Inside The Bills

Marrone to change the way he challenges

Posted by Chris Brown on October 27, 2013 – 11:26 pm

Doug Marrone has shown in his short time as Bills head coach that he’s not afraid to change something if it isn’t working. After four failed coach’s challenges he’s already decided he’s changing the process by which he determines whether he’ll throw his red flag on a play or not.

At the conclusion of Sunday’s loss at New Orleans, Marrone pointed the finger at himself when it came to his unsuccessful coach’s challenges as he went 0-for-2 in the game against the Saints.

“I’m going to change the process of our challenges,” said Marrone. “Obviously we haven’t been successful with that so if we keep it the same how do I expect it to change. I need to do a better job of that.”

Marrone challenged whether Fred Jackson crossed the plane of the end zone on a second down carry from the two-yard line. Replays were inconclusive, which likely led to the call on the field being upheld. The second challenge was to see if Pierre Thomas’ knee was down before he reached the first down marker on a 3rd-and-1 carry on the next series from scrimmage in the fourth quarter. That play was also upheld.

When asked for details on how he intends to change his challenge decision process, Marrone was clearly in the planning stages right after the game.

“I’ve got to change the process of that. I think I’m 0-for-4. I’ve just got to change the way we do that and that’s me,” Marrone said. “That’s what I mean when I say everybody has to get better. I’ve got to do a better job of changing whatever I have to do to make sure when we challenge we don’t lose those timeouts. That’s my fault period. I’m the head coach.”

Marrone does have an assistant in the coach’s booth that reviews the TV monitor feed of the game for replay looks to help determine if a play should be challenged. Based on how Marrone said Sunday that he heard the players say Fred Jackson was in on his goal line carry, you can imagine the tightrope a head coach has to walk there. You want to support your players and challenge the call, but you also don’t want to lose a timeout in a game where you’re behind on the scoreboard and might need it later in the game.


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