ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. (AP) — Buffalo Bills coach Doug Marrone said Tuesday night he had a cancerous mole removed, and added it will not have any effect on him doing his job.
Marrone made the announcement in a statement released through the team. Marrone said the cancerous mole was discovered during a recent visit to the doctor. He said the only follow-up requirement is to have his moles checked every three months.
"That's basically the end of the story," Marrone said. "The recent extraction procedure will have no effect on my ability to coach the team moving forward." Marrone is entering his second year on the job following the team's 6-10 finish last year. A former NFL offensive lineman, Marrone spent the previous five seasons turning around a struggling Syracuse program. He was also an assistant with the New Orleans Saints and New York Jets.
The news comes at a difficult time for the Bills. Owner and founder Ralph Wilson died last month, and Hall of Fame quarterback Jim Kelly is currently being treated for the recurrence of sinus cancer. Marrone made no mention of the illness during a news conference earlier in the day after Bills players reported for the first day of the team's voluntary conditioning program.
Marrone did touch on the uncertainty raised by Wilson's death, which will lead to the franchise being put up for sale, a move that raises the possibility of the team relocating. In addressing his players earlier in the day, Marrone reminded them of the importance of staying focused.
"We talked today about one of the things that I've always talked to the coaches and players about is to make sure you learn or you understand that you control what you can control. And I think that's important," Marrone said. "For us, we understand that we have to go out there and win, and that's what our focus is. And that's what our mission is."
He added: "If we start thinking about the things we can't control and get sidetracked, then we will lose our focus and that will hurt us in losing football games." The Bills have not made the playoffs in 14 seasons, marking the NFL's longest active drought.
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