It appears Doug Marrone's trip to the NFL is right down the New York State Thruway. According to several reports including ESPN, the Syracuse University football coach has been hired to be the new head coach of the Buffalo Bills. Marrone, 49, has been with SU for the past four seasons, turning a disastrous program into a contender in the Big East and a two time bowl game winner. The hiring, not yet confirmed by the team, would fall into the category of the philosophy new CEO and team President Russ Brandon professed when he said the team would be looking for an "innovative" head coach.
Marrone has NFL experience both as a player and an assistant coach. After a playing career at Syracuse, the offensive lineman was drafted in the 6th round by the Raiders in 1986. Marrone played two other seasons with the Dolphins and the Saints. When his playing career ended, Marrone began his coaching career in college with a series of positions at schools beginning with Cortland St and then moving to Northeaster, Georgia Tech, Georgia and Tennessee. Marrone returned to the NFL in 2002 as an offensive line coach for the New York Jets. In 2006 he became the New Orleans Saints offensive coordinator and remained there until getting the Syracuse head coaching job in 2009.
The Bills began an aggressive search for a replacement to Chan Gailey and interviewed Oregon's Chip Kelly, fired head coaches Ken Whisenhunt of the Cardinals and Lovie Smith of the Bears. Buffalo also spoke with defensive coordinator Ray Horton of Arizona and was scheduled to meet with Broncos offensive coordinator Mike McCoy