There were a lot of emotional reactions to the 2013 NFL Draft from Orange Nation. We watched the Buffalo Bills, now helmed by Doug Marrone and peppered with former SU coaches, use eight draft picks on eight non-Syracuse Orange football players. While there's an understanding that this is the NFL and the Bills have to take emotion out of the equation, we were hoping he'd at least throw a bone to one or two guys he's watched closely for the past four years (He did eventually with Zack Chibane).
Passing on Ryan Nassib was the biggest "snub" of the whole ordeal. Of course now we've come to realize that Nassib never really was a first-round talent, he was just overhyped by a media that had no idea what it was talking about (what else is new?). Ultimately he was a 3rd/4th round guy and he went according to the New York Giants.
But the emotional shock of watching the Bills not only pass on Nassib but pick E.J. Manual instead left a lot of folks wondering. Did Marrone care at all? The next day when he seemingly refused to mention Nassib or Syracuse by name, it only heightened things.
Peter King got a chance to sit down with FHCDM and find out just where his heart was at. And it turns out, it was and still is a heavy one.
"In one sense, you study all the quarterbacks and you get the one you believe is the best one, and you're happy. You're ecstatic,'' Marrone said. "In another sense, you're hurting about Ryan. And it did hurt. You're hurting in a different way for the other quarterbacks too, because you spent a lot of time with them too, and there was a lot to like about all of them. But with Ryan, it was very difficult after what we did together. It hurts. It definitely hurts. He's a special kid. Unbelievable worker. So smart. Very, very good quarterback with all the intangibles. He will win games in this league.
"The responsibility I had was to get the best player we could get. There are a lot of people relying on me to get the best players we can get here -- all the people in the organization and all the fans who buy tickets to see us play.''
King says that he's heard Nassib was "wounded" by the slip, and however you feel about the "right" thing to do and this being "just business," that's completely understandable. The guy who groomed you for four years, told you you're a winner and went to battle with you, determined you weren't the best option on the table anymore. It might be true, but that doesn't make it hurt any less.
As the emotions die down and everyone moves on, I think we can all agree that just about everyone Syracuse-related got what they wanted. Justin Pugh for a big contract with the Giants, Nassib gets the chance to be groomed instead of thrown to the wolves, #Hardnosed #SHAMARKO goes to the #hardnosed Pittsburgh Steelers. A whole bunch of Syracuse guys got free agent contracts to try and earn their spot. And Doug Marrone got the guys he wanted in order to turn the Bills around.
I wish them all success. Though, as a Giants fan, I wish Pugh and Nassib slightly more than everyone else.