Head Coach Doug Marrone
Thursday, September 4, 2014

Q: Injuries?
A: Scott Berchtold: Did not participate today – Lee Smith with the toe. Limited in practice – [Jonathan] Meeks with the neck, Boobie Dixon with a hamstring and Spikes with a knee. Full participation – [Stephon] with a groin, [Randell] Johnson with the ankle and Sammy [Watkins] with the ribs.

Q: Was Brandon Spikes able to take part in the team drills?
A: Yeah. He wasn’t in individual, but he was in all the team drills.

Q: Are you concerned Boobie Dixon may not be able to go this weekend?
A: You always have to be concerned when that happens and they can’t finish, so yes. Yes, that’s a concern.

Q: Will you dress four running backs for games?
A: It can be two ways if there are injuries. Obviously, if there are injuries then we’ll have three. But with no injuries? Oh, absolutely we could. Absolutely.

Q: Is C.J. [Spiller] returning kicks going to change the amount of touches he gets at running back.
A: No, I’m not really planning on that. Really not at all about that position or that situation really changing his amount of reps

Q: Have Marquise Goodwin’s expectations as a returner gone unfulfilled?
A: I wouldn’t say it’s hasn’t been fulfilled. He’s had a lot of bumps and bruises and we have really three guys that are pretty good and can probably start anywhere. You throw Sammy [Watkins] in the mix and so we feel fortunate about that. If we can take a lick off, we’ll take a lick off until Marquise gets better and then we’ll make decision. Right now, C.J.’s the best guy we’ve got back there.

Q: Is there a primary third down back?
A: I feel comfortable about all those backs in there, depending on what we’re running. I really do. I don’t have issue whatsoever.

Q: How is the rotation going to work?
A: We’re just going to go in there and wing it.

Q: Do you know how many players you’ll have dress every game?
A: We plan on in the beginning of the week just what we do. I’m never going to come out here and say who’s down and who’s up, nor do we tell the players that because later on in the week you could get injuries and have to change. We want all the players to prepare like there playing in the positions they do. And then, if everything goes according to plan, we know who’s down and who’s up. To answer your question right now, I know exactly who’s down, but I would never share that because of the strategic advantage. During the week, if something happens we have to make adjustments. We make the plan accordingly. That’s why if players are injured earlier in the week it’s a little bit tougher.

Q: Does that go for the fullback too?
A: We know all that early. By Tuesday we’re set. And that’s after the injury reports come out for us.

Q: How has Kyle Orton looks through three practices now with the team?
A: Good. Like a veteran, do you know what I’m saying? [He’s] really picking things up well. Good demeanor, calm. Looks like a guy that’s played for a long period of time.

Q: Did you have contact to him leading up to the signing?
A: I had never met him before until we were getting the deal done and that was a phone call. And him coming in for the physical. That was it.

Q: What have you liked from Preston Brown?
A: Right from the beginning when we were in there, for me when I first watched the film, my impression was that this reminds me of Kiko [Alonso] last year. Now I know that’s saying big, but when Preston first came out on the field he was doing that; running around, making plays like Kiko was. That was my initial impression. My first impression was, ‘Wow.’ Having played against him for a couple of years in college, I knew a lot about him and I though he moved a lot better in person here than I did when I was coaching against him.

Q: You recall him from your time at Syracuse?
A: Oh, yeah.

Q: What struck you about him at that time?
A: Those cats were good on defense. Yeah. They’d hit and tackle. He’s a very good tackle, obviously. He has all those tackles and played very well. He matched up on some of our better players well in man-to-man. We tried to match up on him and he shut us down.

Q: Was he someone you consulted with the scouts about?
A: When you leave college and come to the NFL, most of us, we played against those guys in those leagues. So we have a little bit more insight to them, but a little less insight from the pro side. I don’t overstep my boundaries. We talk about that like we talk about everything else. ‘Hey, my experience playing against him, he did this well or this well for all the teams that we played against.’

Q: What does it say about Nigel Bradham that he still has earned the starting job?
A: Probably the most improve player on our team from last year. What that is? I don’t know. That’s a better question for him to answer. The production we’re getting out of him this year is outstanding. Everything that he’s done this year was almost the total opposite of what we thought coming in. And I told him that. He’s been great. He made a poor decision and we’ll miss him the first game. I’m not going to sit here and say, ‘Oh, that’s fine.’ We have a very good football player that’s not going to be able to play, but we’re fortunate that we have someone like Preston, who’s a younger player that has the ability to play well for us.

Q: When did you start feeling that way about Nigel?
A: I waited until we started practicing and putting the pads on. And then every day. You talk about consistency? He’s consistent every day.

Q: Do you think that’s because there was a job opening that he played better?
A: That’s a great question for him. It really is. I’m sorry he’s not here to answer it.

Q: Do you see elements of what you guys did in New Orleans when looking at Chicago’s offense?
A: I don’t want to take anything away from Marc [Trestman]. I’m sure they went there, with Aaron Kromer and the rest of that stuff, and put together what they felt was the best offense to highlight that personnel. Marc is an outstanding coach, as well as Aaron Kromer. Marc was with us in camp when I was in New Orleans. Aaron and I have worked together. They’re good football coaches, so I think they would put in what they think is best for their team.

Q: Trestman has a reputation as an outside of the box type of thinker? Do you see that in what they do offensively?
A: I see him as a very strategic, very smart [coach]. I see him as a very good offensive football coach. We worked together, if you want to call it that, during the preseason. We bounced around a lot of ideas and did a lot of different things. Like I said before, I have great respect for him.

Q: What problems does Matt Forte present?
A: I think he’s outstanding. I really do. I thought that when he was coming out of Tulane. I know when we did him, we were right there in New Orleans, as a coaching staff we loved the kid. The amount of success he’s had in the league in his career doesn’t surprise me at all. The better question is what can’t he do. He can do everything. He really can. He’s on the field the whole time, basically. He’s an outstanding back. He can get outside, he can run inside, he can make you miss and he can run through you. I think those are the challenges that we have and he’s a big part of what they do. Maybe the catalyst to what they do.

Q: What’s the best way to attack a team that has two big wide receiver targets?
A: I think there’s a couple different things you can do. You’ve just got to pick to see what’s best for you. Either way, whatever you do, you still have the matchup problem. Their height, their ability to attack the ball. Just because they’re big, people end with that, but they attack the ball well, they high point the ball well, the body position well. You’ve got to be careful with speed because they’re long striders and if you think that they’re not running fast, and people will say that they’re not, but they are. We’ve got to be very careful about that. We’ll look to do a couple different things and see what’s working.

Q: Does Santonio Holmes present a particular problem for Nickell Robey?
A: We’re ready for whatever they have. We don’t really know and that’s one thing about the first game. You don’t know the participation, how much. Do we expect to see him? Absolutely.

Q: Do like how Robert Woods responded after a seemingly slow start to camp?
A: I don’t think it was just my talk with him. I think it was just that he came back and became more consistent and really did a good job. That and the consistency with the quarterback. He has stepped it up quite a bit.

Running Back CJ Spiller
Thursday, September 4, 2014

Q: Are you excited about your opportunity to return kicks?
A: I haven’t done it in a while, but I did it in the preseason. It felt good to get back out there. The biggest thing is to have ball security and to give the offense the best field possession if I have the opportunity.

Q: Do you mind doing it?
A: I’ve done it before so it’s nothing new to me. It’s just like second nature really.

Q: You been pretty successful at it too.
A: I’ve done it my whole career, so it’s not like stepping into something that’s brand new. I feel comfortable feeling the ball, protecting it and trying to give us the best field position as possible.



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