Originally posted on NESN.com  |  Last updated 1/8/13
The Buffalo Bills have gone through four head coaches since their last trip to the postseason in 1999. They’re now officially onto their fifth option in 13 seasons, and they hope that this time they’ve hired the right guy. Doug Marrone didn’t have to travel far from his home as head coach at Syracuse to his new digs in Buffalo — two hours and 21 minutes via car, according to Google Maps — but he knows the journey he’s embarking on with the Bills will take a lot longer than that. Marrone spoke at length during his introductory news conference on Monday about “working with the players” and “getting to work,” showing that he’s well aware of the tall task at hand, but he also appears to be the perfect man for that job. The Bills finished below .500 for the eighth consecutive season in 2012 (6-10) and in the cellar of the AFC East for a fifth straight year. Some glaring issues on defense have contributed to that disappointment, but the Bills’ primary concern remains on the offensive side of the ball — something of a specialty for Marrone. Before taking over at Syracuse in 2009, Marrone directed the New Orleans Saints’ offense under Sean Payton for three seasons. During his stint as offensive coordinator, Marrone led the Saints’ offense to new heights, which included three consecutive finishes among the NFL’s top-five offenses — twice finishing first.  By taking the job at Syrcause, Marrone didn’t have a role in the Saints’ 2009 Super Bowl winning team, but his imprint on that offensive system was very much a part of their championship success. Marrone’s most remarkable feat, though, might be his role in the development of Drew Brees in that Saints system. Brees is now one of the NFL’s preeminent passers and even broke the record for passing yards (5,476) in a single season in 2011. The hope for the Bills is that Marrone will be able to similarly develop a quarterback — likely not Ryan Fitzpatrick — and instill some offensive innovation in Buffalo. The presence of running backs C.J. Spiller, Fred Jackson and wide receiver Stevie Johnson offers the Bills plenty of offensive weapons for such innovation, now Marrone’s job will be to find a quarterback to lead the attack. Fitzpatrick isn’t the answer unfortunately, which the Bills are a little late in realizing after handing him a five-year, $30 million contract last season, but there will be options on the free-agent market and through the draft to find a replacement. With an Alex Smith, Jason Cambpell or even Michael Vick under center, the Bills very well could be competitive in 2013, and beyond. There are some questions left to be answered in Buffalo, but Marrone’s creativity and hands-on approach could have the Bills back in the playoff picture in no time, which would solve one problem for the franchise. As for the division, the Patriots may still have a stranglehold on the AFC East, but a few years down the line Marrone may even have these Bills vying for division titles. Have a question for Luke Hughes? Send it to him via Twitter at @LukeFHughes or send it here. Photo via Facebook/Coach Doug Marrone
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

DeMar DeRozan: It will be ‘pretty tough’ for me to leave Raptors

Super Bowl referee says Cotchery play could have been a catch

The NBA is one step closer to putting ads on jerseys

Archie Manning defends Cam Newton over press conference

Dwight Howard: ‘I have not asked the Rockets to trade me’

Nazem Kadri fined $5,000 for throat-slashing gesture

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Hassan Whiteside suspended one game for elbowing Boban Marjanovic

Hornets’ Michael Kidd-Gilchrist has torn labrum

Report: Antonio Tarver suspended six months, fined $50,000 for positive test

Texans owner wants team to draft a top quarterback

Subban undergoes larynx surgery, out at least eight weeks

Report: Raiders staying in Oakland for 2016 season

Chris Harris: Von Miller should get paid more than JJ Watt

4 likeliest Dwight Howard trade scenarios

On Kobe Bryant and taking greatness for granted

Penn State the latest to offer generic football jerseys for sale

Gary Bettman praises the NHL’s new website and app (which are currently awful)

Bucks need to choose between wins, development

NBA to weigh adding advertisements to jerseys

ESPN, Stephen A. Smith and Little League International sued by parents of Jackie Robinson West

Kobe Bryant shoots down notion he wants All-Star MVP record

Justin Tuck will sign one-day contract to retire with Giants

Ronda Rousey returns to training

Von Miller likely to get franchise tag from Broncos

Barry J. Sanders transferring to Oklahoma State

All Sports News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

On Kobe Bryant and taking greatness for granted

Bucks need to choose between wins, development

Fantasy booking WrestleMania 32

Unrestricted free agents each team must consider re-signing

QUIZ: Name the winners of the NBA Slam Dunk Contest

Thank you Daniel Bryan

The timeless greatness of Jaromir Jagr

The NCAAB power rankings

Report: Kings to keep coach George Karl

Was Alain Vigneault right about NHL's lack of punishment towards Wayne Simmonds?

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker