The Buffalo Bills' head coaching search came to a sudden halt early Sunday morning when it was reported that now former Syracuse head coach Doug Marrone would become the team's next head coach, succeeding Chan Gailey, who was let go Dec. 31.
Like every move the Bills make, fans near and far were on top of it, offering their thoughts on Buffalo's latest move.
"He took over an awful Syracuse program that had won 10 games in four years before he got there," Dunkirk resident Mike Cole said. "Also, he was Sean Payton and Drew Brees' offensive coordinator for three years. He has proven he can coach, so I hope he changes the culture (in Buffalo)."
AP File Photo
In this Nov. 13, 2010, file photo, Syracuse coach Doug Marrone stands near his players during their game against Rutgers in Piscataway, N.J. Marrone reached an agreement to become the Buffalo Bills’ new coach Sunday, three people familiar with the negotiations told The Associated Press.
"It is good to see them go in that direction," long-time Bills fan, and Dunkirk resident, Tim Wdowiasz said. "He put Syracuse back on the map, so we hope he can do the same here."
The Marrone hiring came as a surprise Sunday morning as I woke up and opened the facebook application on my phone. My news feed was littered with opinions of all kinds, both positive and negative. The same types of opinions I heard when I started asking Bills fans what they thought of their new coach.
"I think it's a plus that he was actually on other teams' radars," Mike Farnham, a season ticket holder from Erie, Pa. said. "The last few times we were looking at guys that no one else was. From what I've read, I'm pretty happy with the move and Syracuse fans are not happy about losing him, which is also a good sign."
As optimistic as some Bills fans were, others were less so.
"Another hire on the cheap by our old, cheap owner," Jason Woloszyn, a former Dunkirk resident now living in Charlotte, N.C. said. "It's more of a marketing ploy than anything by their newly-appointed team president, who just happens to have been in marketing his whole career. Now they can use their regionalization idea to try and work their way into the Syracuse area."
"I wanted the Buffalo Bills to hire Lovie Smith," season ticket holder, and Fredonia resident, Josh Tedone said. "He is a proven winner, and as a coach, he did bring his team to the Super Bowl and was just fired after a 10 win season. I would kill for 10 wins in Buffalo."
Mark Cole, a former Dunkirk resident now living in Houston, Texas, felt that it was another underwhelming move by the Bills.
"There are reports that (Marrone) was endorsed by (New Orleans head coach) Sean Payton, (Saints' general manager) Mickey Loomis and Bill Parcells," Mark Cole said. "Well, Chan Gailey was endorsed by Bill Cowher. I just wish they hired the best football coach and maybe they did, but I'm pessimistic on that right now."
Despite his hopes that the Bills would hire Smith after his dismissal as the Chicago Bears' head coach, Tedone is optimistic that Marrone has what it takes to get the job done in Buffalo.
"I would have preferred a NFL coach," Tedone said. "However, Doug Marrone does have the resume to, at the point in his career, be ready to take the next step. The man is a proven winner and has the experience to understand the duties associated with a head coach and putting together a winner. I think Marrone's ability to produce on the offensive side of the ball will enable him to help the team be molded into a proven winner."