PITTSFORD, N.Y. (WKTV) - The Bills and their fans are getting ready for the upcoming season at St. John Fisher College and there's a lot of excitement as former Syracuse head coach Doug Marrone takes the reigns this season. After four years at SU, where he led the Orange to a pair of Pinstripe Bowl wins, Marrone and his staff are hoping to snap the NFL's longest current playoff drought, at 13 seasons.
The Bills put on their pads for the first time in training camp Tuesday, but had to deal with a few distractions. The first was an injury to defensive end Mario Williams that kept him out of practice and the second was a scuffle during practice between rookie receiver Robert Woods and defensive back Crezdon Butler.
But the team is moving forward from both and is excited to have Marrone and his staff running the show.
"I love it," exclaimed receiver Stevie Johnson. "It's a whole new energy, which is obvious. They want guys to compete, to talk and get the best out of them. I like that. They want us to make plays and have fun, what else could you want, with a coaching staff that tells you to go out there and have fun, handle business."
"He's up front with you, he wants you to do your job," added running back C.J. Spiller.. "You come out here and he gets you off the field. That's what he stresses and that's what you want... he wants to score a lot of points, he wants to go fast. That all feeds down to the players."
Marrone and company have a lot of work to do to get this team ready for the opening of the season, with choosing a starting quarterback the first order of business. Veteran Kevin Kolb will be challenged by first round draft pick E.J. Manuel for that job. But also high on the to do list is getting the fans excited, which starts at camp.
"We appreciate the patience of the fans," said Marrone. "We have night practices, afternoon practices, make sure to take care of them. I appreciate the people who came out here today. I remember as a young kid growing up, waking up with my dad early in the morning watching training camps and they've always been a good experience."
But while there may be a lot of question marks as the Bills continue with training camp, one thing is certain: If Marrone and his staff get their way, Buffalo will end that playoff drought this year.