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Doug Marrone, furious after another fight, has Bills run a lap during final camp practice


PITTSFORD -- Another scuffle during today's final practice of training camp at St. John Fisher College pushed Buffalo Bills coach Doug Marrone to his breaking point.

Receiver Marquise Goodwin and cornerback Sam Miller went facemask to facemask after competing for a throw, then Marrone stopped practice after the next play. There didn't appear to be any punches thrown, but the coach was clearly fed up with something he saw or heard on the field.

"Get your (expletive) together," he screamed at the team as he ordered them to line up on the sideline to run a sprint.

The coach then turned his attention to defensive end Jerry Hughes, telling him "you don't have to play on this team," as Hughes' teammates implored him to step away from the confrontation.

In speaking with reporters after practice, Marrone denied that he was talking directly to Hughes.

"No, that's directed to anyone that doesn't want to be a part of the team," he said.

Shortly after practice wrapped up, Marrone pulled Hughes out of the defensive line's huddle for a conversation.

"I told Jerry that I love the way he practices and I love the way he plays special teams -- how he goes about it," Marrone said. "We've got to get some other guys who are starters to do that, too. That was my conversation with him."

Marrone made it clear after Wednesday's workout that he's tired of the fighting among teammates.

"It’s not part of the game," he said then. "Therefore, I don't want to speak about it. It hurts the integrity of our game the more we talk about it. That’s how I feel about fighting."

So why did he have to deal with it a day later?

"Lack of respect," the coach said.

Respect for the game, respect for coaches or respect for other players, Marrone was asked.

"All. Check one, check two and check three," he said.

Marrone then said he'd "handle it myself, personally," when asked how he'd go about changing that.

"Guys I'm going to say it again, and I'm not going to answer another question," he said. "We're responsible for the integrity of the game. Can you figure it out? Figure it out. We're responsible for the integrity of the game. There is no use for fighting in the game of football. Period. End of discussion.  Move on."


  • WillMartin

    There has to be consequences. There were no individual punishments for yesterdays fights, so it happened again.

  • glassdragon

    This may be a good thing. One thing that was identified by Steve Tasker and Jim Kelly is accountability and toughness.

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Vic Carucci returned to The Buffalo News as a Bills beat reporter in September. Carucci covered the Bills for 17 years before joining 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.