The football gods must think they’re pretty hilarious.
The Bills go to the playoffs for the first time in 18 years and who do they get?
The coach that left them and the defensive star they traded for pennies on the dollar.
It’ll be Doug Marrone, Marcell Dareus and the Jaguars on the other sideline Sunday.
Most Bills downplayed the Marrone angle Wednesday, but Richie Incognito thinks there’s a fire there that still burns.
“We’ve heard the Dougie Marrone stories, heard them all,” Incognito said. “I think it’s a little extra motivation for some of these guys. He quit on them and that rubbed some of these guys the wrong way. I hope guys use that in the right way and use it as motivation to go down there and get this win.”
Incognito noted that both the Bills and Jaguars have benefited from Marrone opting out of his Bills contract New Year’s Eve 2014. Both have now “found their footing”.
It doesn’t mean everyone is going to like Marrone or what he did.
“He made a decision for his career and his personal life and he’s got to live with that,” Incognito added.
The feeling is different about Dareus. Most of the Bills are genuinely happy he’s doing well and look forward to seeing him Sunday.
“You go somewhere else–and I just went through the same transition–you go to a different team, it’s difficult. It can be frustrating at the beginning,” Micah Hyde said. “He got down there and, obviously, playing well and on a good football. It all worked out for him.”
Dareus had a special relationship with Kyle Williams. “Of all my teammates, I haven’t poured into anybody as much as I did him.”
That doesn’t mean Williams will be going soft on Dareus Sunday, especially if he gets another chance to carry the ball.
“I facetimed with him yesterday. I told him if he’s in on goal line, he better watch out,” Williams said. “I said ‘I show no quarter,’ and he knows that. Any time that you’re around this game long enough, you’re always going to have friends that move on, coaches that move on. It’ll be special to see him. I wish him enough luck to get second place on Sunday.”
Dareus isn’t the only recently departed Bill to still be playing this week. Sammy Watkins, Robert Woods, Kevon Seymour, Reggie Ragland and Ronald Darby were all traded by the Bills this season to teams who made the postseason.
“I think it’s fun,” Preston Brown said. “It seems like everybody we traded is going to the playoffs. Now that we’re in the playoffs, it makes you feel a lot better. We can actually go up against those guys and they can’t say nothing to us.”
Eric Wood told a story about Dareus’ generosity. The big defensive tackled had missed one of Wood’s charity event.
The next day, Dareus walked up to Wood in the locker and apologized because he had a family event.
And then he handed Wood a check.
“That’s just the type of guy he was,” Wood said. “When he got traded, I meant it when I texted him and said, ‘I hope you run with this opportunity’. He was always a buddy of mine.”
Incognito joked that the Buffalo-Jacksonville matchup is perfect for the media because of all the storylines that can be discussed.
He’s right and the week is young.