At the close of the Buffalo Bills 2012 regular season, head coach Chan Gailey was fired. The call game as a result of Gailey’s record, posting three consecutive losing seasons since being hired in 2010. Gailey is just one of many members of the Bills organization that has failed to earn them a playoff appearance in 13 seasons. While the Bills have expired four coaches over 11 years, they have also gone through nine quarterbacks over the last 15 years, each one lasting less than 2 seasons on average. Current quarterback, Ryan Fitzpatrick, has averaged just 5 wins per season over the last four years. With the firing of head coach, Gailey, the Bills wasted no time filling the position. Just a few days later, the Bills announced that Doug Marrone was the new head coach that will prepare the team for the 2013 season.
Marrone has had 7 years of NFL experience but his most recent experience is with that of the Syracuse Orange NCAA Division I football organization. After serving as the New York Jet’s offensive line coach from 2002 to 2005 and then the New Orleans Saint’s assistant coach, along side Sean Payton, from 2006 to 2008, Doug Marrone was hired as the Syracuse University head football coach. With previous ties to Syracuse, Doug Marrone described his hiring as head coach at the University as a “dream job”. His mission was to perform a complete makeover of a football program that had been in caught in a downward spiral since the late 90’s upon the graduation of Syracuse star quarterback, Donovan McNabb. Since then the program suffered immensely with attendance at the Carrier dome at an all-time low. The team continued to perform poorly with no sign of improvement under Greg Robinson, the man who replaced Paul Pasqualoni after he was fired due to a stagnant record and tired playbook. Doug Marrone ultimately replaced Greg Robinson and he immediately went to work.
Success in Syracuse
Marrone made it clear early on that he was in charge and that only serious players with proper attitudes had a place on the team. Marrone brought in all new staffers and did not hesitate to revoke scholarships from players that were deemed unworthy. His move freed up room for new talent that would fit with the program he had detailed while also setting an example for what the tone would be like under the next four years of his leadership. With hard work and discipline, Marrone successfully helped the Syracuse football program turn a corner. He led the Orange to two 8-5 seasons and received bids to two Pinstripe Bowls, victorious in both appearances, with the most recent coming on December 29, 2012 against West Virginia.
On to Buffalo
Marrone is expected to work the same magic in Buffalo that he did in Syracuse, using his disciplinary tactics, intelligent recruiting and uptempo offense to revamp the desperate Bills football program.