- Mike Rodak, ESPN Staff Writer
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Buffalo Bills coach Doug Marrone generated discussion last week when he said that helping troubled players was more important to him than winning.
"When I make decisions to not play people, bench him and all that other stuff, I do it because winning -- don't get me wrong my job is to win and winning is important -- but it's not as important as trying to help somebody," he said. "I'd rather lose games and do the right thing in my mind, not everybody else's mind, not the media's mind and not the public opinion's mind."
His comments, however, sparked debate about what Marrone's priorities are as head coach, and he further addressed the situation to Adam Schein of Sirius XM Mad Dog radio on Thursday.
"I never wanted to be that guy that exploited players just to win. And I made that statement early in the week and I don't know if a lot of people understood it, but that's truly what it is," he said. "At the end of the day -- you know, you do these shows, and people talk to you and people ask for your autograph and everything like that –-- but when it is all said and done with and it is over, you have to look in the mirror and say, 'Hey, I lived my life. Did I do the right thing?'
"Like I said, I've gotta help these players to be better men, to be better husbands, I just believe in that. And I've got to win at the same time and you're right, that balance is difficult. But it is what I do. I enjoy it."
Marrone said he is "heavily involved" in working with Dareus but hasn't specified what Dareus is doing as he sits out the remainder of organized team activities.
Asked by Schein if Dareus "gets it" as an NFL player, Marrone said the jury is still out on that question.
"That's a good question. That's a good question, whether he gets it or not," Marrone said. "You say all the right things but then your actions are going to speak louder than your words. We all understand that obviously, and we're aware, he's made some poor decisions lately. I'm working with him. He's dealing with stuff, too. I'm not making him out to be the victim, you know what I'm saying, Adam?"
11mField Yates and Rich Cimini