The Buffalo Bills surprised many when they signed Syracuse's Doug Marrone to be their next head coach. There were seemingly better options available, and fan reaction was less than pleased, but Marrone has already received quite an endorsement from New York Giants head coach Tom Coughlin, whom Marrone considers a friend and mentor.
“He’s proven that he can coach in the modern era," Coughlin said. "[He] is a man who is very serious about his work. [He] shares the work ethic that the people of Western New York have long been known for. When he came to visit me – which was the year before last – he had specific questions he wanted to ask. He was very direct. He was recruiting in the area and he took the time out to visit with us despite the fact he was obviously on a mission.”
A lot of Marrone's coaching style is modeled after that of Tom Coughlin, and although his players aren't entirely familiar with the man, that has already created some expectations.
“It looks like a good hire from the outside looking in, and I’m definitely excited to get to know him and start working with him,” said center Eric Wood. “From what I’ve been reading, he considers one of his mentors Tom Coughlin. So that tells me we better be ready for some tough days ahead. But hard work will get us where we want to go."
Marrone won't be the first coach to go from the NCAA to the NFL and use a coaching style derived from watching Coughlin. Tampa Bay Buccaneers head coach Greg Schiano offered some praise for Coughlin and his coaching influence prior to their week two game, but that quickly went out the window when Schiano did something Coughlin would never do: he instructed his players to dive at the knees of the Giants during victory formation.
In addition to Coughlin, former Giants quarterback and current CBS analyst Phil Simms offered some encouraging words for Marrone.
“I know 25-25 [at Syracuse] does not sound like a great record, but that program was completely in the gutter when he went up there. He did a wonderful job,” Simms said.
Marrone and Coughlin will face off, job security and potential Super Bowl matchup pending, in 2015.
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