As the Doug Marrone era started at One Bills Drive Monday, so did the search for Buffalo’s next offensive coordinator, defensive coordinator and the rest of the coaching staff.
The search for coordinators began in earnest late Monday, with the defensive coordinator post at the top of the priority list. Jets head coach Rex Ryan confirmed Tuesday in a press conference that his soon-to-be former defensive coordinator Mike Pettine would be interviewing with the Bills.
"Mike Pettine is going to have several opportunities as a defensive coordinator," said Ryan. "Today I know he interviews with the Buffalo Bills. I'm hoping he doesn't take that job. I hope he goes somewhere else. He's a tremendous coach.”
On Monday Marrone made it clear what he was looking for in his future coaching staff.
“One of the things I believe in is making sure people work together and I have the greatest people to work with,” Marrone said in reference to team President Russ Brandon and GM Buddy Nix. “For me there is a process. We’re going to be thorough and we’re going to pick the coaches that best fit what we would like to do.
“The coaches that we speak to are going to be coaches that do not have an ego, that understand a work ethic and are willing to work with these players and get the job done."
Marrone admitted his approach to play calling would be different than that of his predecessor. Despite not having the opportunity to call plays as the offensive coordinator of the Saints (2006-2008), Marrone will have his offensive coordinator with the Bills handle those duties.
“No, I will not be calling the plays, but to answer that everything will go through me,” said Marrone. “Everything is game planned offensively, defensively and special teams. We’ll have a plan going in. When the defense is on the field I’m on the headset with the defense. There are management decisions being made and I’ll be part of that process, same with special teams and same with the offense.”
While coaching at Syracuse, Marrone initially called his own plays on offense before handing play calling duties to offensive coordinator Nate Hackett in 2010. Marrone, while serving as head coach at Syracuse, had said that the job of calling plays for the offense didn’t allow him to manage his defense well enough.
Marrone noted he would not put boundaries on the possible position coach candidates, but there would be the prerequisite of extensive NFL experience for his coordinators.
“One thing I’ve learned about coaching is there are great coaches in all areas,” Marrone said. “What I’m not going to do is put a parameter around exactly what I’m looking for from a certain position. Obviously with the coordinators we want people that have thorough NFL experience, especially on the defensive side of the ball. Offensively, we want people with NFL experience. I think our coordinators we want to make sure they’ve been in this league. This is a very difficult job being an NFL coach. I think at the end of the day we need to find the best fit where we’re going to be most successful.”
As far as assistant coaches from the previous Bills staff are concerned, general manager Buddy Nix said Marrone would determine whether or not any of them are retained.
“I would say there’s a chance, but it’s strictly up to Doug. He has said he would interview these guys if they haven’t been hired, then the decision will be his.”
Marrone did not put a timetable on when he would like to have his staff fully assembled.
“We’ll get started right away,” Marrone told Buffalobills.com. “I’m not going to say by this date I want to have my entire staff hired. We want to make sure that we’re getting the right coaches that want to be here.”
Lead Journalist Chris Brown contributed to this story.