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Marrone Trying for Sea Change With Bills - 11/11/13

Doug Marrone is trying to create a sea change in Orchard Park.  The Bills coach is attempting to make a team and a franchise no longer be weighed down by a decade plus of incompetence and losing mentality  He's trying to raise expectations to the point where they expect to win games like Sunday against the Ravens.  His players are already buying in. Their competitive nature and hard work during the week leads to that self confidence. The fans and media will and should take a lot longer to convince and rightfully so, but the appear to be headed in the right direction

Marrone stands in front of the media after games and talks about high expectations.  He says it when his team wins and when they lose.  In week three they went to the Jets and imploded against a division opponent in a game where his prized rookie quarterback was awful  But Marrone stayed with his message of high expectations and said they would move forward. Leading up to a daunting matchup against the Super Bowl champs Marrone was asked about his depleted secondary. His message to the media was that he was not going to whine and complain and say the sky is falling. His point was that it would send the wrong message to his players.  How did those backup players respond?  You saw it Sunday with the upset of the Ravens.

Marrone is still learning the game management part of the job. On Sunday he could have potentially been burned when he failed to call a timeout with 30 seconds left in the first half . He allowed John Harbaugh to run the clock down to one snap and try a potential Hail Mary pass at the break with no worry of giving the Bills the ball back. Sure its a long shot for the Ravens but you can't give them that chance.  But if we've learned anything about the Bills rookie coach is that he lives for details and he will go back and analyze his mistakes and correct them for the next time. Yes he holds himself to very high expectations too.

There is no more true statement in pro football than to say the NFL is a week to week league.  The win over the Ravens is great for the Bills but it does not point a point on the board Thursday in Cleveland. Marrone's message is getting through to the players already who talked Sunday night about a quick celebration and then getting right back to work.  It will take longer for many fans and media to buy in. There has been no sea change yet with the Bills. But a month into the season you can feel the wind blowing in Buffalo and right now it feels like it's going in the right direction

Mike Catalana


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