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Russ Brandon: Lindy Ruff deserves a statue

By Tim Graham

INDIANAPOLIS -- Buffalo Bills President Russ Brandon marveled at what Lindy Ruff accomplished as Buffalo Sabres coach.

"They should erect a statue for him for all he's done," Brandon said. "It's one of the great stories in all of sports."

Brandon would admit to being biased on the subject of Ruff. Brandon considers Ruff "the closest of friends" and reached out to him Wednesday upon learning the Sabres had fired him.

But Ruff's longevity was amazing. He held his first head-coaching job for nearly 16 years and survived four owners if you count the time NHL commissioner Gary Bettman ran the team during its bankruptcy.

"Think about what he's been through: bankruptcy, the Adelphia situation," Brandon said. "He didn't only survive that. He flourished. That says a lot about his character and what he brought to the organization, to the community."

Brandon last month hired a first-time NFL head coach. He can only pray Doug Marrone sticks around for 16 years.

"It's what you ultimately strive for," Brandon said. "I'm a big organizational-structure guy. I always point to the Atlanta Braves, Bobby Cox and John Schuerholz and how they ran that and had so much success for a long period of time.

"Continuity can bring that type of success when you're on the same page. Ultimately, that would be the goal. I hope with Coach Marrone, we're having this conversation 15 years from now because that means you've won a lot."


2013 NFL scouting combine | Doug Marrone | Russ Brandon
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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 |