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Doug Marrone on Bills Camp: "it was a great turnout by the fans"

Posted Aug 20, 2013

Bills head coach Doug Marrone talked to the media after Tuesday's night practice about the great crowds they've had through camp, he gave an EJ Manuel injury update and talked about some key players ready to return this weekend.

HC Doug Marrone

Training Camp – August 20, 2013

Opening Statement:

Obviously it was a great turnout by the fans and that’s been awesome from that perspective, you know, the amount of people that we’ve had out here supporting the team, supporting the players, rooting us on. It definitely has an effect on the players on how they go about things. I think you saw it today in practice. Obviously we started with some situations that we haven’t seen yet and obviously working on our upcoming opponent. We started that tonight. That’s why you saw the coaches out there with the cards, doing that. We’re transitioning now and the big thing. If you guys want to help me out, we can talk about not breaking camp. Everyone is going to talk about breaking and you’re leaving camp. But really, we don’t want that type of mentality for our players and I’ve told them that too. We’re going to continue to get better. We’re still a work in progress. We’re not where we need to be as far as getting ready for the first week of the season.

Q: Do you have any injury updates, specifically on Stephon Gilmore?

A: Yeah, it was just a toe right there. And obviously we kept (Stephon) out here, so it shouldn’t be a problem at all. Just a re-taping and he should be fine from what I’ve been told on the field.

Q: Are there any other updates injury wise?

A: No I think pretty much everyone is out here except obviously Chris Hairston, Kourtnei Brown, obviously EJ (Manuel) and I believe there might be one more.

Q: Is it Jay Ross?

A: Jay Ross went home. And Jay Ross went home because, great news his wife is having a baby. So, we’re excited for him.  That just came up. He was just ready to practice and he came up to me and said ‘Coach, I gotta go.’ And I said absolutely. So that’s where he is. So he’s excused.

Q: Do you know if he’s going to be back for that game?

A: He’s having a baby. Let’s be happy for him. I can’t tell you when the baby is coming out. I’m just saying he’s having a baby. Let’s just celebrate it. But yeah, if he can, then obviously he’ll come back.

Q: T.J. Graham and Stevie Johnson, have they shown you enough this week where you feel good about them for Saturday?

A: Yes, I do.

Q: Do you think Stevie is pretty anxious to get in the game?

A: I think a lot of players are excited to get in the game and play football. But yes, especially the players, I think we kind of lose sight what happens with them, meaning that it’s not like they’re lying in bed and waiting. They’re working hard rehabbing. You put all that work in and obviously your goal is to get back on the field. So he’s very hungry to get back there.

Q: Is EJ Manuel a day-to-day thing?

A: We’ll check every few days. Because I don’t know if there’ll be ups and downs. So every couple of days, he’ll update us and tell us what is going on.

Q: Is everything going okay for EJ?

A: Yeah, we worked with him today. I saw him rehabbing. He’s back there working his butt off. And obviously were working him, keeping him mentally prepared. Obviously everyone has to develop. So what we’ve done is we want to make sure that just because he had this procedure and he’s not on the field, we want to keep developing him in the classroom, making sure he’s going. So we’re pushing him hard from that aspect.

Q: Are there drills he can do to throw while he’s resting his knee?

A: Oh, I’m sure there is once he gets to that point where the doctors are able to say, let’s go. He’ll definitely be doing that.

Q: Kevin Kolb has been getting a lot of reps. What have you been seeing in him?

A: I see him looking a lot better. I think now that you go back and study, when he first came back, I think he was still sore. And Kevin is a tough kid and it’s hard to get people that are in competition are not going to all the time tell you the truth because they’re so competitive. And when you watch it, it was a little bit herky, jerky. Not as much rhythm as he’s had in the past. For the past two days, I’ve seen that. And I’ve talked to him because obviously after the EJ procedure, I went up to Kevin and said ‘How are you feeling. Are you feeling well?’ He said, ‘Coach, I’m great, I’m great.’ I said, ‘You need to tell me the truth because I need to know in case we have to make any moves or anything.’ And he said, ‘No, I’m fine.’ And he went on the field and he looks a lot more comfortable and he looks a lot healthier, if that makes sense, than he had before.

Q: What are your plans for the starters in Washington?

A: They have to be ready to play the whole game. I tell that to them all the time. I think there will be a point where players that are coming back in the same situation we’ll put on a pitch count and then look to see where we are with the starters and how far we want to take them. I don’t think it’s a secret. I think most teams play them a little more, but I think it’s no as far as, I’ll wont’ look at it as a unit, I’ll look at it player to player.

Q: Marcell Dareus picked that ball up and ran it into the end zone. Afterwards, you went up to him. What did you say to him?

A: I said, ‘What are the odds of you going in there and playing in the next play? Do I need to get you to a trainer?’

Q: What did he say?

A: He said ‘Oh I’m ready to go, but I just scored a touchdown. Don’t they have to kick off or something?’

Q: What has stood out to you on the field during the preseason?

A: You never really know – you go through OTAs and minicamp and you’re pushing the players, and I think what has stood out to me has been the way they’ve gone about their business. I give the players a lot of credit and a lot of respect. We’ve had no issues. We’ve met a bunch. We’ve put a lot on them from an accountability standpoint, and they’ve stood up to that test. I told them that they have to be able to do that first before you go on that field and win consistently. They have put in the work. We just can’t lose sight of leaving this camp thinking the hard work is over. It’s really just beginning.

Q: What are your thoughts on the Nigel Bradham situation?

A: Obviously it’s very, very disappointing. We take those types of things very seriously. From the standpoint of the league, everyone is aware that it’s a violation of the code of conduct. But we do so much with our players about being a pro, what the NFL shield means, obviously what it means to be a Bill. We expect our players to make good choices in their life. And obviously Nigel is disappointed in his choices. I’m disappointed. I’ve met with him. My conversations with him are private. And obviously we’re working on correcting that problem.

Q: What are your plans for Mario Williams for this week’s game?

A: He feels pretty good. I think it’s one of those things that we just keep going. We know we want him 110-percent healthy for the season. So, we’re just being smart. So it’s just a matter of pitch count and how many plays we put him in there.

Q: There were a lot of breakdowns with the second and third-team offensive line late in practice. What did you think of that?

A: They’re not running our plays. It’s the cards in practice, so they’re running some other teams plays. Not an excuse to break down. Don’t get me wrong there. But again, they might be seeing some things they’re not seen before and running some plays they haven’t seen before. So, obviously blocking and tackling doesn’t change. You’d like that to be better.

Q: With Crezdon Butler and Justin Rogers getting back into the flow of practice, do they have a chance to play Saturday?

A: Yeah, I think they do. And they’ll be on a count. And a lot of it, I like when you get those types of injuries, I like to make sure I talk to the player. He might be cleared for a practice but now a game situation, last week we worked them out before the game. We worked out Butler before the game and it was still a little tight. So we’re not going to throw him out there. We want to see what they can do at 100 percent and see them be as competitive as possible so we can make the best decisions for our club.

Q: Have there been more injuries throughout preseason and training camp than you expect?

A: That’s a tough question. I don’t really look at the other teams yet. I really don’t. I’m concentrating on our team and I think our trainers and doctors and our players have done a very good job. I don’t know what’s going on with everybody else. You hear rumors about things. But our training staff has done an outstanding job. And I think if you go around and look at the people that are participating, we probably have more people participating than most. So, that’s a credit to the players being ready to go.