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Mike Pettine otherwise would've been Doug Marrone's bogeyman

By Tim Graham

INDIANAPOLIS -- If Buffalo Bills coach Doug Marrone hadn't hired him away from the New York Jets to be his defensive coordinator, then Marrone probably would've despised Mike Pettine.

Marrone on Friday explained his rationale in targeting Pettine.

"What attracts you to people, especially on the opposite side of the ball," Marrone said Friday at the NFL scouting combine, "are people that you would not like to face or you would not like to play against or people that give you problems. Schematically, that defense has always done that."

Marrone got to know Pettine a little while attending Jets training camp the past few years. The Jets hold their camp at SUNY Cortland, about 35 miles from Syracuse, where Marrone was head coach.

Marrone had further knowledge of the Pettine family tree from way back. When Marrone played for Syracuse, the quarterback was Todd Norley, who played for Central Bucks West High in the Philadelphia area. Central Bucks West's legendary coach was another Mike Pettine, the Bills defensive coordinator's father.

Mike Pettine (the current Bills coach) worked with Jets head coach Rex Ryan for 11 years -- seven seasons with the Baltimore Ravens and the past four with the Jets.

That Pettine knows the AFC East so intimately is "a bonus," Marrone said.


2013 NFL scouting combine | Doug Marrone | Mike Pettine
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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 |