Buffalo Bills Head Coach Doug Marrone

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Opening Statement:
It’s our second practice coming back from the bye and we’ve had two good practices, so it’s exciting. Really the first time we’ve gotten to have everybody out on the field which is good. Guys are upbeat and we’ve got some things to clean up as we always do as we’re putting in different parts of the game plan and getting ready to play Atlanta. We’re excited.

Q: When you look at the talent on Atlanta, they have a lot of talent for a team with a 2-9 record don’t they?

A: Absolutely.

Q: Can you talk about what might have happened along the way for them to be 2-9?

A: I’m not down there. I can’t, I really don’t know. I know that we’re going to face a team; they’ll be ready to play.

Q: What do you see in them?

A: They’re a team that offensively and first down they’re ranked eighth in the league. Completing 40 something percent on third down, so obviously they’ve done a good job moving the sticks. They’re one of the best teams at driving the football that I’ve seen with 10-plus drives, I think they might be ninth in the league in doing that. Defensively I think they’ve gotten better on the outside with the two corners, (Asante) Samuel and (Desmond) Trufant. The safeties obviously went to the Pro Bowl. I think that they’ve had some injuries like a lot of teams have and sometimes the ball hasn’t gone their way. I don’t look at them as a, I’m looking at them as the team they’ve been for the last five years. A team that has been in the playoffs and I’ve competed against Mike Smith before and a lot of the coaches on that staff. Obviously I was in that division, they’re a tough football team and it will be a challenge for us.

Q: Both Kyle Williams and Marcell Dareus have played a high percentage of snaps on the defensive line. Why have you felt so comfortable giving them those snaps?

A: I think a couple things; credit goes to our weight staff and our conditioning staff. I really think they did a really good job with the team overall, so we have the ability to do that. I think when Alex Carrington got hurt, that took some snaps to put on some of those guys and then also Alan Branch’s snaps have gone up. I think it’s one of the things we’re always monitoring it. I think with snaps it depends on where it happens. I think that offensively if you can stay on the field a little bit and you go in and get your snaps, you are fine. If you’re three and out, three and out, three and out, then you’ve got to be careful about the amount of snaps. Yes, I do think all those players are very productive even though they are up in those snap ratings.

Q: How surprised are you that Kyle has seven sacks? That’s high for a defensive tackle.

A: Yeah, I think years ago when the majority of the football was run to pass ratio, I think now you’re starting to see t change a little bit over the past four or five years to a little bit more pass. I always thought schematically you can do things to help yourself with those edge rushers, but inside is tougher. Depending on what you’re going to do, the center is going to go one way or the other, but that one guard is going to be put one on one quite a bit. I think a lot of it is matchups, but again you have to remember that Kyle Williams is probably one of the best if not one of the better players at his position in the league right now. He’s playing at an extremely high level.

Q: A couple weeks ago you said that Jairus (Byrd) was getting closer and closer and then the last two games he has gotten three interceptions. What have you seen from him?

A: I give Jairus a lot of credit; he worked extremely hard to get back from when he had the foot issue. I think for any player it takes a little bit of time before you go out there. It’s not like riding a bike where you can jump out there. Better breaks on the ball, better in practice, better in everything and you’re right; he is playing at a very high level right now which is exciting for everyone.

Q: How is he meshing with Coach Pettine and his defensive system?

A: The one thing I do feel very good about is the way our interaction as coaches with the players and the players interaction with each other. Those are the things I look for and we’ve worked extremely hard for that. We do have a very good relationship, at least from what I see in my opinion. We have a very good relationship, meaning we have a good trust. I think the players trust us and we trust them. I think that’s one of the foundations that we’re building on and we’ll get better at it.

Q: Do you consider what could have been if Jairus had been with this team from the beginning?

A: Yeah, it’s Thanksgiving week and you’re bringing me down again. When I go back and I look at the past games, not just with Jairus, but just the injuries. The injuries at quarterback, the three different quarterbacks and even before when Kevin (Kolb) was injured and we had to bring in two and we wound up getting Thad (Lewis). Then Carrington getting hurt, so there has been a lot of that. I think when I look back, those things are challenges, but I’m not going to stand here and say those are the reasons we lost. I’m not going to come out like that.

Q: Can you talk about Frank Summers and how the fullback position is still alive here?

A: There are certain parts that I think you’re looking for a certain part of that position, like that hybrid type of position. You know you can get a little bit more; I’m going to talk from a business-type standpoint now, a little bit more value out of it. Depending upon how much fullback offense you use, 21 personnel is a term we use. I do think it’s an important part of it. I do think you can do a lot of things with it. In four minute, you’re going to need it. I see a lot of teams they have them back there obviously in goal you’re going to need it. Short yardage has gone a little bit, I think it’s mixed more now. I do see it as a position and it’s tough because it doesn’t really start here, it starts at the bottom. When you’re watching seven on seven all the time of eight, nine, ten year old kids growing up and then you see a lot of teams running spread offenses in high school and college and then now all of a sudden they’re difficult to find.

Q: If you’re looking for a fullback is he kind of the guy you’re thinking of?

A: Yeah. He looks like one, that’s why we got him. He looks like an offensive guard kind of compacted in to one of those trash compactors that you see them do with cars at a demolition place. Yeah, he’s strong, he’s big, he’s getting better at the point of attack and staying on the block. He’s not afraid to go up in there and it’s difficult. I think the one part of the game that people I give a lot of credit to, when you’re in the backfield five yards and there is a linebacker five yards across the line of the scrimmage, all of the sudden you two guys are going in to the hole together, it takes a special type of breed to go in there.

Q: Have you ever been a part of the team in the NFL that has had this much health this late in the season?

A: Yes. I have in the NFL, yes.

Q: How much of an advantage is having that health?

A: I think when you’re healthy for a long period of time, that’s really an advantage because the continuity and everyone is playing together and everyone is getting a good feel for each other, I think that is very good. I think that if it takes you to week whatever to get healthy, then obviously that is not as good. To be sitting here now where we are from a health standpoint is a credit to the players, it’s a credit, again it’s not for me it’s them, the trainers, the conditioning guys, the weight coaches, and they’ve done a good job. It’s important and I’m excited because it’s the healthiest we’ve been and yet at the same point we haven’t practiced healthy like this for a long time now. It’s been two days.

Q: How is the continuity going along?

A: It’s going well. I’m excited.

Q: Will Kyle be given his regular day off?

A: Yeah, I asked him the other day. I get screwed up on his schedule too. I was like, ‘Isn’t today?’ and he said ‘No.’ and I was like, ‘I can’t keep up with your schedule.’ He’s gone the last two days.

Q: No other setbacks injury wise?

A: Nope. Don’t jinx us.

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