Football Sports

JAGUARS HEAD COACH DOUG MARRONE REGULAR SEASON WEEK 14 at TENNESSEE TITANS

On guys who have stepped in to leadership positions

“I think the guys that have been playing that have been here before take a role in that. That has been good. As far as the players that have been going in – they are so focused on working hard and trying to do the right thing and getting ready to play and are excited about the opportunity. A lot of players, especially on [the offensive] side of the ball, wouldn’t have this opportunity. It’s an opportunity for them to show what they can do and it’s a challenge. It’s a big challenge this week. Tennessee has an excellent defense. The front seven is outstanding: big, strong, powerful. Linebackers are downhill, hit. Secondary plays well. We’re going to have to do a good job up front. It’ll be a great challenge for those guys on the [offensive] line.”

 

On Jurrell Casey

“He’s tough. We probably don’t have enough guys to put on him at a time. He has always played well. He’s one of the better inside players in the league. He’s up there when you mention Aaron Donald and players like that that play inside; he’s right up there with them. I have a lot of respect for him. Their whole defense, all of those guys play extremely hard. They really do. Their effort is outstanding. We have not played well against them, that’s a fact.”

 

On if any decisions have been made for players to come of IR

“Austin [Seferian-Jenkins] hasn’t been practicing. Josh [Wells] is practicing. He has an opportunity. I like to get them out there practicing when you’re watching practice and seeing where they are and seeing if you’re going to insert them right away and get them on the game day roster.”

 

On if he weighs the benefits of the IR guys helping the team versus further injuring the player

“I really don’t because they wouldn’t be out there. They wouldn’t be out there if there was a risk. If there was then obviously we wouldn’t go that way.”

 

On the advantage of a well-rested Leonard Fournette

“I don’t know. They’re tough to run the ball against. You would like to be able to sit here and think that the players that are coming back, and we have a couple that haven’t played, like last week on the short week, you would think they would be ready to go and be fine. When you play these Thursday nights everyone gets pretty jacked up. National T.V. and things of that nature. You still have to be able to go out there and perform.”

 

On Titans LB Jayon Brown

“I like him. Number 55, the nickel linebacker. Really good, really good rusher, good in coverage, hits downhill. I think he’s a heck of a player. He’s one of the guys I made sure our players knew about because he’s their nickel linebacker and he is very, very productive.”

 

On Offensive Line Coach Pat Flaherty’s handling of the oft-injured offensive line this year

“It’s hard. It’s a challenge for all coaches. Not just Coach Flaherty, but any coach that has injuries and the players are out for a long period of time. It’s all around the league. You can’t just sit there and go, ‘Ugh.’ It’s not great confidence for the guys coming up next. I’ve always looked at it, when I dealt with it before as a position coach, as I have always in my mind trained everyone to be a starter. When someone was injured I was upset or felt poorly about a guy that has worked extremely hard to get there and then he’s injured. There is empathy for that situation. Then all of a sudden your next feelings are, ‘Okay, big boy, here we go.’ Let’s get ready to go. This is what you’ve been working for, this is your opportunity, now to get yourselves out there.’ It’s a balance. You’re trying to make sure that player is putting in the work, which they do, technically they’re sound, they’re very confident in their assignment and this way they can particularly play with confidence. Then it’s just a matter of are physically winning on each play and that is where the consistency comes in.”

 

On if there is any specific way to handle a situation with a lot of players getting injured at one position

“I think everyone’s personality handles it different. That’s why I couldn’t talk about how [Wide Receivers Coach] Keenan [McCardell] or [Offensive Line] Coach [Pat] Flaherty or any of the other coaches or [Tight Ends] Coach [Ron] Middelton or [Running Backs] Coach [Tyrone] Wheatley. I think it’s each coach’s personality. But that’s how I handled it when I had that before. We wound up getting some pretty good players. Some guys surprise you. I’ll never forget we were playing either Atlanta or Tampa Bay and Zach Strief who was a seventh-round draft pick had to play against a really good player. Zach is a big guy – really smart Northwestern kid. All of a sudden during the week you’re like, ‘Yeah, this is going to be a great opportunity.’ Then you go inside with the coaches and you go, ‘Oh my God, I can’t believe it. He’s got to block this guy.’ He [Strief] played his butt off. That was really the beginning. He just retired this year. I knew after that game. I felt like, ‘Hey, this guy is going to be a football player. He’s going to play a long time.’ And he did. He did. He was a great leader and did well. There are some really good stories. There are some tough ones, but it’s not from lack of effort on the part of the players.”

 

On if the win may give the team some relief or feel they can get on a roll

“I don’t know. I think our focus is really on this next game. The goal is to win, so every time you win, it’s important. I think their focus is more just, this is the next game. Not really looking ahead or trying to get them bundled up together. I just think that it’s let’s just focus on this week and let’s go. Especially this week because it is a little bit different. The practices are different, there’s more emphasis on the mental part of it than the physical part of it.”

 

On if he saw the video of EVP Tom Coughlin celebrating after the game

“No. What did he do? You have to talk to him, I can’t speak for him.”

 

On if the team is trying to figure out all the ways they can use Dede Westbrook and what he has thought of Westbrook’s play

“I think there are different things you can do with him, like any player. I think the one thing about him – and I said this earlier – he has stepped up from where he was last year to where he is this year from a standpoint of preparing and getting himself ready and really being a guy that if we get the ball in his hands, he might make something happen. He’s proven that he has the ability to do that. I don’t think it’s a matter of trying to find out where he can be and what he can do. It’s a matter of trying to fit it in to where he has an opportunity to do that. He’s done a nice job.”

 

On how to prepare for the Titans offensive line when it’s shuffled and not knowing who to prepare for

“I think they came out and announced [who is playing].”

 

On how comfortable he is with Ronnie Harrison at safety

“I’m comfortable with him having the ability to do it, I just want to make sure that we take out the personal fouls. That’s something that I have talked to Ronnie about.”

 

On if he’s heard anything from Shad Khan or EVP Tom Coughlin about his future with the team

“No, I haven’t spoken to anybody. Especially on a short week. You can ask that question next week.”

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