DON’T GET ME STARTED was a little surprised to learn that the Buffalo Bills “grabbed” Syracuse University coach Doug Marrone to be the next head coach of the Bills.
Immediately, many will ask “Who??????” Certainly until the search for head coaches began a week ago, Marrone wasn’t on the radar. After all – former NFL head coaches Ken Whisenhunt of the Cardinals and Lovie Smith of the Bears were interviewed for the job after they were fired by their clubs. Many surmised that Lovie Smith (who campaigned for the Bills job) would be the one considering he finished 10-6 this past season, took them to the super bowl a few years back and was still let go by the Bears.
Of course, the big prize was Chip Kelly of Oregon who looks as if he will wear a Cleveland Browns cap (the team will play Buffalo in Cleveland this coming season.)
After all the interviewing that involved some NFL coordinators, the Bills under new big boss Russ Brandon tapped Marrone’s shoulder and said, “You’re it.” It’s not as if Marrone didn’t have NFL experience. He toiled for 3 years as the New Orleans Saints offensive coordinator; offensive line coach for four years with the Jets. In all he spent 7 years coaching in the NFL.
Marrone finished 25-25 in his quartet of years at the “Cuse” but was responsible for turning the program around that included a win over Geno Smith and West Virginia in last week’s bowl game, even though his completion percentage in that game was under 50%.
So, you ask where is that big decision he has to make? This will be interesting to watch. It was reported that Marrone has the same negotiating agent as Bills quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick. How will that play out? The Bills hold the rights to Fitzpatrick until 2018 and will pay him a reported roster bonus of $3 million in March.
If Marrone does his homework, he will find that fans and the media are not enamored with Fitzpatrick as the Bills starting quarterback and would be wise to remember the words of GM Buddy Nix who stated that, after the season “We are going after a franchise quarterback.” Of course, it’s hoped? Expected? That the decision will not be made by Marrone but by a thorough front office review of the QBs that would make a good fit in Buffalo.
This year’s crop of QBs is not that impressive with Smith of West Virginia ready to be tapped by Kansas City coach Andy Reid as the overall #1 pick in the draft.
What will be watched by Bills fans is how long Syracuse QB Ryan Nassib will be on the board. He was the QB for Syracuse with Marrone as the coach. What would be shocking is if the Bills used their #8 pick in the draft to pluck Nassib from the Salt City to the Queen City. He is projected to be picked in the 2nd round of the upcoming NFL draft.
Nassib is 22, 6’2, 228 pounds and here’s the basic web analysis of Nassib – who hails from Pennsylvania so he knows all about snow. He’s from West Chester, Pa. They say he has a strong arm, can make the all the passes and is able to provide great fakes and roll to the right, and able to make the pass while on the run. .
Last season Nassib had a pretty good year, though the team went 8-5. In his 13 games, he passed for 3753 yard with a completion percentage of 62.5% on 294 completions in 471 attempts, 26 touchdowns and 10 interceptions.
Buffalo has several needs – Quarterback; Linebacker; Wide Receiver. Naturally, LB Teo from Notre Dame would be welcome in Buffalo with the first pick, considering Buffalo’s needs at that position. Then, maybe, Buffalo would engineer a trade to move up if they are really interested in Nassib.
It’s no secret that the Bills will need to have a performing quarterback considering the tough schedule they will face next season.
The problem Marrone faces is what he will do with QB Fitzpatrick. The last person he should consult is his agent. Bills Fans and front office have not been impressed with his performance after he signed that monstrous contract a year ago. If he by-passes Fitzpatrick, will that anger his agent? Frankly, fans will say “who cares.”
And that’s what has me waiting to see how the first big move by the big man with the Bills, Russ Brandon, will develop as fans continue to watch the re-building process year after year after year on Don’t Get Me Started.
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