Tuesday, August 20, 2013
Doug Marrone frustrated by Bills' penalties
By Mike Rodak
After being flagged nine times in their preseason opener, penalties became an even bigger problem for the Buffalo Bills in last Friday's win over the Minnesota Vikings.
Called for 14 accepted penalties in that game, the Bills have been penalized 23 times through two preseason games, the most of any NFL team.
While it's not a distinction the Bills want, head coach Doug Marrone stressed after Friday's game that all penalties aren't created equally. In some cases, flags thrown for over-aggressive play can be tolerated, he said.
"I think people tend to look at the number at the end of the game. I tend to cut them all out and evaluate them all," Marrone said. "Was this forced by us just being aggressive? Is it a penalty forced on us not being focused? I think you have to manage those as a coach because you can overmanage a situation and lose that aggressiveness in a player."
Several of the Bills' penalties through two games fall into that category. First-year defensive backs Nickell Robey (offside, defensive pass interference), Jumal Rolle (holding, twice), and Dominique Ellis (illegal block above the waist, twice) have all been flagged multiple times this preseason, and their infractions can be attributed to their inexperience.
But some flags, like a holding penalty by guard Colin Brown in the red zone, have come at critical times.
"When we work on those drills and we work on those situations we have to constantly remind ourselves of that and really up our focus because we don’t want any penalties down there [in the red zone], and they hurt," Marrone said.
Regardless of the situation, some other penalties have been inexcusable: Second-year cornerback Ron Brooks was called for taunting in the preseason opener, while fourth-year receiver Marcus Easley was penalized for unsportsmanlike conduct against the Vikings.
"I get very upset; the players know I get very upset, with more of the unforced errors," Marrone said. "Meaning that, not trying to make a play through a ball, but jumping offside and things like that. Those are things you can truly control and I think that’s where I would use the word frustration."