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Drew Brees, Jon Gruden among those praising Doug Marrone hire

By Tim Graham

The Buffalo Bills have put together a promotional packet with quotes about new head coach Doug Marrone.

New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees:

"I am thrilled for Doug and his family. I really enjoyed my time working with him when he was here with the Saints. Doug is a coach who [cares] deeply about his players. It was fun to watch him resurrect the program at his alma mater, Syracuse, and I know that the feeling in our organization was that he would have success doing that very quickly. This is a great opportunity for Doug, and I can tell you that there are a lot of people here at the Saints that are proud to see him having earned this opportunity with the Bills."

Former Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Oakland Raiders coach Jon Gruden:

"I would be really excited if I was a Bills fan. This is a guy I have been studying for a long time. I competed against him when he was the offensive coordinator for the Saints. He is a tough, hard-nosed and detailed coach. Really has a good command for the game and is really good teaching the game. What he did at Syracuse speaks for itself. He turned that program around.

"I think he is on the cutting edge offensively. He has a vast football background if you just check where he comes from and the kind of people he is able to acquire in terms of his staff. I think he did an excellent job at Syracuse of developing young coaches and surrounding himself with a really good brain trust. I expect him to do the same in Buffalo. I think it is a great hire.

"I think he is going to win. I think he is going to get the Bills back in the playoffs soon. Obviously, I think Buffalo is on the right track. Buddy Nix did an excellent job acquiring players. I think they are on the right track, but I think Coach Marrone is the kind of coach that can push you over the top. He has won everywhere he has been. I think he is going to continue to do that. He will find a way to get it done."

Saints General Manager Mickey Loomis:

"I think the Buffalo Bills made a great hire. I think from the time that Sean [Payton] first hired Doug Marrone, as our offensive coordinator and offensive line coach, it was pretty clear that he was destined to be a head coach. We were proud of the fact that people quickly noticed the tremendous job he did as part of our coaching staff and identified him as a capable head coaching candidate. He proved that in a relatively short amount of time at Syracuse. He has all the requisite skills. I don’t expect anything but great results in Buffalo."

Youngstown native, Marrone's Syracuse teammate and former Dallas Cowboys fullback Daryl Johnston:

"I am big fan of the combination of having a good football IQ. It is demonstrated through success at other places. I think what Curtis Martin was able to accomplish when [Marrone] was with the Jets says a lot about his knowledge of the run game. Then you also have to take a look at how he functioned in New Orleans with an offense that was ... everybody thinks of them as a pass-first team, but I think the impact and the foundation that Doug laid down there is one of the reasons that they have been quietly successful running the football. And then the opportunity to go to Syracuse and learn all of the other things that come with being a head coach."

Former Saints offensive lineman Jon Stinchcomb:

"I think everything that Doug did was calculated and planned. When he was looking at the Syracuse job, he had a notebook full of things detailing how he wanted to coach and improve the program. He's very detail-oriented and passionate. With the combination of those qualities, I expect Buffalo to be successful under his leadership."

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About Press Coverage

Tim Graham

Tim Graham

Tim Graham returned to The Buffalo News in 2011 after covering the NFL for three years at ESPN and for one year at the Palm Beach Post. Before that, the Cleveland native spent seven seasons on the Buffalo Sabres beat for The News and was president of the Boxing Writers Association of America.

@ByTimGraham |

Mark Gaughan

Mark Gaughan

Buffalo native Mark Gaughan started working at The News in 1980 and has been covering the Bills exclusively since 1992. He is a former president of the Pro Football Writers of America, and he is a member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame selection committee.

@gggaughan |

Jay Skurski

Jay Skurski

Jay Skurski joined The News in January 2009. The Lewiston native attended St. Francis High School before graduating from the University of South Florida. He writes a weekly Fantasy column in addition to his beat writing duties.

@JaySkurski |