By Tim Graham
A roundup of reactions to the Buffalo Bills' decision to hire Syracuse's Doug Marrone as their next head coach ...
"I'm impressed by what Russ Brandon is doing. You look at what happened with Mike Holmgren [in Cleveland] and Hue Jackson [in Cincinnati], history is not on the side of guys acting as the owner. Anyone who knows Doug Marrone knows it was a great hire. I love the fit. It was very smart finding someone local. They'll find a quarterback and move Buddy Nix out of the way after the draft, and they'll be on their way."
"Above all, I was hoping they would surprise me this time, that they wouldn't bring out some tired retread and tell me it was progress. They succeeded.
"This is a bold pick, a risky pick. Brandon, a fine baseball player in his day, is swinging for the fences here. Give him credit for that. It would have been easier to settle for the stand-up double, a former NFL head coach with an established record for being average."
"I'm happy the Bills didn't go the retread route once more with a Ken Whisenhunt or a Lovie Smith. We've been that route the past two hires with Chan Gailey and Dick Jauron. It is time for some new, young, blood and new ideas.
"I understand how Marrone's 25-25 record looks uninspiring. But you need to dig deeper into his resume. Only then will you begin to comprehend that the job he did resuscitating a moribund SU program was one of the great reclamation jobs in all of football over the past decade."
"Nobody can logically deny that Marrone, who lasted through four campaigns in our town before finding something more appealing, effected a minor miracle while walking the Syracuse bridge. He did, after all, exhume the Orange program from the dead by transforming a 26-57 graveyard into a 25-25 resurrection that included four wins over Top 25 clubs and two bowl victories."
"However, the best thing the Bills have going for them is that they are trying something they never have before.
"A man that has never been a head coach in the NFL, but has experience with a successful NFL franchise (New Orleans) in a key role (offensive coordinator). A man that featured an aggressive, new-school offensive attack in his time at Syracuse. A man that will have a fresh start to mold the Bills in the way he did the Orange."
"Nobody can accurately predict how Marrone will fare, but give the Bills credit for decisively identifying the person they wanted. Clearly, the Bills are entering a new era with Brandon running the franchise, Marrone the new head coach and assistant general manager Doug Whaley perhaps taking over for current GM Buddy Nix in the near future."