Doug Marrone: "We’ll go onward, upward"

Posted Sep 8, 2013

The Bills head coach talks about the 23-21 loss to the Patriots.


Opening Statement:

Obviously I think early on we battled some adversity. I was proud of the way the players held on and we kept that game and didn’t let it get out of control on us early in the first half. I felt we came out the second half offensively, marched down the field, felt good about it. We had some opportunities at the end, we didn’t convert or make the plays that we needed to, to win the game. Credit to New England, they did a nice job. They made the plays, especially on third down to keep them going. Obviously they kicked the field goal at the end of regulation to win the game and we’ll go onward, upward and work tomorrow. Start working and get darn better.

Q: In your last game offensive possession, why stay in the no huddle instead of trying to take the clock down?
A: Our philosophy, we had to score. When you’re talking about milking the clock they still had three time-outs. We get that ball back; we were still over four minutes, four minutes and fifty-something seconds. I wrote it down when I was going through the numbers. There was still a lot of time. There was too much time and at the end of the day it wasn’t a situation where we felt we needed to milk the clock. We felt that we still needed to score to win the game.

Q: The Stevie Johnson drop on the previous possession was a big one too.

A: I think there were a lot of big plays. Those are the ones that are easy to see. A misread here, a miscommunication there. You have the penalties start to go the other way. I think there are a lot of things that go on, but yes that was one of them.

Q: Encouraged by EJ Manuel’s performance?
A: It’s the same thing. I was very happy with his demeanor. Don’t get me wrong; I think that’s very important. I think that when you talk about tests and process and what you’re doing when you’re developing quarterbacks, that when he was out there it didn’t seem any different than what’s been going on. That’s encouraging and we’ll keep working with him. He’ll continue to get better.

Q: Can you discuss the penalties?
A: Yeah, 10 to 4. I think it’s hard to overcome especially when offensively you have a young quarterback and you’re a young team. It’s not acceptable. We have officials at every practice, we have to get together as a staff and we’ve got to figure out a way not to have that. We have to look at them and evaluate them first. The officials, we think we have the best officials in the world out there and I think they do a nice job. We just have to look at it.  10-4, obviously that’s a lopsided situation.

Q: Can you talk about your defenses’ performance in the red zone?
A: Excellent. They did a nice job. I think at the end of the day when you look at red zone efficiency for New England, they were two out of five. With some short fields and some changes. I was happy with the way they competed out there.

Q: Is there a sense of disappointment?
A: You talk about sense of disappointment. It is devastating. It’s hard. It’s hard because like I said before and I mean this, there is a greater calling. Granted, we put in a lot of work and we’re going to get better, but we know what the people want and we know what the region wants. When we go out there and we have opportunities and you can’t win that game, I’m letting them down, we all are letting people down. We’ll continue to fight and I can promise you that we will get better.

Q: Can you talk about EJ’s performance?
A: I mean 18 for 27, 150 yards and two touchdowns. To say that here he goes out and it’s a stellar performance, he’s very critical of himself. Make no mistake, we have high expectations as we do the other players and I’ve said that. He’ll get better but there are some things out there that he will improve on. We left some plays out there.

Q: Injuries?
A: (Marquise) Goodwin with a hand. I didn’t get the report on that. Foot came back for (Ron) Brooks, and that was it.

Q: It looked like Da’Norris Searcy was out for a while?
A: Searcy was cramps. Sorry about that.

Q: What did you say at halftime to bring that type of momentum in to the first drive of the second half?
A: I wish I was that good. I wish I was that good because then I’d say it all the time and repeat it. Felt we came out. We tried to get the same type of drive established early on in the game and I think that the penalties hurt or the lack of making the play hurt during that. That was the consistency we were looking for and that’s what we’re able to do. I don’t think it’s a secret, I think when you can go out there and consistently block, run the ball, throw the ball, make some plays, good things can happen. We have to do that more often.

Q: Do you take anything from almost beating (Bill) Belichick and (Tom) Brady in your first game?
A: I have a lot of respect for them and I always have (respect) for the teams in this league. I think this league is what that is. I think it is a league that’s close. I really do. I think there’s great parity in this league and I’ve always believed that. Some teams can’t hang in there long enough, but I can’t talk for other teams. The teams that I’ve been on in this league, it’s always close and it’s always those little things, you know? You try to make bigger things out of it than it is and you love looking at all the statistics and everything like that, but at the end of the day there’s always going to be four, six, or eight plays that are out there that gosh if you make this play, if you do this, if you do that. You wind up guessing or second-guessing what plays that would have sparked the win. At the end of the day it’s the little things, doing all the little things right. When you have that structure and you can do all the little things right, then you go up there and your consistency goes up quite a bit in this league playing because there is talent on this team. We have to just get the consistency out of it and again we have to do a better job too now. I’m not going to sit here and say, ‘Hey I was perfect out there’. I’m going through my mind of the timeouts at the end of the game, going through getting ready and prepared for half time, I’m going through what you were thinking about. When do we start getting in to this mode of doing that stuff with that communication? I was happy with things as far as we communicated. I think we got caught out on the field with 12 and that’s not acceptable. That’s on us as the coaches and it starts with me. Like I said, we’re going to get better. We’re going to push the heck out of this team and this team is going to push the heck out of us as coaches. They rely on us and we rely on them.

Q: At some point in the second quarter, you gathered the offense and felt like you had to say something and that you thought it was critical moment. Can you talk about why you felt the need to do that?
A: I was with the offense a lot. I think you’ll see that. I had the pictures; I was showing them pictures, going through adjustments with them. Showing them exactly what we want, coaching them on the field. If you tell me and I really mean this, was it after the first drive?

Q: No, there was a turnover and after you left them Fred (Jackson) gave them a pretty fiery speech.

A: Was it in the first half?

Q: Yes.

A: I think you’ll see me. I gravitate towards that. I was with the defense. I think you have to be with them in good and bad, obviously. I get fired up. When it comes down to that, it’s a lot of times it’s like, ‘Hey we’re going to come right back to you’ and I think that’s important from the mindset of the players and the team. Let’s not get ourselves frustrated out here. Let’s go and continue to push and we have to fight and we’re going to get right back in it. Our defense is going to go out there, create some errors, they’re going to stop them or hold them to a field goal. We’re going to get back and gain that possession back somehow. A lot of that goes on. My goal in that is to make sure that obviously strategically we’re all set, but our mental preparation, we’re ready to get back on that field and go.

Q:What did you see out of their run defense?
A: Their run defense was one of the best run defenses in the league last year. Those guys are stout and they can play, so again I think there were times that we’re able to take advantage of something strategically. AT the end of the day they were 4.5 yards running the ball, we were 4.0 average running the ball. Again, they’re good football team and we feel we’re a good football team.

Q: Can you talk about Da’Norris Searcy’s performance?
A: Yup, he played well. He’s been playing well, kind of under the radar a little bit with what’s going on. I think he’s a guy that really works hard. Plays on defense, plays on special teams. Obviously that was a big play, defense made a couple big plays today.