Buffalo's Marrone Must Get On With The Game
By Jo E. Prout
Buffalo Bills Head Coach Doug Marrone needs to cut to the chase on two counts: first, he needs to ignore the fickle media that questions his wins and remains silent on his losses; and, second, he needs to get on with his job. The best way Marrone can do both is to tell it like it is, and make it so.
After the Bills’ only win this season when they pulled ahead to beat the Carolina Panthers, the press asked Marrone soft questions about why Buffalo kicked a field goal one time during the game and ran a two-point conversion another.
“I just had a feeling that this was the right time. I felt that we had a really good play. I felt that we were going to be able to execute it,” Marrone said then. “I felt like we needed to go ahead and get the two points now and tie the game.”
The needling questions continued, asking Marrone politely, as over a cup of tea, if he had “considered” attempting a touchdown rather than running the ball downfield for a field goal.
“I just felt more comfortable kicking it there, getting it to 7-6 and knowing that we had the field goal. Our defense was playing well,” he said.
The questions Marrone faced after a pathetic loss to the New York Jets were simply ridiculous. Was Marrone disappointed quarterback EJ Manuel could not face the blitz? Was he concerned other teams would use the blitz against him?
Marrone answered each, but volunteered nothing. What was missing from each of these exchanges was plain speaking. After a win, Marrone needs to stand up and say, “We played a great game. We’re going to fix a few things, but WE ARE AWESOME!”
Those soft questions might firm up a bit after a statement like that.
After a loss, no one wonders if Marrone is disappointed. He should be! If he makes a weak statement, the questions coming back at him should clear up simple scenarios. “What happened?” comes to mind. Maybe then the firmed-up mealy-mouthed questions would be appropriate.
The current process wastes everyone’s time, but, until it changes, Marrone should refuse to get bogged down as he gets on with the job he does week in and week out -- making decisions placing his team on the field.
Those decisions are the reason Buffalo chose him and pay him, so he could make those gut decisions or experienced judgments that lead to victory on the ball field. And, if there is no victory? Most people want to know what Marrone and his coaching staff are going to do about it. Two-point conversions, field goals, strong passes, or great defensive strategies? Do what you please, coach, and on with the game. Do yourself a favor and tell about it, afterward. We all will benefit.