Buffalo Bills Head Coach Doug Marrone

Friday, December 27, 2013

Opening Statement:
Participation in practice we’ll go through that first. Did not participate, Aaron Williams with ribs, Stevie Johnson obviously today is the funeral, not football related. Limited participation in practice is Marcus Easley and EJ Manuel, both with knees. Full participation in practice is (Marquise) Goodwin, Thad Lewis, Kyle Williams, Fred Jackson. For New England, out is Aaron Williams and Stevie Johnson. Doubtful is EJ Manuel, which I’ll address here in a minute. Probable is Goodwin, Lewis, Kyle Williams, Fred Jackson and Marcus Easley.

The decision with EJ is very simple. Did not progress in the way that I wanted it to. I give him credit, he’s disappointed. He did everything he could when he was out there. At the end of the day, the decision process was injury related and he was not able to do the things at 100 percent that in my opinion we need to do to win this game. At the end of the day I made a decision not to put him out there for no other reason because I thought Thad would give us the best chance to win this game with EJ’s injury not progressing.

Q: So Thad Lewis is your starter?
A: Thad Lewis will start.

Q: Are you satisfied that Thad got enough work this week to prepare?
A: Yes. Before the base offense is in both players have a very good feel for that. As we go along during the week the reps do become limited especially today with red zone and increased third down reps. Really going out today, looking at all the film and going through the process, we’ve got him all the reps that he needed to be productive, so I don’t feel that we’ve lacked anything from that aspect. He took all the reps today.

Q: Did EJ try to lobby you to change your mind?
A: Oh absolutely. You have a player, I mean he’s like, ‘I’m ready to go, I’m ready to go. Whatever we have to do, it’s going to continually get better and better.’ When you go out there—that’s why I think that it’s difficult to say from the field you see the little things, you see a little bit of the lateral stability not being where I’d like it to be. Really that’s what it came down to. The ability to vertically move is there, it’s the lateral stability which we know he has an LCL that didn’t in my opinion, and obviously we feel our quarterback is going to have to move laterally at some point in this game.

Q: Listing him at doubtful, is there a chance he is active as a third quarterback?

A: It’s a game-day decision, but you’re talking about a player that had a 25% chance of playing so we’ll list him like that. Thad will be our starter and then you’ll see how the inactives go because there’s still a chance of a million things that can happen. God forbid something happens to Thad, something happens to Jeff (Tuel), we might have to pull Dennis Dixon up. There’s just a lot of things for me to have go ahead and say this is definitely what we’re doing.

Q: As far as the knee recovery, is it something that is going to be ongoing or is there a plan for it?

A: Yes you’re exactly right. For me obviously we know it’s an LCL, it’s a non-surgical procedure. It’s one that when people have asked me before do you worry about when they talk about injury prone and what do you do, really from a doctors standpoint out of the three injuries, one of them we all can see in Cleveland. The other two you look back and go, ‘Gosh that’s an unusual circumstance.’ Kind of like the odds are against me type of thing. When we look at it and we see that we have a plan for after the season to obviously strengthen both of those knees, to build the muscles around the LCL which will obviously the risk factor will become low. Even though an LCL injury is one of the lowest risk injuries in football.

Q: So does that mean it’s rest and physical therapy?

A: Non-surgical. Rest and the small tear heals on its own and then you start building up the muscles around it, correct.

Quarterback Thad Lewis

Friday, December 27, 2013

Q: Coach made it official that you’ll get your fifth start. What are your thoughts about your preparation and whether you thought you got enough during the course of the week?
A: Yeah, the preparation was great. I felt like I got an ample amount of reps to be able to go out and compete. It’s just another opportunity to go out and make the best of it and help this team get a win.

Q: How fortunate do you feel making your fifth start here?
A: Very fortunate just to be able to start one game in the NFL, but for it to be my fifth game here with the Bills and a great organization, I feel very fortunate. I’m excited about the challenge.

Q: Coach has been talking about shocking them up there. You guys know the history, how are you guys rallying around that message?
A: It’s just an opportunity to go out and play and do something you love. It’s a challenge to go up there, so you can get over a hump as a team.  You have to be a team that can win on the road as well as at home. It’s just another challenge and if we can win this challenge it will be a great opportunity for us.

Q: How much does it work to your benefit that this offense needs its quarterback to be mobile and doesn’t require a pocket passer?
A: I wouldn’t say it’s just about the mobility, but at quarterback you’ve got to be a complete player. You have to be able to run and throw. In this instance, sometimes you have to keep guys honest with the zone read and things of that nature. I guess speaking like that I probably was the best choice to give that extra threat.

Q: How big would it be for you personally to quarterback this team over the hump to their first win at Gillette Stadium?
A: It would be awesome, it would be great, it would be something you can add to your legacy and something to add to your resume. I constantly remind people if that was the case I wouldn’t have done it by myself. There’s 10 more guys out there and 11 more guys on defense, so we would’ve had a team victory.

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