PITTSFORD, NY (WKBW) - The Buffalo Bills hit the practice field early Thursday morning, greeted by oppressive heat and loud music as they prepare for their preseason opener in Indianapolis on Sunday.
New UB basketball coach Bobby Hurley and Athletic Director Danny White were in attendance. Also on the sidelines was Mike Mayock from NFL Network. The draft expert had a lot of positives to say about rookie QB E.J. Manuel.
Cornerback Leodis McKelvin sat out of practice again with soreness.
The following are quotes from Head Coach Doug Marrone after Thursday's practice courtesy of the Buffalo Bills:
Head Coach Doug Marrone
Training Camp – August 8, 2013
The thought process came out today, today is one of those days when you look at the schedule and you look at the calendar, and you know you had the scrimmage a couple of days ago and you have two games coming up here in nine days. Today is kind of a day where, mentally, I circled. The players are going to be sore, the coaches, everybody. I thought today they did a very good job. We came out and got a lot of good work on this day. So I was proud of the players from that standpoint. And I appreciate it. It’s built into the schedule. I try to explain to them. We had this morning workout and now we’re going to have a good recovery period as we don’t go until tomorrow night. So just to try and explain to them, I understand this thing, what’s going on. We’re going to make sure we are doing the right thing and help them be able to recover as they get into the short stretch of these two games.
Q: Could you see the sluggish legs today?
A: No, I actually didn’t. Not the guys that were out on this field. I thought they responded well. I think that, as a coach, you look at the schedule and go. I think that at times if you haven’t gone through it yourself, you like to push ‘em, push ‘em, push ‘em. I think that the perspective maybe 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, going to meetings, and doing all that stuff, but I didn’t see it out of them. And I was excited that we did have a little heat today. I wouldn’t say it was extremely hot, but it was probably the hottest day that we have had. I thought the players responded well. That was one of the things that was a little bit of a concern for me for these past couple of days because the weather has been outstanding here. To get a little bit of heat is important.
Q: You were shouting out encouragements to guys like Colin Brown.
A: Oh yeah and that’s what it is. I think all of these players we realize they’re pushing through something. It’s very difficult to play this game 110% healthy. You’re always going to be sore and a little banged up especially in camp where you have to get them ready for the season.
Q: Can you explain the reasoning behind the music playing during practice?
A: Yeah, I needed to get the coaches going. And the trainers going. 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
Q: Was that your playlist?
A: No. I told them if it were my playlist, they would be sleeping out there.
Q: What do you want to see from your team at the final practice before the first preseason game (on Sunday)?
A: Well we are still practicing to become a better football team. So it’s not game planning against our opponent coming up. So we’re looking to get a good, enthusiastic, fresh practice, running around, getting some guys back that are sore, seeing where they are. And then, sometime on Friday with the staff and the coordinators talking about who’s playing, but these guys will be ready to come back now because this is a perfect time. They had a really, really good practice today. We’re going to get some rest on Friday. I think we will be very enthusiastic for a Friday night practice.
Q: Do you expect Kevin Kolb back, and, if so, how much work will he get tomorrow night?
A: I communicated with Kevin and he said he worked out and did what he had to do from rehabilitation stand point, so he felt good, really good. So, again, Kevin is that type of guy to be the tough kid, so it’s just a matter of when he comes back in, our doctors will look at him. We’re still planning on him hitting the ground sometime late tonight and being here sometime tomorrow.
Q: Do you see any progress on the left guard position?
A: I think we’re going to stick with those two players that we have there now. I think that gives us the best chances, and I see both players competing a very high level, and both players are getting better each day. Now, it’s just making sure they can go out there and perform in these preseason games because they are doing a good job in practice.
Q: What’s your philosophy on keeping things off the tape, staying vanilla during these preseason games?
A: I think it’s the same thing. I’ve been in the same place as a coordinator, going in and talking about what we want our philosophy to be. I think you have to do things that you want to do during the year so you know how it works. And then I think I'm still in the evaluation process trying to figure out who this squad is going to be. Who this 53 is going to be. So I think it’s unfair as a coach to sit here and say ‘Hey I’m going to do this and show this because I don’t want anyone to know during the season,’ when you don’t really have your roster set.
Q: Can you talk about where we are in training camp: is it the conditioning stage or is it the implementation?
A: I’ve seen no problems with the conditioning stage, none at all with our players. Our players have done an outstanding job of taking care of their bodies. Credit to the players, the training room staff and the weight room staff. For me, building a foundation of the fundamentals. That’s what I’m big on during training camp because once you get into the season, the players and the coaches naturally will tend to look more at schematics. I think that you have to build a great foundation in training camp and we’re working on that and the players are doing a nice job.
Q: What happened with Stephon Gilmore?
A: He just wanted a break. No issues.
Q: What do you make of your two coordinators who have two different styles?
A: I think anyone can tell that at practice. When you look at the four of us, when you add (special teams coordinator) Danny Crossman, when you look at Mike (Pettine) and Nate (Hackett), and myself, we are four completely different personalities that communicate and work well together. I think you need that. You can’t go in there and say ‘Okay, this is what, as a coach, I want this personality to be.’ You have to be yourself because you’re around the players so much, you have to be real. Both of those guys are real. I think you’re exactly right; I think everyone has different personalities, but at the end of the day, as long as it’s equal in production and units and the players, and that’s what we feel we are getting right now, I think that’s great because you’re not going to really change someone’s personality.
Q: You must get a kick out of Nathaniel Hackett doing those chest bumps and running down the field.
A: Well, you know, I was with his dad for a couple of years. And his dad was a very fiery type of guy, and then when I met Nathaniel, I obviously met him through his dad first, I saw the same thing. And then having the experience of working with him, I’ve learned to understand it better where I’m not at times that type of person. But I do think this: I don’t think it’s bad to show your emotions, whether it’s good or whether you’re angry. I think as long as the players know and understand that this is not something you that’s fake because I don’t think you make that up, I think they appreciate that it’s genuine. And you can see that personality even amongst the team, who would be more vocal, more enthusiastic. Some guys hold it in. I think that as a team, as a group, I think we respect that in each other and that’s what’s important.