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Doug Marrone will limit contact, but Aug. 5 night scrimmage full-go

By Tim Graham

PITTSFORD -- A day before conducting his first NFL training-camp practice, new Buffalo Bills coach Doug Marrone explained how he intends to handle contact throughout the summer.

Marrone said his philosophy has "been something built over the years" as head coach at Syracuse and before that the New Orleans Saints' offensive coordinator and New York Jets' offensive line coach.

"We've been able to reduce the injury factor on how we practice, the amount of contact we've had," Marrone said. "Some periods will be tag off. Some periods will be thud. Some will be contact."

"Thud" is a common practice technique of hitting and wrapping but without bringing the ballcarrier to the ground. Think of something in between tackle and touch.

Marrone revealed the first all-out session will be the night of Aug. 5 in Growney Stadium.

"That'll be a big scrimmage down the road," Marrone said. "That'll be a live scrimmage. That'll be the first look at saying 'OK, who can really get it done in a live situation, with the backs?' Goal-line, short-yardage aren't situations ... It's very difficult to have those periods without that live.

"Then after that pretty much we'll be thud. We'll be doing things the right way from a fundamental period. Then we'll take the contact into the preseason."

The Bills open their preseason schedule Aug. 11 against the Indianapolis Colts in Lucas Oil Stadium.

Previous coach Chan Gailey held his first full-contact practice on the third day of camp last year. That's the soonest a team is allowed under the NFL's collective bargaining agreement.

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About Press Coverage

Tim Graham

Tim Graham

Tim Graham returned to The Buffalo News in 2011 after covering the NFL for three years at ESPN and for one year at the Palm Beach Post. Before that, the Cleveland native spent seven seasons on the Buffalo Sabres beat for The News and was president of the Boxing Writers Association of America.

@ByTimGraham | tgraham@buffnews.com


Mark Gaughan

Mark Gaughan

Buffalo native Mark Gaughan started working at The News in 1980 and has been covering the Bills exclusively since 1992. He is a former president of the Pro Football Writers of America, and he is a member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame selection committee.

@gggaughan | mgaughan@buffnews.com


Jay Skurski

Jay Skurski

Jay Skurski joined The News in January 2009. The Lewiston native attended St. Francis High School before graduating from the University of South Florida. He writes a weekly Fantasy column in addition to his beat writing duties.

@JaySkurski | jskurski@buffnews.com

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