Buffalo, NY, United States (4E Sports) – The Buffalo Bills have hired Doug Marrone as their new head coach, hoping he could duplicate his accomplishments during a four-year stint at Syracuse.
According to team sources, the Bills and Marrone have agreed in principle on a four-year deal. The team is expected to introduce him in a news conference Monday.
The Bills picked Marrone over more experienced candidates, including former Arizona Cardinals coach Ken Whisenhunt and ex-Chicago Bears coach Lovie Smith, who both carried their teams to the Super Bowl.
In his first head coaching job, Marrone led the Orange to a 25-25 record during his four-year run with the team that went 10-37 and had gone seven straight seasons without a winning record before he took over.
In 2009, Marrone went 4-8 before posting records of 8-5, 4-7 and 8-5. Syracuse won the Pinstripe Bowl over Kansas State in 2010 and over West Virginia last week.
Marrone will face a new challenge with a Bills team that has not had a winning record since 2004 and has missed the playoffs for a seemingly endless 13 straight seasons.
He has seven years of NFL experience under his belt. Marrone spent 2006-08 as the Saints’ offensive coordinator under coach Sean Payton and worked as the Jets’ offensive line coach from 2002-05 for coach Herm Edwards.
Marrone’s hiring was welcomed by fellow coaches and football analysts, saying the Bills made a good decision in hiring him.
“That’s a great hire by the Bills because he brings together that pedigree that is popular now: a substantial pro background with that mix of college,” former head coach and NFL Network analyst Brian Billick said.
“I think he’s certainly someone the players will respond to, and I think he’s ready,” Payton told the New Orleans Times-Picayune.
“He’s a detail guy,” Edwards said. “He’s very organized. He understands the importance of fundamentals and technique. He will stress that. He will make sure the assistant coaches teach that.”