Head Coach Doug Marrone

Thursday, December 18th, 2014

Q: Injuries?

A: Scott Berchtold: Limited participation: Marcus Thigpen with a foot, Dan Carpenter with a groin, Duke Williams is still going through the concussion protocol, Jarius Wynn with a knee, Chris Gragg with a knee, Da’Norris Searcy with a hamstring, Stephon Gilmore with a shoulder and C.J. Spiller with a shoulder. Full participation: Boobie Dixon with a chest.

Q: Did Thigpen’s injury happen today or yesterday?

A: I think it happened during practice yesterday and we didn’t think anything of it and just had a little swelling.

Q: Barring any setbacks, will he be good to go on Sunday?

A: Yes.

Q: What has he brought to you guys?

A: When we lost Leodis [McKelvin] for the year, Fred [Jackson] was back there and he was injured. We were on the lookout to bring someone in, as a part of our plan to try to get better and win. Fortunate for us, I think Tampa Bay wound up releasing him and we wound up getting him. He’s a guy that’s done it. He’s been in this league and that’s what he’s done. He’s done kickoffs, he’s done punts and he’s a very good punt returner. We know that, with the way we were playing, that’s a big part of what gives us an ability to win, with the field position.

Q: How much of a role has special teams played in your good field position this year?

A: When you get a team and set the team, the most important thing is making sure that all three phases and all three coordinators understand, going into a game, how we’re going to win this game. Obviously, we all know that you’ve got to score one more point than the opposing team, but there’s a lot more to it than that. With the way we’ve been playing, field position is a big thing for us and we talk about it every week with our players, especially on special teams.

Q: Nathaniel Hackett takes a lot of criticism for the offensive struggles. How much of that is warranted? What do you attribute the struggles to?

A: If there’s any blame, it should be on me, in anything that happens with our football team. If it was there was a problem with one thing, it would be very easy to fix. It’s really collective. That’s probably 99 percent of all the problems that occur when you’re on a team. Sometimes a play will point out somebody, but at the end of the day when you’re evaluating all the plays, it’s just a matter of trying to get 11 guys to be as efficient as they can. Then, when everyone has a clean opportunity to get it done, does that player get it done or not? That’s how you evaluate it. For us, it’s been up and down and we’re just going to continue to try to get better.

Q: How would you evaluate the job he’s done this season?

A: Those are things that I would talk with Nathaniel about. We go through a process after the season, like everybody knows. We’ll sit down and talk. It’s been two years now. We’ve played I don’t know how many quarterbacks. We’re playing with a quarterback that wasn’t in our training camp. I think all of those things are pretty big challenges when you’re trying to get things going from an offensive standpoint.

Q: How did C.J. look today?

A: I think he looks good. He really does. It’s just a matter of waiting until the end of the week and making a move there. The only concern I have is – it’s not really being in shape, but to be able to play and run plays in and out, in and out, in and out and to make sure his conditioning is right at that level. It seems to be okay. I think it will just get better. I know he looks explosive. He’s moving well.

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