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Doug Marrone era underway in Buffalo

Posted at: 01/07/2013 5:55 PM
By: Robin De Wind

The Doug Marrone era is underway in Buffalo. The Bills made it official Monday introducing their new head coach.

Doug Marrone was hired after going 25-25 in four seasons at Syracuse. On paper, not that impressive, but in that time, he helped to turn around a program that had lost credibility, winning two Pinstripe bowls. While he says he wasn't looking for a new job, the opportunity was too good to pass up.

Flanked by Bills General Manager Buddy Nix and President Russ Brandon, Doug Marrone entered the team's packed press room ready to show he's the man for Buffalo's top coaching job. While being head coach for his alma mater, Syracuse, was a dream come true. Being an NFL head coach in western New York, a comfortable fit, a new dream realized.

Doug Marrone, Bills Head Coach, said, “I'm excited about working with people in this organization and working with the players and building trust.”

The Bills are entering a new era, daring to be different. With Marrone as their top pick, an offensive minded coach known as a disciplinarian. Marrone has no NFL head coaching experience. Seven years as an assistant, most recently with the New Orleans Saints as offensive coordinator under Sean Payton. He begins the task of finding his own staff and plans to oversee all aspects of the game.

Marrone said, “With coordinators, you want those with NFL experience, especially with defense. We want people who have been in this league.”

Marrone is the team's fifth coach in 12 years and while he successfully turned around SU's beleaguered program, moving Buffalo forward will be a much taller task.

President Russ Brandon insists after five meetings, Marrone was clearly the team's top choice. The fact that he was from the region, not a factor. It was Marrone's leadership and ability to make real change that sold him.

Russ Brandon said, "I didn't care if he was from the University of Tahiti from the stand point of being from Syracuse. Our focus is on the best man for the job.”

Marrone said, “I had some opportunities to make a choice and I chose here. I can tell you how excited I am to be the head football coach.”

Marrone didn't answer many specific questions about what coaches he will be talking to and he didn't give a real time frame for hiring his coordinators. He also said he has not looked at specific players, giving up little about how he sees the team's quarterback situation.