Bills coach Doug Marrone hasn’t lost a game yet in the NFL (or won one), and he’s already showing a little strain with the local media.
Marrone did not care for a line of questioning about the mysterious absence of the team’s highest-paid player — defensive end Mario Williams — and fired back at a reporter who continued to ask.
Tim Graham of the Buffalo News provides the play-by-play (with video of the exchange), explaining that Marrone didn’t care for the insinuation he was withholding information about Williams’ condition.
Williams passed his physical, and dressed but didn’t participate in practice Sunday. He left Monday to get checked out, but was absent for a second straight day after sitting out with a foot injury, and Marrone said he had no update.
After some unrelated questions, more attempts to figure out where Williams was and when he’d return raised Marrone’s hackles.
“I’m going to say this. I want to say something, and then I’ll let you say your piece so we’re all on the same page,” Marrone said. “I’m a straight shooter. You could ask anyone that’s ever known me from when I was a kid. I’m shooting you straight, OK? I understand you have a job to do. I have an appreciation for it. . . .
“I get frustrated, honestly, when it gets to a point where I feel like I’ve tried to explain myself and how I handle the injuries, and I’ve answered the questions, and you keep coming at me, all right?”
Marrone then apparently challenged the reporter to call a third-down play, a bizarre request, considering said reporter does not call plays for a living and didn’t have a playbook to refer to.
While there are many fine professional reporters in Western New York, it’s no insult to suggest it’s not the most high-pressure media market in the league.
And whether Williams is hurt or not, the greater concern for the Bills is probably that the head coach they just hired is getting so rattled so early in his rookie camp.