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Bills officially hire Marrone as coach

The SportsXchange

The Buffalo Bills introduced new head coach Doug Marrone at a press conference on Monday.

Marrone said he will incorporate a "Moneyball" type of concept in evaluating talent. The team announced last week that they would start an analytics department.

While many inside the sport insist that statistical analysis does not work in football like it does in baseball, Marrone said it will be an important part of the team.

"We've used quite a bit of it in when we were in New Orleans when we were there," he said of his time as offensive coordinator of the Saints. "We want to be innovative. We want to use that to be in the cutting edge and push us forward. So again, it's part of what we do. It's part of our planning; it's part of our process."

Marrone, 48, went 25-25 in four seasons at Syracuse. He replaces Chan Gailey, who was fired last week after three losing seasons.

Marrone had his best season with the Orange in 2012 with an 8-5 mark.

He is not moving far as Syracuse is just 150 miles from Buffalo.

"I feel this town," he said. "The core values here, again, are something I look for. We're going to be proud of this organization."

Syracuse congratulated Marrone through Twitter.

"#OrangeNation wishes head coach Doug Marrone all the best in NFL with the Bills. Thanks for what you've done at the 'Cuse," the school wrote.

Marrone said he would hire coordinators with "thorough" NFL experience.

Marrone has experience as an NFL player and assistant coach. He was offensive coordinator of the Saints from 2006-08.

Saints coach Sean Payton told NOLA.com that Marrone is prepared to be an NFL head coach.

"I think he's certainly someone the players will respond to, and I think he's ready," Payton said.

Marrone was a sixth-round draft pick in 1986 and played his rookie season with the Oakland Raiders before one year with the Miami Dolphins and another with the Saints.

He was a college assistant coach at Georgia, Georgia Tech and Tennessee before working as offensive line coach with the New York Jets in 2002.

Marrone also interviewed for the Cleveland Browns head coaching job.

The Bills interviewed Oregon coach Chip Kelly, former Chicago Bears coach Lovie Smith, former Arizona Cardinals coach Ken Whisenhunt and Cardinals defensive coordinator Ray Horton.

Buffalo's 13-year playoff drought is the NFL's longest active streak. The team has not had a winning record since 2004, when it finished 9-7.

The future of starting quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick is uncertain as he is owed a $3 million bonus in March. He signed a six-year, $59 million contract extension in 2011 but is 20-33 in four seasons.

Defensively, the Bills gave up 435 points in 2012, the second-most in team history. That happened even though the team signed defensive end Mario Williams to a six-year, $100 million contract in March, which made him the highest-paid defensive player in the league.
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