Head Coach Doug Marrone
Monday, December 9, 2013
I’ve been through this before as a player and coach in trying to build a team into a winning football team. The only way to do that is through hard work, preparation and more importantly attention to details. We played poorly the other day. Offensively we didn’t play well up front, we didn’t get good play out of the quarterback, and obviously we turned the ball over. Special teams we had missed opportunities, we also turned the ball over there. Defensively, there were some positive things on that side of the football. We gave up the big run early and you can’t have that. We had penalties both offensively and defensively at times. Third down, we gave up yardage and at the end of the day we have to put our heads down, we have to work and we have to make sure that we can overcome and understand that the attention to detail will get us out of this losing mode right now.
Q: Some of the leaders on this team including Eric Wood and Kyle Williams said this team needs to learn how to grow up. Is that a fair assessment?
A: It’s very difficult for the period of time that we’ve had, and not to go back in the past, to understand truly what you have to do. When the coach gets up there and says it’s attention to detail and hard work, we have to do our share to make sure that is spelled out, exactly what people need to do. I think a lot of times people use the expression be a pro, but there’s a time where we have to keep pushing them and keep working through the preparation in what we do on the field.
Q: What’s your assessment of EJ (Manuel) after having the chance to review the film?
A: He did not play well.
Q: Can you elaborate on some things in particular?
A: Obviously we had the turnovers, the (four) turnovers. The reads and again you look at the individual performance at times when you say we have to get better time at that position, are there things that hurt his level of play? Yes, obviously. There’s some things that happened up front, people batting a pass down. People near him, I don’t care what quarterback you’re playing with, when people are around him it’s very difficult. Are there things he could have done a better job of progression-wise and read-wise? Absolutely. Again we’ve got to work harder in our preparation and get him prepared. He understands that, we talked to him about it and he’s ready to go. He’s ready to get back to work.
Q: How difficult is it when you have to come to the conclusion that you may have to scale things back for him offensively?
A: Who said scale things back?
Q: Isn’t that what you said postgame last night?
A: Yeah, to make sure that we’re able to execute. If we’re not executing then we have to figure out exactly what to do and just start with that. Create a foundation and identity.
Q: Predictably fans are pretty upset with EJ’s performance. You’ve been very consistent in saying that one day you won’t have to worry about EJ. Can you talk about what it is that you see form him that makes you believe you’re not going to have to worry about it?
A: He has the ability to do it, there’s no doubt in my mind. The problem is that it’s like anything else, he’s going to take a lot of the heat because of the position and that comes with it. At the end of the day, we need to make sure that the people around him are doing what they’re supposed to do. To sit here and say that if everything was going well around him and he was the culprit, it would be easy for me to say and we’d go ahead and pull him and put another quarterback in there. I don’t have any problem with that.. He is working his way through it and we need help from everyone else around him to make sure everyone does their job. There are times when things break down and it’s not necessarily his fault. Whether it be a route, a wrong route, a missed assignment up front, not winning the physical battle somewhere along the line. I think all of those things factor in to play.
Q: Has going through all of his progressions been a consistent problem through the season?
A: The progression reads? First of all, I don’t think a lot of people know exactly what progression reads are, maybe they do. When people play zone coverage, you have to go through those progressions and you have to win. The earlier the first progression wins, the better you’re going to be. The more you have to go through it, the more time it takes. Therefore the more time of protection you need. At the end of the day does he have to do a better job of that? Absolutely. Absolutely. He knows that, that’s the best way to answer that question. He has to go to work and get himself prepared and ready to go with Coach Hackett.
Q: How important are these next three games for his development to show that he gets it?
A: Obviously it’s important for him, but I think it’s important for everybody. It’s important for everyone. We have players that we have to make sure who the tough competitors, who we can rely on to win, that stuff is being evaluated constantly through what we do. The first time you come in, you look at it, you’re trying to install systems. When you go through the preseason you’re looking and you see the talent and the players. During the season you find out how they prepare, who are the competitors, who are the guys that can win, who are those things and you have to make sure you take those guys and you build your team around them.
Q: Over the last two games, T.J. Graham and Marquise Goodwin haven’t had any catches. Is there a way to get them more involved?
A: Yeah. I think those two guys, obviously they have great speed, we have to find a way to get them involved. I don’t disagree with that.
Q: Other than running deep routes what can you do?
A: Sure, Marquise Goodwin can run intermediate routes. T.J. Graham can run cross field routes. There are ways that we can get them involved and we need to make sure that we look at it.
Q: You mentioned some of the struggles of the offensive line. It’s one of the more experienced groups on this team and you spend time every day in practice with that group. What can you do to get them playing better?
A: I’m going to stick with exactly what I said before. I think you’ve got to continue to work, continue to study the opponent and you have to have attention to detail. There’s not a line that I’ve been a part of, and I’ve been fortunate to be a part of a lot of good offensive lines, that did not have an unbelievable outstanding work ethic which I think our guys work, but the attention to detail on every single play at every single minute is something that has to be developed and that’s what our guys are working on.
Q: When you say you need to do more with Goodwin and Graham, do you mean from a play calling standpoint?
A: I’m sorry; I hope I said that we could do more with them. We could get them more involved. It’s like anything else, I think those guys have talent, no doubt they have talent. They have obviously better than average speed and we have to get a way to get the right group of people in the game that can be productive. Really at the end of the day. That’s what we’re looking at with everybody.
Q: What’s your reaction when you see in the box score that they had zero catches?
A: Honestly I think Marquise Goodwin, and I talked to Coach Hackett about this, I think we have to get him in there more. I think T.J. has to keep working at becoming more consistent.
Q: Where is your patience level with EJ at this point?
A: My patience works on a day to day basis, it really does. As long as they’re keeping their head down, working hard and prepared, that creates patience. The minute that you don’t see that, then you become unpatient. Do I want to be standing here today and having to go through these things of what is going on? Absolutely not, but I’ve learned over the years that this is the stuff you go through. You just have to put your head down and just keep working.
Q: You got J.J. ‘Unga in the mix this week. What was your thinking behind that and what did you get evaluation-wise in the snaps he got?
A: I thought he did very well and I think we’re going to increase his playing time.
Q: Any injuries pop up?
A: I think we have a lot of guys that are sore today, but nothing happened from the game.
Q: It was a concerted effort yesterday based of the inactive list to get some younger guys in there. Is that going to be a trend going forward?
A: I want to make sure that I’m careful on this. Is it a trend in a negative way? Absolutely not. What we’re trying to find out is who are the people that we can go out and win with. We want to make sure; I want to make sure that I know exactly where everyone is at as we keep moving forward with this team. Evan (Rodriguez) has been up there, he’s done some good things on special teams. Ty Powell did a very good job yesterday, so that is exciting. We need to grow with that. Chris Gragg, again some good things out there, I’m happy with that. Obviously with J.J. we mentioned before. Their playing time, it’s tough in some situations to get them in there. Especially with Ty a little bit more so on the defensive side where we have Manny (Lawson) and Jerry Hughes. Both of those guys are doing a nice job. He went in there on special teams and he made some plays.. We’ve got to figure out a way to get him some more playing time because he’s a good football player and keep progressing him as well as the other players. When we say trend, what I’m trying to figure out each week is who gives us the best chance to win and let’s go see those players and let’s know exactly who we have.
Q: What were your thoughts on the defensive play yesterday?
A: I did address it earlier and I’ll repeat it, I thought defensively there were a lot of times where we did some good things, there really was. I thought Stephon Gilmore came back and really had a good game, really played well. Leodis (McKelvin) has been battling all year, playing well. I thought the second play of the game where they go 80 yards, you can’t have that. We have to fill that gap at the second level and also at the third level to make sure that play doesn’t happen. I thought that on third down we had penalties and gave up some big yardage on third down. I think that’s the stuff that obviously I’d say we have to improve on. I don’t want to leave here; there were some good snaps on that side of the football.
Q: Can you explain what you saw on how that 80-yard touchdown happened?
A: At the second level we needed our linebacker to get over the top and to stop the touchdown we need to get somebody in the secondary to make that play.
Q: Why weren’t the safeties there?
A: We were in single high man coverage, 46 defense.
Q: On Jairus Byrd’s roughing the passer penalty, how do you teach your guys to not make that instinctual play and tackle higher?
A: I think obviously it’s viewed as a personal foul and we have to just keep talking to our players and understanding that here is where you need to hit him for it not to be called. I think it’s the same thing where I’ll write that up, I’ll send it in, they’ll come back to me, they’ll give me what their assessment is and I’ll ask them what we can do a better job of so we don’t have them in the future.
Q: What specifically do you need to see from EJ in the final three games?
A: This is what I’m looking for specifically. Win. I want to win football games. I’m not talking about an individual performance here or there, what do we have to do as a team to win.
Q: Will J.J. be continuing to work exclusively at right guard or will you try to work him at left guard?
A: Right now I think he’s better suited at right.
Q: How frustrating is it after a loss to be left stuck on a tarmac for an hour and half after difficult loss?
A: No. I don’t look at it. I’m pissed that we lost the football game. That’s the only thing that’s on my mind. On my mind is coming back the next day and going after it and getting to work and fixing it. I don’t think about things I can’t control. I can control fixing this team.
DT Marcell Dareus
Monday December 9, 2013
Q: A lot of people outside this locker room are saying it’s the same old Bills. What do you have to say about that?
A: The attitude has changed, but that’s all in your head. Attitude has changed with us, we want to win, we expect to win, but the wins aren’t coming. I can’t control what other people think; everyone is entitled to their own opinion.
Q: Coach has talked a lot about accountability this year. Do you feel there is the collective commitment from each man in this locker room to make you guys a successful football team?
A: To really be honest I can’t speak for everybody. I’m just one person of 56-57 men. I really can’t speak for them, but for myself just turn on the film I’m doing the best I can. I’m going to do the best I can, from the time I got here I told the fans and I told you guys standing her in front of me, I will do everything in my power to get us over the hump.
RB Fred Jackson
Monday, December 9, 2013
Q: Crap is a strong word; still feel that way about yesterday’s performance?
A: Yeah, we didn’t play well at all. It was not a good performance on offense at all. We didn’t do anything well. Didn’t protect EJ (Manuel), didn’t run the ball, didn’t catch the ball particularly well. Anytime you do that on offense, you’re going to struggle. We didn’t put up points yesterday, put our defense in bad situations and that game came out the way it was supposed to.
Q: You had some strong words on the radio this morning about this being the worst offensive performances you’ve seen a part of. Is that true and why?
A: Offensively, I can’t think of anything we did well. You have a performance like yesterday, it’s going to be one of the worst you’ve been a part of. We didn’t run the ball well, we didn’t protect EJ, he got sacked seven times and was hit every time he was trying to throw the ball. That’s on us as an offensive unit. We have to grade ourselves harshly to get this thing turned around and get it to where we want it to be you have to look at the film. I’m included in that. I didn’t do things well yesterday. I’ve got to go back and look at film to see what it is I can do better when I’m out there on the field.
Q: You hear coach talking about accountability a lot, what do you think that means and how would that help this team?
A: When you’re asked to do something you’ve got to get it done. Like myself on the screen pass I dropped, I have to be held accountable for that. I can’t do that. When that play is called it’s third and 18, the offensive line does a great job getting out, they’re blocking for me down the field and I drop the ball. I need to be held accountable. They need to come to the sideline and say, ‘You’ve got to make the play for us.’ That’s what it’s about. I’ve got to go out and lead by example, I’ve got to go tell guys when there are things to get done we have to get them done. That’s for everybody, that’s just not one single person, that’s for everybody.
DT Kyle Williams
Monday December 9, 2013
Q: I know you guys talked a long time in the locker room after the game, I’m guessing accountability was a big part of that discussion. What do you feel is the accountability collectively on this roster? Is it where it needs to be?
A: Obviously it’s not. The thing about it is it has to be everybody or it’s not good enough. If you’re missing one or two it’s not good enough because this game is unique enough where one guy can’t make a game for you or win a game for you. It takes a collective effort. If you don’t have everybody on the same page, you’re not going to be able to win and you’re not going to be able to be effective. If you have 40 guys that are accountable and doing the right things and you’re missing ten it’s not good enough. Two is not good enough. Obviously it’s not good enough and that’s something that we really need to get everybody going.
Q: Eric Wood was saying that the team needs to do a little growing up. Is that just an indication that it’s a young team or is it an indication that guys need to be better pros in here?
A: I think it’s both. I think it’s a combination of both.
Q: Is that the value of the next three weeks, determining some of those things going forward?
A: Yeah, I think so. I think it’s important for our coaches to see, I think it’s important for the players in here to see. To know who they can count on, to know that no matter the circumstances who is going to be there and who’s going to do the right things and play the way that you want somebody to play or a teammate to play. Moving forward knowing you can count on them.
RB C.J. Spiller
Monday, December 9, 2013
Q: Fred Jackson said on the radio this morning that he felt that was the worst offensive performance that he’s been a part of in Buffalo. Did you feel a similar way?
A: Yeah, it wasn’t a good day for us on the offensive side of the ball. We really couldn’t do nothing. We had turnovers, sacks, couldn’t run the ball. It’s not to blame not one person, it’s a collective group. We just have to look, each person has to look themselves in the mirror and see what we can do. Now it’s all about paying for pride and playing for each other and trying to finish these last three weeks out on a good note.
Q: How long does it take to get rid of the hurt from a game like that?
A: After Monday Night Football goes off, my focus will shift to the Jacksonville Jaguars. You can’t dwell on it, win or lose. If you do that you’re not going to be at your best ability, I said that yesterday. You’re not going to dwell on that loss all week because I would be giving my teammates a disadvantage. You have to move on and hopefully that’s what we’ll be able to do.
Q: For a team that was supposed to be showing signs of progress, did yesterday not seem like regression?
A: It’s the first year. You can’t say that it’s the same thing everybody still, even though we’ve played a lot, everyone is still getting familiar with each other. Everybody is still trying to figure out what we can do well and we’ve just got to learn to play well. We’re not going; we came in with high expectations. Our expectations were to make the playoffs; obviously those chances are very slim now. That doesn’t mean that this organization isn’t going in the right direction. I think we are. We’ve got a great coach, we’ve got great leadership in Russ (Brandon) and Doug Whaley and they’re putting pieces together to make this organization a championship caliber team. Obviously when you don’t see results right away everybody is going to backlash and say it’s the same old or regression. To me, inside the building I don’t feel that. I feel this organization is heading in the right direction.
C Eric Wood
Monday, December 9, 2013
Q: Fred (Jackson) said today that it’s the worst offensive performance he’s been a part of, do you agree?
A: I don’t know where to rank it, but was bad. We didn’t play well. We couldn’t really get anything going.
Q: When your plane doesn’t get off the ground at the end of the day, does that kind of sum up how bad of a day it was?
A: Yeah it was a rough trip. Sitting on that runway wasn’t very fun either.
Q: Accountability is the word that’s been used a lot by Coach Marrone. Have you seen the collective commitment of every man in this locker room to be the winning franchise that you want to be?
A: Yeah, to get there everybody has to be on board. Everyone has to be accountable. On a day like today you have to look at yourself in the mirror and correct what you did yesterday. That’s all of us included.
Q: Everyone looks at themselves first, when does it have to go beyond that where other players have to be addressed in some way?
A: I’m sure that will happen today. That will probably be within the position groups. That needs to happen.
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