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Doug Marrone throws red flag on himself over bad challenges

By Tim Graham

NEW ORLEANS -- Buffalo Bills head coach Doug Marrone lost a pair of challenges early in the fourth quarter of Sunday's loss to the New Orleans Saints in the Superdome.

The miscalculations cost Buffalo two timeouts and denied it a chance to challenge for the rest of the game.

Marrone, squaring off against the head coach for whom he formerly served as offensive coordinator, has failed on all three challenges this year and declared he would address the problem.

"I have to do a better job of changing the process of our challenges," Marrone said. "We haven't been successful in that. If we keep it the same, how do I expect that to change?"

Marrone challenged two spots on inside runs. The first challenge alleged Fred Jackson crossed the goal line on the first play of the fourth quarter. The second challenge questioned Saints running back Pierre Thomas picking up a first down on a third-and-1 run.

Such challenges are difficult to win because cameras frequently can't show exactly what happens within a mass of bodies. Neither replay provided indisputable evidence to overturn the on-field call.

"I've got to do a better job of changing whatever I have to do to make sure that when we challenge that, I can't afford to lose timeouts," Marrone said.

"That is my fault, period. I am the head coach."


Doug Marrone | Fred Jackson
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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 |

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 |