Who Benched Jerry Hughes?

Jerry Hughes was benched on Sunday after an unsportslike conduct penalty. Who made the call to bench Hughes? You may be surprised.

Jerry Hughes only played 33 snaps on Sunday. It tied his lowest snap total of the season. Hughes was noticeably absent after drawing an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty against the Denver Broncos.

Following the game, Buffalo Bills Head Coach Doug Marrone said that the coaches discussed pulling Hughes off the field to let him cool down. The cool down period went on longer than Marrone expected.

Today, Marrone said the following:

"I knew originally after the penalty, I know we talked about on the headsets of bringing him off to the sideline to make sure he cools down," Marrone started. "Afterwards, when I was asked the question, I was told he only played three snaps I think it was. It was a very limited amount. Someone said hardly played or maybe didn't play. I didn't know about that. I wasn't aware of that. Looking back, he played, I actually wrote it down, 12 of the last 36 [snaps]. I've told the coaches, reiterated it, again it's my responsibility, that if something's going to change in the rotation of rotational players, make sure that I am aware of it, and then obviously I have the final decision."

So if Marrone wasn't responsible for Hughes' benching, who made the call? Marrone confirmed today that it was defensive line coach Pepper Johnson that decided to keep Hughes off the field. Upon revealing this news, Marrone emphasized that coaches needed to bring these decisions to his attention.

"I trust our coaches to make the right decisions, and I back them up quite a bit when they make those decisions," Marrone said, "but that's a decision that needed to be brought to my attention which wasn't and that falls on me as the head coach, our communication."

The news is quite baffling. Why is Johnson making this decision and how does a head coach not notice one of his best players on the sidelines? Buffalo's coaching staff has three weeks to work on their communication.

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