I am on board with the Bills decision to hire Doug Marrone as the team's head coach. Marrone is a former player and assistant in the NFL. He has run his own program for the last four years, bringing the Orange back from the depths of "irrelevancy" to becoming respectable or better. While I think a guy like Lovie Smith would have been a strong, safe choice, I want to see some different thinking in Orchard Park. Ir appears we are seeing something different with Marrone
Will Doug Marrone be a successful coach in the NFL? Russ Brandon obviously thinks so. The new Bills President wasted no time in identifying the guy he thinks will lead this team out of the malaise it has been in for more than a decade. When they get around to having a news conference there is no doubt that Brandon will say it was a team decision and that Buddy Nix led the way. But I will find it hard to believe that Buddy would pick a college guy who has never been an NFL head coach.
Some of the criticisms I have seen about Marrone say that he's a ".500 coach" Obviously those fans forget just how badly Greg Robinson had destroyed the proud tradition of Syracuse football before Marrone arrived. From a football perspective he is very much like Bill O"Brien of Penn State who was an NFL coordinator and then took over a program in turmoil (obviously under very different circumstances) NFL people looked at O'Brien and Marrone in very similar ways and the same teams (Eagles, Browns, Bills) that liked O'Brien liked Marrone.
I also like the speed in which the Bills moved to get this done with Marrone. Not only were they in competition with other teams, but the quicker you get a coach the sooner he can start to put together a staff. Finding a strong and experienced defensive coordinator will be vital to his success. Plus he will need to do the same on offense by finding a play calling coordinator. Marrone has not been a play caller in the past and that, to me, is a plus I want my head coach to lead and manage and let experts call the plays. But he faces the same challenge as every head Bills coach in the last decade and that is actually finding an NFL starting caliber quarterback. Marrone and the entire organization will live and die with that decision
I am sure some of you believe the Bills are once again "going cheap". This is a team that just gave Mario Williams $100 million dollars. But to paraphrase Rick Pitino from his Celtics days, Jon Gruden and Bill Cowher aren't walking through that door folks. After we get to hear from Doug Marrone my guess is that he will win over many fans. Plus when they watch him on the sidelines this fall or see him at Fisher this summer they will see the type of coach they have been looking to get. He'll be enthused, energetic and make the players accountable. Will he win? The Bills think so. Let's give the guy a shot