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Doug Marrone: Bills run game must 'impose will' on defenses

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INDIANAPOLIS -- The Buffalo Bills ranked second in rushing last year.

Doug Marrone wasn't satisfied with that.

"We ran the ball well, but I consider running the ball well is when you want to run it you can impose your will and run it," Marrone said today outside Lucas Oil Stadium, where he's attending the NFL scouting combine.

"There were times we've gotten stopped. We'll have to do a better job there."

The Bills averaged 144.2 rushing yards a game behind Fred Jackson and C.J. Spiller. Only the Philadelphia Eagles gained more.

But the Bills averaged 4.2 yards a carry, tied for 14th.

The Bills ran 25 times in third-and-1 situations and converted 19 of them. They ran eight times on third-and-2 or third-and-3 but moved the chains only three times, averaging 2 yards a carry.

The Bills need help, particularly at left guard and right tackle. They could add a right tackle with the ninth overall draft choice.

Texas A&M tackle Jake Matthews is a possibility. Jacksonville Jaguars General Manager Dave Caldwell, a St. Francis grad, compared Matthews to Luke Joeckel, the second overall pick last year.

While talking about Buffalo's offensive line, Marrone singled out center Eric Wood and left tackle Cordy Glenn.

"Eric's close to getting himself some recognition in that position," Marrone said.

Marrone didn't mention anybody else by name.

"The other guys went out there, scrapped, played extremely hard for us," Marrone said. "We're looking forward to developing them still. There's a lot of room for improvement, even with Eric and Cordy."

  • Jeff Bloom

    I think Marrone is on to something. The passing games we see from Manning and Brady are just a fad. Investing in the power running game is the way to go.

    Just kidding, the Bills are screwed.

    • WHAT?

      I don't see anywhere an advocacy for "a power running game." Imposing your will in the running game means being able to pick up third and one or two on the ground, something most good teams are able to do, and something the Bills were bad at.

  • Millhouse

    Haven't seen the "impose your will" phrase used since the Bills had the "road grader" offensive line about 6-7 years ago.

  • christopher

    imposing your will means picking up 3rd and 2 every time and getting 6yds on 1st and10 and punching in for the td on 1st and goal from the 3 everytime

    • Jeff Bloom

      what you just said never happens - even to the best running teams

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About the reporters

Vic Carucci returned to The Buffalo News as a Bills beat reporter in September. Carucci covered the Bills for 17 years before joining NFL.com as a columnist in 1999. Prior to rejoining The News, he spent three years as a senior editor for the Cleveland Browns.

Tim Graham returned to The Buffalo News in 2011 after covering the NFL for three years at ESPN and for one year at the Palm Beach Post. Before that, the Cleveland native spent seven seasons on the Buffalo Sabres beat for The News and was president of the Boxing Writers Association of America.

Jay Skurski joined The News in January 2009. The Lewiston native attended St. Francis High School before graduating from the University of South Florida.