Doug Marrone reaches agreement to coach Buffalo Bills, ESPN reports

Andrew Renneisen | Staff Photographer

Doug Marrone walks toward the end zone following Syracuse's victory in the Pinstripe Bowl on Dec. 29. ESPN reported Sunday Marrone has agreed to coach the Buffalo Bills, leaving Syracuse after four years and two bowl victories.

The Buffalo Bills and Doug Marrone have reached an agreement for Marrone to become their next head coach, ESPN reported Sunday.

Marrone leaves Syracuse after four seasons. He led the Orange to a 25-25 record during that span, including two Pinstripe Bowl victories. After coaching at his alma mater, Marrone, who was the offensive coordinator for the New Orleans Saints before becoming the head coach at Syracuse, is now back in the NFL.

Attempts to reach Syracuse athletics for confirmation were unsuccessful.

The former Syracuse head coach interviewed with the Cleveland Browns and had interest from the Philadelphia Eagles and San Diego Chargers in addition to Buffalo. Marrone will replace Chan Gailey, who went 16-32 as head coach.

Marrone took over the Orange in 2009, and transformed a program that had won only 10 games during the four previous seasons under Greg Robinson. In his four seasons, Marrone led SU to records of 4-8, 8-5, 5-7 and 8-5.

After coaching at various colleges, he spent seven seasons as an assistant coach in the NFL. He was the offensive line coach with the Jets from 2002 to 2005, and was then with Drew Brees and the Saints from 2006 to 2008.

The Bronx native restored Syracuse’s recruiting foothold in the New York City area. He led the Orange to a 36-34 win over Kansas State in the Pinstripe Bowl in just his second season with Syracuse.

Syracuse started the 2012 season 2-4 amid turnovers and on-field blunders, but Marrone and the Orange reversed course and finished the year 5-1 en route to a postseason appearance.

Syracuse beat West Virginia 38-14 in the Pinstripe Bowl. With that win, in addition to his NFL coaching experience, Marrone became an appealing candidate to return to the NFL.

At the start of the season, Marrone oversaw an overhaul of Syracuse’s offense as the Orange adopted an up-tempo, no-huddle system. It’s a style that more and more NFL teams are running.

Marrone is taking over a Bills team that struggled for more than a decade. Buffalo went 6-10 and finished tied for third in the AFC East. Marrone is also inheriting a quarterback, Ryan Fitzpatrick, who finished 18th among NFL quarterbacks in passing yards with 3,400.

Buffalo’s defense struggled throughout the season. The unit was 22nd in the NFL in total defense and 31st in rush defense.

The Bills have not made the playoffs in 13 seasons.

We will continue to provide updates on Marrone and Syracuse’s coaching situation throughout the day.


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