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What they're saying about the Buffalo Bills and Doug Marrone

By Tim Graham

A roundup of reactions to the Buffalo Bills' decision to hire Syracuse's Doug Marrone as their next head coach ...

Pro Football Weekly quoted an unidentified league source as saying:

"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."

Buffalo News columnist Jerry Sullivan:

"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."

Scott Pitoniak wrote on his blog:

"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."

Syracuse Post-Standard columnist Bud Poliquin:

"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."

Joe Buscaglia of WGR 550-AM:

"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."

Clifton Brown of the Sporting News:

"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."

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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 |