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."
tagged2013 NFL scouting combine | Doug Marrone | Russ Brandon