Doug Marrone: A Fair Choice for New York Jets Coach
Dec 21, 2014; Oakland, CA, USA; Buffalo Bills coach Doug Marrone reacts against the Oakland Raiders at O.co Coliseum. The Raiders defeated the Bills 26-24. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
I know the name Doug Marrone has been a bit of a polarizing figure when you put him in consideration to be the next head coach for the New York Jets.
Marrone had his interview on Saturday and while I do understand the criticism, there are some things that are not being talked about which is why I think he would be a good choice to lead the New York Jets.
The NFL is win loss business, but sometimes there is more than meets the eye…………
In 2006, Marrone was brought in to New Orleans as the offensive coordinator under Sean Payton.
Once he was hired, there was an immediate impact. By the end of the 2006 regular season, the Saints had the number one offense in passing yards (281.4 yards per game, 4,503 yards) and in total yards (391.5 yards per game). Drew Brees was the top quarterback in the league having 4,418 passing yards — beating out Peyton Manning, Tom Brady and Brett Favre.
In 2007, the offense was fourth overall in the league with 361.2 points per game and was third in the league in passing w/269.6 yards per game.
In 2008, the Saints found themselves back a top the league in total offense (410.7 yards per game) and passing yards (311.1 yards per game, 4.977 yards) with Brees again leading the league passing for 5,069 yards.
Did Marrone have one of the greatest quarterbacks to ever play the game at his disposal? Yes he did, but if you remember, Brees was not yet in the conversation with Manning, Brady, and Favre as one of the greatest quarterbacks in the league. He got run out of San Diego after the Jets win in the playoffs in 2004.
So, can Marrone develop quarterback? Yes. Can he mold an offense into a prolific one? Check.
After 14 + years of dealing with defensive minded coaches, don’t you think the next guys should be offensively minded.
Aug 29, 2014; Syracuse, NY, USA; General view of a Syracuse Orange helmet prior to the game against the Villanova Wildcats at the Carrier Dome. Syracuse defeated Villanova 27-26 in double overtime. Mandatory Credit: Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports
Whether you like him or not, Marrone’s coaching record in four years at Syracuse and two years in Buffalo weren’t anything to write home about because frankly they weren’t very good.
With ‘Cuse, 25-25 overall record with two bowl wins and an 11-17 in the Big East conference. Prior to the realignment, the Big East was not really known for its football but had teams starting to emerge on the national scene like Rutgers as well as UConn, to an extent.
With the Bills, he was 6-10 in year one and 9-7 this past season for a grand total of 15-17 in the NFL as the the head coach.
To me, when you look at the numbers of Marrone’s time at Syracuse, which was his first head coaching job, I think people need to look at more of what he was able to do with the teams he was given. In 2012, his final year at Syracuse; the Orange led the conference in total offense with 6,184 yards (ESPN). They were second in passing with 3,757 yards, second in rushing with 2,427 yards. Syracuse was third in defense.
This year with the Bills, he took a team that was 6-10 and guided them to their first winning record in the better part of a decade. The defense was fourth overall in the league (312.2 yards per game). The offense wasn’t great (26th overall, 318.5 yards per game) and they went through a lot of quarterback issues, but the bottom line is the Bills found ways to win games.
Jul 27, 2013; Cortland, NY, USA; General view of a New York Jets helmet during training camp at SUNY Cortland. Mandatory Credit: Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports
As we all know, Marrone was the offensive line coach for the Jets under Herman Edwards and now many former players are coming out to throw support behind the Bronx native. And there was a piece in Saturday’s NY Post by Brian Costello which was a fantastic read: Doug Marrone Scouting Report having talked with Brandon Moore, Kevin Mawae and Hall of Famer Curtis Martin.
I’m going to highlight the quotes that struck me the most from Moore.
Moore on how Marrone treated guys who weren’t on top of the depth chart:
“He had the Kevin Mawaes, Pete Kendalls, Dave Szotts, all these Pro Bowlers, but he felt like he was only as good as the backups and the young guys that were there,” Moore said. “I’ve had other O-line coaches that could care less about the guy that came here last week off the practice squad. He was out there working with us to get better because he knew we were only a play away.”
Moore on Marrone being a head coach:
“He’s approachable,” Moore said. “His office was always open. You’d come in and he was always excited to see you. He was never standoffish. I think those things work well. He’s definitely going to find a way, offensively especially, to be successful.”
All of these former players, who still respect Marrone to this day, as well as his former boss, Sean Payton, can’t be wrong, can they?
Oct 26, 2014; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; Buffalo Bills head coach Doug Marrone looks on prior to the game against the New York Jets at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY Sports
Being that he’s a New York native and graduated from Syracuse, if anyone’s going to get a little bit more of a longer leash from the media, it’ll be him.
Why you ask?
Most members of the media and most of the beat reporters all have Syracuse ties. He may not be Rex Ryan but he’ll be able to at least in the beginning, get the media on his side.
Not to mention, he already has a relationship with owner Woody Johnson.
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So in conclusion, yes, the NFL is a winning business, and yes, Marrone’s coaching record is under .500, but I think there’s more to coaching then just the win-loss record.
Marrone has shown he can coach in the NFL. Would he be my first choice? I can’t say for sure, but what I can say is I wouldn’t be totally mad if he gets the job.