Exactly one week after the franchise fired former head coach Chan Gailey, the Bills introduced Doug Marrone as the next man to attempt to lead the franchise back to prominence.
"I can't tell you how excited I am to be the head football coach," said the former Syracuse head coach Monday. "I can't tell you how excited I am for my family and I to move up here. We're all looking forward to it. I'm excited about working with the people in this organization. But I'm especially excited about working with the players. I'm really excited about that and building a trust."
Marrone shared the stage with team president and CEO Russ Brandon, as well as general manager Buddy Nix. Brandon is convinced that Buffalo hit a home run with the hire.
"Last week, I stood here, and we talked about leading the Buffalo Bills franchise into a new era. I promised our great fans to be laser-focused on delivering three specific elements: To be a forward-thinking, progressive, attacking organization in everything we do," the CEO remarked.
"We had extensive dialogue and conversations throughout the process and Doug’s ready. He’s done it; he’s done it as a player, he’s done it as an NFL coach, his references are impeccable. To have the experience of going back to college and managing the head coaching position at a Division I university ... he’s the right man to lead this organization, unquestionably."
After announcing changes within the decision making process to start the new year on Tuesday, the Bills flew out to Arizona that night in hopes of finding their next head coach. Six days later, the franchise has their 16th head coach in team history and one that provides changes from the previous head coach.
When introduced in 2010, Chan Gailey was billed as a teacher that has won everywhere he's been. Fast-forward to 2013, Marrone gets the designation of being a culture changing and innovative mind that was highly regarded in this off-season's coach search.
Don't expect that to be the only change with the Bills' head coach. While he does have a background on offense, rather than calling the plays Marrone prefers an all-encompassing approach to running a football team -- one he used in his time at Syracuse.
"No, I wont be calling the plays. But everything will go through me," he said. "The main thing is when you're the head football coach, you want to make sure that you're truly the CEO of the program, that you know what's going on on offense, know what's going on on defense, and know what's going on on special teams. So from a management style, that's who I am. I have to make sure we know how to win games, make sure I'm managing all three of those phases. It will be with the coordinators, I'll be heavily involved in game planning."
That's a stark difference from the Gailey era, which saw the head coach also serve as the offensive play-caller for three seasons.
"He’s highly intelligent and keeps up with all the new trends," GM Buddy Nix said of the Bills new head coach. "He knows about the old-school stuff, too. So we’ve got the best of both worlds."
Citing the fact that he wants to build trust with his players and didn't want to speak with them through the media, Marrone was tight-lipped for much of the introductory press conference. One of the things he did open up about, much like when the team announced Russ Brandon would be heading up the coaching search, is that the new man in charge wants to get to work quickly.
"The one thing I am thinking about, when this [press conference] is finished, Im dying to go to work because we have a lot of work to do," Marrone remarked. "I have a balance of putting together a staff, working with our scouting department and getting an evaluation of our current players, and then looking through the process of where we’re headed, what we’re talking about. Again, it’s a process. Probably when that gets complete, then we’ll go into the college area. So there’s a lot of work to be done as we move forward."
The Bills now will set out to find an offensive and defensive coordinator to highlight Marrone's staff and be in charge of calling the plays. A league source tells WGR that the Bills will approach the defensive coordinator position very aggressively.
The first big week for a new staff in the NFL will be at the annual Senior Bowl in Mobile, AL, which puts the best seniors college football on one field for a week long scouting extravaganza. That event starts in two weeks on January 21, culminating with the All-Star game on Saturday, January 26.
"Today, I'm experiencing another dream come true," Marrone said. "When you think about it, I was born and raised in this state. I went to school in this state. I came back. My first coaching job ever was in this state. My first head-coaching job was in this state. And now with my dream of being an NFL head coach, again, within this state, and it means a lot to me."
Marrone is 48 years old, and led Syracuse to a 25-25 record in his four seasons as head coach. He spent the seven seasons prior to that as an NFL assistant, serving as the offensive line coach for the New York Jets from 2002 through 2005, and as the offensive coordinator in New Orleans from 2006 through 2008.
Keep checking back with WGR Sports Radio 550 and WGR550.com for all the latest in what promises to be a very busy off-season for the Buffalo Bills.