By Tim Graham
INDIANAPOLIS -- When the Buffalo Bills interviewed Syracuse quarterback Ryan Nassib at the Senior Bowl, his former -- and possibly future -- head coach was in the room.
Doug Marrone sat there and didn't ask a thing.
"Because if I asked him a question, I knew how he'd answer it," Marrone said today at the NFL scouting combine in Lucas Oil Stadium. "It would be hard for me to ask him a question without laughing."
Marrone is in an interesting situation, coming from Syracuse to the Bills. He possesses intimate knowledge on Syracuse and Big East Conference players in this year's draft class. Four from the Orange -- Nassib, receiver Alec Lemon, tackle Justin Pugh and safety Shamarko Thomas -- are participating in the combine.
A college coach usually is a prospect's biggest advocate. NFL scouts solicit the opinions of a college coach to vet a player's draft worthiness.
Marrone has been conflicted about sharing what he knows.
"I'm just going to say that they're great kids and whatever you see on the field, that's what you're going to get," Marrone said. "Other than that, I'm not going to lie to you: I think it's information that's an advantage for us as the Buffalo Bills, as an organization.
"It's been very difficult for me. I have a lot of friends, obviously, in this league that have asked me these questions quite a bit during the week, and I've kind of had the same response: We're in the information-gathering business, not the information-giving when it comes down to players.
"Strategically, do I think it can help us along the way? Shoot, I don't know. I really don't. But it's something that … I shared all that information prior to [becoming Buffalo's coach], but I'm not looking to share it again."
Marrone also deflected reporters' questions about Nassib, one of the most intriguing quarterbacks in the draft.
When asked about his inside Nassib knowledge, Marrone gave a slick, vanilla response that referenced all of his Syracuse players.
"Standing here as the head coach of Buffalo, obviously, I'm looking to move forward with the organization and do what I have to do in my job," Marrone said. "But there's a sense of me that looks back and is proud of all those players that are here and have a chance to show their skills and put themselves in position to play in this league."
Bills General Manager Buddy Nix, however, had this to say Thursday about Marrone's impact on Nassib's potential future with the Bills.
"He's never tried to push," Nix said. "He answers what you ask about him because he knows. Obviously, I asked him, too.
"We all got good feelings about Ryan, but don't read into the fact that Doug coached him that that's who we'll pick."
tagged2013 NFL scouting combine | Buddy Nix | Doug Marrone | Ryan Nassib