There is a new head coach in the AFC East this morning. Adam Schefter reports the Buffalo Bills have hired former Syracuse University head coach Doug Marrone to replace Chan Gailey.
Marrone was 25-25 in four seasons at Syracuse. Before that, he spent three years as Saints offensive coordinator. Before that, he was Jets offensive line coach under Herman Edwards for four seasons.
It would be easy to look at this move and mock the Bills for hiring a .500 coach from the Big East. It isn't quite that simple. Marrone took over a team with an empty cupboard from the previous regime. Greg Robinson had a Kotite-type effect on Syracuse. Getting them back to respectability was a big task, and Marrone did it quickly. He also helped develop Ryan Nassib into a draftable product. Before that, he had a big hand laying the groundwork in the offensive renaissance the Saints had in 2006 that has continued to this day.
Marrone in Buffalo isn't going to keep me up at nights. He did nice work at Syracuse, but he didn't exactly engineer a Brian Kelly type turnaround. It seems like a step forward for the Bills to at least go with a guy who could possibly work out, though, instead of a proven failure like their last two hires, Chan Gailey and Dick Jauron.