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Bills poach Marrone from the Orange

Syracuse v Washington Getty Images

For the first time this spinning of the coaching carousel — but not the last — an FBS program has lost its head coach to the NFL.

Very early Sunday morning,‘s Adam Schefter reported that the Buffalo Bills have hired Syracuse’s Doug Marrone to fill its vacancy at head coach.’s Ian Rapoport subsequently nodded his head in that general direction as well.

Neither the club nor the school has confirmed the report.

Marrone has spent the past four seasons at his alma mater, compiling a middling 25-25 record with the Orange.  Syracuse, though, had won just 26 games in the seven years prior to his arrival.  That rebuilding job on the part of the New Orleans Saints offensive coordinator obviously caught the attention of the NFL as Marrone not only interviewed with the Bills but with the Cleveland Browns as well.

It had also been reported that Marrone had interviews scheduled this coming week with the Philadelphia Eagles and San Diego Chargers.

At this point in time, it’s unclear which direction Syracuse will go to fill a job that’s come open a month ahead of National Signing Day.  The school is expected to address Marrone’s departure at some point today.

Also today, Oregon’s Chip Kelly is expected to decide between offers from the Cleveland Browns and Philadelphia Eagles.  Kelly also interviewed for the Bills vacancy.

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10 Responses to “Bills poach Marrone from the Orange”
  1. mdac1012 says: Jan 6, 2013 8:27 AM

    It seamed like Marrone was disparate to get out of Syracuse, he was interviewing with everyone. I was getting ready to hear reports that he was interviewing with CFL teams if the NFL interviews didn’t pan out.

  2. thefiesty1 says: Jan 6, 2013 9:48 AM

    Hiring a .500 coach doesn’t bode well for anyone. Buffalo just doesn’t get it. I guess going 8-8 is ok for a team that usually wins 4 or 5 games every year.

  3. raysfan1 says: Jan 6, 2013 11:08 AM

    Time will tell whether this is a good hire for the Bills or not. However, the hire had zero to do with his overall win-loss record. He took over a moribund program and gave it its pride back. Under Marrone, the Orange had its first two winning seasons and bowl wins since 2001. Also, unlike some other college head coaches, he has NFL experience at the coordinator level.

    Now the Bills need to be patient as it will take more than 1 or 2 years to unseat the Patriots.

  4. ruggyup says: Jan 6, 2013 12:35 PM

    Good move Bills! Keep it all in the neighborhood.

  5. thegamecocker says: Jan 6, 2013 12:37 PM

    What a terrible hire for the Buffalo Bills. I’m neither a Bills or ‘Cuse fan but if the ‘Cuse doesn’t at least speak with Tom O’brien, the former NC State HC, than they are making a huge mistake. He can restore this program to what it was under Ben Schwartzwalder – Paul Pasqualoni. He is a good coach and Yow, the AD at NC State is a dum-dum for letting him go. Syracuse should hire him.

  6. sisqsage says: Jan 6, 2013 12:48 PM

    Look at it like this: He took Syracuse as far as he could and as far as it conceivably could be taken under his leadership for a school who’s reputation is dominated on the national scene by its hoops coach (Boeheim).

    Overall, the Bills and Marrone seem a good match. Small market team that doesn’t pay that much gets a coach that was below the Chip Kelly tier of prospects who had a decent run at a school that was losing bigtime before he got there. He also has legit NFL experience. This is about the best both sides could hope for.

  7. thegamecocker says: Jan 6, 2013 1:07 PM


    Respectfully disagree. I think the ‘Cuse could be both a football and basketball power. They have the football heritage with Jim Brown, Ernie Davis, Floyd Little, etc. There is absolutely no reason why they cannot be a Top 20 team. They need a great coach and to your point, Marrone was not that. He did take them as far as he could but that is only to mediocrity at best. The best I can say is they won their bowl game against a team that had absolutely NO DEFENSE. That’s all I can say about this years performance. They had the potential to be much better with Nassib….hire Tom O’brien and then you will see real growth.

  8. sisqsage says: Jan 6, 2013 3:02 PM

    Yeah, I thought about including Jim Brown and Davis et al, in my original post. But that was so long ago, and the Cuse was pretty bad before Marrone came on the scene. It’s more useful to look forward, and fully examine what they are doing with football from an administration standpoint and about how they fit into today’s ever-changing college football landscape… in order to return to their past glory. Until they do that, you are going to end up with more Marrones, or worse. There has to be a reason why they can’t attract a bigtime coach. Money, facilities…? If you have a national reputation or brand, it’s not impossible to be in the top 22-25 or so as you rebuild. The hard part is getting to where the big boys are: the top 5 every year (Bama, LSU etc.).

  9. thegamecocker says: Jan 6, 2013 3:15 PM


    I think moving into the ACC makes sense. But out of all the Big East teams, I think Rutgers fared the best. The reason I say that is MONEY. The payouts for the BIG will rival and maybe even surpass those of the SEC. To your point, it’s money that is needed at Syracuse and they have improved themselves by moving to the ACC. But the BIG would have provided a larger revenue stream. In the next 5 years forward, I think you will see Rutgers’ have a more significant National profile along the lines of Michigan / Wisconsin, etc. The academics are excellent and the facilities will continue to improve at a much faster clip.

  10. mrpeary3189 says: Jan 6, 2013 4:34 PM

    Well we know who his first pick will be.

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