Buffalo Bills coach Doug Marrone has done some re-decorating in the team’s field house, sending the players some messages about the history of the franchise.
The team has four banners hanging at one end of the field house recognizing each of the four Super Bowl appearances. There are two big banners at the other end recognizing the two AFL championships. There also are a couple of 20-foot-tall banners of the Vince Lombardi Trophy hanging behind each of the goal posts.
And there are some banners with the message: “Don’t confuse effort with results.” That’s a message reminiscent of one of Bill Parcells’ favorite lines: There are no medals for trying.
All of those were on display Tuesday as the team convened in Orchard Park for the start of offseason conditioning workouts.
Marrone on his new banners:
“Obviously we’ve made some changes. Obviously, there was messaging around prior that we’ve just taken down. We’re willing to build that messaging as we work together with the players. One thing about messaging and one thing about coaching is that everyone from an individual standpoint has to come from within. Just because someone tells you to do something doesn’t necessarily mean you’re going to do it with the passion and the energy you need to be successful. So working with the players, build the trust in them, build the organization together, build a team together is what I’m talking about. Once I get to know the players more and they get to know me better, then I think messaging and the behavior changes. I’m excited. I told them that today. I said I hope you’re just as excited as I am.”
Said running back C.J. Spiller: “You see the signs up, you see the Super Bowl trophies up. You see the past and the tradition that this organization has and I think that should be a reminder to everyone that steps in this building, what the expectations are of winning AFC Championships and Super Bowls.”
Marrone on his initial message to the players:
“The first thing you want to do is you want to create a personal type of effect. A lot of them can go online and figure out about me, the same way I can go on line and figure out about them.”
“I just tried to tell them, hey, I was born and raised here. This is what I believe in. This is what’s important. I love the game of football and respect the game more than anything else. And I’m looking forward to working with them, how honored I am to be up in front of them to be coaching this football team and this organization, and that I hope through our time together as we build this, that they’ll have the same type of respect for me.”
“He’s a guy with a tough background, a Bronx background, and he’s gonna hold us accountable just like he holds himself accountable, and I like that in a coach,” said center Eric Wood.
The Bills passed out team-issued iPads to every player upon arrival at One Bills Drive. The playbook and weekly game plans will be on the tablets this year. Last year players who had their own iPads could get the game plan on their tablets. Had Chan Gailey stayed as head coach, he also was planning on giving each player an iPad for the playbook. Improved high-definition video supplied by the league is making it better this year for all teams to use the tablets.
“A few teams have been doing it already,” Wood said. “We have our playbooks on the iPads now. It’s a little more cutting edge I guess around One Bills Drive. … I like it. It’ll make it really convenient for us to have everything in tablet size instead of a playbook that’s 6 inches thick.”
“We had that technology last year with our smart phones and our iPads ourselves,” Wood said. “This year they have it on their iPads for us. They can import plays to you, they can write you a note and say check this out before you come into the building tomorrow. You can watch practice before you come in. Last year I almost wish we didn’t have the technology, because knowing that I had the game film on my iPad I’d never go to sleep without watching the game. All you’re thinking about is, ‘I wonder what happened on that play?’ So it’s almost daunting at times knowing you have the film right there next to you. But it definitely makes it really convenient. It allows you to come in prepared each day.”
Quarterback Kevin Kolb, who agreed to terms on a two-year deal with the Bills over the weekend, hasn’t arrived to sign the contract. Marrone, therefore, declined to comment on his addition.
“I can’t really say anything until it becomes official,” the coach said.
The Bills did officially announce the re-signing of running back Tashard Choice. Tight end Dorin Dickerson, whose contract had run out, accepted his one-year tender offer and signed a contract.
The Bills had three draft prospects in for visits. They were Florida State quarterback E.J. Manuel, Richmond strong safety Cooper Taylor and McNeese State free safety Malcolm Bronson. Each team is allowed to bring in 30 draft prospects for visits. … The Bills are one of three teams scheduled to visit at Syracuse this week with Orange quarterback Ryan Nassib. Cleveland and Jacksonville are the others.