Once a Bill, always a Bill.
Manager Brandon Beane welcomed a familiar face, safety Dean Marlowe, back to Buffalo at the tail-end of the NFL trade deadline on Tuesday.
"I took a year and a half vacation, that's how I look at it," Marlowe said. "I'm appreciative of the other places that I've been. I was able to grow and learn and now coming back here, it's just so awesome."
Beane and head coach Sean McDermott spent time with Marlowe when all three were a part of the Carolina Panthers organization and then again when the safety was with the Bills from 2017-2020. Beane was looking to add a safety even before Jordan Poyer got reinjured in the Packers game knowing S Micah Hyde is out for the rest of the season.
"This gives us a guy who knows our team, our defense," Beane said. "Ultimately, through all the calls and all the research, we felt like the best fit ended up being Dean."
In addition to the Bills and the Panthers, the eight-year vet spent also spent time with the Detroit Lions and most recently the Atlanta Falcons before getting dealt to Buffalo. But the safety can't be more excited to be reunited with his former defensive coordinator when he was in Carolina.
"McDermott's been a part of my career forever," Marlowe said. "The last year and a half he hasn't been, so for me to come back, and him and Beane to believe in me to come here and help us win games, it's the best thing."
McDermott expressed his gratitude to have Marlowe and his family back in Buffalo, and the feelings were certainly reciprocated. Marlowe praised the foundation and culture that Beane and McDermott have built in Buffalo, which was in the process of growing when he was with the team back in 2017.
"Everyone has their own Mojo, what they want to do and things like that," Marlowe said. "But for the most part, everybody respects the Buffalo Bills around the league. Whether team you're on, they're gonna say, 'Hey, Buffalo is playing and that's a real deal team.'"
And Marlowe's respect for the Bills didn't go away when he was with other NFL teams. He shared that he told Poyer during Thursday's practice that if the Bills weren't playing at the same time he was, he was "watching his boys ball out."
"Every team that I was on, I told them I said 'Hey, I'm going to the couch to go watch the Bills man, I'm watching the game tonight,'" Marlowe said. "Once you become a Bill, you're always a Bill. They (Bills Mafia) respect you and show you love. And once you played here for a while, they embrace you as you embrace the city as well."
The Bills organization has always meant a lot to Marlowe, but it means just as much to his family. His wife, Marlana, took to social media to share her excitement about returning to Buffalo and how grateful she is for the support the Marlowe family is receiving since they got word of the trade.
"She's like, 'Hey, I want to post something real and authentic and vulnerable,'" Marlowe said. "Because usually, media is just everybody wants to see the good things, and she wanted to just show the fans and she wanted to show that this organization means a lot to her and our family."
Emotions like Marlana's speak volumes of what the Bills organization is all about. Sometimes business can get in the way and roster moves have to be made, but McDermott and Beane are appreciative when players want to come back to Buffalo.
"When you call a player and he's excited to come back, that makes you feel good just as a human being, and for what we're trying to do and how we're trying to do it," McDermott said.
While there's a handful of players and coaches who are excited to have No. 31 back in the locker room, CB Tre'Davious White might be at the top of that list. White loves the energy and juice Marlowe brings, in addition to his support in coming back from his ACL injury.
"He's probably said, "Damn my dog Dean's back" maybe 25 times in a day and a half so far,' and he says 'I'm gonna say it every day until the season's over,'" Marlowe said.
And now that he's back, Marlowe can't wait to see what the future holds for him and the Bills. Since his first time with the team, Marlowe shared that a piece of his heart always bleeds red and blue, and he's pumped to rejoin the squad for round two.
"The ultimate goal is to continue to win games, to make playoffs, go on a run like that and we take that every day as the playoff caliber mindset," Marlowe said.
New running back Nyheim Hines along with Dean Marlowe hit the practice field for the first time as Bills in 2022. Check on the best practice photos from Wednesday. This gallery is sponsored by On Location.