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Doug Marrone on preseason finale performance: 'We are not going to be that football team'

By Tim Graham

Many Buffalo Bills fans certainly are tempted to dismiss Thursday night's putrid preseason finale as a meaningless exhibition.

Head coach Doug Marrone won't be with them.

"I'm a little bit of the opposite," Marrone said. "I think everything means something."

Marrone seethed after the 35-13 loss to the Detroit Lions in Ralph Wilson Stadium.

The Bills are trying to reverse their culture of losing, and whether the players on the field Thursday night will be on the roster after it's pared to 53 men by 6 p.m. Saturday, they were in Bills uniforms.

"It's easy," Marrone said, "to stand up here and, when things go well, I can promote it to the people in front of me and say, 'Hey, this is what we're doing really well,' and I think when things don't go well it's very easy for me to turn around and say, 'Well, it's just the preseason.'

"I think it's the opposite, too, when things go well you can turn around and say, 'Well, it's just the preseason,' and if things don't turn around, if things don't go well, you can turn around and say, 'Oof, are you nervous about this?' "

Marrone readily admitted he was concerned about the Bills' depth, which looked onion-paper-thin against the Lions.

The Bills already could be down to their third-string quarterback for the Sept. 8 season opener against the New England Patriots. So the Bills felt compelled to rest undrafted rookie Jeff Tuel. They also protected cornerbacks Leodis McKelvin, Justin Rogers and Ron Brooks. Does that mean they will be the top three to face Tom Brady?

"I think for me, honestly, and it's the truth, I take everything in," Marrone said. "I look to see the individuals. I look to see how they play.

"I'm big on when we're out on the field and we have the Bills helmet and the Buffalo Bills uniform on, that's who we represent. It's our responsibility of who we put on that field, that when we put people on that field that we believe we can get it done."

The Bills committed three turnovers deep in their own territory. They committed nine penalties for 60 yards.

"I told the team that we are not going to be that football team," Marrone said. "Whatever we have to do as coaches, as players to make sure that we don't do that, that's what we need to do because history has shown, if we've learned one thing, that's the one way that we don't give ourselves a chance.

"If we give this football team a chance, then they'll have the opportunity to win some games."

Doug Marrone sees red over penalties

By Jay Skurski

PITTSFORD -- Doug Marrone's patience regarding the Buffalo Bills' propensity to take penalties officially ran out this morning.

Marrone temporarily paused practice and absolutely lit his team up after there was movement along the offensive line inside the red zone.

His frustration is understandable. Through the first two preseason games, the Bills have been flagged a whopping 23 times for 180 yards.

Continue reading "Doug Marrone sees red over penalties" »

Bills' undisciplined moments had Doug Marrone seeing yellow

By Tim Graham

INDIANAPOLIS -- The Buffalo Bills scored 44 points and delivered touchdowns on offense, defense and special teams in their preseason victory over the Indianapolis Colts on Sunday.

Not all was peachy with Bills coach Doug Marrone, though.

Marrone was disappointed his team committed nine penalties for 74 yards and committed a pair of turnovers.

Continue reading "Bills' undisciplined moments had Doug Marrone seeing yellow" »

Kyle Williams, Mario Williams will dress for Bills today

By Tim Graham

INDIANAPOLIS -- The Buffalo Bills are withholding 10 players from today's preseason opener against the Indianapolis Colts in Lucas Oil Stadium.

Defensive linemen Kyle Williams and Mario Williams, recovering from foot injuries, will dress for the Bills.

Out with injuries are:

  • Wide receiver Stevie Johnson
  • Wide receiver Brad Smith
  • Wide receiver Kevin Elliott
  • Tight end Mike Caussin
  • Tight end Scott Chandler
  • Guard Keith Williams
  • Defensive tackle Aaron Tipoti
  • Linebacker Keith Pough
  • Cornerback Leodis McKelvin
  • Cornerback Justin Rogers

Robert Woods will start in Johnson's place. Ron Brooks will start at cornerback in McKelvin's stead.

Defense shows no mercy in second minicamp practice

By Mark Gaughan

The Buffalo Bills' defense ended the second minicamp practice of the week in all-out piranha mode Wednesday.

It was a feeding frenzy of sacks as the Bills' first-string offense under quarterback Kevin Kolb tried to move downfield in a two-minute drill in need of a touchdown.

Kolb managed to elude a rush and improvise a quick-thinking throw over the middle to Fred Jackson for a gain of about 25 yards on a third-down play.

After that, defensive coordinator Mike Pettine dialed up four straight blitzes and ended the series with four straight sacks.

"I'm glad Coach Pettine's on our team, that's for sure, and all those guys they have out there," said offensive coordinator Nathaniel Hackett. "Any time you have a defense like we're facing, every single day it's going to be a roller-coaster of emotions. I mean, they're bringing everybody from every place and you have to do your best to try to get a foundation and make things happen.

"There's some things that do good and other things that you're just putting your hand on top of your head and just trying to get to the next play."

Continue reading "Defense shows no mercy in second minicamp practice" »

Doug Marrone gives Da'Rick Rogers a talking-to and other notes

By Mark Gaughan

The defense looked better than the offense today as the Buffalo Bills finished their last voluntary, organized-team activity practice. The defenders were able to force a lot of short, check-down passes from the quarterbacks, and the completion percentages were not real high for any of the Bills' passers.

Second-year receiver T.J. Graham made the offensive play of the day, beating cornerback Ron Brooks down the left sideline and making a 50-yard catch on a throw into the wind from Tarvaris Jackson.

The Bills have had officials on the field for every practice that has been open to the media this spring.

Continue reading "Doug Marrone gives Da'Rick Rogers a talking-to and other notes" »

Fourth-round picks historically have a cup of coffee with Bills

By Tim Graham

With the 105th pick of the 2013 NFL draft, the Buffalo Bills select ...

A fan will utter that line and reveal the name of that player April 27 in Radio City Music Hall.

Tim Hortons and the Bills are running a contest that will allow a fan to announce their fourth-round draft pick.

What kind of treat will that be? Based on the past dozen Bills fourth-round draft choices, you might want a box of Timbits instead.

Continue reading "Fourth-round picks historically have a cup of coffee with Bills" »

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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 |