Doug Marrone hasn't been in Buffalo for long, but the new Bills coach already has learned that the NFL media is more dogged than their college counterparts.
We found out Monday that pass rusher Mario Williams left the team Sunday to get his foot checked out. NFL.com's Ian Rapoport reported Tuesday that Williams did receive a second opinion on his foot, according to a source who spoke to him. Williams was told he needs some rest for his foot, but he "should be fine."
Before we knew that, Marrone had a testy exhange Tuesday afternoon with the Bills media. We're just going to reprint most of the session below because it's fascinating. (The video can be seen here.) Let's pick up with the second question on Williams.
Q: "Have you heard anything about Mario Williams?"
A: "I have no ... I really haven't. And, again, I apologize for that. Like I told you guys before and I said it, I have no new information from yesterday. That's the God's truth. And that's really it.
"I know and I appreciate that everyone has to ask that question. I totally get it. I really do. But I promise you I'm telling you the truth. I really have not had any notice from the doctors or anyone above me on the situation. The minute we do, I promise you we'll let it out."
Q: "Have you been made aware of what is happening with Mario?"
A: "I am aware of what's going on. It's the same as yesterday. It's still in the process."
Q: "Is he still being evaluated?"
A: "Yes, he's still being evaluated."
Q: "Do you find it odd that Mario hasn't called to tell you what's going on?"
A: "No. I mean we have a great relationship."
Following a question on another topic, The Buffalo News wrote that Marrone subsequently cut off another question on Williams.
"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.
"My answers are going to be it's the same situation as it was yesterday. For me to speculate, I never speculate until I hear from the medical staff. ... The doctors go through an evaluation process, and when they inform me, that's when I know. It's as simple as that.
"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 asked a reporter to call a third-down play.
"That's not my job," the reporter said.
"Do you know the play?" Marrone asked.
"I really couldn't tell you because I've not seen your playbook," the reporter said.
"Right, OK?" Marrone said. "I haven't talked to the doctor. I haven't seen the playbook."
The reporter still tried to ask his question.
"I'm done!" Marrone exclaimed. "I'm not answering any more questions about Mario Williams until the doctor gives me this."
The reporter still kept at the line of questioning, asking if Williams was excused by the team:
"Obviously, if we sent him to get evaluations he's been excused by the team," Marrone said. "That's not a legitimate question."
Marrone was then asked by The Buffalo News if Williams went "off campus" because the team asked him.
"My frustration is I can't answer that question when I don't have the information," Marrone said. "I tried to do a good job. I really did. I really did, guys."
Marrone then made a point to tell the reporter he had "no problems" with him. It was all professional. We believe Marrone that he's trying his best to answer the questions and give him credit for not completely losing his mind. It looks worse in print than on video, which is probably why the Bills' official transcript didn't include much of the latter portion of the back-and-forth.
Still, the awkwardness underscores the Bills' odd history with Williams. He reportedly underwent wrist surgery last season without telling the team. The Bills also were fined last year for not disclosing Williams' injury on the injury report.
Williams' foot appears to be fine, but his relationship with the organization (and media) bears watching in the coming months.