When Doug Marrone was named the 17th head coach in Bills history it sent mixed emotions amongst its fans. Questions as to if a full search was done to get the right guy and also why didn’t they get a guy with NFL head coaching experience. I on the other hand was kind of happy we didn’t go after a retread coach that has just cycled throughout the league.
Marrone came from Syracuse University and did a pretty good turning around that team. Many will say he only had a 25-25 record but did you see what the team endured prior? Greg Robinson coached the team from 2005-2008 and only managed a 10-37 record. The best record he had was 4-8 and also had a 1 win season during his first season as the head coach. Marrone on the other hand two seasons less than .500 but also had two seasons over the .500 mark. It’s those two seasons over the .500 mark that people will look at and see 2 Pinstripe Bowl victories. That in itself was a major accomplishment for the university. Not winning a bowl game since the 2001 Insight.com bowl the school had sure been waiting. I’m sure this is definitely what the Bills looked at as he brought a team that wasn’t really going anywhere and built them into a bowl team.
When Marrone joined the Bills he started to assemble his coaching staff. The two coordinator positions were heavily watched to see if any of his coaches from college would follow. Nathaniel Hackett followed his coach and was named this team’s offensive coordinator. He played an up-tempo offense in Syracuse and plans to bring this to the Bills organization. Mike Pettine also was named the defensive coordinator and will bring an aggressive game plan to a defense that had many struggles last season (note Pettine came from the Jets).
Getting back to Marrone I was glad to see that he acknowledged that he would just be this teams head coach and nothing more. What I mean by this is that he believes in his coordinators to do their job. Plays and opinions will still go through him but the majority of the plays will come from game planning during training camp and on a weekly basis. That I believe will be better for this team as we are really young. Marrone can strictly now focus on the flow of the game play and see what he likes and doesn’t like. He could address the situation if there was one right then and there or concentrate on plays/calls that will help this team week to week. If he had to call the plays and be devoted to a single area other than being the man in charge for the entire game I think we would take a step back to when Chan coached this team. I mean I think many of us would agree Gailey was a pretty good coordinator but not a coach. He could call a pretty good game but drastically failed in other parts of coaching.
So when we look at Marrone I think he will bring a more complete presence as this team’s head coach. He will do what this team needs and hopefully will turn the unfortunate times we have endured during our playoff drought.