Sunday, January 6, 2013

Syracuse's Doug Marrone Taking the Helm in Buffalo

This Buffalo Bills haven't had a winning season since 2004 and haven't made the playoffs for 13 years.  When they fired head coach Chan Gailey after going 16-32 over three seasons, at least the fans hoped that the team would be headed for a better future.  But when they hired former Syracuse head coach Doug Marrone just shy of a week after Gailey was shown the door, it became clear that the 2013 season would not be full steam ahead.

Marrone, in his first head coaching job, went 25-25 in four season with Syracuse.  The Bills, who interviewed former Cardinals head coach Ken Whisenhunt and offensive coordinator Ray Horton, former Bears head coach Lovie Smith and Oregon head coach Chip Kelly decided to take a coach who plays in the same market, just over two hours away.

Now for the pros.  Marrone won two Bowl games -- both Pinstripe Bowls in 2010 and 2012 -- and finished 8-5 this season with the Orange.  He served as the New York Jets offensive line coach from 2002-2005, and the New Orleans Saints offensive coordinator from '06-'08.  That's about it.

The Bills had the opportunities to go with someone who was NFL ready.  Bringing in Marrone should be better for their offense, but going with someone who has been out of the NFL for four seasons is a high risk.  Marrone will have the luxury of picking his own staff, which could be an issue if he pulls from a mediocre Syracuse coaching staff.  Time will tell how the Bills form around the new coaching staff, but going with Marrone was far from anyone's first, second or third choice.

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