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Doug Marrone: "We got ourselves off to a good start"

Posted Aug 12, 2013

The Bills head coach talks about getting back to work after the first preseason game, Crezdon Butler getting first team cornerback reps, and the play of Kiko Alonso.

Head Coach Doug Marrone

Training Camp — August 12, 2013

Opening Statement:

Really, the day after the game, as far as injury status goes, really the only guy that wasn’t out there today who played yesterday was Dorin Dickerson. He had an ankle, so he wasn’t out there today. During practice, really, T.J. Graham and Kourtnei Brown just had a little pull in their groin, so we’ll just see how that goes. But again, everybody that was out on the field, I think it was important to, you know, we were on a short week. We got ourselves off to a good start. We still have a lot of work to do. I said that yesterday. I told that to the team. Today they came out there and they worked extremely hard. So, they’re hungry to get better. We’re hungry to get better just as a team.

Q: Did (Kraig) Urbik get hurt on that last play?

A: If he did, Bud (Carpenter), the trainer, did not inform me of that. Usually what I try to do as I’m walking off the field, Bud will tell me. And this way, when I come here, I’ll be able to answer those questions. But he did not tell me.

Q: What about Kevin (Kolb)? Where is his progress?

A: He’s just coming back so we’re working him into it. So, I just wanted to see that and then I think it will just get better and better as we go through because really, he hasn’t practiced in quite a long time. Today we were just working him back in there.

Q: What was the decision behind giving Crezdon Butler first team reps today?

A: He did a good job. Again, we’re rotating guys through. Obviously with (Ron) Brooks, he’s our starting nickel right now. We want to make sure that, just because Leodis (McKelvin) is down, and he had been running, and we’ll see how he goes. But we don’t want to lose sight of Ron’s position as playing nickel and being maybe that third corner and just working people through there. It’s really nothing more than that.

Q: Do you see Leodis (McKelvin) as the other starter?

A: He has been when he came back and when healthy.

Q: Is Chris Hairston any closer to returning?

A: Again, we meet with the doctors on it. I think it’s just a matter of when he feels good and he’ll be out there. It’s a day by day and we’re looking forward to him coming back. I’m really just waiting for the doctors to say, ‘hey, put him on that field.’

Q: Do you foresee Kevin (Kolb) having a chance to appear in Friday’s game?

A: I mean that would be looking at it a little bit with a crystal ball. But the way I’m approaching it with the quarterback situation is really my focus right now is getting better at all those little things, which are quite a bit, and really concentrating on the practices now. And then as we get closer to the game, once we start preparing for Minnesota, then be able to say who is playing and who is not. And then just really watch him during practice.

Q: So, is it too early for you to say?

A: It’s too early for me to say.

Q: What is the decision behind having practice the day after a game?

A: We’re in a critical point. Maybe critical is not the right word. But we’re in a window of really in the evaluation process to get the players ready. I think that it’s a short week. We came back. But then again, you might’ve looked it as a practice, but we tagged off every drill, wanted to get them running around. And normally after a game, you come back, they do a heavy lifting, heavy running to flush their body out. And the players did a good job of that. Again, we may be practicing and it might be called a practice, but we’re being smart about it with the players.

Q: Would you add anything to what you maybe had to say about EJ’s (Manuel) performance yesterday?

A: Pretty much after the game, the comments I make are pretty accurate of the things that I see. Again, I was very pleased. I think we were looking for certain things in it, the intangibles. We know that he has the ability to do it, so we were looking for the reaction. And again, you saw him settle into the game and then really start to do some really good things. Again, there are a lot of things that we need to work on. We tried to get a couple of vertical passes early. It wasn’t a thing that we were really trying to protect him. But I know some people had asked me. But we had two vertical shots early on and we just couldn’t get outside the pocket. We got a little bit of pressure. Robert Woods ran a stop-and-go and won and we just couldn’t get the protection to get him out there. I’m happy with the way he has played and I was happy with the way Jeff (Tuel) played. I think it’s the same thing. It’s just consistency and progress. Those are the things we want to see and those are the things that both of those players have been doing. They have been practicing every day.

Q: How about Kiko Alonso. What has he shown you so far?

A: I think you see a player that’s progressing. The play he makes in the end zone is one heck of a play. You see him going making tackles, sidelines, see him playing special teams, playing quite a bit. Then you see the little things, back cheats out a little bit. He has to get a little further out. And those are some of the things you learn when you first come into the league. Again, his ceiling is high and our expectations of him are high.

Q: Is Justin Rogers getting closer?

A: I think I would still consider it a short time. I don’t foresee him being up this week. I think that I’ll know more the following week before the Washington game.

Q: How do you see Alan Branch fitting into this defense?

A: If you saw the play where they tried to quick trapped, a big body inside. Again, very difficult to move, can play the nose, play the three, can get some push for you, plays the run very well. He’s a stout body in there. Those guys are tough. And him and Marcell (Dareus) and obviously with Kyle Williams. Those are three pretty darn good players right there.