Marrone likes progress Bills have shown

The Sports Xchange
The SportsXchange

ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. -- The Bills wrapped up their offseason with a three-day mandatory minicamp that concluded Thursday. They won't convene as a full team again until July 28 at St. John Fisher College in Rochester, N.Y. First-year coach Doug Marrone said "phase one" of his plan involved earning the trust of the team.
"Really, building a relationship, making sure that we're all part of one team was important, that there wasn't any separation," he said. "I think we were able to do that. I'm very pleased with the amount of work that we've gotten done. We've reached our goal as far as what we wanted to get in. We've reached our goal as far as teaching the players what our tempo is, how we want to practice.
"They've responded in a professional way, which is greatly appreciated by myself and the staff. We're excited and that's how it should be. We're leaving here knowing that we have a lot of hard work ahead of us, but it's also hard work that we're looking forward to."
Veteran wide receiver Stevie Johnson said Buffalo's new up-tempo offense will be easier to operate in games because practices under new coordinator Nate Hackett are so intense.
"Even in meetings, he's super fast when he's speaking," Johnson said. "On the field, we're getting plays off (in) six, seven, eight seconds. Practices are usually harder than games and it's getting us ready for that."
The Buffalo defense also preached an aggressive style in minicamp. During one stretch of team drills, the defense blitzed on four consecutive occasions.
"The biggest thing is just showing what our mentality is and what we'll be doing," defensive end Mario Williams said. "We won't be sitting back and waiting, we're going to make the offense play off us."

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