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Polian says Marrone 'absolutely' right man; now get him a QB

By Tim Graham

INDIANAPOLIS -- Bill Polian, lover of the Doug Marrone hiring, tapped the brakes when asked if the Buffalo Bills can be playoff contenders right away under their new head coach.

Polian is on the Bills' Wall of Fame for putting together a roster that went to four straight Super Bowls. He has been a Marrone booster for years, linked by their high school alma mater, Mount St. Michael Academy in the Bronx.

But Polian warned Bills fans to keep their expectations in check.

"Nobody knows Bills fans as well as I do," Polian said at the NFL scouting combine in Lucas Oil Stadium, a venue he helped build as the Indianapolis Colts' president. "I know how impatient they are, and it's been a long time.

"But Rome wasn't built in a day, and I'm not saying he's going to turn this into a playoff team overnight, but you have a man at the helm who's sound, who's solid who understands the area, who understands football, knows what it takes to win in the National Football League."

Polian, who signed Jim Kelly to the Bills and drafted Peyton Manning to the Colts, noted Marrone's success will be directly tied to a quarterback.

Polian suggested the Bills don't have an appropriate quarterback at the moment.

"You've got to give him the tools," Polian said. "Personnel is everything, and right now the quarterback situation is an open question. He's said that. But, you know, with the right tools, there's no question in my mind he can do the job.

"Don't forget Marv's [Hall of Fame coach Marv Levy's] first full year was 7-9. So it takes time. But if you ask the question, 'Is this the right guy for the job?' In my humble opinion, absolutely."


2013 NFL scouting combine | Bill Polian | Doug Marrone | Jim Kelly | Marv Levy
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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 |