Skip to primary navigation Skip to main content

Doug Marrone says replacing Stephon Gilmore a four-player job

By Jay Skurski

When Justin Rogers sat out last week's preseason finale against the Detroit Lions, it was assumed he'd be starting opposite Leodis McKelvin at cornerback in Sunday's season opener against New England in place of the injured Stephon Gilmore.

While that still may be the case, Bills coach Doug Marrone has pumped the brakes on calling Rogers, McKelvin or anyone else on the roster a starter.

"We have four corners that we're rotating through right now depending on what packages and what personnel groups are out there," Marrone said, referring to McKelvin, Rogers, Nickell Robey and Ron Brooks. "We'll make that decision as the week goes on who takes the first snap."

McKelvin and Rogers did line up with the first team Monday at practice. The Bills also claimed Brandon Burton off waivers from Minnesota. Marrone said the team likes Burton's size (5-foot-11, 190 pounds) and ability to play press coverage.

But with less than a week to learn a new defensive scheme, it would seem the Bills will be leaning on McKelvin, Rogers, Brooks and Robey to defend Tom Brady and the Patriots' offense. New England has averaged 40 points per game in their last six against Buffalo, going 5-1 in that time.

"I feel we're going to get great production out of those guys we put out there. Right now we're planning on putting people out there rotating through and getting the same amount of production," Marrone said. "Obviously it’s difficult; Stephon Gilmore is a very good player for us. We have to try to get that same productivity out of a couple of players now rather than what we were getting out of one."


Brandon Burton | Doug Marrone | Justin Rogers | Leodis McKelvin | Nickell Robey | Ron Brooks | Stephon Gilmore
comments powered by Disqus

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 |

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 |

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 |