06 Jan 2013
I'll buy this one because it comes from "team sources." Doug Marrone will leave Syracuse to become the new head coach of the Buffalo Bills. Marrone previously was offensive coordinator for Sean Payton and the Saints from 2006-2008; working for Payton suggests that Marrone may be open to a more analytical perspective that would match team president Russ Brandon's recent announcement that he plans to form an analytics department in the front office.
I asked our FO college writers for their thoughts on Marrone's time in Syracuse.
Bill Connelly: "He wasn't a great recruiter (which won't be an issue, obviously), but the team I saw in November was very, very well-coached, smart and sound. His defense was small, fast and pretty aggressive, and his offense was pass-first with a solid, pro-caliber quarterback (Ryan Nassib) and two good-to-great receivers. Syracuse couldn't run the ball for the first half of the season but (I'm pretty sure) got an injured lineman back midway through the year, and everything clicked. For much of the last half of the season, they were able to do it all on offense, and hey won six of seven to end the season. Nassib is a really smart quarterback, for which Marrone should get some credit."
I'll point out that Nassib will be in this year's NFL Draft and is generally seen as a second-round pick right now. Buffalo could easily draft him to compete with Ryan Fitzpatrick for the starting job.
Matt Hinton: "Marrone bad a similar tranectory at Syracuse as Greg Schiano at Rutgers, although much compressed. Syracuse is not historically bad, but it was a laughingstock when Marrone took over. After four consecutive last-place finishes in the Greg "Gerg" Robinson era, two winning seasons in three years under Marrone is a success story. As Bill said, the 2012 team won with offense, but in 2010 the initial breakthrough was on defense. They weren't innovative, just pro style with an emphasis on being fundamentally sound."
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