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S/R Staff

Older AFCE

Marrone says he won’t judge players on past

Marrone says he won’t judge players on past
S/R Staff
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Doug Marrone prefers to look at the present, not the past, when judging his players.

That’s a good thing for recently-signed quarterback Matt Leinart, who the Buffalo Bills acquired for insurance purposes given the respective injuries of rookie E.J. Manuel and veteran Kevin Kolb.

“I’m trying to look at what he is now,” the head coach said, via BuffaloBills.com. ”It’s the same thing that I do with all the players. Someone’s past history positive or negative, I want to see how he produces in what we ask him to do.

“That’s how I judge him because if you go the other way you assume or you have a vision in your mind of how the player is supposed to play and if he doesn’t you’ll think you need to get another player. I don’t think you can do that. That’s the way I’ve always done it.”

Marrone’s approach sounds good on paper, but it’s not practical in every situation. History tends to repeat itself when players fail to live up to their initial hype in the first couple seasons. If a guy doesn’t have it, he likely won’t find it half a dozen years later — at least not in today’s game. And even if he looks good in practice, what a player has done in real-life game action is much more telling of what you’re signing up for.

Leinart failed to materialize into a starting-caliber signal-caller after being drafted by the Arizona Cardinals at No. 10 overall in 2006. He’s been a backup for two different teams since.

Fortunately for the Bills, they’re only using Leinart to fill out the depth chart in case of emergency. But if Marrone throws away every player’s past when assessing them, he’ll waste a lot of time on tryouts during his head coaching tenure.
By NICK ST. DENIS
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