Jaguars Head Coach Doug Marrone

Monday, September 9, 2019

(Opening statement) “Nick [Foles] had his surgery this morning and that went well. We’ll put him on IR and we look forward to him coming back when that opportunity presents itself. So, I do expect him to come back. He’ll probably rest up for a while; I know that he wants to be heavily involved with the quarterback room and helping Gardner [Minshew II] and, shoot, he said that during the game yesterday. He wanted to come back out and be able to help and it’s just unfortunate something like that occurs. And then you look at Gardner, like I said before, he didn’t take one snap against the defense, or work with the receivers at all during the week, and [he] comes in and plays like that. That’s exciting. We feel very confident in him. Like I said before, when we were going through the preseason and we were talking about him not having so much [of an] opportunity and not being able to score, I said it’s tough sometimes to evaluate that position. You don’t have other guys out there and things of that nature, because that’s a position [where] you need people around you sometimes to do well. But I was excited about it, I think the players are. I think the two young tackles played well, I was really happy about that. I thought the receivers stepped up. They did a good job taking Dede [Westbrook] out with double coverage and doubling Dede for most of the game, but then D.J. [Chark Jr.] stepped up and I thought Chris Conley played well. And Marqise [Lee] is back out there, I think he’ll continue, his role will grow as we go. And then defensively, it’s unfortunate. I think that we came out there and didn’t execute the way we would have liked. [We] could have done a better job, we could have tackled better. We work on tackling about every other day, but hats off to them. They have great speed, great skill, MVP quarterback and a bunch of Pro Bowl guys around, so we have to learn from it; we have to keep our composure. It’s one of the things that we’ve talked about with everyone today and getting ready to get back to work and start. It’s not like you’re looking, ‘Woe is me,’ and then obviously we made a trade bringing [Josh] Dobbs in. We have Chase [Litton] here, don’t really know a lot about him, don’t really know a lot about Dobbs, either. So, [Executive Vice President of Football Operations] Tom [Coughlin] and [General Manager] Dave [Caldwell] went out and got the best guy they felt to come in here. I don’t know much; I’ve been really with the team most of the day, working with them. So, I think the guys will go back and they’ll be excited to come back to work and rally it up and let’s go play.”

(On why they played a lot of zone coverage on defense) “We felt like they were going to come – they were getting everything ready, and most of the routes early on were with things that we were working against knowing that they were going to be cover three beaters and things of that nature. And we were going to try to play a lot of zone and play quarters. We played quarters and man, so anyone that watches the film will be able to figure that out. We were trying to play quarters to take away a lot of those hook issues and things of that nature, the number three going vertical and the four vertical passing game. So, we wanted to do that and see if we could keep everything in front of us and make the tackles. I think early on Ronnie [Harrison] went for the ball. He was a little bit late and he went for the ball and wound up missing a tackle and he takes it to the house. So, that was the goal, that was what we were trying to do.”

(On what happened during Sammy Watkins’ second touchdown catch) “They ran a crossing pattern underneath. We kept running with the player. We should have had an extra player over there, the corner. We were in quarters, and then obviously, our underneath defender has to take him going across to the flat, and we just dropped the coverage on it. It’s a tough route. That one we did not show [the players] during the week. We would have liked to have been in a better coverage. If we were in our cover three there, it actually schemes up a lot better, but we weren’t. Shouldn’t have been a touchdown, though, if we do it right. It’s probably a catch and a tackle.”

(On the growth he’s seen from DJ Chark Jr.) “I think last year it was very difficult. It’s your first year in. I go back to even when I first came into this league with the Jets. We had Santana [Moss] with us, and I remember the conversations about, ‘Hey, in this system,’ and what we were doing, it takes these receivers a while to really go, and that was a while ago. I think DJ came in, worked extremely hard, he did well special-teams wise, and then probably started off and probably wanted to play better than he actually did. And I think he has a ton of potential, a ton of skill. He’s a big kid, he’s a tough kid, and he can run, and I think that we were hoping that he would really step up when the lights came on and he did a good job and he showed everyone what he has the capability of doing. And now in this league, once you’ve shown that, and people have seen that, now people expect that each week, and that’s something that he’ll continue to work hard. It’s not from a lack of effort from him, he’s a hard-working kid.”

(On if the plan is to start Will Richardson Jr. at left tackle for next game) “Yeah, whoever’s healthy. I don’t know yet. I’ll know that probably – there’s some on the list for tomorrow, that we’ll know a little bit more of, and then some Wednesday morning, so I won’t know until then. But like I said, I’ve gotten used to whoever’s available, they’re going to play, and if I have to play Will, I have no problem with the way he played the other day.”

(On if it’s a benefit for Houston to have tape on Gardner Minshew II or if getting game experience was a positive for Minshew II) “I think it’s probably a little bit of both. I think for them, they’re going to go back and maybe they’re going to watch this stuff, watch him during the year, during the preseason [and] what he did then and how much do you put into the preseason to how much you put into the actual game. So, I can’t speak for them as far as how that goes, but I think for Gardner who was never been out there with those receivers in a game situation, now he’s been out there in practice with the,, and I’ve said this to you guys, in practice he’s done some really good things, but you guys weren’t able to see that in the preseason games. And for him to go out there and do what he did yesterday is great. Like I said before, I have a much better feel for him now, having done it in the game. Now it’s, ‘Can he keep playing a that high level,’ and if you guys remember what I said before, he’s one of the few guys that I’ve been around that you can go from the classroom and really just take it right onto the field. I think the other day was an unbelievable indication of that, because I really don’t know how many people, especially rookies, can go out there not having done anything during the week — and that’s the truth, Nick took all the snaps — to go out there and play like that, that’s a credit to him. And I think that the players know that. The players believed in him from practice, but I think when you go out there and you perform like that, that people have a lot of faith in him and the players, [too], which are the most important.”

(On if he expects Nick Foles to return at some point during the season) “We expect him. I’m hoping that he’ll be back, yes.”

(On if he’s heard anything from the league regarding Myles Jack’s altercation during Week 1) “No, I haven’t. I would hope that they would’ve called if they were going to do something, but I don’t think they have to.”

(On if A.J. Cann took a step back yesterday) “I don’t know if it was a step backwards. He was going against, really, a heck of a player, both inside [guys]. I’m sure he would’ve liked to have done a better job, especially on the one play, obviously, but he’ll continue to work, he’ll continue to get better. And again, there’s some good things and some bad, and when you play against a really good player like he did, those things are going to happen. Do you want more? Yeah. He wants more from himself and I know that about A.J. So, we’ll just keep continuing to work with him and keep getting him better.”

(On how well Offensive Coordinator John DeFilippo transitioned from Foles to Minshew) “One of the things is, when you only have two quarterbacks, you have a pretty good feel. I thought that we did – offensively, the coaches, and probably more the player, the coaches obviously did a good job and [Quarterbacks Coach] Scott [Milanovich] really trying to – and it goes back to Gardner, so I’ll try to explain. So, what happens is you have this plan, but this plan’s set for Nick. And Minshew II is studying it and doing that, and then all of a sudden, you go through this switch and now all of a sudden, you’re like, ‘Ok, what do you like that’s in this menu, that’s in this game plan?’ And I’ll say that Gardner was like, ‘I like this, I like this, I like this.’ So, he knew in his mind, so credit to him being ready to go. I think when you prepare like that, like he did, and you have a change to go out there and execute, and it just shows you the type of guy he is, the type of kid he is.”

(On how the receivers adjusted to the quarterback change) “Their coach, Keenan [McCardell], would probably be able to answer that question better than me because I obviously haven’t been a receiver, but I go back to the same thing. We had both of those quarterbacks, [Gardner] does throw a lot to them in routes versus air and things of that nature. But in the game, it’s always a little bit different and I would think they felt comfortable. I mean, the completion percentage was pretty high.”

(On why John DeFilippo is calling plays from the coaching box) “He’s comfortable up there. Like I said before, I was up there one year, I like being up there if you’re calling plays. I think that you can see more, I think some people like it better. I guess it’s just what you like. The difference is, on the field, you can get a sense of where the players are. Like, ‘Hey, are they flustered, or are they confident,’ or, ‘What do they want?’ Things of that nature. But we have enough coaches on the field to do a good job and Flip feels comfortable up there.”

(On if it was his decision to put DeFilippo in the coach’s box) “No. Whatever’s best for our football team. Whatever is best, is [DeFilippo] making sure that he’s comfortable in where he is, either up or down. And I don’t know, we’ll probably talk about it, it may change this week. He may want to be down with a different quarterback, now with Gardner.”

(On if it’s sustainable for Leonard Fournette to play as many snaps as he did yesterday) “That was our whole goal. That’s what we talked about from OTAs and from day one, really, of, ‘Hey, let’s get this guy in here, and let’s let him a be a three-down back and keep him on the field as much as we can and be a playmaker,’ and all those things. So, these are the things that we talked about collectively right here. We’ve talked about that before, so that was our goal to try to get that done.”

(On if he had a moment to decompress from last night’s game in which Foles was hurt and the defense let up 40-plus points) “Yeah, I’m sure there’s a lot of people that are upset, and rightfully so. I’m not going to sit here and defend it. You never play that scenario in your mind as a coach of what happened the other day. You don’t think about injuries like that or, like you said, giving up those points. You play the game in your mind many times, and a lot of people are going to go ahead and it’s just like anything else; we’re in a profession where people are going to say, ‘Hey, you should do this, you have to do this, you didn’t do this well with the team, you didn’t do that,’ and I understand that. And I accept that and I’m ok with that. I don’t look at other people and say they shouldn’t say that or shouldn’t say that. A lot of times, what people say, it’s right out there on the screen and that’s the way it is. I wish I could have done something differently that maybe the outcome would have been Nick doesn’t get injured, and we don’t give up those points and we do things better. And that’s the one thing, I think as a coach, that you’re fighting your butt off every single day trying to change it, and trying to get it to where we all want to get ourselves back on track. And that’s what leadership is. And I said it after the game to the players, and we talked a little bit about it today, and we’ll put this thing behind us. And I think you can always go back and sit here and make excuses and you could say a lot of things, but looking back is never going to help. Unless you’re looking back and saying to yourself, ‘Hey, this is where I’m going to get better, this is what I’ve learned.’ But when we’re talking about injuries, and we’re talking about things like that, yeah. There are notes that you make, and you try to become a better coach and that’s what I’m going to try to do. I’m going to try to be a better leader, a better coach and get this team right.”

(On how he would assess the secondary’s Week 1 performance) “I think a lot of these questions come afterwards. Before, we were concerned about a lot of those condensed formations, a lot of the rubs, a lot of the picks, a lot of the roll passes, a lot of those things that make them as successful as they are. And for us, we did have some man coverage, and sometimes pressing across the board, you have to be careful of because of those picks. So, I think it’s week-to-week, team-to-team. I say this, there is a point somewhere where, ‘Yes, did we want to play better? Absolutely.’ But there is a point where those guys are pretty damn good. I mean, they’re good. Now, should we have played better? Absolutely. I’m not saying that. But they’re a good football team, and we’ve got to learn from it and we have to get better, there’s no doubt about it.”

(On if anything stuck out about Gardner Minshew II from their meeting at the combine) “His mustache. I’m just saying, that’s the first thing that stuck out to me. People talk about ‘it factor’ and things of that nature when you come in. I try to take those interviews and those meetings with a grain of salt, meaning that it’s a short period of time. I think people could fool people a little bit in that short period of time. I know I’ve been fooled by players before with the combine and these meetings. But he was impressive. I think that the thing that impressed me the most was probably once he was here, and how he prepared and how he was able to take it from the classroom out onto the field and the things that he does to get himself ready in talking with him. So, I think those are the things that probably impressed me. I think for me, the more I was around him or the more I watched him from afar, the more I was impressed with him.”

(On if he asked him about the mustache during the combine) “No, I just like that, and he wears a bandana. I call it a bandana, I don’t know what they call it nowadays, and I’m just like, ‘Must be getting old.’

(On what his conversation with Foles was after they discovered the severity of the injury and what he told Minshew this morning about moving forward) “With Nick, obviously it was unfortunate. But to tell you what type of person Nick was, I mean his first thing was, he’s trying to help Gardner. I was on the field and the doctor came up to me and said, ‘Hey, Nick wants to come back out here so he can help the offense and help Gardner.’ So, that’s just to show you what type of person he is. And that is, ‘Hey, listen, I’m going to help this football team,’ kind of what I said in the beginning, that’s how he was. And he will [help our team], and he’ll get himself better, and he’ll come back and he’ll have another opportunity to do everything that he wanted to set out to do. With Gardner, the question with Flip [John DeFilippo] and Scott [Milanovich] was, when we were in a meeting, I’m like (sarcasm), ‘Do we practice him this week against our next opponent or do we just kind of let him run the scout team and throw him out there again, you know? Are we going to screw him up? Are we going to screw this kid up?’ So, that was it. And we just went through the game, about what he was thinking, his thought process, how he felt, mechanics, things of that nature. Things that we’re trying to just clean up a little bit. So, it was a very productive meeting and we’re excited, like I said. I think there’s a difference; if someone goes out there and for lack of a better term – I don’t want to curse, but — whatever in the bed, then you’re sitting here and you’re going, ‘Oops’, but then all of a sudden now we’re saying, ‘Okay, hey, what do we have? Let’s go. Let’s see what this guy is.’ So, I’m excited about that.”

(On how he makes sure the lack of discipline shown by the defense in Week 1 isn’t a recurring theme going forward) “I think any person, or any player, or any one of us; if we’re in a team type of setting and we know that our actions are going to hurt the team, and we’re in a locker room every single day, and we’re working with these guys, and we’re seeing how hard people are working, that’s a difficult thing to live with. I think that when there is a team that communicates, a team that cares about each other, they don’t do that. And I think that those players understand that. They voiced it. They’ve spoken about it. Now it’s a matter of just being able to do it each week and having people that are going to be able to help them. We can take them out of games, we can sit them, we can do all of that stuff, but at the end of the day, they have to learn that it’s going to hurt the team and that’s what they can’t do.”

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