The NFL's interest in Syracuse's head coach seems to be reaching a peak, as the Browns, Bills, Eagles and Chiefs are all reportedly interested in him. And according to athletic director Daryl Gross and basketball coach Jim Boeheim the interest doesn't surprise them at all.
The next few days for Syracuse Orange football fans will be stressful, as head coach Doug Marrone is reportedly expected to interview with four NFL franchises - the Cleveland Browns, Buffalo Bills, Kansas City Chiefs and Philadelphia Eagles.
According to ESPN's Chris Mortensen, Marrone will talk with the Browns today. Meanwhile, he's still expected to sit down with the Bills and Eagles (link) in the next few days. It is still unclear exactly when.
While, we all sit and pray the 48-year-old Marrone doesn't get an offer and stays at his "dream job," two high-profiled Syracuse University figureheads tackled the issue Wednesday night.
SU athletic director Daryl Gross commented on the NFL's interest in Marrone via text message with Syracuse.com's Brent Axe.
"I think it is the ultimate compliment to Doug's coaching abilities that his name is being mentioned in NFL circles. None of us should be surprised by the attention given his experience and success," Gross said.
Then, after winning his 903rd game and surpassing Bob Knight for second on the all-time wins list in a 78-53 blowout of Rutgers, Jim Boeheim addressed the topic in his post-game press conference.
"I’m not surprised,’’ Boeheim said. "When you’re talented, people are going to inquire about you.’’
"I hope he stays here,’’ said Boeheim. "I hope it’s the right place for him. He’s done an unbelievable job and I think he will continue to do an unbelievable job.
"He’s a great coach and he’ll make a great decision.’’
Boeheim admitted he recently had Marrone over for dinner - to be a fly on the wall in that house - and tried his best to talk-up the city of Syracuse.
"I tried to convince him that Syracuse was better than Hawaii or any other place," Boeheim said. "I don’t know if he believed that."
If you're curious on the odds of Marrone leaving, well, they seem to be still slim. However, as we all learned last winter with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and former Rutger head coach Greg Schiano, it takes just one good interview for teams to offer up a job.
And as Marrone schedules more interviews the odds of him getting an offer go up.
At this point, we all just need to all sit, wait and pray that doesn't happen.
(A quick thought: I was thinking last night after the basketball game when Boeheim was talking about Marrone after the basketball team's Big East Conference opener: when was the last time Syracuse football was this relevant (for good reasons) during the meat of basketball season? Discuss).