By Mark Gaughan
Buffalo Bills coach Doug Marrone held an hour-long question-and-answer phone conference with season-ticket holders today. Here's what he said about the offensive line in the wake of the loss of starting guard Andy Levitre in free agency.
"I think we have some good young talent there, I really do, guys that really haven’t played quite a bit. I’ve actually been out there working with them. Coach (Pat) Morris lets me get in there, and I’m his assistant working with those guys. So I’m happy with the way they’ve been working. It’s going to be interesting once the pads come on to see them. They’re losing some weight, their foot-speed is picking up."
"Sam Young has done a nice job in our camp right now. I’m happy with him. Chris Scott -- I’d like to see him. I think he’s done some good things. Colin Brown has been out there. So I think we have some flexibility in those positions. That position, more than any other position, they all have to work well together. If they work well together, they’ll be very productive. You’re only as strong as your weakest link when it comes down to line play. I really like Eric Wood in the center. I’ve seen him improve. He’s healthy now. He looks great out there. Cordy Glenn has done a nice job. Erik Pears is coming back. He’s getting healthy for OTAs. (Kraig) Urbik has done a nice job. I think we’re gonna get a lot out of him. I think we can get more out of that group. … I’m really looking for a lot from that group."
Young has been with the Bills the last two years. Brown has been with the team a little more than two seasons. Scott is a 320-pounder who was a fifth-round pick of Pittsburgh's in 2010.
Two other topics of note:
Marrone said he's not a big fan of the Wildcat when it is run without the threat of the pass. He referred to the way defenses contain one-dimensional Wildcat formations.
"Most teams had a couple of checks. They’d have two checks they were going to go to as soon as you presented them with the Wildcat, and they pretty much took away your whole entire running game. So unless you had someone back there who could throw the ball effectively, I didn’t think that over the course of the evolution of the Wildcat, it wasn’t as effective as it was early on. So I’ve struggled a little bit with it. I’d much rather have a quarterback who can hurt you with his arm and hurt you with his feet and have some more misdirection in there."
Marrone said that in general he likes the idea of deferring the choice of receiving the kickoff until the second half when he wins the opening coin toss. However he said there are factors, such as weather and the defensive matchups that affect the decision.
Said Marrone: "I like having the ball at halftime on offense because I think adjustments are big. And I think that’s a big difference. You can win games by how you adjust not just at halftime but how you adjust during the game on the sideline."
The Bills have the full audio of the session on their website.