Head Coach Doug Marrone

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Opening Statement: Let’s start with the serious situation obviously with Marcell Dareus. Obviously, we all know and are well aware that Marcell has made some poor decisions lately and the one thing is that I’ve been working with him and he’s dealing with a lot of personal issues too. I spoke with him at length and we spent a lot of time together talking about a lot of things. As of now, he’s not going to be attending the OTA’s, but he’ll be attending the mandatory minicamp when we come back. I just want to make sure that I’m clear that everyone understands that I believe in Marcell and I will do everything I can to make sure that we can get him on the right track. Really that’s the situation. There are a lot of things going on, a lot of personal talk and that’s really all I’m going to comment on. I understand you’ll ask some questions afterwards, but I’m going to keep repeating the situation, the conversations we had are between us and we’re working this thing. I’m disappointed in all of our players anytime anyone of us, including myself, when we make poor decisions. It’s a reflection of the team, which is a reflection of me and it’s a reflection on this organization. You guys can go ahead and ask, but I would rather move on and talk about other things with the team and where we’re going.

Q: When did you have your discussion with him? A: I spoke to him last night.

Q: It was a lengthy discussion? A: Lengthy. Yes.

Q: Would you characterize him not being here for OTA’s a disciplinary decision by you? A: I’m glad you asked that question. No it is not. It was a thing that we talked about and how do we move forward in best dealing with being able to make better decisions and dealing with what we’re doing. So I actually told that to the team, it wasn’t a disciplinary action for him leaving. Thank you for clarifying.

Q: Would you clarify it as a mutual decision? Was he saying that he should get away to get his act together? A: No, I wouldn’t say that. He’s trying to do the right thing, I promise you that. But at the same time I have to be careful on my language. In other words, if I said, ‘I’m going to do this’, we’re in a voluntary period so I have to be very careful with my language with the league. To try to answer your question best, it was both of us sitting down and talking about how we move forward and how do we get this right and working together coming up with that decision.

Q: What will he do in the next two weeks? A: That is between myself, him and other people close to him. That is personal, but he’ll be ready to go when he comes back here. That’s being evaluated and I’m watching him.

Q: Was he injured at all in the accident? A: To my knowledge no. I can’t comment on that.

Q: There was another car involved in the incident. Do you have any other knowledge on if other players are involved? A: Yes, I do have knowledge of it. I cannot disclose that information at this time because of the legal process.

Q: Would you characterize this as a call for help and what does the NFL have that it can offer to help him? A: Obviously the NFL, they make decisions on disciplinary action from the league standpoint. The one thing that I’m initially encouraged with is I’m happy that Troy Vincent is involved with this league at a high level. I think Troy, in my conversations with him, has an understanding on what we need to do. Not just for this instance, but for all instances of everything that is going on. How we can better ourselves and help people make the right decisions.

Q: Is it accurate to say that you’ve contact Troy Vincent to help with this? A: No, that is not accurate at all. I just like the way the NFL is going with that.

Q: He’s coming off as a victim again. It seems that way. A: No. By who? By Me?

Q: By saying he needs help and has personal issues. This guy is embarrassing your team. Don’t you have a problem with that? A: Absolutely. I say this, anyone that makes a poor decision hurts. I have to do whatever I can to make sure that our players, our coaches, everyone make a better decision. You’re exactly right. Do you want to hear something different? Maybe you have to ask Doug (Whaley) or maybe you have to ask Russ (Brandon). As far as I’m concerned I’m going to do everything I can to help a 24-year old man make better decisions. That’s just how I feel.

Q: If he’s an average player is he still on the team? A: I’ll be honest with you. Is he on the team or not on the team? Yeah I think he’s on the team because we have a responsibility to try to help them. To a point where every case is different and I’ve always been that way. If it comes from above me that we’re done, then we’re done. As far as I’m concerned I’m going to help someone until I feel that it’s not right. Once I feel it’s not right I’ll tell you guys.

Q: What type of issues are we talking about? A: We’re talking about personal issues that I’ve dealt with him on that I’m handling. That’s it.

Q: How concerned are you about a suspension and how do you prepare the team knowing you could be without him? A: I think I just go ahead and I just prepare the team to be ready to play whether we’re talking about suspensions, whether we’re talking about injuries or whether we’re talking about anything. I prepare the team the same way.

Q: Have you seen him make any positive growth? A: Yes I have.

Q: Is racing among players a problem? A: First of my knowledge. First of my knowledge and it’s a very poor decision and very dangerous.

Q: You said you have knowledge of the other driver? A: I know who the other driver is. I’m going to leave it at that due to the legal process.

Q: The statement from the police said they’re investigating the other driver. Are you talking to the police? A: Legal process.

Q: Last week Marcell missed practice Thursday. Was that injury related? A: That’s between him and me.

Alright, how about EJ (Manuel) throwing those passes today?

Q: Why wasn’t Marcell Dareus out there catching those passes?

Q: Any injury updates since we talked to you last week? A: Mario (Williams) was getting checked out today just to make sure everything is ok. We got a couple guys back. (Cordell) Roberson is back, got a couple guys playing. Who was out? Obviously (Marcus) Easley is still out. Really, you guys can see who is one the field and participating.

Q: Anything on Brandon Spikes? A: Yeah, he’s just coming back a little bit from a weekend of soreness from lifting.

Q: Darius Robinson, he hurt his shoulder last week and isn’t back. A: Yeah, we’re being careful with him.

Q: Any updates on (Manny) Lawson or (Alan) Branch? A: No. I have no idea. No communication.

Q: Tell me about the decision to bring in Macky MacPherson. A: I thought that he was a better option for us to upgrade that position. He is familiar with the system, but he’s a tough kid who is going to give us everything he has and he has an opportunity. He is also a long snapper and short snapper. So we’ll see where it goes.

Q: What has been your impression so far of Jim Schwartz and his defense? A: I like our defense. I like what we’re installing and I like what we’re doing. I like the coaches and I like how they’re coaching. I like how they’re on the field with the players and I like how the players are responding. I still think that we have a long way to go, but I do like the direction that we’re heading.

Q: How big of an adjustment is it for the players? A: It’s interesting, but it all depends. I think when you talk from coach to coach on what we’re asking them to do, for someone being in a three point stance to a two point stance, it’s the same responsibilities. That’s what we’re talking about quite a bit. We can still stand those guys up to do those responsibilities. So, from that standpoint it’s just a matter of really who you’re talking to. The thing about our defense was we might have had an under defensive tackle, but the same sense don’t make the mistake; we weren’t 3-4 last year.

Q: Is there a concern with some of these guys who are on their fourth defensive coordinator in four seasons? A: If someone said in a perfect world where do you want to be, but that world is not around. Until you have an organization where we start winning there are going to be coaches going through here. There is no doubt about that. Until we can get some stability and then the thing you have to worry about is those coaches moving on. Then it’s easy to hire from within and it’s a lot easier on us to go that way.

Q: When you find out about an incident like Dareus, what is your reaction? A: Right wrong or indifferent, when any player makes a poor decision I always think of where I made a mistake. That’s the truth. I just feel that way and when I make decisions to not play people, bench him and all that other stuff, I do it because winning, don’t get me wrong my job is to win and winning is important, but it’s not as important as trying to help somebody. I’d rather lose games and do the right thing in my mind, not everybody else’s mind, not the media’s mind and not the public opinion’s mind. My mind. I’d rather do the right thing and I can live with myself. At the end of the day, I’m the one that is going to have to live with myself. That’s the way I treat it. Right wrong or indifferent, it might not be what people want to hear, but that is more important to me. Trying to do the right thing and help people, than it is to win.

Q: How would you clarify this? He can’t be excused from voluntary workouts. A: I never said (that). Are you trying to get me fined? No, the wording is tough it really is. Like I said, it’s not a punishment. I didn’t say, ‘Look, I need to get you out of here.’ I didn’t say, ‘I need you to stay’ and he said, “I don’t want to stay.’ It was a conversation of how are we going to move forward? How are we going to get this thing done? I’m taking a bigger role and I’m becoming more personally responsible.

Q: Did you not want him to face the media today? A: I didn’t even think about that. My point was on him.

Q: Mutual decision? A: Yeah, I’m happy with it. I’m comfortable with it and with what we talked about.

Q: So reached a mutual decision might be the best way to write it? A: That’s the truth. This is what is best for you and ok I think that is what is best for me, so here we go.

QB EJ Manuel

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Q: It looked like it didn’t take very long to get back in sync with Sammy (Watkins). Can you talk about how you were able to find him early and often today? A: Yeah, like I said before Sammy is a great route runner. He always gives you the true route, so as long as you’re on point with your drop and your footwork and everything like that, just throw it to a spot and he’ll catch it..

Q: Can you speak on the confidence that gives you, that you can just put it on a spot for him? A: It’s not just Sammy. I think all of those guys do a great job as far as not counting the steps, but being step oriented in their routes. I know that is something Coach Hackett and Coach Moore have really implemented for those guys and they coached the routes like that. They’re all buying in to it and for us quarterbacks it’s easy to just throw it to that spot and it’s on them to get there.

Q: Is it fun just flinging it right now? You had some opportunities to just air it out.

A: Oh yeah, that’s the best. Anytime you get the chance, I call it the backyard throws, just drop back 20 steps and throw it. Obviously I didn’t drop back 20 steps, but anytime you get a chance to throw a deep ball and give your receivers a chance to do something. This is a trial period for everybody, obviously this is OTA’s and we don’t have a game Sunday. A lot of the things you do out here, you can create and just make plays. So anytime you get the chance to throw a deep ball, take advantage of it.

Q: With what Marcell (Dareus) is going through, as a teammate how do you handle it? A: Marcell and I, we actually live at the same place so he and I talk quite often. I think the biggest thing is we’re happy that he is healthy. Obviously it was tough situation, but I think this is when you need to be supportive.. You definitely want to talk to him, you don’t want to shun him or not talk to him because of what happened. We’re all there for him and he knows that. Now is just a good time for him to get his thoughts together and come back strong for the season, that’s when we need him.

Q: What was your reaction when you heard about this latest incident? A: Shocked. The biggest thing was seeing that he was here with us a few days ago and he was healthy walking around and he was fine. He was working out and everything, so that was the biggest thing to see he was fine.

Q: Is there a problem among players with racing? A: No, I don’t think so. You don’t hear about it too often. Guys have cars and things like that, but on my team I don’t see very many guys racing or things like that.

Q: Did you notice anything prior to this that would make you think something was coming? A: Not really. I think Marcell is the kind of guy who is always going to seem upbeat to his to everybody, especially to us teammates. Some things we’re not always comfortable telling everybody about, if it’s a family matter and stuff like that. He seemed upbeat last week, so I think he’ll be fine.

Q: As a leader what is your message to the rest of the guys? A: I think the biggest thing for all of us is we want him to remain healthy. Throughout this whole offseason, whether it is off the field or on the field we want to risk anything and we don’t want to be out there playing basketball and you roll an ankle, if you get hurt at least let it be on the field when you’re working hard and doing what you need to do to help us get to the playoffs and get to the Super Bowl. That’s the main message, be smart off the field and on.

Q: Is there any doubt about him that he’ll get his act together? A: Not at all. Marcell is a very smart person. Marcell is his own man and he’s a grown man so he’s going to make the decisions he wants to make. That’s only one incident, he had something else prior to that, but he’s still young. We’re all young and we all make mistakes and I’m just thankful that he didn’t get hurt to the point where he couldn’t redeem himself. I have more than enough confidence that he’ll be back and ready to go for us.

Q: There are a lot of people saying these are actions where he’s letting his teammates down. Is there a feeling of that here? A: What do you mean? Who is letting who down? Q: Marcell with the two situations. A: We’re all grown men. At the same time this is a team, but we’re not going to be upset at Marcell if he makes a decision because that is his decision to make. I’m just happy he’s healthy because that’s the biggest thing. I know he’ll still be here for us on Sundays and that’s when we need him and that is all that matters.

Q: Did you reach out to him and have you been in discussions? A: Yeah, I talked to him yesterday and he obviously explained what happened. Again, just happy that he is healthy.

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