Bills Respond To Motivation
By Jo E. Prout
Buffalo Bills head coach Doug Marrone ran his players until they were sick during training camp, but is his strategy working for the team in the preseason and beyond? Players and fans alike are starting to say that his “push ‘em” strategy is, indeed, fitting the bill.
Early in training camp, players stayed on the field until they vomited, but none of them subbed out. With motivational music blaring, they ran back onto the field for more reps. Yet, in a statement later, Marrone suggested that only outsiders would run a practice that way.
“I think that, at times, if you haven’t gone through it yourself, you like to push ‘em, push ‘em, push ‘em,” Marrone said. “I think that the perspective may be from people on the outside is, ‘Hey, they’re pro athletes.’ But, I don’t know if people really understand how much running we do, how much we’re on the field, how much we’re on our feet.”
Marrone did acknowledge using the music to push his team of coaches and players.
“It’s just the point of my responsibilities to make sure I have to do whatever I can to get the best out of this football team. That’s just not the players. I don’t want to make it sound like, ‘Hey, I put the music on for the players.’ I put it on for everybody. I wanted everybody; I wanted everyone to step it up with them,” he said.
Marrone has been clear about his plans to his players, and he communicated that to them early in the preseason.
“Here’s what we’re going to do. If you’re healthy, in your mind, you’re prepared to play the whole game. And that’s how you have to look at it until I take you out,” Marrone told his players.
Offensive Coordinator Nathaniel Hackett is on board the motivation train with Marrone. Speaking on local radio, Hackett said he would tap into running back C.J. Spiller’s talents by pushing him to his limits.
“It’s real simple,” Hackett said. “We’re going to give him the ball until he throws up. So, he’s either got to tap out or throw up on the field.”
Did Marrone and Hackett spend their summer watching "The Junction Boys" and "Miracle" as a primer for their first training camp together?
Will a modern-day "Again, again, again" scene turn the Bills around and give them a winning season? Is that old and questionable strategy even ethical? And will Spiller be up for the challenge?
With preseason wins following closely on the heels of hard, motivational training camps, that re-tooled “push ‘em” strategy may stick around. But, if the franchise uses up and spits out its rising running back and other key players, the Bills may question the ethics of this strategy.