Doug Marrone on Why He Chose Buffalo: “I believe in this organization and believe this is the right situation for me”January 8, 2013 – 10:20 am by Chris Fedor
The Buffalo Bills have their new head coach. They turned down the opportunity to hire two other available coaches that had been to a Super Bowl before in Lovie Smith and Ken Whisenhunt and they went with little-known Doug Marrone. Marrone went 25-25 during his time at Syracuse and while that may not look like a glowing resume, given the state of the program when he took over, it’s something that caught the attention of a few different NFL teams and most certainly the Buffalo Bills. He’s a New Yorker at heart, he has a reputation for welcoming the challenge of being part of a turnaround and that’s exactly what the Bills need. It’s unknown how successful Marrone will be in the NFL. It’s a big jump from the Big East to the NFL but his NFL experience in New Orleans should help him with this transition and he has the qualities necessary to make Buffalo into a winner. Now they just have to figure out that pesky quarterback situation.
Doug Marrone joined the Fan 590 in Toronto with Tim and Sid to talk about whether he thinks his record at Syracuse led him to getting hired by the Bills, on being known as someone who can change the culture of places, who he expects the starting quarterback to be for the Bills when training camp opens up, on the idea that he has a good background for developing quarterbacks and what other teams showed an interest in him.
If he thinks his record at Syracuse led to him getting hired:
“I don’t know. You would have to ask the people that did the hiring. I will give you this bit of information, I went to Syracuse as a player and we went through a turnaround. As an assistant coach I went to Georgia Tech with George O’Leary and we had a turnaround. After that I went to the New Orleans Saints as an offensive coordinator and we had a turnaround. The I went to Syracuse as a head coach and we had a turnaround. I think when someone looks back on the things I’ve done I have been a part of it at every level.”
On his ability to change the culture:
“I think we all know that that is what we describe as a buzz word. Change the culture. I think people need to define that. I think when you go back and look at the first thing you need A) to have a culture is you need to have common language and I think there’s a trust. What happens is I think people are all over the place with their messaging and their communicating to the people around them and especially with the players and I think it’s a point of ‘hey these are our expectations of our football team’ and you have input by those players of what those expectations are. We know what our job is and we know what our responsibility is and then I think we turn around and say to the players ‘okay what are your expectations of us as coaches?’ Then the most important thing that has to happen is together we have to hold each other accountable for that and that gives us a chance. Now you still have to go an compete at a level of high efficiency on the field to be successful.”
Who he expects to be the starting quarterback when training camp opens up:
“One of the things that I’m going to do right now is apologize because I really don’t have the information to answer that question and I apologize for that. It has been a thorough process that I have gone through and I haven’t really had time to evaluate the situation here, evaluate the players, I’m excited about meeting with them, talking with them and so I can tell you this and not just with the quarterback situation but every situation, I think what I can say is we’re looking to play the players that give us the best chance to win no matter who they are and I’m excited about working with these players here because one of the things when you come into a situation is you don’t know what the expectation was of those players so you really don’t know what they were being coached to do or what they were doing. I’m excited to get with them and work with them and figure it all out.”
On the idea that he has a good background for helping quarterbacks:
“I like to take pride that I can motivate, inspire and help players at all positions. I don’t want to limit myself to whether it be the quarterback or if you go further into my background and the success I had with the offensive line. I know all phases of football, what’s important, what the characteristics are so I don’t want to limit myself to say I’m an expert in this or that. I don’t ever call myself an expert or a guru. I don’t. I want to be a good football coach that works with his players on getting them better every day.”
What other teams were interested and what team came in second:
“That doesn’t matter. There were opportunities out there for me and obviously the Bills organization had interest in me, a great deal of interest to give me this opportunity and I wanted to be here. I think that is important. Normally during the interview process you want to be in the right situation and I believe in this organization and believe this is the right situation for me. I feel very fortunate that I’ve been trusted to be the head coach of this franchise.”