Adam Schefter announced that the Buffalo Bills have agreed to make Syracuse’s Doug Marrone the head coach of the team. The Bills had an interview scheduled with Denver Broncos offensive coordinator, Mike McCoy, for later in the day, but apparently fell in love with the idea of Marrone leading the team enough to cancel. But who is Marrone? What do we know about him? What have his teams done?
Marrone brings a young, fresh mind to the sidelines, at the ripe age of 48. He has ties to New York state after attending Syracuse University during his collegiate years, lettering on the offensive line from 1983-1985 bef0re playing in the National Football League for the Miami Dolphins and the New Orleans Saints. Following his playing career, Marrone quickly took up coaching, joining the sidelines at Georgia Tech, Georgia, Tennessee, and finally caught on in the NFL with the New York Jets as an offensive line coach from 2002-2005.
Following his stint in New York, Marrone was hired by Sean Payton to become the Saints’ offensive coordinator/ offensive line coach. There, his offensive scheme prospered, ranking No. 1 in total offense twice, and finished in the top 5 of scoring offense twice.
What should appeal to Bills fans is how he utilized running back Reggie Bush throughout his time in New Orleans. A similar skill set to C.J. Spiller in terms of quickness and agility, Bush caught 88, 73, and 52 passes in his three years with Marrone as offensive coordinator. While Bush isn’t the type of running back that should be carrying the ball 20+ times a game, Marrone figured out a way to make him a big part of the offense without allowing him the wear and tear of pounding the ball.
While at Syracuse, his primary running backs have carried the ball at least 227 times per season, which is encouraging. Prior to coming on as head coach at Syracuse, the team had gone 26-57 in it’s previous seven seasons. Marrone went 5-7 his first year, still one win better than the previous season, and ended up posting a 25-25 record by the time he finished. He runs a pass-first, pro style offense, which should translate well to the National Football League, and has developed quarterback Ryan Nassib, just a two star recruit, into a possible 2nd or 3rd round draft pick in the upcoming NFL Draft.