Days after firing Chan Gailey, the Buffalo Bills have hired former Syracuse head coach Doug Marrone to be their next head coach. Marrone went 25-25 in four years with the Orange, winning a pair of bowl games (the Pinstripe Bowl in both the 2010 and 2012 seasons) and claiming a share of the Big East title this past season with Syracuse.
On the surface, this is a curious hire by the Bills. Much like his predecessor Gailey, Marrone is an offensive-minded coach, serving as the Saints offensive coordinator for three seasons before taking the job leading the Orange and prior to that, serving as the offensive line coach for the Jets for four seasons. Defense was the issue for Buffalo under Gailey, and in that regard, someone like Lovie Smith (who the Bills also interviewed, along with Chip Kelly or Oregon) may have been a better fit for Buffalo.
Marrone's hiring also could raise the Bills' interest in Ryan Nassib, a three-year starter at quarterback under Marrone at Syracuse. Nassib's stock has been rising on draft boards recently, and his former coach now at the helm of a team that could use a franchise quarterback (assuming Ryan Fitzpatrick is cut after this season) could help him even more. Remember, back in 2010, the Broncos staff led by Josh McDaniels fell in love with Tim Tebow, and spent a first round pick on him despite the prevailing logic dictating that Tebow probably couldn't play quarterback at the next level. I'm not comparing Nassib and Tebow at all in terms of their abilities, but it wouldn't surprise me if the Bills paid more attention to Nassib than some of the other quarterbacks on the board due to the new connection with Marrone.
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