Doug Marrone: "We have a long way to go"

Posted Dec 8, 2013

Bills head coach Doug Marrone addressed the media after the team's 27-6 loss to the Buccaneers.




(On today’s game)

“A lot of times you come up here and there are different things from a coach’s perspective. You try to say some things that are positive. You try to make sure that you give an opinion that you’re not making excuses, that you’re taking accountability. There are a lot of things that you go through before you get up in front of you all right here to make sure that you’re saying the right things, that you’re messaging. You’re talking to the player then you’re talking to the fans. But I find it very difficult after that game to stand up here and defend a lot of things. I thought we played poorly. I shouldn’t say ‘I thought,’ I know we played poorly in all three phases. We had penalties, we had turnovers, we had misreads, we had missed tackles. We had things go wrong for us that there have been times during the year where we’ve been making improvements on it and probably out of any point during the season, it hit all at once in this game. Maybe it’s been a little bit here and there; this game was at once. I’ll tell you what else, I’m disappointed that – I said this earlier in the week – we played a Kansas City team, which was a tough game, and we came back in Pittsburgh and did not play well, in a lot of things. We played a game last week, which was a very difficult game for our players. We’ve talked about it during the week, come back and we play even worse than we did in the Pittsburgh game. That’s disappointing when you want to grow and you want to go forward. But at the same time, I’m not going to stand here and say, ‘I didn’t learn anything from this.’ I learned a lot. I learned that we have to work harder, I learned we have a long way to go, I learned that we have to take more accountability when you start trying to find the good things and mitigate feeling good. I can’t stand up here and make excuses. I can only promise you that we’re going to work harder; we’re going to get this thing fixed. At the same time, I’d be remiss not to give the Buccaneers credit. You have to do that, and I think at times they deserved it. But I think a lot of it was obviously self-inflicted. Everyone knows how I am; I’m not going to lie. I feel like we let down ownership, you let down the fans – hell, we had a bunch of fans down here, we really did. It’s important for us and sometimes it’s very difficult for those fans to see on the outside of what’s progression and what’s not progression. That’s a difficult thing, and I’ve got to do a good job, and I have to give them things they can visibly see on the field to make sure that they understand that we will get going and we are working towards going in the right direction.”

(On quarterback EJ Manuel’s performance)

“A couple things, and he would tell you. We missed a couple reads. I think we didn’t do a very good job up front at times – you saw us having to escape the pocket, and I think that’s very difficult. At times in rhythm, I think he missed a couple. We’ve been giving him more and more and now it’s a point where you have to revaluate that. We’ve been going fast with his progression and now we just have to look at it and get him started again. It’s not starting over, don’t get me wrong. We’ve got to look to see what we can do and probably cut down on what we’re doing.”

(On what surprised him most about the team’s performance)

“There are a lot of things: penalties, turnovers, giving up big plays. We’re in a 46-defense, which is a run-stopping defense, on the second play of the game, [running back Bobby Rainey] goes 80. Again, I’m not going to sit here and say, ‘Hey, that’s the play that lost the game.’ You have to be able to overcome those plays. That’s what good football teams do, but at the end of the day, you can’t give teams that type of chunk. Every time I looked up, it’s first-and-20 or second-and-20, negating plays. There’s more to that and more hidden yardage. That’s a lot of problems right there.”

(On the struggles of the offensive line)

“It’s the same thing and the players will tell you. If we’re going to sit here and say, ‘Hey, we won more battles than we lost,’ they beat us in those battles. It’s plain and simple. They won the battles at times, and I don’t think we rushed the ball well on first down. We tried to go ahead and throw on first down but even when we were trying to run the ball, it’s a yard, a yard, two yards, one yard, you can’t do that against a good defense. You have to have a mentality of staying on pace and you got to win. To say is it all up front, is it all their fault? It’s not all their fault, but everyone contributes part of it. I’ll give an example. We had a play called schematically; we slid the line and they brought two to the right side and they sacked us. Hey, good play by them, that one’s on us as coaches and we have to do a better job there. So, this is not the coach standing up here and saying, ‘Hey, players, players, players.’ No doubt about it, we’ve got to do a better job. I’ve got to do a better job [and] the players got to do a better job making each other accountable. That’s making plays, playing every single down, putting the players in the best position and making sure they go out there to play football highly motivated, highly ready to go, [with] a high level of focus because at the end of the day, it’s very difficult for me to stand up here and say we’re focused when you have 11 penalties.”

(On if there was a lack of intensity or focus at the start of the game)

“No, I wouldn’t say that. I think what happens is during a series, when adversity hits it’s almost like a, ‘Uh, how did we let that happen?’ type mode, or it’s the old, not necessarily here we go again, but, ‘Hey, we’ve given this play up somewhere before,’ and someone has to just step up and we have to make a play at that time. Either someone, A) has to make a tackle… We go down, they get some penalties, we’re able to move the football. We wound up having to kick a field goal, okay? ‘Hey, can someone make a play down there for us to score a touchdown?’ And we are putting them in position to do that, but we need someone to make that play. So I wouldn’t necessarily say [they were] focused or weren’t [focused] – they were [focused], and the problem is when you don’t win, one of the things you see when people don’t win is being able to do it and it goes back to that word ‘consistency,’ down in and down out, being able to forget things and not think about things for the future and win that down at the moment. And I addressed that right before the game, before the game win every down.”

(On if the team is resilient)

“Again, I’ll look at myself first, but yes. And I think that’s exactly what I said during the week. We played Kansas City and it was very difficult. It was a difficult loss. I think you earn the right to be upset about it. The following week we didn’t bounce back like I thought we should, nor did they bounce back like they thought they should. That’s why I don’t think – it’s not necessarily the coach saying that, we feel like that as a team, collectively. And I feel the same way today. Does that bother me that one phase of what you need to do to become a winning football team that we didn’t take that challenge and overcome that? Absolutely. Absolutely that bothers me.”   

(On his message to the players after the game)

“I was just talking to them about what we have to do. My conversations, they’re more than welcome to tell you guys. My conversations with them are private, especially after the game when emotions are going on. If you try to ask them and they tell you, I have no issues with that at all.”