Marrone Excited for Home Opener

NFL Buffalo
Doug Marrone_-6877741077549264929
Q: Injuries?
A: Scott Berchtold : Did not participate in practice – Lee Smith with a toe, Keith Rivers with a groin. Limited Practice – [Jonathan] Meeks with the neck, Aaron Williams with the head. He’s going through the same protocol with the concussion-like symptoms. Full participation – [Stephon] Gilmore with a groin and Sammy [Watkins] with ribs.

Q: Have you ever met Terry Pegula? Do you know him at all?
A: No, I don’t.

Q: How closely did you follow that?
A: Not very close at all, but obviously it’s an exciting time for all of us. I think it gives us an opportunity to say thanks to Mr. Wilson for what he has done for the region, the organization, the fans and the league. I think the person that might get lost in this, I know her personally. I want to thank Mary Wilson. She’s been outstanding. I can only imagine what she’s going through with the emotion. She’s been great with me and great with the coaches. It’s really been outstanding. As far as the Pegula family acquiring the team, you have to be excited. They’re great advocates toward the region. It’s great for our organization and it’s great for our fans. It’s an exciting time and people should be excited, as they are.

Q: Can a Syracuse guy [Marrone] and Penn State guy [Terry Pegula] get along?
A: Absolutely.

Q: Is there any uneasiness about having a new guy come in and evaluate everything?
A: Oh, absolutely. That happens. It’s one that really, for us, is the same thing. We’ve got to go on the field and win. From the standpoint of players and coaches, which I can speak for, that’s how we feel. We need to go on that field and win for ownership and for the organization, but more importantly, for the region and the fans.

Q: What are your thoughts on the type of environment there will be at the game on Sunday?
A: I think it’ll be great. That’s going to be great, there’s no doubt about it. I would be ignorant to say I didn’t see it during training camp, you guys were all there, [the fans] with the signs and everything that was going on. It’s just a great thing. It really is.

Q: How excited are you for Sunday?
A: I’m fired up for Sunday. We’ve got a great challenge ahead of us. I don’t know how many of you all were able to look at the film from Miami’s last game. They played outstanding and they’re coming up here and they’re going to be ready to play. There are some challenges for us that we’ve got to be ready for. We came back to work today and had a good day of practice. It’s going to be a tough challenge for us.

Q: Has the sale been a topic of conversation among players.
A: No, it hasn’t. Russ [Brandon] addressed that. First, he addressed it to the organization early on and then, the other day, he addressed the team on the situation. He’s handled that. I think the players are in the right mindset, where their minds have been on the beginning of the season and going and playing Chicago. Right now it’s obviously on Miami, but I don’t want to speak for them on that situation.

Q: Do you think they’ll feed off the atmosphere on Sunday?
A: I think it’s going to be awesome. I really do. Our fans were great for us last year. They’ve been a big difference. To get a stadium packed with our fans that are feeling good coming off of a win, we’ve got to be able to use that to our advantage. That’s on us. I’m sure they’ll come up in here and break that, like every team does. It’ll be a battle early on in this game.

Q: There seems to be a karma change with the win, the Pegula ownership and Jim Kelly being cancer free.
A: Let’s hope that extends for about 22 weeks. I’d appreciate that.

Q: What kind of challenges do the Dolphins pose offensively?
A: The running game, obviously. They’ve run the ball extremely well. They have excellent perimeter players. They can get the ball deep, as well as get the ball short in space. They make you defend the whole field, so it’s going to be a challenge for us to have all 11 guys to play good, disciplined football. That’s what they’re going to do.

Q: There was a bend but don’t break quality to your defense on Sunday. Is that an indication of what things will be like under Jim Schwartz?
A: One of the things, to go back to last week prior to the game, what we saw on tape was people that did pressure and blitz Chicago weren’t able to get there. For us, we weren’t going to do that much in the plan because we’d exposing our secondary and not really doing anything. We wouldn’t be getting to the quarterback. I think week-to-week it depends on what we see to what we do. There’s no doubt we gave up a lot of yards, but we didn’t give up the touchdowns to a team that’s one of the top scoring teams in the NFL.

Q: Has Corey Graham’s play warranted him more playing time, even if Stephon Gilmore is healthy?
A: We had a plan beforehand of what we wanted to do back there. He played outstanding. We need Stephon to play well and we need Leodis [McKelvin] to play well. It’s a long season. When you have three quality corners like that we can work it to our advantage and we have to be smart about that.

Q: How about Colton Schmidt’s performance on Sunday in a pressure situation?
A: Yeah, pressure situation, hostile environment. You know that you’re out there and, I don’t want to say auditioning, but it’s a tough deal. If he goes in there and doesn’t punt well, who knows what could happen. I give him a lot of credit. He worked hard all week. I said it after the game. Our rookie punter against their rookie punter would be one of the keys. Field position-wise, we won that battle and he did his part. I was happy for him. Not knowing him that well or that long, I’m sure he’s like everyone else in this league that’s put a lot of time in to becoming a good player.

Q: How much more is the players’ focused intensified because of the Dolphins performance last week?
A: I would just say that I would hope we would have that focus because it’s a division game. It’s the first division game for us and the second one for them. For us it’s a big game, it’s a division game and it’s our first game at home.

Q: What do you make of what Knowshon Moreno has done for their offense?
A: I think he’s been a catalyst for them. You see it on film. [He’s] running extremely hard, they’re blocking very well for him, he’s making the tough yards, making people miss, breaking tackles. It looks like they can feed off that.

Q: How much will this week reveal about the progress of the offensive line?
A: I think it will reveal a lot. This will be a great challenge. These guys up front can flat out play. They’ve got unbelievable pass rushers on the outside, guys that have speed and power. Inside they are strong. They toss people around, they knock people back. They can rotate a couple players in there. It’ll show a lot. We have to be ready to go on every single play or you can be embarrassed out there by this defense.

Q: Is the expectation that Stephon Gilmore should be ready for the game?
A: Yeah, he was practicing today and he was cleared. He just said he couldn’t go last week. I think it’s tough. It’s his call on how he feels. He can probably better answer that question than I can.

Q: How about Keith Rivers?
A: I think we’re going to keep it day-to-day and keep watching him to see how it progresses.

Q: If Keith can’t go, would it be Ty Powell or Preston Brown that replaces him?
A: Yeah, it would probably be. It’s one of those guys. They both played last week, so at least we don’t have the problem of being on the field for the first time. Nigel [Bradham] is also coming back, which is a big help to us.

Q: How did you feel about the way Preston Brown played today?
A: I think he played well. The first game for those young guys getting in there, I don’t think it could be much tougher. You go to Chicago and you’re playing on the road. I thought he did a nice job. Obviously, Seantrel [Henderson] overall did a nice job. We’re expecting a really big jump form those guys from the first game to now. I think that’s where you see the biggest jump, especially in the younger players.

Q: How encouraging was it for your defense to still coming away with three turnovers even though you weren’t pressuring Jay Cutler like the unit did last year?
A: We knew that we had to get around and make him move a little bit, which is what we did. We might not have had the number of sacks or the number of hit, but we made him move around. That’s what showed up when Kyle Williams had the interception. We were able to flush him out of the pocket. We were able to move him just a little bit, at times where he was able to miss the throws. In the same regard, we were able to cover those guys for an amount of time where we were able to break it up. That stuff goes hand-in-hand, but the whole thing is that we just need to get better every week and we’ve got a big challenge coming up this week.

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