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NFL Draft Report

By Joe Buscaglia

Bills' Marrone raved about Barkley in September

Before you read any more, it is very important to note one thing in particular:

You can read however much or little in to this as you want, because sometimes coach speak exists and some of the things they say are a little over the top. But sometimes coaches speak the truth, too.

Back in September when the Buffalo Bills were still steered by Chan Gailey, Doug Marrone was still the head man at Syracuse University and preparing to take on the USC Trojans for the second straight year.

At that point in time, USC was considered to be one of the top programs in the nation heading in to the season, and they're led by none other than 2013 draft hopeful Matt Barkley.

This news item comes courtesy of Matt Rybaltowski of, who recapped Marrone talking about his opponents -- and more specifically Barkley.

Last October, Barkley shredded the Orange secondary with 324 yards and five touchdowns. During Monday's Big East coaches' teleconference, Marrone indicated that Barkley, not Robert Griffin III, would have been considered the top quarterback in last April's NFL Draft alongside Andrew Luck.

“I was one of a couple people that was hoping he'd go on to the NFL,” Marrone said. “I'm not going to sit here and tell you that I'm happy he's back.”

Keep in mind that Marrone and Syracuse did not have to go up against Robert Griffin III and Baylor within the past couple of seasons so he didn't necessarily watch as much tape as he did on Barkley, but the quote still remains one that makes you wonder a little bit.

Then the adoration continued when talking about Barkley's skills on the field.

Besides being impressed by Barkley's intangibles, Marrone raved about Barkley's pocket presence and patience. Unlike many college quarterbacks Barkley excels in checking down to his backs when his downfield targets are covered, Marrone said. Barkley connected with his running backs four times in last season's 38-17 win over Syracuse.

“If he doesn't like what's going on when they (take away) the deep vertical threats, he can come right back to the backs,” Marrone said. “That's one of the things you see with the top guys in the NFL.”

Some interesting stuff, wouldn't you say? I don't know if you can really make heads or tails out of who the Bills will ultimately select through this article, but it sure is interesting seeing the mindset of the Bills' future head coach, when he wasn't a head coach, talking about a quarterback who very well could be his next quarterback.

Twitter: @JoeBuscaglia

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Topics : Sports
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Locations : Syracuse
People : Andrew LuckChan GaileyDoug MarroneMatt BarkleyMatt RybaltowskiRobert Griffin III

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