Buffalo Bills Head Coach Doug Marrone

Monday, October 28, 2013

Opening Statement:
Obviously we’re at the halfway point, we’re 3-5. We’ve been through adversity, but we’ve got to keep going. That’s what I told the players, I want to make sure I follow up on yesterday’s game. There’s something that happened that we can’t afford to do. When you look at it, one of them is the turnovers. We are not good enough to lose the turnover battle and win football games and we all know that. We were minus three in turnovers. Two of those turnovers cost us 14 points. I thought the defense did an outstanding job early on when we turned the ball over early. Obviously we’re always looking to run and protect our quarterback better than our opponent, that’s key. I thought that New Orleans got after us pretty good. They came after us with some zero coverage, a couple different things, but it wasn’t like we weren’t expecting it. I thought our guys did a good job with some of the pressures we did. You saw that when you get a quarterback like Drew Brees and you get a little bit of confusion, you’re working hard. You saw that a couple times that happened in the game.

Field position was a big thing. That goes over with the turnovers. When you look at it and our average starting position is the 23 yard line and theirs is the 40 yard line. You figure there are 11 drives in the game, we’re talking about 187 yards. You can’t do that against a team that can score like they can do. I was disappointed with the first four drives. We all have to do a better job from the standpoint of schematics. Calling, making sure that we’re comfortable, I’m talking about the offense. We had a fumble, we had a missed field goal, we had another fumble, we had a three and out. You can’t do that starting a game against a team that usually comes out pretty hot.

Penalties, again even though we had less than our opponent, that’s one of the things we looked at, we had penalties at poor times. We had a penalty that took a touchdown away from us and we had to keep driving and go and score. We had a penalty on us defensively where we had an interception. Mario (Williams) is getting held and he wound up getting his fingers caught in the facemask and we wound up intercepting that ball that would have been a turnover for us. Then we had a defensive holding that would have got us off the field that went to 14 points. The big plays, we gave up really two big plays but one of them was kept on because of the penalty and it was the 69 yard play.

We’re excited, I know it sounds crazy. People are going to go, ‘What the hell is going on with this guy?’ We’ve got a lot of work to do, we’re going to get back, we’re in the third quarter of our season. Kansas City is coming in to town, they’re undefeated, we have a white out going on so the fans will be all pumped up. We’ve got to win this quarter and right now we’re focused on beating Kansas City. I’m ready to go.

Q: Any update on the injury to Stevie Johnson? He said he might have to get an MRI.

A: Hip flexor. Is he going to undergo an MRI? Not to my knowledge. I heard limited on Wednesday and I’m just going to leave it at that because of last time. Limited on Wednesday practicing is what I’ve been told today.

Q: What about Marquise Goodwin?
A: X-Rays came back negative. Limited on Wednesday, he should be practicing.

Q: Chances for C.J. (Spiller) and Manny (Lawson) this week after missing last week?
A: I’m going to wait. I think there’s a good chance, Manny especially. Right before the game he said he felt really god, like he thought he might be able to go. That’s a good sign. C.J. we’re going to test it out here Monday or Tuesday.

Q: Do you know if it’s a high ankle sprain?
A: Yes. High ankle and I apologize I’d look it up and maybe Scott (Berchtold) can go get you the answer, it’s like a spot that’s sore. It is a high ankle which normally is a bit worse than the other ones.

Q: Can you comment on Stevie’s performance fighting through the injury?
A: Stevie can play. We’ve got to do a good job, again, of finding ways to keep getting him the ball. I thought that Goodwin stepped up, Robert Woods. I think we have a good cast of receivers; we have to find a way to create that balance of running the football, protecting the quarterback so we can get the ball down the field and score points. I feel good about the progress of where those young receivers are. Stevie has always been a good player.

Q: What about where EJ (Manuel) is?
A: He’ll be working extremely hard this week. I can’t answer the question, ‘Is he going to be practicing or not?’ I don’t want to get in to that and have it explode, but he’s going to be working extremely hard to a level of a great stage for where we should be.

Q: I know you’re not happy with 3-5. When you watch your team play, what do you like most about what you’re seeing?
A: They play hard. Everyone can see it on tape. We play hard. At times we might not play as smart as we should, at times we might not have the leverage that we need to have. There’s some throws yesterday where we’re all over those receivers, but they’re right in there. The one thing I appreciate, there’s a couple things I appreciate, one is how hard they’re playing and two how much they want to play. Meaning that, Leodis (McKelvin) comes out real quick, he wants to go back in the game. Stevie Johnson goes back in the game. All these guys we’re talking about, asking about on the weekend, they want to get back in there and play. They want to get back in there not for me and I can’t speak for them, but probably not for themselves, but for their teammates. I think that’s why they’re out there. That’s what I’m most proud of right now.

Q: Jairus (Byrd) played almost the whole game yesterday. How do you assess how he’s done so far?
A: I love the way he’s playing. I think it’s going to be like how Nickell (Robey) was. He’s close now to getting one. I really feel that he’s on top; he’s got a good beat. He’s playing well for us. It’s just a matter of time, if people keep going near him, he’s going to start making plays because that is what he does.

Q: The trade deadline is tomorrow and his name has been speculated about a lot. Is it your anticipation that he will be here on Wednesday for practice?
A: I think Doug Whaley is better to answer that question. For me, I’m dealing with everybody that is here, so I haven’t heard anything. At least from my end, but again nobody is going to call me.

Q: Do you want him here on Wednesday?
A: Absolutely. Absolutely.

Q: Just to clarify with EJ and him ramping up. That means he’s closer to reentering the practice setting?
A: Of course, yes he’s closer to getting to the practice setting if we’re going to ramp him up.

Q: So what is he doing?
A: I have to watch him; I haven’t seen him out there yet. We’re getting ready to ramp him up so we’re going to throw him out there and see how he does.

Q: What has he done the past couple of weeks?A: Cardio. Making sure he’s in shape so we don’t put him out there and get him hurt. Strengthening obviously. A lot of strengthening work.

Q: Why are you so animated, energetic, fired up?
A: I’m ready to go. You know why? I told the team this, granted please don’t, I don’t want to miscommunicated that I’m disappointed in our record. I am disappointed. We’re all disappointed. We’re all disappointed. But there are things that I’m also excited about with this team. I’m excited to go in to the second half of the season. I’m excited to coach them, I really love the guys I’m coaching. I think they’re playing as hard as they possibly can. We have to do a better job all around. We have to put them in better position. We have to keep getting them better, develop them. I’m excited because I know; I’ve been through this before. We keep going the way we’re going, it’s going to start falling our way and we’re going to start winning football games. If we go the other way there is no chance you can win. None. Zero. None. You guys need any help on the side, I’ll help you guys too.

Q: Did you see something that stuck out yesterday in the way you played yesterday that makes you feel that way today?
A: I told the players afterwards, I feel bad. We had an opportunity to go on the road again and beat a good football team, a playoff football team. We fell short and we’re going to create another opportunity for ourselves again. I don’t know where it’s going to be, but we’re going to fight our way back to an opportunity. The next time we do it, I want to make sure that we’re even better prepared than we were.

Q: Do you believe in moral victories?
A: No. I just don’t. I think it sends a poor message sometimes. Someone is like, ‘Gosh, he gets up there and he says he understands his job is to win games and now he’s saying there are moral victories. Where is he at?’ I don’t ever want to confuse anyone. Our job is to win football games and I understand that. We’re going to keep pushing towards that.

Q: EJ was on the sideline yesterday, what led to that decision?
A: We’re just trying to get him in a developmental stage where we keep working him. Give him different things to do, give him different perspectives and keep going along. I really thing we’re trying to be proactive in how we’re developing our players that are injured. I’m waiting for Alex Carrington. People forget about Alex Carrington. I’m waiting until we’re at a point where he can get back on a sideline and he can help us more and be there. I think one of the things that’s important for us is when we have players that are injured, that we keep working with them and we keep developing and not just cast them to the side and say, ‘Ok we’re going to concentrate on the ones that are healthy, we can’t worry about you right now.’ I think that sends a poor message.

Q: Is the number of three and outs too high for your liking so far this season?
A: Yeah, without a doubt. You’re talking about time of possession, you’re talking about third down, things like that. I thought that we weren’t able to possess the ball right before the half. I think we might have went four plays right before the half and we had to punt. We really needed to get first down there, New Orleans was using their timeouts and I believe at the time it was 14-10. It’s a battle, despite all that other stuff that’s going on it’s a battle. Then we had to punt and I thought they did a nice job. They drove the ball downfield. That was probably, if you look at it on paper, the best drive against us was that. Then in the second half, we start off and get a penalty. That should never happen. That’s on us as coaches now. That’s not the players, that’s on us as coaches. We should never have too many people in the huddle. That’s a coaching deal.

Q: You said after the game you would reevaluate how you do the challenges. Have you had a chance to do that yet?
A: I haven’t had a chance to do that yet, but I’m going to do that and I’m not going to tell anyone, but I am doing it because I am 0-fer. I have to do a better job of that. Obviously what we’ve been doing hasn’t worked, so I’m going to spend a lot of time this week getting a better process that I have to feel comfortable with.

Q: Fred (Jackson) was saying that he and some of the offensive lineman felt that with their animated actions that he had gotten in to the end zone they might have encouraged you to challenge?
A: No. I don’t have that type of mentality, which is disappointing for me. I know better. The percentages of challenging those types of plays, I talk about it all the time. I did a poor job. That’s on me. That’s on me. I’m going to change that because if I keep it the same and I screw up then I’m really an idiot.

Q: In terms of taking advantage of an opportunity, what has impressed you most about Thad Lewis?
A: Probably I would say his toughness. I think we all would agree on that. There’s not many people that can hang in there and take those shots. I think obviously the player that hasn’t played a lot and has gotten better and needs to continue to develop, but I think he’s shown us a lot. I think he showed a lot of people on this team. Going out on that field, and I think he showed a lot of people that look at this game. It’s difficult to get out on that field. It’s a tough game and he stood up and he’s done everything he could to try to lead this team to a victory and we appreciate that.

S Jairus Byrd

Monday, October 28, 2013

Q: You guys have done a pretty good job of keeping the big plays to a minimum. Would you say yesterday was just running into a buzz saw of a quarterback?
A: Yeah, I think he made some real good decisions. I also think we did some things that gave some things away. My hat goes off to him, obviously he’s a good player, but I think we hurt ourselves a little bit too.

Q: Do you feel like Coach Pettine has done a pretty good job of disguising stuff?

A: I thought they were good, they were working. We did a good job. We’ve just got to be more consistent. I think that’s just what we’ve got to do, but the disguises were working early and we just have to be more consistent all the way through.

Q: How do you string enough positive snaps together to make that happen?A: Just the basics, the details. Pre-snap, everything. It just has to be routine. Everything has to be routine and once we do that, things will come smoother like that.

Q: Is it because this is year one in a defensive system?
A: I think we need to start seeing it materialize. We are midseason. Granted we do have some moving parts going in there, but this is the NFL you’ve got to be on it.

TE Scott Chandler

Monday, October 28, 2013

Q: It seemed like the focus was to pass in the middle of the field. Looking back on it now, how’d you feel about the day overall?
A: We got in a lot of situations where we kind of had to do that. I think we would have liked to have been able to consistently run the ball throughout the game and control that. Obviously you get behind and that is something we need to do to move the ball. We did a decent job of that. I think we’ve got to do a better job, myself the biggest example, of protecting Thad (Lewis) and then taking care of the football. I think those are the two biggest things.

Q: You talking about the hold there?
A: Well I gave up a sack on another one that we actually ended up recovering the football. The hold, it is what it is.

Q: Looking at the touchdown catch you almost had there, Thad was talking about how you guys were working together. Can you walk through the extra work you’ve put in?
A: It’s him getting more comfortable with me. I feel like that’s a catch I should make. He put the ball there where it was catchable. Like you said the guy had his back turned, he’s a smaller guy. I feel like it’s a play that I need to make.

Q: Through the first eight games, where do you see the team?
A: I think I’m really happy with the guys that we have and the way that we’ve fought. We’ve stuck together through stuff. No matter what happens on the field, we’re coming on the sideline and I talked about it for a quick second, we’re moving on. I think we’ve done a good job of continuing to battle throughout games. I think that has shown. We’ve been competitive and close in every game. With the second half of the season, what we need to do is win those games. I think that’s going to be our next step.

RB Fred Jackson

Monday, October 28, 2013

Q: It seems week to week it’s been hard to string plays together. What’s holding you guys back?
A: Consistency. We go out and do things well and we’re able to move the ball, but when we get behind the chains on first down it’s hard to make plays against anybody, especially a team that good. We spotted them great field position to start the game. Put our defense in a compromising situation. They did their best to hold us in it. You can’t keep giving a guy like Drew Brees that many opportunities. He took advantage of them and we just have to play more consistent on offense.

Q: Any new scheme takes time to implement and execute efficiently. At this point, of the season do you guys feel as though you have to start seeing some better results?
A: Without a doubt. We know this offense by now and we know what guys can do and what positions to put them in. Now it’s just about us going out and getting the job done. We haven’t done that on a consistent basis and it shows. We gave them two turnovers with short fields and we were still up 10-7. That’s on us as an offense. We have to make more plays, be more consistent, eliminate the turnovers and things like that. This offense can be a lot better than what we’re showing right now.

Q: You had three and outs to end the second quarter and to start the second half. How damaging is it when the offense goes three and out?
A: That’s the number one thing we can’t do. When we go out on offense we have to get the first down. If you go three and out in an up-tempo offense you’re putting your defense right back out there. That’s all we did. You give Drew Brees that many opportunities he’s going to make you pay for it and that was the case yesterday. We’ve got to be better than that on offense.

Q: Do you feel that’s been a trouble throughout the whole season?
A: Yeah. We have to be able to string together long drives and it’s two-fold. One, if we don’t we’re putting our defense out there and two, if we do we keep the opposing team’s defense out there. We can take advantage of mismatches of whatever defense personnel is in and things like that. That’s our advantage and if we’re doing that we’re a more potent offense.

WR Stevie Johnson

Monday, October 28, 2013

Q: A lot of reaction was coming from fans yesterday that they admired you playing through what looked like an injury. Is that something that is a team mentality of that resiliency?
A: Yeah, I feel like it is better being on the field with the guys than being sidelined. I already missed a game this season and I felt like that’s already too much. Probably should’ve stayed out, but I made it through and I don’t think I made the injury any worse.

Q: How do you make sure you keep yesterday’s game in context with the improvement the team has made overall this season?
A: I think everyone knows the effort they put forth this past game. We know where we missed some things on offense and defense. I don’t think anyone is discouraged at all with the outcome. We don’t want to lose, but I don’t think anyone is discouraged or have their head down or we got ran over or any of that. We’re still strong, we know we’re a good team.

Q: Do you think the injury is anything that might affect you Sunday?
A: It’s still too early to even make any kind of guess on if I’ll be good for Sunday. Right now I feel it a lot, but as the week goes on with the treatment and everything I should be good and ready to go on Sunday.

Q: It looked like you were just trying to stretch it out every chance you got?
A: Yeah, it’s real tight. The hip flexor is tight. I tried to keep it stretched so it won’t pop or have something completely tear. I ended up walking off without a complete tear. Well I don’t know for sure, but we’ll see later on if I go get the MRI.


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