Mario Williams was absent for a second straight day at Buffalo Bills training camp, and a moment of frustration on the part of head coach Doug Marrone during a post-practice media session is stealing headlines from No. 94 today.
You can listen to the audio of Marrone's dust-up with John Wawrow of the Associated Press at WGR550.com. You'll hear a clearly upset Marrone enter a heated discussion with Wawrow, a few terse exchanges, and then ultimately a mutual understanding and some uttered apologies between the two. It's all fairly harmless stuff - reporters are getting used to a new coach and vice versa, after all. But sure, it's a bit foreign to see a Bills head coach lose his cool a little bit following three-year runs with Dick Jauron and Chan Gailey.
If you're simply dying to read every last take on the matter, The Buffalo News (Tim Graham) and the Democrat and Chronicle (Sal Maiorana) already have posts up about it (as does WGR, linked above), and more outlets will certainly follow suit. The best one worth reading: Brent Axe at Syracuse.com, who is a former Buffalo Bills Radio Network employee that covered Marrone's career in Syracuse closely. His take on the media dynamics between Syracuse and Buffalo are spot on.
While Marrone's sound bite will make the headlines for the rest of the day, the important questions - which, in fairness, each of the links above ask - are these: where the heck is Mario, and what exactly is wrong with him?
Williams was dressed and on the field for the start of the team's first training camp practice on Sunday evening, but did not take part in team drills. Marrone told reporters that evening that Williams had a sore foot. On Monday, Marrone told reporters that he didn't have any updates on Williams' prognosis, but that team doctors were evaluating him off-campus. He provided the exact same information to reporters on Tuesday, nearly two full days after the initial incident. That's a long time for a head coach to go without any updated information on a star player.
When a reputable player misses three training camp practices in a span of three calendar days with no tangible news update aside from "he's still being evaluated," the collective spidey sense of reporters tingles. With any luck, Marrone will have more information to dispense on the matter after the team conducts another camp practice tomorrow morning. If he doesn't, he'll undoubtedly be subjected to another frustrating series of questions from beat reporters.