Doug Marrone: I had no issues in Buffalo, all good memories, happy for them
By: Nick Wojton
ORCHARD PARK – The Buffalo Bills will face the Jacksonville Jaguars in their first postseason game in 17 seasons and highlighting the game will be a number of former Bills suiting up for the opponent.
However, none will be highlighted brighter than the one who will be decked out in Jags apparel while roaming the home sideline in Jacksonville head coach and former Buffalo head coach Doug Marrone.
Marrone, who first joined the Jags (10-6) as their offensive line coach in 2015 before being promoted, once walked away from a head coaching job. That was with Buffalo following the 2014 season. Due to a contract clause, after a change in ownership he could walk away with the final $4 million on his contract.
When new owners Terry and Kim Pegula bought the franchise following the death of team founder Ralph Wilson Jr., Marrone flexed that clause. It appeared Marrone would land a head coaching gig soon after, but that was not the case.
On Wednesday, Marrone spoke with members of the western New York media for the first time since becoming the Jags’ bench boss.
Despite leaving the organization in a manner which former running back and fan favorite Fred Jackson described as a “punch in the stomach,” Marrone looked back on his time in Buffalo fondly.
Marrone said he had “no issues” with the organization while adding he’s happy for the fan base.
For Marrone’s entire chat with the WNY media, here’s the \transcript of the conversation below:
Q: Are you excited about coaching against the Bills?
I’m just excited about coaching our team.
Q: What are your fondest memories of coaching in Buffalo?
Yeah, I mean, I had no issues. It was three years ago and, you know, all good memories. I’m happy for them, I’m happy for the fans. They’ve earned the right to be there in the playoffs. At the moment, I’m focused on our team and our fans and getting our team ready to play a good football team.
Q: There are a lot of Bills fans up here that think you quit on the team. Does that bother you at all?
No, I’ve moved on from that. Like I said before, it’s been a while ago. They’re where they want to be and where and I’m where I want to be and we’re getting our team ready. I’m focused on my team and this game. That’s really where all my focus is. My focus is not about, you know, what’s gone on in my past, whether it be Buffalo, or Syracuse, or New Orleans, or the New York Jets or where ever I may have been.
Q: What are your plans in terms of approaching Terry and Kim Pegula before this game?
What do you mean what are my plans when I see them? I see them when I go to the owners’ meetings and I have no ill feelings and I’m happy for them.
Q: What have your conversations with them been over the past couple of years?
The only things have really been greetings and things of that nature. I don’t really have much contact with them outside of the owners’ meetings.
Q: Doug, in your season in Buffalo Preston Brown was a rookie and four years later he’s leading the league in tackles. Just how much have you seen his game develop?
I’ve only seen him from this year and I think he’s done a great job. He’s made a lot of plays, he’s a three-down linebacker, he can play the run, he can play the pass, he can cover, he can make plays sideline-to-sideline. It’s going to be a challenge for us to make sure we know where he is.
Q: Does it bother you at all that you’re kind of… public enemy number one here this week?
I don’t think that’s the case. I think their team is playing against our team. I don’t view it like that.
Q: Do you fear them being such a big underdog? Does that make them more dangerous in your eyes?
No, they’re very dangerous in our eyes no matter what people on the outside say. They’re not coaches, they’re not game planning, they’re not watching film. We are. They’re a very good football team. They’ve earned the right to be in this playoff like we have and we have to be able to play well.
Q: Does Marcell Dareus’ role become bigger since he knows the Bills?
No I think he’s trying to get, really, in track with our system and what we’re doing. He’s been playing better the longer he’s been here and that’s just because he’s becoming more comfortable with what we do. Again, we don’t really rely on a lot of players, we rely on the film that we watch as coaches to see what’s going on, on the field.
Q: How much influence did you have in acquiring Marcell?
I’m not, well, I was a part of it, I mean, you know? Basically they came to me. Coach Coughlin, David Caldwell, they said ‘hey listen, this guy could be available. What’s your thoughts on it?’ And I was good. I said let’s go.
Q: You’re first or second in sacks and Tyrod Taylor is one of most sacked quarterbacks in the league. Is that a good matchup for you?
He’s dangerous. He’s dangerous in a lot of ways. I said it today to our press that a lot of people talk about him being a runner and elusive but I think he’s done a good job throwing the football. He throws as good of a deep ball as we’ve seen all year. He can extend plays, he can run, it’s a great challenge for our guys to go against a player like him.
Q: One of the Bills said Tom Coughlin’s fingerprints are all over your operation and was giving him more credit, are you sensitive to that notion?
No, I just want to win. I don’t really care who gets the credit.