative for him to get as many reps as possible and just continue to develop from that standpoint." 

(On if the offensive line takes a similar amount of reps in practice and the preseason games) "That's just something that we kind of go with the flow on. That's something [Head] Coach [Doug] Marrone details up." 

(On if you can get more out of reps in preseason games) "Yes. Any time you get out of … The preseason games, it's funny. It's a catch-22 for coaches. You want to win the game, you want the guys to get great experience, but it doesn't mean anything. It's a great coaching tool. It's great to have some live action and see how they're going to be, so it is very valuable from that standpoint. We just have to take it for what it's worth."

(On what he has seen from DJ Chark Jr.) "DJ has done a really good job. I think his ability to pick up the system has been very impressive. [Wide Receivers Coach] Keenan [McCardell] has done a really good job working with him. [Offense – Research] Coach [Eric] Price [has done a good job] really getting him dialed in. He has been able to move around and play multiple positions, which as a rookie in a brand new system, that's always a challenge. Especially when you add up the speed with it. You have guys like Jalen [Ramsey] and A.J. [Bouye], all of those guys out there. You're asking him to go outside, inside. His route tree is very expansive. He has done a really good job embracing it, not letting it overtake him. He just keeps on working and keeps on learning." 

(On if he has figured out where he will use the wide receivers) "It's so early right now. I think that going back to [Wide Receivers Coach] [Keenan] McCardell, he has done such a good job of being able to utilize them in all kinds of different positions, getting them a ton of reps, and I think it's a great competition right now. That's what we want to see. There are guys that have to go out there and make plays because they know that if somebody else goes in there, that guy probably has a chance to make a play. I think it's a really fun room to watch."

(On why Leonard Fournette could be better this season) "It's just year two. You always look at year two being in the same system and understanding everything – the speed of the game, the offense. That's always going to amp up your production. 

(On if tight end Austin Seferian-Jenkins is what he was advertised to be) "He has done a good job. Austin has really worked very hard. I think that has been one of the most impressive things with him. He's so focused. He's so focused in really wanting to pick it up, understand. Heck, he brings in some new plays every now and then. He's really into it, and I think that gets you excited as a coach. Through the practices, it's going to be exciting to get some game opportunities with him because that's when you really find out even more. Up to this point he has done a good job, and he just has to keep on rolling." 

(On how much more comfortable he feels in his second year as the team's offensive coordinator) "I think the fun thing about year two and even as you progress going on and on is that a lot of the same stuff you're going to do, but you can take what that play is and advance it even more. Some things that you might not have gotten in that play you are now going to be able to go to the next level and see more and understand there is another thing I can get to. Blake [Bortles] early on in camp hit a play that he had not hit at all – not in OTAs – nothing. It was one of those things that all of a sudden he saw, he understood the play, understood what was available to him and that's I think what we're going to see. [We are going to see] those big opportunities that we might have just worked the basic foundation of the play, but now we can advance that play and understand once you see a different defense how you can attack within the same play. That's what we're excited to see." 

(On if the concept of advancing plays is applicable to multiple players on offense) "It's primarily always the quarterback. As he starts to understand it and it's not just the simplification of a play because that's what you're learning and learning the foundation. That is the key, so you can be efficient. You always have to be efficient and understand where to get a completion. Then all of a sudden it's, 'Oh, I have that opportunity there, too!' I think those are the things that he has really been capitalizing on lately."

(On how well Blake Bortles is understanding the offense) "It's definitely improving. He has a long way to go. He does. I think that just the accuracy, just the technique … Everything that he has done that he has worked so hard on you see every day. It is consistent. I think that's the exciting thing and just the understanding of the play like I said, which now allows him not to think. He can just drop back and get his reads and his progressions and be efficient, but also take advantage of shots down the field. That's exciting to see." 

(On the growth of Dede Westbrook) "I think in the beginning he was kind of … He just didn't really know what was going on. It was a brand new system and the system he came from in college was uniquely different from what we do. I think it was kind of just almost trying to survive. Now, he gets to play. Now, he knows exactly what he's doing, and he knows, 'OK, I have to win these routes.' I think that you're just watching him able to play football more and that's fun about him." 

(On how much players sometimes being confused about plays in the huddle limited him as an offensive coordinator) "We talk a lot about the huddle. When you go in there before the play is even called … It's just kind of how the quarterback delivers the play sets the whole thing off. If there is a play I call and Blake [Bortles] doesn't like it and comes in there with a bad attitude, you know it's not going to be very good. I think it goes to the next level when he calls a play and he might be excited about it, but everyone is kind of looking at him. At one point last year – we can't forget – Blake had about three guys that were rookies and guys that were just kind of rolling in there, and he was throwing for 300 yards there at the end. I think it was his leadership and his ability to understand the play then be able to communicate to everybody. We had people … I still look at the play when Allen Hurns walked off the field and [Jaydon] Mickens goes right in and is going, 'What do I do?' Blake tells him, doesn't panic, nothing big and hits him [Mickens] for a huge shallow cross across the field. That's awesome. That's unbelievable. You can't coach it. That's just a guy with a presence and understanding the play and being able to communicate that then to the players. Now he's at the point where these guys are all in year two and they have been with us. [Jaydon] Mickens, he came in late. All of these guys have had this system before. Now, everybody is like, 'OK, let's go to work.' Now, everybody is working together and understanding the play, which is going to make us all better." 

(On how much of an opportunity it is on Thursday for a guy like Jaydon Mickens) "It's everybody, the whole offense. Everybody. Every single thing you [do] in the NFL, you are evaluated every second. You are [evaluated] out on the field when you are a coach. I think it's just a great opportunity for them to see it live. You get to practice and you are not getting tackled. [Players say], 'Oh, I made him miss.' That is always the big argument when you're out there. [Players say], 'Oh I made him miss!' It's like now we get to see. I think that anything we get to see from any of those guys, it's going to be a great opportunity for them.

(On what he wants to see from the offense on Thursday night) "Score a lot of points and win the game! I think it's just efficiency and understanding. Understanding what they have to do. Right now, it's a lot of those guys' first NFL game. As a play caller, you're like, 'OK, let's make sure they know what they're doing.' That's the starting point. If they don't know what they're doing, it could be a catastrophe. You want to make sure that they are comfortable, communicating and talking. Just being efficient up the field, that's going to be the key for all 11 guys out there."

(On the progress he has made with Blake Bortles and in calling plays) "I even look at kind of the season as it progressed last year into this offseason and now training camp. I think that you have the ability to call more things because you know you are going to get something. Sometimes when you call a play, if it's not the perfect look, you don't know what might happen. I think now Blake is able to adjust on all the things that he can see because he has such a better understanding of what we're trying to accomplish that he's going to find a play. He's going to find a completion. He's going to protect us from a run that might not work. Just even from the run game to the protection to everything, he just understands how to adjust and make things more efficient. I think going into year two, that's what we need to see." 

(On what he has seen from Cody Kessler) "I'll tell you, not just Blake getting better, but Tanner Lee and Cody [Kessler], both those guys, they have really done a good job. I think getting a guy coming in, and Cody has been in about three systems in four years, he has really embraced this system. It's a little different than what he has done. Just from his footwork standpoint and understanding there are some little nitpicky things that we have here and philosophy things that are different, but he has really embraced it. He has really improved. That's something that has been really good to see just from his completion percentage to understanding where we want to go with the ball, understanding how to protect himself, those things are really coming along. It's still early for him too, we'll see it when he's under the lights, but the scrimmage I thought he did a really nice job."