Bills hire Marrone as head coach

PFW staff
Pro Football Weekly
Marrone stresses importance of competition when talking Bills' QBs

Updated 12:15 p.m. ET, Monday, Jan. 7

The Bills hired Syracuse coach Doug Marrone as the 16th head coach in franchise history, the team officially announced on Monday.

Marrone replaces Chan Gailey, who was fired on Monday after going 16-32 in his three seasons at the helm. The Bills had also interviewed Ken Whisenhunt, Ray Horton, Chip Kelly and Lovie Smith.

The 2013 season will mark Marrone’s eighth year in the NFL and first as a head coach in the professional ranks.

Marrone spent the previous for years as the head coach of his alma mater’s football program at Syracuse University from 2009-12 and led the program to a 21-17 record in the last three seasons. He guided the Orange to an 8-5 mark in both 2010 and '12 — with both campaigns culminating in a New Era Pinstripe Bowl victory.

Syracuse’s offense set several program records in 2012 for total yards (5,681), passing yards (3,619) and first downs (300).

Prior to his Syracuse tenure, Marrone spent seven years in the NFL. From 2006-08, he served as the Saints' offensive coordinator after a four-year stint as the Jets' offensive line coach (2002-05).

The Saints led the NFL in total offense and passing yards per game in 2006 (391.5 total yards/game and 281.4 passing yards/game) and 2008 (410.7 total yards/game and 311.1 passing yards/game).

In 2004, the Jets’ offensive line paved the way for the league’s third-best rushing offense (149.3 rushing yards/game) while tallying the second-most rushing first downs (135). RB Curtis Martin led the NFL with 1,697 rushing yards and posted nine 100-yard games.

Before arriving in New York, Marrone coached the tight ends and tackles at the University of Tennessee in 2001. He spent the 2000 season at the University of Georgia as the O-line coach after spending the previous five years at Georgia Tech. In 1995, Marrone was the director of football operations before coaching the tight ends in 1996 and offensive line from 1997-99.

In 1999, the Yellow Jackets led the nation in total offense (509.4 yards/game) and points per game (40.7). Marrone was part of a coaching staff that helped guide the school to a bowl game in three consecutive years (1997-99).

A Bronx, N.Y. native, Marrone was drafted in the sixth round of the 1986 NFL draft by the Los Angeles Raiders and played two years in the NFL, first with the Dolphins in 1987 and then with the Saints in 1989. He also had playing stints with Pittsburgh, Dallas and Minnesota before closing his career with the NFL Europe's London Monarchs (1991-92).