Buffalo Bills Hire Doug Marrone As Head Coach
16-32 didn't cut it for Chan Gailey. Next up it is Doug Marrone's opportunity. The Bills have reportedly come to agreement with the former Syracuse head coach to take over the team with the longest non-playoff streak in the NFL now at 13 years and counting. Marrone reportedly has agreed to become the latest coach for Buffalo.
Marrone will be the 17th different head coach in Bills history when the official announcement happens next week. Marrone replaces Gailey after a Buffalo meltdown this year. Despite spending a few hundred million, especially on the defense, the Bills started out the year getting humiliated by the Jets and it didn't get much better after that. Buffalo wiped out their entire staff including Defensive Coordinator Dave Wanndstadt and offensive coordinator Curtis Modkins.
Marrone earned the job interview after some success with New York's major division one college team, the Syracuse Orange. The "Cuse" won six of their last seven, including a huge win over West Virginia in the Pinstripe Bowl, 38-14. Syracuse finished 8-5 this past season and are now headed to the ACC.
Buffalo also interviewed Chip Kelly, but quickly moved to Marrone. My guess is they saw the price tag for Kelly and gasped. Buffalo finally opened the checkbook last off season and signed a few defensive players, most notably Mario Williams who received a contract worth over $100 million from Buffalo.
However, for a decent stretch of the season the Bills were on an ugly pace to be one of the worst defensive teams in history. They did improve a bit as the season waned on. The Bills finished tied with the Jets at 6-10 and in last place in the AFC East this past season. It has now been 13 years since Buffalo were last in the playoffs and that ended poorly with the Music City Miracle.
The Bills finished giving up the eighth most points in the NFL this year at 435. Four times this year they gave up at least 40 points, including twice giving up OVER 50.
Marrone had a brief career in the NFL. He played for the Miami Dolphins in 1987 and later played with the New Orlean Saints in 1989. He also played one year in the World League with London in 1991. In his four year coaching tenure at Syracuse he finished at 25-25. Twice he led the Orange to an eight win season.