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Doug Marrone: "We're changing the mentality"

Posted Sep 11, 2013

The Bills head coach talks about the cornerback situation, how much the offense needs C.J. Spiller, and if there's a process in learning how to win.

Head Coach Doug Marrone

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Opening statement:

It’s probably easier if I start off on Wednesday’s with the business of the day, meaning that obviously there are some roster situations. We had to due to some injuries, we had to release Jay Ross. We brought Johnny Adams up from the practice squad and also we signed Brandon Smith. S we signed Johnny Adams to the 53-man roster and we brought up Brandon Smith to the practice squad. Also obviously with the non-participation in practice. Obviously we have (Stephon) Gilmore with the wrist, (Dustin) Hopkins with the right groin, (Doug) Legursky with a knee, (Ron) Brooks with a foot and (Marquise) Goodwin with the hand. Obviously limited was (Jairus) Byrd. So that’s where we are as far as the roster where we’re going and the practice situations. Any questions from anyone?

Q: How do you feel about your cornerback situation now?
A: When you look at last week and the throws that were contested, I think sometimes they get overlooked. I thought Justin Rogers really did a nice job in there and Nickell Robey. I mean they really played well. Leodis (McKelvin), for a guy that’s missed some time and went in there. Jimmy Leonhard came in with a short period of time and played for us. That goes on and those situations arise sometimes due to injury and you just have to overcome that type of adversity. I thought that those players have done a good job. When you bring in the newer players or players that haven’t been with you before it’s usually like double duty. You have to get them ready as far as knowing the system because depending on how you’re playing and who you’re playing you have to make sure you can’t limit things. You have to keep things open and then from a talent standpoint, do they have the talent to do what we’re asking them to do? So we just want to make sure we’ve covered ourselves, that we have enough people back there that we don’t fall in to situation where we’re short.

Q: How much does this offense need C.J. Spiller to provide a dynamic presence?
A: Obviously that’s a part of it and again it’s a big part for what we want to accomplish out of that situation. I think it’s the same thing. You need production out of all the positions, whether its wide receiver, tight end, offensive line and quarterback to handle all the situations you’re going to be in. When we’re looking at that type of production and you’re talking about an individual player, we’re really putting the accountability and our expectations on everyone. Obviously in this game, the way we play or at least the way I feel offensively with my background, is really a team can come in and take a player out of the game, so you better make sure that the players around him are also making plays when those situations arise.

Q: C.J. (Spiller) was disappointed with his performance. Do you have confidence in him to bounce back this week?
A: We do. I think there are a lot of players, including myself, that were disappointed in some things. Obviously that occurs. There were things we’re encouraged by, that we need to keep working on and we have all the confidence in the world obviously in C.J. (Spiller) to bounce back from that. He’s someone that’s worked extremely hard.

Q: When you talk about taking a guy out of the game, how much would the passing game help open that up?
A: It’s week-to-week on who you’re playing and what their philosophy would be. Obviously if you have a strong passing game and you can see it in the league with some of the elite quarterbacks, you get more open field coverage where you have two safeties deep defending the pass. It gives you the ability to run maybe more runs or more capable runs. I think in this league to be able to run the football you’re going to need to be able do it against single safety teams and double safety teams, where they do put that extra guy in. I think a lot of that comes with a lot of work, meaning that you have to have a balance to be able to attack both because I think later on in the year when you look at teams in this northeast region, there’s going to be a time where weather is going to affect something. Whether its wind or the conditions of rain or snow, where you’re going to go in that game and you’re going to have to have the ability to run that ball. I think when you look at teams when you play those playoff games and things like that late in the season, that’s what you have to be able to do. You run the football.

Q: Where you expecting to get more production out of T. J. Graham?
A: The way we look at it is, I don’t really look at it individually with that group. Meaning that this player would need more production, this team would need more production because we’re going to play a lot of those kids. They’re going to play a lot coming out with the way we tempo it and the way we run. Just from the overall standpoint of the group, we’re looking for that type of production and I think we have to do a good job of making sure that what those players do well, we’re using them in that. That’s a little bit of a challenge with the system we run.

Q: If you don’t get more production out of him will you look more at the guys behind him?
A: We went in to the game thinking that we were going to get a lot of work with obviously Stevie (Johnson), obviously T.J. (Graham), Robert Woods, Marquise Goodwin and having (Marcus) Easley and (Chris) Hogan up to play and give a blow. That’s exactly how we were thinking going in to the game. I think that’s how we’ll keep going with that group. I think to say he’s our one, he’s our two and things like that, we don’t really, that’s not our philosophy. We put them in there and roll them in there. We try to make sure they’re fresh.

Q: There’s a tendency in this town with all the losing that people brace for the worst. Do you worry about that creeping in to your team or what do you do to change that?
A: I think we were changing that mentality the first day we walked through the door. You’ve got to try to change that mentality. You don’t know if it’s there or not. I don’t think it’s just with the team; it’s with everyone in the organization. I know that Russ Brandon has worked hard on that, we all have. It’s kind of like the ‘Woe is me, here we go again’ situation and that’s not what we want. A lot of that is positive thinking, adversity and things like that. Like I said before in the game, early on in that game we overcame a lot more adversity than probably what people think with the early turnover and getting behind 10-0 and being able to make a play and get back in the game. Obviously you sit here as a coach and that’s one thing you’re proud of. You’re not proud that you put yourself in that situation, but that happened. I don’t think from the standpoint of the players, there was a resiliency about them; I did not see that creep in.

Q: Do you believe there’s a process in learning how to win?
A: I think there’s some truth to that, I’d be lying if I said I didn't agree with that. I think there’s some truth to that. I don’t know the extent to that. For us, we go in to a game having a plan on how to win, percentage-wise and points-wise. I think we were looking at the game, going in to New England we had talked about two specific things. When those two specific things were in our favor we were winning the game and when it switched, obviously we fell short. I think each game, as long as you can keep the players concentrating on that, you have a chance to win it. I think that’s what you’re working on during the week. You’re working on, ‘Hey, for us to win this is what we have to do to be successful’ and then you have to go out there and execute it. It’s not like we just tell the team, ‘Hey let’s just go out there, make some plays, hold the ball, score more.’ So you’re constantly trying to create that mindset during the week of what’s going to happen and expecting that they’ll be an ebb and flow and adversity and that’s what you have to overcome.

Q: What’s your responsibility in that?
A: I think what people might lose track of is the players in this profession are here for a reason. In other words they’ve been very competitive in their lives to get to this position. When they get on the field, there’s a high level of competitiveness and winning. I think sometimes we forget that, I really do, I truly do. When I say we I mean everyone in general who’s not with them every day and sees them working. I don’t know of any team that’s ever gone out there and said that. Part of what you said before is my responsibility, to make sure that they don’t ever get to an ‘Oh, here we go again.’

Q: When you look at Carolina’s defense, what stands out to you?
A: I think they’re outstanding. Obviously the three linebackers are.