Head Coach Doug Marrone**
Training Camp — July 30, 2013
Today was obviously the first day in pads and I was very happy with what we got accomplished today. It was good competition. We saw the level pick up a little bit which is what you expect. I give credit to the players in doing that. And I think a couple things we need to clean up when we're in our thud period, exactly what we want. That's what I told them afterwards. We want to make sure we're putting in that type of practice and keep people off the ground. I thought for the most part we did keep people off the ground. I thought that there was some good physical contact. I think you see the change a little bit, some three-spot work, the run-game situation. I was very pleased with that and the mornings are really a great asset to us. Probably the best way to teach the offense, defense and special teams because we get in, we wake up in the morning and get our work done. We have the rest of the day to make corrections, walk-through. Then when we sleep at night. Both players and coaches feel a lot more comfortable feeling prepared for the next day.
We appreciate the patience of the fans. We have the night practices, afternoon practices to make sure we take care of them. And I appreciate the people who came out here today. I remember as a young kid growing up, waking up with my dad early in the morning to go watch these training camps and they've always been a good experience.
Q: How is everything looking with the offensive line?
A: They are coming along. It's one of those things when you are talking about fundamentals and technique, things like that, you have to work on it quite a bit. So you're not going to see a quick change automatically and that's one of the things I tell the players about. But if we keep working on it, we're starting to see it carry over to the field. I feel good about that and I do like it and you'll see it throughout training camp. I'll be working with them part of the period, individual working with them on the special teams period, catching myself up for what I'm not able to do or really see when I go back and watch the film.
Q: Have you heard anything about Mario Williams?
A: I haven't had contact with anyone in regards to Mario.
Q: Can you talk about the role Fred Jackson will play this year?
A: I think we've got two good running backs that are established in this league that have done well. I think it'd be too soon to say exactly what that role is. And I think that's why we have this training camp. You see them in a lot of different situations. I think we have a lot of things we can do with them and we're just going to keep putting in the offense, putting in the volume. And as we get down to the end, this is what we do with the players. Really at the end, when the squad is made, we sit down with the players and we define their role for them
Q: Is Fred the leader of the group?
A: Fred is an outstanding pro and I think that the longer you're in this profession and you're at this level, there's a great appreciation and value to that. I think you're right. He brings a lot of energy not just to the running back group but also to the offense and the team.
Q: Have you heard anything about Mario?
A: I really haven't. Like I told you guys before and I said it, I have no information from yesterday. That's the God's truth. And that's really it and I appreciate that everyone has to ask that question and I totally get it. I really do. I promise you I'm telling you the truth. I really haven't gotten any notice from the doctors or anything from above me on the situation. And the minute we do, I promise you we'll get it out.
Q: Have you been made aware of what is happening with Mario?
A: I am aware of what's going on. It's the same as yesterday. It's still in the process.
Q: Is he still being evaluated?
A: Yes, he's still being evaluated.
Q: Do you find it odd that Mario hasn't called to tell you what's going on?
A: No. I mean we have a great relationship.
Q: You had your first tussle today between Woods and Butler. What is your take on that?
A: My take on it is this. You want to be competitive but you don't want to be combative.
Q: Does Justin Rogers have an injury?
A: I have no idea. I have not talked to Bud (Carpenter) afterwards. I'm sure something happened and what I do is meet with Bud afterwards and he tells me.
Q: Where do you see Leodis (McKelvin) fitting in?
A: You got to remember here is a player who has been out for all of OTAs and mini-camp. There are other players that have really done a good job and worked extremely hard. So for us, most of the time, we can't say one hundred percent of the time. But in this situation we can bring a player up, get him playing and get him going and obviously make those moves as we evaluate his play. And we've been very happy with Leodis and what he has done and what is in front of him. So it's a good situation for us.
Q: You gave (Antoine) Caldwell and (Tony) Hills just a little taste in the team today. When do you expect them to be up to speed?
A: It relies on them picking up an offense that they are just learning for the first time. I don't think it's any more difficult than that. If you bring two players in, you're working to catch up with time wise and teach them the offense. And the faster we feel comfortable because you got to put somebody in there who at least has a good feel for what they're doing so you don't get anyone else injured.
Q: Marcell Dareus last year went through some difficult things personally. Do you see a guy who is a little bit more refreshed mentally?
A: I really couldn't comment on last year for obvious reasons. I wasn't here. I haven't seen that from him at all. I know things have been written about it. I've seen a player that has come in, has made a lot of plays out there and worked extremely hard. I'm excited about how he did on his conditioning test and where his weight is and where he's going. I don't see any signs of a player that has anything hidden down inside. I see a player that's having fun, playing football and that's what we want him out there to do.
Q: Where do you think Aaron Williams is in making his transition from corner to safety?
A: We're excited about that. I think he's done a heck of a job. He's had a very good off-season, you know, mini-camp and OTAs specifically. I think he's worked extremely hard and we're very excited. Again he's still very young at the position so he still needs to develop and get better and he's looking to do that every day.
Q: Wide receiver is one of the younger position groups on this team. Have you seen Stevie Johnson, Brad Smith and the other veterans step up in their leadership roles among that position group?
A: They're all working hard. So if that's a credit to the younger guys for coming in and being more professional or Stevie and Brad, I don't know. But I have seen Stevie and Brad take some time to go and talk to those guys. I think it's a natural position for them to be in when you do have a young group. And I think they have stepped up to it. I'm happy with what they've done and I'm happy with the way they're competing out there.
Q: From OTAs until this morning, have you seen an NFL player out of Marquise Goodwin?
A: I see 90, or 87 or whatever we have out there, NFL players. It's just a matter of really, at the end of the day, a lot of them do have some skill to be able to perform at this level, and I think the thing that what we look at is consistency. Right now, Marquise (Goodwin) has shown consistency. Can he keep that going on through the preseason games, through the season and handling a game plan? Those are the things you evaluate. I think that goes back to a young player developing and see where they are when we get into those games. But I'm happy with his development.
Q: Does (Goodwin) have to do anything differently given his size?
A: (Marquise) does. He runs faster than anybody. My experience is that sometimes when people get a little bit concerned, and my past experiences say that sometimes a smaller player that's fast or worried about the contact or physical-ness. He's shown on tape in college that he'll go in there and block and do those things that I'm not really concerned about right now because I've been able to see that on tape. But the one thing about those guys if you really evaluate and watch them, they never really get hit that hard because they're always on the move.
Q: In respect to any injuries today, do you have any information?
A: I don't. I try to get this thing, and get out here to you guys and you get your time with the players. I can say this: it's nothing major. If something major happens, it would grab me.
Q: Can you assess the competition in the kicking game? A: I think it's a good competition. If you look at the first period today, we had two misses from each. If you look at the second period, we were 100 percent. I think that we are putting them in the toughest situations. It's much tougher to kick on the grass than on the turf. So I think we did a good job. I talked to Coach Crossman and we're making sure that we are getting work from both sides, and getting better as we step up in this period and getting more live situations for them.