The fact that Doug Marrone will be returning to New Orleans the same weekend the Saints are out of town is a cruel twist of fate. Doug has history here and that history is linked to New Orleans Saints' coach Sean Payton, who employed Marrone as his offensive line coach/offensive coordinator for three years.
Payton was asked about the impending arrival of the Syracuse Orange to play the Tulane Green Wave and how he feels about HCDM. He also shared some insight of the Doug Marrone hiring timeline from the New Orleans perspective.
"I think there are a group of people that are uniquely special that were a part of that first staff and that first team. Doug was a part of that coaching staff in 2006 and I usually have a pretty good memory, but he was on the Jets staff that had undergone a coaching change and there was some question as to whether he was going to be released from his contract or held to his contract...Long story short, he was given permission. We had a chance to visit and interview. He came in as the offensive line coach and the thing about Doug that I'm sure Syracuse has seen now is he's a tireless worker, it's all about football, it's very important to him, he's passionate, and he's a great staff guy in that he gets along well with everyone in the building. That kind of compatibility aspect of being an assistant coach is critical. It's as important as your ability to coach.
"It was during the '08 year that there was interest in him and I had spoken to someone at Syracuse. I think a job like that was certainly - hey, how can I help you? That was certainly a big deal to be the head coach at a university like Syracuse University, certainly his alma mater as well. So he went through that process and like anything there's a three week period of interviews and final two candidates, and I knew he got the job the night we were playing the Bears on the road and I want to say we were playing a Thursday night game, and NFL Network game, and he and I just sat in the office at Soldier Field and we talked about it and I congratulated him. We were excited. The challenge always from college to pro or pro to college is the calendars don't match. There's a sense of urgency in regards to recruiting that doesn't necessarily fit with our schedule. Both of us agreed that it would be best if he went ahead and began right away. That was easier for us because Aaron Kromer was already in the building and he was going to be our next offensive line coach. So for those last two games, Aaron became the line coach and Doug went on to Syracuse. But we had a lot of great memories and he's someone that I still stay in touch with and pull for. I think it's always nice to see someone, as a young head coach to have someone hired off your staff means you're probably beginning to put the right people together and I think all of us were excited for his opportunity."