On one hand, Doug Marrone and the Bills did what they thought was best for them as a professional franchise. They made a decision based not on emotion but on cold, hard facts and analysis. At the end of the day, it's hard to fault them for that.
On the other hand...
Saw a great line on Facebook re: Nassib-Marrone. "All I'm saying is that Coach Eric Taylor would draft Matt Saracen if he was available."— Brent Axe (@BrentAxeMedia) April 26, 2013
(Though, as Mike G. astutely pointed out, Taylor benched Saracen two separate times, so, maybe there just isn't any real loyalty in football).
Many folks are saying that it wasn't Marrone's decision to entirely make, which is true. But at the same time, every interview he's given since seems to drive home that he knew pretty early on that he personally wanted Manuel over Nassib (and everyone else).
In fact, Marrone basically flat-out said it wasn't even that hard a choice:
"I wouldn't use the word conflicted," Marrone said in a news conference. "I think that at the end of the day there's a lot of good quarterbacks in the draft and we were able to go ahead and take the best quarterback that we felt fit us here and our situation best in Buffalo."
So, knowing the business side of things, why are so many Syracuse fans so angry? I'm not ready to burn down the city of Buffalo or anything but when I saw the pick, I have to admit I was shocked (so were Marrone's former players). And the more I've heard Marrone say, the more annoyed I get.
Why? Because ultimately, this decision, and the ease in which Marrone made it, seems to reinforce that feeling Syracuse fans have had that Doug Marrone really wasn't all that invested in us as he made out to be. That while "The Plan" may have been propped up as a career-goal, we were just a means to an end. And Ryan Nassib, who's record-breaking stats are huge reason Marrone and his assistants are now making bank in the NFL, is the latest victim.
I'm not saying that's the truth. But it feels like it.
It started with the way Marrone left. He didn't do anything wrong, per se, but he was extremely quiet on the SU fan front. As far as I remember, there was no message to Syracuse fans. No sincere discussion about his time here. And while he didn't need to do those things, like your mom always tells you, it's the thought that counts.
Since then, there have been a lot of Syracuse fans holding a grudge against Marrone for the way he left. And the way he's deflecting questions about Nassib today and basically refusing to use his name, well, it makes all those old emotions bubble up.
I remember wondering after the Bills took Manuel if Marrone had given Nassib any kind of heads-up. I thought, 'I bet Doug called Ryan beforehand and told him they weren't going to take him as to ease the shock and not make him feel like a schmuck while watching the pick with his friends and family." And as the night wore on and today rolls on, I'm more and more convinced that Marrone didn't do that. That he left Nassib out there to dry and suffer the indignation of finding out his college coach didn't think he was good enough to play for him in the NFL at the same moment we all did.
Yeah, yeah, it's business. I know. I get it. But...that's cold, man.
Look, I'm the first person to tell you to always look out for yourself when it comes to your life and your career. Your company is always one bad quarter or one bad decision away from firing you. If you've got an opportunity to better yourself and your family you take it. End of discussion.
But, you know, it doesn't mean you can't have a heart. It doesn't mean Doug Marrone can't get on the radio today and talk about what a fantastic young man and leader Ryan Nassib is. It doesn't mean Marrone can't say it was a tough decision and he'll always appreciate how hard Ryan worked and that he knows he'll be successful in life.
And you know, there's absolutely a chance the Bills end up snatching up Nassib if he falls to Round 3. So we probably shouldn't be too belligerent. But then again, chances are he won't fall that far.
As much as it would pain for me Nassib to end up with the New York Jets, I'm also kinda wondering if he might. And perhaps he'll get a chance to step on the field and prove Marrone wrong. Or prove Marrone right. Ultimately, so long as he gets that chance, no matter what city and what uniform, that's all you can ask for.
As for Doug Marrone and Syracuse fans, there's no doubt we'll always respect what he did in four years as the coach. As for his post-SU career? So far, not all that much for Syracuse fans to be excited about.