USA TODAY Sports
Syracuse's head football coach has decided to take his talents to the NFL and become the next headman of the Buffalo Bills, ESPN is reporting.
Bitter-sweet news (for some) is currently sending shock waves through the Central New York sports' world this morning, as Doug Marrone has decided to leave the Syracuse football program and become the headman of the Buffalo Bills, ESPN's Adam Schefter is reporting.
According to NFL Network's Ian Rapoport, the deal was done around 2 a.m.
(So, yeah. This is really happening.)
Marrone's choice comes as a HUGE surprise considering late Saturday night the two teams that looked the most interested in him were the Philadelphia Eagles and Cleveland Browns - admittedly for the past two days I had ruled out the Bills as a possible landing spot for Marrone (my bad).
One has to think Russ Brandon, the Bills' newly appointed President and CEO, being an East Syracuse native had something to do with all of this. Of course, having seven years of NFL experience and people like Bill Parcells and Sean Payton backing you doesn't hurt, either.
(For those curious, the Bills have the No. 8 pick in the 2013 NFL Draft and there will be strong suggestions they pick Ryan Nassib.)
Whatever happened overnight we will learn about later, right now, the biggest question is: what does this mean for the program? This includes deciding on: who's going to be the next head coach? Will the current 14 verbal commits for the Class of 2013, including quarterback Zach Allen, stay committed with Marrone now gone?
The only good thing about this is it comes earlier enough in the process that athletic director Daryl Gross has time to do some damage control. The question is: What does damage control mean?
Marrone's four-year run as Syracuse head coach will end with a 25-25 overall record (11-17 Big East), a Co-Big East Conference championship and two Pinstripe Bowl victories.
Despite leaving the program with a lot more questions than answers, he sure left it in better shape than it was when he took over in 2009.