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Doug Marrone Conference Call Transcript: 'We're doing what we have to do to try to win'

Buffalo Bills Head Coach Doug Marrone addresses the New England media during his conference call on Wednesday, October 8, 2014.

Q:This year it seems like you guys have slowed down the pace of the offense. How has that transition gone?

A:It's gone well. We had the ability. We did it last year at the end of the year. We slowed it down. We have the ability to go fast and slow. We just look at it from game-to-game and situations and when we want to speed it up and when we want to slow it down. We're doing what we have to do to try to win.

Q:How has the sale of the team affected you guys?

A:I don't know if it affected the day-to-day operations, as far as us trying to prepare to win football games or the players trying to win football games. There's no doubt there's a sense of excitement, obviously not just here for the team, but for the region. Having Terry and Kim purchase the team and them being so invested in the region, I think it was very important for everybody. I think, from that standpoint, everyone is extremely excited about that.

Q:What has it been like to work with Brandon Spikes?

A:It's been good. He's really done a good job. He's been here throughout the whole offseason and has worked extremely hard. He really showed a lot of really good leadership ability. Obviously, the team voted for him as a captain. I think he's come in and he's performed well for us. We've been very pleased for him.

Q:How do you deal with a player who has an oversized personality like Brandon?

A:I don't see him as an outsized personality. Maybe I have one too, but I don't know what that means. He's been great since he's been here.


Q: **How have you used him?

A:I think we've used him situationally; where we've wanted him in our matchups and wherever he gives us the best chance to win.

Q:How's the transition at defensive coordinator been for you guys?

A:It's been going very well. Jim [Schwartz] is a great communicator and has done a great job with the coaches on the defensive side of the football and, obviously, the players. I think they play very hard for him and understand what we're trying to get accomplished. I think, defensively, they're doing a great job.

Q:What would you attribute the improvement in the rushing defense to?

A:Communication, understanding from the players and the fact that we have good players on defense.

Q:What has Pepper Johnson brought to your staff?

A:He's done a very good job coaching the defensive line, being with those players from a technical standpoint, communicating to help our defense. I think he's been good for some of the younger players that we have that are coming into this league. I think we have three coaches on our staff that played over ten years in this league and he's really an asset to the young guys on learning what it means to be a pro.

Q:How much have you tapped Pepper's experience with the Patriots system?

A:Everybody wants to win. I think I look at it more for what's on tape. Obviously, I was with New York for four years and obviously we played against them twice a year. I think you rely on those experiences, but more importantly, you rely on what you're seeing on the film. Making good decisions of putting your players in the best position where you have a chance to win.


Q: **What are your impressions of Tim Wright?

A:I think he's doing an outstanding job. He's athletic and you can get him the football vertically. He's really coming on strong and he'll be a good challenge for us on how we want to matchup and how we want to cover it.

Q:Is it unpredictable to figure out how Darrelle Revis will be deployed?

A:Obviously, Darrelle Revis might be one of the best ever or the best ever, but he's definitely one of the best. It'll be a great challenge. Someone asked me the same question today. We're trying to win and they have a bunch of good players on defense, so it'll be a great test for us to see where our young receivers going against the best in the league at corner. That's how I look at it. I'm not strategically trying to do anything different. We'll just see how we go out there and play.

Q:You're still going to do everything you planned to do?

A:Honestly, I'm not going to say. I've gone into games before and said, 'Wherever he is, we're not throwing.' I'm not going to lie to you from that standpoint, but I'm not going to stand here and say, 'That's what we're doing in this game.'

Q:You have gone into games that way?

A:I address it as, 'Hey, this is who we are. We're 3-2, we're playing a divisional opponent in a very important divisional game.' Really that's the way I addressed it with the team today. I think when you start putting too much on a lot of things; it can hurt you somewhere down the road. We're trying to build ourselves into a team. We're trying to put back-to-back wins together and now it happens to be a divisional opponent. It's going to be at home, which we're excited about. We know the fans will be extremely excited. They can play a big role in this game. I really believe in them helping us because they've done it before. We're going to need everybody. We need to go out there and play well and we need our fans to go out there and get some stuff done for us too.

Q:What are your expectations for Sammy Watkins lining up against Darrelle Revis?

A:Absolutely. Yeah. In the past when we've played against some cover corners. When Champ Bailey was in his prime and players like that. Even Revis when he was with Tampa. There are some situations where we go in and say, 'Listen, we're not throwing over there.'

Q:Does Sammy remind you of any of the upper-echelon receivers in the league right now?

A:We're just trying to have him be the best that he can be; the best that Sammy Watkins can be. I think it's too early, and I've said this before, it's too early to put him in a category. The one thing about this league is that you have to go out and earn it every game, every play against everyone in this league. He hasn't played in many games.

Q:It seems like Marcell Dareus has taken a big step this year. Is that accurate?

A:No. The only reason why I say that is that he played the Pro Bowl last year and played extremely well for us. He's playing extremely well for us again this year, which is what's expected of him. He's done a fine job.

Q:Has he been more consistent?

A:From a playing standpoint? He's always been a good football player. I've been saying it all year, even this year that he's been going under the radar. He's been playing well and I think, and I don't want to speak for you, is what you're saying is about the off-field stuff. He's been outstanding with the off-field stuff and doing everything he possibly can. He's just doing everything right and being a pro. As far as his play, it's never been about his play.

Q:How has the team responded to the change in quarterbacks?

A:I don't know. I think you have to ask them.

Q:What have you liked about Kyle Orton so far?

A:There are things that we need to improve on. There are things that he did well. I just think it's his progress. He hasn't played in a while and we're just going to keep working with him.

Q:It seemed like a dramatic move to make him the starter. Would you agree with that?

A:I just make the decisions based on what I think is best to win. Whatever I have to do for us to win football games I'll do.

Q:What encouraged you in Kyle's performance in practice to make that switch?

A:Obviously, we did a lot of good things in practice. We saw the throws he was making and we were looking to put him in there. We told him that that, 'Hey, it's not all on you. We don't want you to go out there and win the game for us. We just want you to make the throws that you should make.'

Q:What is the challenge to keeping your team even-keeled heading into this game?

A:We're not worried about that. We know what the focus is. The focus is on winning a game. We can't focus on the outside stuff. We've been talking to our players about that all year, knowing that there have been a lot of things going on around us that can snap that focus. We have to be focused. We're playing a divisional opponent and it's an important game for the division.

Q:Do you feel like your team is better prepared to respond to what the message is?

A:I think so, because of the leadership of the team. I think we have some good leaders on this team that are doing a very good job.

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