Art Wander

DON’T GET ME STARTED recalls the many times I’ve questioned the Bills coaches during their 2nd year with the team. I questioned the use of Fred Jackson on kickoffs; the use of Sammy Watkins in the last exhibition game only to have him re-injure his ribs. I questioned the play calling and much more.

Looking back, I feel my comments were kind after reading the CBS Sports report on its web site citing a monstrous dis-connect between head coach Doug Marrone, some players, General Manager Doug Whaley and team President Russ Brandon.

The report on that site credits sources with saying that Marrone got into a big verbal tussle, sparked with enough four letter references that surprised many of the players during a scheduled practice session at One Bills Drive.

Boy, what a time to have this erupt. Here it is – on the eve of the final bids to own the team in a couple of days; on the eve of the opening game of the season – the report, if true, puts the Bills organization at its lowest in team history. Meredith Wilson could have re-written that great Music Man song – “Troubles Right Here in River City” and titled it “Troubles Right Here on One Bills Drive.”

First of all, fans know that Marrone stated a week or so ago that a front office executive would discuss team injuries and not the coach, which he did. That didn’t sit well with many members of the media.

The Buffalo News says the Bills deny the story as it was posted on the CBS Sports web site. That story said that Marrone had a big cuss-filled shouting match with the Player personnel director. It continued when General manager Doug Whaley got involved. The story goes on to say the curses kept going and here comes team president Russ Brandon who made an effort to hold back the shouting. That only resulted in more hollering and yelling and Marrone and Brandon had to be separated. It reportedly happened within earshot of surprised players before order was restored and the team began its practice session.

The report says some had issues with Marrone about the way he used his players naming guard Kraig Urbik, Jerry Hughes, receiver Robert Woods. It also said that Marrone clashed with some players and making comments around the team that didn’t sit well with the players. The CBS report also says the front office hasn’t been keen on how tackle Cyrus Kouandijio, the 2nd round draft pick, was not given a good shot to succeed by Marrone.

Though Brandon and Marrone deny the CBS Sports story, Brandon did say, according to the News, there have been recent arguments at practice but that the player personnel director wasn’t involved and that the exchanges occurred with Marrone, Brandon and GM Whaley.

Certainly if this was before the last game of the season where the Bills were mired in a 3-13 record, you might understand it. But to come out, true or not, before the first game of the season against the Chicago Bears will not sit well with most fans, not to mention any prospective owner. Oh well, the Bills players have previously had distractions but not when it involved Coach, GM, team President on Don’t Get Me Started.

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