The Bills haven’t made the playoffs since 1999, when they were bitten by the Music City Miracle. Bills fans are now hoping new Bills Head Coach Doug Marrone can deliver a miracle of making the postseason and turning the franchise around.
“I had some opportunities to make a choice, and I’ve chosen to be here,” said Marrone. “I can’t tell you how excited I am to be the head football coach. I can’t tell you how excited I am for my family and I to move up here. We’re looking forward to it. I’m excited about working with the people in this organization, but I’m especially excited to be working with these players.”
Marrone, 48, will be taking on the same task he took on at Syracuse, and that is to turn around a franchise and a culture that has been used to losing for over a decade.
Marrone, who also interviewed with the Cleveland Browns and was scheduled to interview in San Diego, actually met with General Manager Buddy Nix and CEO Russ Brandon five times during the interview process.
“We promised to leave no stone unturned in leading this franchise and creating a new legacy that our fans will be proud of into the future,” said Brandon. “We wanted to identify top talent to lead this organization to where all of our fans and stakeholders deserve to be and that’s back to a championship contender. We believe we did just that.”
As a player and coach in NFL and College, Marrone will move from Central New York to Western New York, a place he said he felt belonged.
“I feel this town and the core values here are one of the things that I look for,” he said. “I love the people here. We’re going to be proud of this organization and the comfort level through this thorough process that Russ spoke about, I have compete trust in Mr. Wilson, Russ and Buddy, and the rest of the organization.
Marrone took over for former Syracuse Coach Greg Robinson four years ago, compiling an overall record of 25-25. His last season in Syracuse included an 8-5 record and a win over West Virginia in the Pinstripe Bowl.
Doug Marrone has NFL experience as both a player and coach, starting when he was drafted in the sixth round by the Los Angeles Raiders. He also played a year with the Miami Dolphins and New Orleans Saints in 87’ and 89’ respectively.
His coaching career began in 1992 as a tight ends coach at Cortland State. His return to the NFL in the coaching ranks began in 2002 as an offensive line coach with the New York Jets and in 2006 became the offensive coordinator for the New Orleans Saints under Sean Payton, who is a disciple of Bill Parcells.
The Bills have not made the playoffs in 13 years and have struggled to find stability in the coaching position since Marv Levy retired.
Since Marv Levy, the Bills have gone through five head coaches and one interim head coach.
Wade Phillips has had the most success as Bills coach, going 29-19, having taken the Bills to the playoffs in his first two seasons, their last playoff game being the famed Music City Miracle game. But aside from that, he botched his handling of the quarterback controversy between Rob Johnson and Doug Flutie and proved he couldn’t get over the hump.
No Bills Head Coach has lasted more than three seasons. Greg Williams coached from 2001-2003 with a 17-31 record, Mike Mularkey from 2004-2005 with a 14-18 record, Dick Jauron from 2006-2009 with a 24-33 record, being fired mid-season and replaced by defensive coordinator Perry Fewell, who went 3-4 for the remainder of the season.
Chan Gailey was the last Bills coach, whose record of 16-32 never saw any improvement in terms of wins and losses despite coaching a very talented team, a talented team in which Russ Brandon thinks made this coaching vacancy much more attractive than most teams searching for replacement coaches.
“I think we have the best opportunity in the NFL,” he said. “I’m not saying that for newspaper clippings. We have a very robust roster, young core talent. We have a brand new lease, a renovation package going into this stadium. We have the potential for a new stadium on the horizon. We have world class people in this organization that will be very focused on one goal and have one clear direction. This is a plumb opportunity.”
The Bills last winning season was in 2004 when they went 9-7 and on the verge of making the playoffs, but they couldn’t beat the Pittsburgh Steelers JV team, losing 29-24.
It was the Bills only winning season in the 2000’s and the closest of making the playoffs since 1999. There last playoff win came in 1995 at home in a 37-22 win against the Miami Dolphins.
Marrone, like Brandon, is a fan of analytics, feels he is the perfect fit to turn this franchise around quickly
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