Bears-Bills brings together former Saints Bushrod, Marrone

Bears left tackle Jermon Bushrod went through a pre-draft workout with Doug Marrone, and will now place Marrone's Bills on Sunday. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh)

LAKE FOREST — Bills head coach Doug Marrone said he’ll always remember putting Jermon Bushrod through a pre-draft workout at Towson.

Why?

“He knocked me down,” Marrone said.

The two former Saints will reunite on Sunday at Soldier Field when the Bears host the Bills to open the 2014 season. Marrone was the offensive line coach in New Orleans for Bushrod’s first two seasons with the Saints.

Bushrod laughed when reminded of the workout, and while he said he didn’t specifically remember putting Marrone on his back, he did recall the workout.

“He came in four days before the Draft and put me through an hour-long workout. It was our last workout,” he said. “I had 15 visits and 10 individual workouts, and he was the last one. The rest is history.”

Bushrod only appeared in three games for the Saints during the two seasons when Marrone was there, so he is a much different player today, 78 starts later.

“I remember the adversity he went through to become the player he’s become today,” Marrone said. “His first snap of the preseason, he was going against Dwight Freeney. Just watching his growth, I couldn’t be more proud of him and the work he’s put in. I’m not surprised by that.”

Bushrod said he’s looking forward to seeing the coach that helped introduce him to the NFL.

“It’ll be good. He helped me out. Taught me how to be a pro, taught me how to put the extra work in before and after practice to hone your technique and all that good stuff,” said Bushrod. “I learned a lot from him.”

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