Head Coach Doug Marrone

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Opening statement:

It’s probably easier if I start off on Wednesday’s with the business of the day, meaning that obviously there are some roster situations. We had to due to some injuries, we had to release Jay Ross. We brought Johnny Adams up from the practice squad and also we signed Brandon Smith. S we signed Johnny Adams to the 53-man roster and we brought up Brandon Smith to the practice squad. Also obviously with the non-participation in practice. Obviously we have (Stephon) Gilmore with the wrist, (Dustin) Hopkins with the right groin, (Doug) Legursky with a knee, (Ron) Brooks with a foot and (Marquise) Goodwin with the hand. Obviously limited was (Jairus) Byrd. So that’s where we are as far as the roster where we’re going and the practice situations. Any questions from anyone?

Q: How do you feel about your cornerback situation now?
A: When you look at last week and the throws that were contested, I think sometimes they get overlooked. I thought Justin Rogers really did a nice job in there and Nickell Robey. I mean they really played well. Leodis (McKelvin), for a guy that’s missed some time and went in there. Jimmy Leonhard came in with a short period of time and played for us. That goes on and those situations arise sometimes due to injury and you just have to overcome that type of adversity. I thought that those players have done a good job. When you bring in the newer players or players that haven’t been with you before it’s usually like double duty. You have to get them ready as far as knowing the system because depending on how you’re playing and who you’re playing you have to make sure you can’t limit things. You have to keep things open and then from a talent standpoint, do they have the talent to do what we’re asking them to do? So we just want to make sure we’ve covered ourselves, that we have enough people back there that we don’t fall in to situation where we’re short.

Q: How much does this offense need C.J. Spiller to provide a dynamic presence?
A: Obviously that’s a part of it and again it’s a big part for what we want to accomplish out of that situation. I think it’s the same thing. You need production out of all the positions, whether its wide receiver, tight end, offensive line and quarterback to handle all the situations you’re going to be in. When we’re looking at that type of production and you’re talking about an individual player, we’re really putting the accountability and our expectations on everyone. Obviously in this game, the way we play or at least the way I feel offensively with my background, is really a team can come in and take a player out of the game, so you better make sure that the players around him are also making plays when those situations arise.

Q: C.J. (Spiller) was disappointed with his performance. Do you have confidence in him to bounce back this week?

A: We do. I think there are a lot of players, including myself, that were disappointed in some things. Obviously that occurs. There were things we’re encouraged by, that we need to keep working on and we have all the confidence in the world obviously in C.J. (Spiller) to bounce back from that. He’s someone that’s worked extremely hard.

Q: When you talk about taking a guy out of the game, how much would the passing game help open that up?
A: It’s week-to-week on who you’re playing and what their philosophy would be. Obviously if you have a strong passing game and you can see it in the league with some of the elite quarterbacks, you get more open field coverage where you have two safeties deep defending the pass. It gives you the ability to run maybe more runs or more capable runs. I think in this league to be able to run the football you’re going to need to be able do it against single safety teams and double safety teams, where they do put that extra guy in. I think a lot of that comes with a lot of work, meaning that you have to have a balance to be able to attack both because I think later on in the year when you look at teams in this northeast region, there’s going to be a time where weather is going to affect something. Whether its wind or the conditions of rain or snow, where you’re going to go in that game and you’re going to have to have the ability to run that ball. I think when you look at teams when you play those playoff games and things like that late in the season, that’s what you have to be able to do. You run the football.

Q: Where you expecting to get more production out of T. J. Graham?
A: The way we look at it is, I don’t really look at it individually with that group. Meaning that this player would need more production, this team would need more production because we’re going to play a lot of those kids. They’re going to play a lot coming out with the way we tempo it and the way we run. Just from the overall standpoint of the group, we’re looking for that type of production and I think we have to do a good job of making sure that what those players do well, we’re using them in that. That’s a little bit of a challenge with the system we run.

Q: If you don’t get more production out of him will you look more at the guys behind him?
A: We went in to the game thinking that we were going to get a lot of work with obviously Stevie (Johnson), obviously T.J. (Graham), Robert Woods, Marquise Goodwin and having (Marcus) Easley and (Chris) Hogan up to play and give a blow. That’s exactly how we were thinking going in to the game. I think that’s how we’ll keep going with that group. I think to say he’s our one, he’s our two and things like that, we don’t really, that’s not our philosophy. We put them in there and roll them in there. We try to make sure they’re fresh.

Q: There’s a tendency in this town with all the losing that people brace for the worst. Do you worry about that creeping in to your team or what do you do to change that?
A: I think we were changing that mentality the first day we walked through the door. You’ve got to try to change that mentality. You don’t know if it’s there or not. I don’t think it’s just with the team; it’s with everyone in the organization. I know that Russ Brandon has worked hard on that, we all have. It’s kind of like the ‘Woe is me, here we go again’ situation and that’s not what we want. A lot of that is positive thinking, adversity and things like that. Like I said before in the game, early on in that game we overcame a lot more adversity than probably what people think with the early turnover and getting behind 10-0 and being able to make a play and get back in the game. Obviously you sit here as a coach and that’s one thing you’re proud of. You’re not proud that you put yourself in that situation, but that happened. I don’t think from the standpoint of the players, there was a resiliency about them; I did not see that creep in.

Q: Do you believe there’s a process in learning how to win?
A: I think there’s some truth to that, I’d be lying if I said I didn’t agree with that. I think there’s some truth to that. I don’t know the extent to that. For us, we go in to a game having a plan on how to win, percentage-wise and points-wise. I think we were looking at the game, going in to New England we had talked about two specific things. When those two specific things were in our favor we were winning the game and when it switched, obviously we fell short. I think each game, as long as you can keep the players concentrating on that, you have a chance to win it. I think that’s what you’re working on during the week. You’re working on, ‘Hey, for us to win this is what we have to do to be successful’ and then you have to go out there and execute it. It’s not like we just tell the team, ‘Hey let’s just go out there, make some plays, hold the ball, score more.’ So you’re constantly trying to create that mindset during the week of what’s going to happen and expecting that they’ll be an ebb and flow and adversity and that’s what you have to overcome.

Q: What’s your responsibility in that?
A: I think what people might lose track of is the players in this profession are here for a reason. In other words they’ve been very competitive in their lives to get to this position. When they get on the field, there’s a high level of competitiveness and winning. I think sometimes we forget that, I really do, I truly do. When I say we I mean everyone in general who’s not with them every day and sees them working. I don’t know of any team that’s ever gone out there and said that. Part of what you said before is my responsibility, to make sure that they don’t ever get to an ‘Oh, here we go again.’

Q: When you look at Carolina’s defense, what stands out to you?
A: I think they’re outstanding. Obviously the three linebackers are. 

QB EJ Manuel

Wednesday, September 11, 2013 

Q: Do you have any sense at all at maybe when you look at your game and Cam Newton, that you guys sort of represent a new breed of quarterback in the league? Kind of a dual-threat passing, running. Do you feel that at all do you think it’s an accurate comparison?

A: Yeah, definitely. We’re both big, athletic quarterbacks. Guys that can throw the ball down the field and also take off and get yardage by running.

Q: Have you watched much of Cam Newton over the years? do you admire the way he plays?

A: Yeah, definitely. When I was in college I watched him when he was a rookie. I saw his success. I obviously watched him when he was at Auburn and saw him tear up the SEC at the college level, so I’m definitely a fan of Cam (Newton).

Q: Are you looking forward to the offense opening up a little bit more and stretch the field a little bit more?

A: Yes, sir.

Q: Did you feel that the offensive play was conservative for the opener just to get you feeling it? Do you feel that way and do you hope that will change?

A: No, I don’t feel that way. That was our game plan going into it based off what we saw and all the film that we studied. That was the game plan Coach (Nathaniel) Hackett installed.

Q: EJ, just out of fairness to you and to Cam Newton, what are some things that people shouldn’t try to compare between you two guys? What are some things that you with your knowledge of Cam Newton’s game say, “That’s not what I do and he doesn’t do this?”

A: Well I don’t know. As a quarterback you want to just be remembered as a winner. I know they haven’t had tremendous seasons but I think Cam’s had an outstanding career thus far. He did great as a rookie and had a good season last year. Whatever your affect is: RG III is a guy who can run down the field, Andrew Luck all those kind of guys, they can still make plays with their feet, so I don’t think it’s necessarily that me, Cam, RG III, Russell Wilson, all the guys that can run. There are a lot of other quarterbacks that can make plays with their feet.

Q: What’s the difference in the skill sets? Are there any specifics when you look at Cam and yourself?

A: Honestly, I don’t really study Cam like that, so I can’t really say what the specific differences are but I think were both good quarterbacks.

Q: Did you see the Eagles game on Monday night? Did you get a feeling of maybe what an up-tempo offense can do with a mobile quarterback can do in this league? Did that maybe reassure to know that stuff like that and players are capable of doing that?

A: Yes, definitely. Just seeing those guys get those big chunk plays as far as the runs, LeSean McCoy, getting 15 yards here, 12 yards there, that helps out your offense tremendously. And then obviously when you’re running the ball great, that pretty much opens up all the passing lanes, the seams and things like that, that Mike (Vick) was hitting. I mean, those guys are great and I think they jumped down the Redskins very early and I think that’s what kind of tied their defense out.

Q:  How much does that open up your eyes into knowing what an up-tempo, real quick up-tempo offense can do?

A: I think we have a very quick up-tempo offense as well, so we just have to move on to this week. I guess if you guys feel like we were slow I guess we have to speed it up. I mean, I don’t really see, I think it’s very comparable, I think both offense’s do the zone-read, do the vertical routes and things like that. We just had a separate game plan for New England and this week I think we will be out there using some speed.

Q: I don’t think you guys were accused of being slow, I think it was the lack of sustaining drives. I think that seemed to be the difference to what happened Monday night and what happened here.

A: Right, well I mean also, the Redskins might have been doing something differently on defense than New England was doing. I can’t really say it was something that we did versus what the Eagles did to allow them to have extended drives like that. Personally, I don’t do a lot of comparing like that.

Q: Why weren’t the chunk plays there on Sunday?

A: I think that sometimes we might have missed a hole here, missed a hole there. As far as throwing the ball, might have missed a read, something like that. There’s always something very small and minute that kind of not necessary costs you the game, but those long drives that you want to get, those 3rd-andtwos, that we may not have converted, those 3rd-and-six that we didn’t convert. There’s always something very minute that we may not have gotten.

Q: I know the little things can be frustrating, but to what degree are the little things? The things that keep you super anxious to get back out there for the next game?

A: Yeah, well the little things once you see them on film, you want to clean them up and then obviously see it on film. It’s a lot easier when you watch it on film; you have the clicker in your hand. There’s no pressure on you like, ‘oh I should have did this,’ but in the flow of the game it doesn’t always happen. That’s what you have practice for and we fixed those things yesterday, pretty much in our off day. But today I thought we had a great practice and have moved forward for Carolina.

Q: Do you think, in the old days it used to be the run sets up the pass, do you subscribe to the theory now that really the pass sets up the running game?

A: No, I still believe that the run sets up the pass, especially in these shot-gun type offenses. If you can get those big runs, I mentioned that the Eagles were getting great runs by “Shady” (LeSean McCoy), he was making huge plays. And like I said that sets those linebackers up and those DB’s will fall back so that gives you a whole other lane to throw the ball into.

Q: EJ, there’s been a mentality from years of losing that people kind of get into a situation where they are waiting for the roof to cave in, already acknowledge that even some of that’s in the organization. What do you have to do to get over that, get these people over that?

A: Well for me, this is my first year here so I’m not use to losing. As far as what you said, I guess the organizational, people used to losing. In my attitude I think winning is an attitude. I do think we should have closed that game out but we didn’t. We didn’t make the plays to close it out and New England won it. But moving forward you have to have a really good attitude, moving forward if you lose that one week that does not mean you’re going lose the second week.

Q: You had a little taste of it. It was actually at the end of the third, you guys had the lead against New England going into the fourth quarter and it was quiet in there. Did that surprise you? Obviously you had the need to react to that.

A: I wouldn’t say it was quiet in there. We were on offense that might have been why it was quiet.

Q: Well, wait until it gets loud, it gets much louder.

A: Well it was loud. I thought when New England was on offense. Alright, well you can tell me. I don’t know. That was my first home game; I guess you would know better than I would.

Q: How about Carolina’s defense, what do you see?

A: Yeah, very athletic. Guys getting to the ball. They play very hard, but I do see some things we can execute to get the ball down the field.

Q: When do you get your first look at the game plan?

A: Usually Tuesday evenings. I go in on Monday to get the game we just played, watch that out, whether it was a win or loss and then I’ll still go in a watch a few games on Carolina. And then on Tuesday I’ll get the actual game plan from him.

Q: What do you think about C.J. Spiller, to play to his potential to make this thing work?

A: I think C.J.’s (Spiller) done a great job. For me, personally, he’s been a great leader to me in that backfield, but obviously if C.J. has a big game this offense is going to go great. I think It’s one of those things if we all do our part collectively it will go great.

Q: You mentioned an athletic defense for Carolina. What about their linebackers specifically? It seems like their range and ground they can cover is elite, do you see them making plays in terms of being true sideline to sideline players?

A: Yeah, well not necessary just their linebackers, I think their DBs they flow to the ball great. You know if there’s a run over there you’ll see a DB and someone like that hustling down the field to make a tackle, overall they do a great job. 

Q: EJ, you stress the running game, with a team like that. How important is to establish downfield and establish the long passes?

A: Yeah, it’s extremely important. You want to stretch the ball, stretch the field and things like that and that’s what we plan on doing.

Q: Didn’t seem much of that against New England. Is the game plan changed at all?

A: Yeah, I think changed a little bit.

Q: Do you worry about getting the receivers involved enough, particularly T.J. Graham?

A: Yeah, we definitely want to get him more touches. But like I said the game plan was different for New England versus this week. I know this week he’ll get a lot more.

Q: After your first full regular season game with the team, how do you think the teams reacting?

A: I think the team’s reacting well. Like I said I’m not use to losing a lot. Obviously I was glad to see people not taking it lightly. I think everyone was upset that we didn’t win the game and that we didn’t close it out. But moving forward, I understand that everybody washed it away. I felt, like I said, we had a great practice today. It wasn’t like we were still sluggish or anything. I think we were able to move forward.

Q: EJ, what do you take as you develop and have a start under your belt? What do you take from that whole experience with the game on the line?

A: Well, you simply have to close out the game. The best thing for us to do in that situation was to score. If we had got a field goal or a touchdown, that obviously would have shut the game out or at least made it harder for New England to have to go out and get two scores in order to win. So anytime, not just Tom Brady, but any quarterback, you don’t want to give him the opportunity or more than one opportunity to continue to get the ball back and score and things like that and really put your defense in a hard position. Like I said, I’ve learned from that and have to move forward from it.

Q: EJ, what’s the recent update with the brace back on?

A: Yeah, it’s a little sore but it’s fine.

Linebacker Kiko Alonso

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Q: You’ve talked about needing to play better than you did Sunday. Are you referring to the mental aspect of the game?
A: Yeah I think it was just mental things. Just the fact that I need to make more plays. That’s the main thing.

Q: What were you doing in the National Championship game between Auburn and Oregon?
A: I was on the sideline watching.

Q: So you were in uniform, but weren’t playing?
A: I couldn’t even play. I had a hurt knee.

Q: What are your recollections of that game?
A: I remember we did a good job against (Cam) Newton from stopping him from running, but he beat us with his arm a number of times. I think we need to play better this game than we did in the National Championship. We did play really well in the National Championship, not to take anything away. We just have to play really well against the option, against him running and throwing.

Cornerback Stephon Gilmore

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Q: What’s the rehab process like right now?
A: Just trying to stay in football mode, so that when I’m ready to come back I’ll be ready.

Q: Can you give us a timetable?
A: I don’t know, I go to the doctor on Tuesday, so I really don’t know yet. I’ve got to listen to those guys.

Q: How does it feel?
A: It feels better. I’ve got pins in it, so it’s kind of still, but I feel better than when I first had the surgery.

Q: Which play did it actually happen against the Redskins?
A: Actually it was friendly fire. Aaron (Williams) was coming in for a tackle and I was going in for a tackle and he hit my hand. It is part of the game, it happened and I had to get surgery. I’m getting better and better every day.

Q: A lot of your responsibilities lie with jamming players at the line. Will you be hesitant to do that when you get back?
A: I don’t think so. The trainer said I should be good. I’ll probably have a little pad on it when I first get them off. I’ll just go from there and know how it feels when I get them off.

WR T.J. Graham

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Q: What can you do to be more effective?
A: We’re playing fast. I can’t be playing slow on the field. We’re all dynamic in our different ways, we have to exploit those strengths.

Q: With their front seven so strong, does that led to a game plan with more passing?
A: As a receiver room, we think we’re pretty good, so anytime we step on that field we’re out there to beat them and it just happens to be the Panthers this week, it is who it is.

Q: Is it easier said than done to spread the field?
A: No because as much as we say it, the other team knows it as well. They set up defenses to try and stop us, so that makes it tougher for us. We’re good enough to make adjustments and make plays.

Q: How do you feel the team is responding to the loss so far?
A: Pretty good. We’re made up of a bunch of winners. We were pretty angry coming in to the locker room on Sunday, we translated it in to Wednesday’s practice. Usually a Wednesday is coming off your off day and kind of still beat up from Sunday and today we came out there looking like a team that was hungry and ready to come out Sunday to get a win.

Running Back Fred Jackson

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Q: What did you see on tape in terms of what they did against the run there last week?

A: (They are) active. All those guys, their linebackers as far as down-hill, they read, react and they get there fast. It will be a good test for us, we know that, we saw what they did in Seattle last week, I actually talked to Marshawn (Lynch) and he said they’re a pretty good group of guys, so it will be a good test for us.

Q: So his assessment was pretty dang good?

A: Yeah, he said they’re exactly what they look like on film. Excited about it, I am, to go against a group like that you got to be excited and happy about that.

Q: Does it put more pressure on the passing game because of it?

A: It depends how you look at it, it could put more pressure on us, because we are going up against a good group of guys. I am looking forward to it, doing whatever we can to take pressure off EJ, doing whatever we can to make his job easier.

Q: How much are you looking forward to getting back on the field after a loss?

A: That’s the number one thing you want to do. That’s the great thing about this business, there’s always another game. Especially this early in the season, you want to get over a game like we just lost, and get a good opportunity to go out and get a win, that’s the best coming into another week has to offer.

WR Stevie Johnson

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Q: Any more work on building chemistry as a unit?
A: We’ve been working on that today, the different coverage’s we’ll see and body movements and mannerisms that me and T.J. (Graham) both do, so we’ve been working that.

Q: Thoughts on Carolina’s corners?
A: We checked them out only a little bit today. What stood out were their linebackers. They’re downhill and they’re fast. We’ve seen in their secondary it’s pretty much playing off and trying to play with vision. We’ll see what happens.

Q: What have you guys been doing to keep the getting better every day mantra true?
A: Wednesday’s after a L are pretty tough. It kind of starts off a little slow, but Coach brought that to our attention fast. We’ve just got to work through it and that’s pretty much what we’re doing right now.

Q: What confidence does it give you that the Seahawks were able to gain 300 yards in the passing game against Carolina this past weekend?
A: We don’t really go off of what the other teams are doing because each week it changes. Different mentalities for different teams. When we go against the Carolina Panthers, we’re not thinking about who they played in the preseason, we’re not thinking about who they played the previous game, it’s just how they react to us and we have to be able to play on the run.

DE Mario Williams
Wednesday, September 11, 2013 

Q: What do you think of what you’ve seen on tape (of Carolina QB Cam Newton)
A: From my eyes he’s obviously a very versatile athlete. He can make the throws, has a strong arm and is obviously gifted athletically. He can get out of the pocket and make plays. I think the biggest thing is trying to keep him under wraps early. Don’t let him get hot.

Q: Is it difficult to practice for him with his size and athleticism?
A: Yeah especially after what we faced last week. You’re going from two extremes. When you’ve got somebody like (Tom) Brady and now you’ve got a guy who is more mobile, more athletic and more liable to run, it’s definitely a change-up.

FS Da’Norris Searcy

Wednesday, September 11, 2013 

Q: All off-season when no one knows what Jarius is doing, you kind have been the guy whose holding that spot right now but do you feel like you’ve been doing a little bit more to hold that spot, is that how you feel?

A: Pretty much, if the opportunity knocks, I would love to seize that opportunity, like last week was a step closer to doing that, I just have to keep being consistent and being able to make plays.


Q: I wanted to ask you about kind of tying everything down on the back end, who knows how much Byrd is going to be on the field, for guys who have been back there, and know the scheme, what do you have to do to make sure these guys are lined up right every time every snap?

A: The main thing is you have to make sure you are communicating first and just make sure everybody knows what they have to do. We play with each other majority, the guys in secondary; we work together the most so as long as we are on the same page I believe we can handle any situation.


Q: You guys have to pretty much know all the roles, in case anyone has a question they need an answer too in a split second right?

A: Right, exactly especially being a safety, because sometimes they may look to us to get a call, and we got to be able to make sure to give them that call, make sure we have them in the right situation.


Running Back C.J. Spiller

Wednesday, September 11, 2013


Q: What are your thoughts on your performance?
A:  I kind of went back to some of my old stuff, that was really the biggest thing when I said I was disappointed. Kind of went back to some of my old habits. I wasn’t letting the offensive line do its job because I was rushing stuff. Total opposite of what I’ve been doing since March and training camp. The great thing about it is its very correctable. That’s the thing that we’ve been preaching, that I’ve been preached on this week. Just do the little things, take my time, tempo and when I make a decision, just go with it. On Sunday there was just so much going on, I wasn’t playing free.

Q: You’re a motivated guy. How motivated are you to put that behind you?
A: Well I have to. That’s what, if you want to become one of the great players, you have to be willing to put that game behind you and move on. I’m not worried about that performance derailing or going to have an effect on the whole season. It’s just one game, they did a great job. I’m not going to take anything away from those guys. They came in the game with a plan to slow me down and you’ve got to give them credit, that’s what they’ve done. I’ve moved it behind me and I’m focused on another tough task in Carolina.

Q: You know until EJ Manuel can get the ball downfield they’re going to stack the box against you. How difficult is that?
A: I love it. Every Sunday if a team is going to come in and stack the box and key on me, that’s just going to open it up for other guys. I embrace that challenge. It just goes to show we’re you’re at. When teams come in and stack the box, that’s a sign of respect. Now I kind of get a feel for what Adrian Peterson feels week in and week out. My biggest thing is I just have to go back to my basics. There was a lot of runs that I missed out there Sunday that I wish I would have made. The good thing is now I’ve seen it, I can correct it and hopefully it won’t happen this week.

Center Eric Wood

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Q: What are your thoughts on the Panthers front seven?
A: Yeah they put out some good tape through the games they played more in the preseason, the starters. That first game they played well against a good Seattle offense. We’ve got to prepare well and get ready for another good front this week.

Q: When you look at what they do against the run, they pretty effectively shut down a power back last week. How do you approach it when you see tape like that?
A: We have to fit our blocks. We’ve got to stay locked on those backers, they’re extremely active. The guys up front, they do well with penetration, causing the back to kind of get off his landmark and then those backers are so fast and heading downhill, they’ll get you for two or three yard gains all day. So that puts a premium on us getting up to the second level and when you get there, locking on to your guy and not letting them spill off for a gain of three or four and be able to spring those backs.

Q: The linebackers range seems pretty high. They seem like they can get anywhere.
A: Yeah. (Luke) Kuechly is in the middle and he runs sideline to sideline. Got a lot of respect for a guy like Thomas Davis, coming off three ACL’s, still moving around the way he is and then (Jon) Beason, I’ve gone against him since college. He’s a thumper, but he can also run. All three of those guys play well.

Q: How do you feel this team is going to respond after this tough loss?
A: We need to respond quickly here and get us a win this week, so we’re putting a lot of focus in this week, a lot of work and come out Sunday flying around.

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