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Doug Marrone: "We've accomplished what we set out to do"

Posted May 19, 2014

Head coach Doug Marrone addressed the media following the conclusion of Bills rookie minicamp.

Head Coach Doug Marrone

Monday, May 19, 2014

Opening Statement:
We finished up today and I think it was a good weekend. We’ve accomplished what we set out to do, making sure that they learn and train the players to get them ready for when the veteran players come back. Obviously this is the end of the rookie minicamp and I think next on the agenda for us obviously we’re still under phase two this week, so the players will be back in working out the next couple of days. Then really it will step up the following week. Obviously with Memorial Day players are off, then Tuesday is a travel day and then we’ll hit the OTA’s. We’re excited about that. Seeing how the rookies here today transition into those OTA’s. That’s where we are.

Q: Did you see any of the tryout players that you liked that you might keep around?
A: I did. I talked to Doug about that and I’m sure there will be an announcement coming.

Q: You mentioned that you wanted to assess conditioning. Is that the idea of seeing what they need before OTA’s start so that they’re not at risk of an injury?
A: That’s exactly right. To a point of let’s make sure that they’re conditioned enough where we don’t put them out there and put them in jeopardy of getting injured. It’s such an important time that if you do get injured, it’s very difficult to make up. Especially in the beginning. So yes, that is exactly what we’re doing.

Q: What was your general assessment of Sammy Watkins?
A: For me I would say that I thought after having watched him now for a couple days, my assessment of him is that he probably has better hand eye coordination than I thought coming into it. I’m excited to see him. Again, I think for me the big thing, and I’ve always been this way and said this before when you guys have been around, I really look forward to when the pads come on and we start playing football and really evaluating people then. As far as the condition of the group, I thought those receivers did a good job. The quarterback did a good job; he had to throw a bunch. I was impressed with the DB’s overall. I thought their foot speed was good in and out. The offensive line is big and athletic; we’ll see how tough they are when the pads come on. I thought the D-line again is an athletic group. The guys that we had in camp, I was happy with. Just a total assessment of those players.

Q: Seantrel Henderson has gone out of his way with the media to make a good impression. What have your impression been of him and the clean slate he’s getting here in Buffalo?
A: It’s early. It really is. For me consistency is the thing. I think over a period of time we’ll know. I think that we’re off to a good start. I think that’s easy to do. I think it’s what I expected. The consistency is going to be the key. There is no doubt that he can play. There is no doubt about that. The problems that have come in to is can he be consistent enough and be disciplined enough and have the structure to be a pro. That’s what being a pro is really. We talk about what it’s like to be a Bill, but it’s really about being a pro. You have to have that discipline and structure. Like I tell the players all the time you can get yourself in trouble in this profession when you start treating your job like a hobby. From my experience I’ve been around some players that when they do that, they’re not going to last very long.

Q: Are the rookies going to stick around this week or does it all depend on the individual?
A: I think it will depend on what they do. I would like for them to go home to wherever home is to get away for a little bit. I think it’s important just because of everything that goes on. They’ve been training; they’re not knowing where they’re going. They really haven’t spent a lot of time, so I talked to them about making sure they get out there and go home and see your parents, get off your feet and relax.

Q: What are your thoughts on Kenny Ladler?
A: The Vanderbilt kid? Coach Shoop, the DB coach, and I worked together so I know a little bit about him from there. Obviously James Franklin, I have been around that program quite a bit during the offseason and I was happy. I didn’t know why he didn’t get drafted from other teams that maybe it was a need or so. I was impressed with his foot speed. I think he’s someone that obviously we’re going to keep an eye on all of them, but one that had a good showing in these last couple of days.

Q: What about discipline and structure with Sammy? It looks like his desire to want to learn and get in that playbook immediately is quite high.
A: Absolutely. Someone told me today that he was in here at like 6:45 running routes on air. Someone told me that and those are things that are encouraging. I think those are the things you want to hear. You want to hear about that. You don’t want to leave anything to chance and you just want to make sure the performance on the field proves whether you’re good enough or you’re not good enough. You don’t want to look back and look in the mirror and say, ‘Gosh I wish I had done a little bit extra here, a little bit extra there,’ because it’s not like you’re going to go down to AAA and get a chance to do this again. A lot of times in this league you get one shot. I’ve always thought about the players that maybe might have learned their lesson after being cut, how many of those guys would have come back and really been good football players if there was some sort of developmental process.

Q: With some new coaches on the staff, how has that dynamic been working so far in the first couple practices you’ve worked together?
A: It’s been great. Even though it might be our first time together, there is still a lot of information and a lot of crossover and a lot of people that have worked together. I’m excited. This atmosphere, I think what you’ll see form us is that this atmosphere is quite different than any other atmosphere. What we were trying to get accomplished, I think you’ll see an increase in the OTA’s of how we are on the field. I think you’ll see obviously increasing when we get to training camp.

Q: What has been some of the feedback from Nathaniel Hackett with him taking more of a step back during the drills and doing more observing?
A: I really haven’t discussed that with them to get the feedback. We talked a lot prior to about the responsibilities and things like that. I’ve been around a working environment where we had that type of structure and Nathaniel had not been. We talked about that, but I see a very energetic coach and I see someone that is on top of everything. He’s around all the rooms, so it seems to be working out very well.

Q: This is a time where there are a lot of opportunities for young players to get more one-on-one coaching. Do they get this might be the only time they get that attention?
A: I think you have to ask them, but that’s what our goal is. To make sure that they do understand that because what we’re trying to get them to understand is that here they have the one on ones and here they can ask questions. There are a lot of things you have to do in the environment to help them. In other words, I’ll give you an example of myself when I was player and I came in to this league. The veteran players, they would always tell the younger guys don’t ask any questions in this meeting, things like that. I think what we have to do as coaches is understand that the veteran players are going to do that, but there’s a time where you may break the meeting ten minutes early so the veteran players can go out, but the younger players are going to be able to ask that. I think when you have the right type of; when it’s really working well you have the communication where the veteran players are also coaching the younger players. I think when you get that, that’s where you want to be and that’s what you’re getting to. A lot of times I know in my past I’ve used it as a technique. I would put an offensive lineman, an older guy with a younger guy and then when the younger guy made a mistake I would yell at the older guy. I think there are things you can do, but to answer your question when you have that type of team and those things are going on within the team, that’s a good sign.