Buffalo Bills head coach Doug Marrone went off on his players on Thursday following a series of fights and shoving matches during practice. After Wednesday’s practice had ended with a spirited fight, Marrone was in no mood to tolerate unnecessary scuffles.
When things got heated on Thursday, Marrone lined his players up like high schoolers and made them run sprints. When defensive end Jerry Hughes talked back to Marrone, the head coach started slinging profanity that appeared to be directed toward the fifth year veteran.
“Why can’t you handle it as players?” Marrone yelled while motioning toward the locker room, according to ESPN.com. “Do you want to play on this team?”
Marrone, who spent some time chatting with Hughes after practice, said his rant was not directed at one player in particular.
“That’s directed at anyone who doesn’t want to be part of the team,” he explained. “I told Jerry that I love the way he practices and I love the way he plays special teams and how he goes about it. And we’ve got to get some other guys who are starters to do that.”
Fights are very common for NFL teams during training camp, but the Bills seem to have had quite a few this offseason. On Wednesday, rookie defensive end Bryan Johnson ripped off offensive lineman Eric Wood’s helmet and several veterans jumped in to defend Wood. The center ended up with a cut on his nose.
“Figure it out. We’re responsible for the integrity of the game,” Marrone said. “There is no use for fighting in the game of football. Period. End of discussion.”
Chicago Bears tight end Martellus Bennett was suspended earlier this month for slamming a rookie down during practice, so, again, this stuff is not exclusive to the Bills. That said, we usually don’t coaches handle the disciplinary action in front of the media. Marrone had obviously seen enough.