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Doug Marrone: "At the end of the day we didn't make the plays"

Posted Sep 9, 2013

The Bills head coach updates the injury situation to Ron Brooks and Marquise Goodwin, and what his message was to Stevie Johnson after his drop.

Head Coach Doug Marrone

Monday, September 9, 2013

Opening statement:

I think after obviously going ahead and looking at it again it’s kind of what we said or it is exactly what we said after the game. I thought our players did a nice job early on in the game overcoming adversity, obviously with the turnovers and the field position. I thought in the second half we were able to flip the field position. We really had some opportunities to go on and win that game. At the end of the day we didn’t make the plays we needed to win that game. Give credit to New England, they did a nice job and they were able to come back and win the game. We’ve got to work, build on the things that we did well and obviously work on the things that we need to improve on which we’re always trying to do each and every week.

Q: C.J. Spiller didn’t have a great performance. Did you notice them stacking the box more to try and take him out of the game?
A: It’s always a little bit of both. Getting in to the rhythm of a game as you’re getting in there. Getting to see how things are going, how they’re fitting from a defensive standpoint. I think C.J. made some good runs and caught the ball (well). Sometimes there were things that were out there that we left out there. Whether it was us not finishing up front or maybe not trusting the scheme that we’re in. Seeing color in the hole and trying to pop it out. I think a lot of things go in to that. I believe that C.J. will be fine and he’ll get better and better each week.

Q: How concerned are you with the amount of mistakes that were made?
A: With the turnovers, obviously we had two. The second play of the game, obviously we had the fumble and then obviously (Marquise) Goodwin had that fumble. Both of those turnovers are costly, as far as what they were able to do from New England’s standpoint. I think from the four turnovers you’re looking at both teams scoring on both of those situations. The other thing that comes in to play is again with the penalties. You have two penalties that negate about 55 yards of offense in critical situations where you’re going to get the ball to the other teams, on the other side of the 50. The other mistake that happened, I think it goes down to third down and keeping things manageable. Give New England credit; they had a lot of manageable third down situations. They took advantage of it. Zero percent or 55 percent and then you look at us and we’re at 31 percent. It’s not a standpoint of the execution; it’s a standpoint of putting yourself in those situations that are very difficult to overcome for not just us, but for anyone.

Q: Were you concerned with the time of possession?
A: At the end of the day it was 22 (minutes) for us and then obviously 37 (minutes) for them, so that’s how it broke down. It goes back to third down. I think the question that was asked was when it comes down to third down and you put yourself in tough situations and you’re not able to convert, any team no matter what style of offense they have is going to lose the time of possession.

Q: With your penalties and turnovers in critical spots, you were still winning the game with nine seconds to go. What does that say about your team?
A: I think it goes back to dealing with the adversity. Against a team like New England that’s won a lot of games, we talked to the players before about winning the turnovers and winning the rushing yards was one of the keys that we talked to the team about. I think when you start that fourth quarter and we were winning, we were winning with three to two turnovers and winning the rushing yards. At the end of the day we win the turnover battle, but lose the rushing yards and they wound up winning the game. So I think those are the things that happen. Now, all the plays in between here and there obviously you can improve on and make some plays. We can coach it better, we can put the players in better position and we’ll get better at that, but I think those are really the keys that we went in to the game having to do. We came up short and when you come up short, someone is going to have to make some extra plays somewhere along the line to overcome it. The same sense, you look at it, I told you guys before you don’t want to make excuse. I was happy with handling the adversity and what we’ve done. One of the key points I thought was the turn of the third and fourth quarter when you look at the game. Our defense does a very good job of pinning them back in there, they have a short punt, the ball is on the forty-two yard line, we go ahead and have a holding call. That’s an opportunity for us right there, that was a great opportunity for us to go and score and really add to the lead. That’s where we have to do a better job when those situations come up like that.

Q: Danny Amendola made some pretty big plays for them on third down. Why do you feel that happened?
A: I thought there were times, obviously give them credit, they had some good man beaters when we were in man and you could see that, but there’s a lot of times where we’re right there. I think sometimes when you play this game, and I’ve always been like this as a coach, is you tip your hat off to them. You see a play, a big play that they make, that ball is tipped twice. A real small and plus the defender is there and makes a play. Tom Brady and Amendola have that type of ability. They did it. When people say it’s a game of inches, it truly is. I wasn’t discouraged about where we were on a lot of positioning for where those balls were completed.

Q: What’s going on with Nigel Bradham?
A: I think what you’re going to see from us is week to week on personnel on what the other teams are playing and where we want to fit him in to those packages. I thought he did play well when he was in there for us. He made a couple plays, he had really good coverage. I know from that standpoint, watching the film I thought he did a very good job for us in coverage on the tight ends. We were very pleased with that and again I think it’s the decisions we make early on in the week with the personnel and our matchups. I think that’s why you saw that, but we’re not discouraged. If anything we’re actually encouraged with how he played.

Q: So is he competing with Arthur Moats?
A: They play two positions. For us we look at it as two different types of positions for what they play.

Q: Do you have an update on the status of Marquise Goodwin?
A: He’s going to, I think at the present time he’s having surgery right now. He’ll be out, but I’ll have more information on when he’s coming back, we feel he’ll be out for a time, but not a situation where he’ll be out for the season. As of right now, until they go in there. He has a fracture in his hand.

Q: Ron Brooks?
A: Yeah it’s the same situation as Marquise Goodwin. He’s going to be out for some time, but he’s going to have foot surgery tomorrow and then we’ll know the exact amount of time, but I still don’t think it’s a season ending injury, but he will be out for some time.

Q: How would you assess your cornerbacks in light of that?
A: I think if you look at the game yesterday, we had Nickell (Robey) in there. I was very pleased with Justin Rogers, he did a nice job. As far as Aaron Williams, (Da’Norris) Searcy and Jim Leonhard really did a nice job in there communication-wise for a player that we just brought in. We feel good and we have (Brandon) Burton on our roster, we have to bring him along. My thing has always, I told the coaches this and I think I might have said this publicly, I believe if you have players on the practice squad, you bring them up and you go out and find players for your practice squad. If you don’t have those players in the building then you go out and look for them. Right now I think if you lose players for an amount of time you have to have a little vision to see who the teams that are coming up to see if you’re going to need more players at that position and make that decision. I’ll meet with the coordinators. Today is always a very fast day for us looking at all the film, getting everything done and after this meeting I’ll go meet with the coordinators and we’ll talk about our injury status, what we’re planning to do and how do we look for the next game as well as how many other weeks these players might be out.

Q: What have you seen out of Burton so far?
A: I like some of the things I’ve seen. He’s long, tall and can play press man. He’s done a good job of that and has done a good job on the scout team. That’s the reason why we’re here. I say this same thing; we’re not in the business of developing backups. We’re here to develop everyone as starters, so this way when something does happen, which happens in this profession quite a bit we can just bring somebody up and he’ll go in and play.

Q: Any other injuries?
A: That’s it. Just those.

Q: Any of those short term IR considerations?
A: I don’t foresee that. I don’t want to be stuck here saying, ‘Wait a minute you told us that…’ I think I want to wait on what the doctors say because sometimes you get a pre-injury report saying we’re going to go in there and just do this and this is when he’ll be out. Sometimes the doctors go in there and they say, ‘Whoa, we found some other stuff that’s in there.’ I don’t want to be locked down for that. Going in to this thing I don’t see it as long-term IR, I see them being out for a while and then coming back. Whether we want to use the short term IR thing, I think that will be a discussion we have later this afternoon.

Q: Was Marquise’s injury on the fumble or later in the game?
A: I believe it was later. I’m not sure though, to be honest with you.

Q: What does Marquise’s absence mean to the team beyond special teams?
A: We had some things in there for him going in to the game. Obviously from a standpoint of a vertical threat. He has that. I hate to label guys as a vertical threat because then they’re just on the outside and everyone visions it as just going downfield, just a go route, but crossing routes over the middle and try to get him the ball and get him up the field. You’re losing someone who has a lot of speed, has the potential big play type of receiver. Someone who will go in there and block willing, which sometimes people perceive those fast guys as not doing that. He’s not that way, so you do lose a little bit of that because it’s very difficult to go out and get a player that has that type of speed.

Q: It didn’t appear as though the Patriots blitzed that much. Were you surprised by that?
A: No. We went back and we looked at some first time starting quarterbacks against them and there was a little bit of that, but that’s really not what you have seen from them. Not to say that, I think they do do a good job of really trying to change it up. I think that you saw that they gave us a pressure type of look. We give the quarterback some different types of options to check to and that was one of the things I was pleased with with EJ, he wound up being able to go ahead and check to something. That’s when he hit Stevie (Johnson) with the touchdown. That was good poise by him and a good decision.

Q: Is it a broken foot for Brooks?
A: It’s a fracture. Sometimes I look at breaks as a clean break and fractures as like broken, but not completely. I’m not really sure until the doctors go in there.

Q: Is it the same foot that he broke last year?
A: Yes, it is.

Q: Much has been made of the drop by Stevie Johnson. What was your reaction to it?
A: I feel bad obviously for Stevie. Stevie’s a guy that comes out here every day and works extremely hard. I know how much that weighs on him and my philosophy has always been that when you have player that every single day comes out here and works and a player like Stevie and all the things that he’s done, you’ve got to come right back to that player. That’s the one thing; we’ve got a lot of faith in him obviously. There’s not a player in this league that hasn’t dropped a football. If you haven’t that means you haven’t gotten a lot of balls thrown to you. I have the utmost confidence in Stevie. He takes those things hard. What he has to do and he knows this, is he has to shake off, come back and make a play. He will.

Q: Was that your message to him? He did say how frustrated he was. How do you try to get him in the right state of mind?
A: Just doing exactly what I just said. I know you’re disappointed, you put a lot of work in this thing, but just get ready because as soon as you come back on this field we’re going to come right back to you. Get him focused on the next play, what he can make, rather than looking back and becoming frustrated. That was my message to the team. You’re going to look at this film and there’s two ways to go about it. You could look at it and say there’s frustration. When there’s frustration it leads the players more to looking at something that may not be in their control. When you look at the film and you see what you can correct and get better you become hungry. I think that’s the standpoint where we are right now. We’re hungry to improve.

Q: Did you say anything to Stevie after his comments earlier in the week? You previously talked to Coach Hackett when he said something that was featured a lot.

A: I think they’re two separate incidents. Meaning that I am mindful with how we promote and speak of the game. That was probably more of my way of saying how I felt about Nathaniel. I think it’s very important that at the end of the day, outside of coaching the Buffalo Bills and working for the organization, we’re the ambassadors of the game of football. I think that the game of football right now is going through a little bit of adversity as far as, and I’ll be honest, with the youth and what’s going on. I give a great deal of credit to the NFL for player safety. The Heads Up program, those things that are going on and we need to instill the confidence because this game has so much to give. Obviously if you’re a professional football player it has a lot, but for the young kids there is so much you learn playing this game, that we have to be very careful. As far as the comments of the players, I think people have to be who they are. You guys are going to ask tough questions and you want them to answer it and you want people to be who they are and what they do. I think as long as it’s not a standpoint of giving away any strategic information, I think that’s where I would have a problem with it. I think those two situations are different.

Q: Is Stephon Gilmore still on the same timeframe?
A: Yup, one week less than what we had. That’s good and that’s what we do. Honestly I think this week will be a big week. He’ll start progressing. He’s with us, he’s heavily involved. We’re keeping him heavily involved so this way the transition is gonna be quick. As soon as he’s ready to go he’ll go in and play.

Q: Doug Legursky?
A: Same situation. We’re getting closer. I would consider it short time.