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ESPN's Jon Gruden gives thumbs up on Marrone

Posted Jan 7, 2013


The field of coaching is considered a brotherhood. There’s mutual respect because each person in that field knows the commitment involved. Former Oakland Raiders and Tampa Bay Buccaneers head coach Jon Gruden is one that had such respect for Bills new head coach Doug Marrone.

“You know how this profession is,” Gruden said. “You are at the Senior Bowl, you are at the (NFL) Combine and you are at a lot of common places. You gravitate towards the people that you respect the most. (Doug) Marrone has always been one of those guys.

“The guy understands the big picture. He is not just an o-line coach, he understands the passing game. I think he has a vast background of defensive football too. I just think he knows the game. I have a lot of respect for the way that his offenses attack and the way that he has grown with the game.”

Gruden remembers going against Marrone and Saints head coach Sean Payton twice a year while he was Tampa Bay’s head coach. Though Payton called the plays, he could identify Marrone’s contributions within the New Orleans offense.

“I think he is on the cutting edge offensively,” Gruden said. “He has a vast football background if you just check where he comes from and the kind of people he is able to acquire in terms of his staff. I think he did an excellent job at Syracuse of developing young coaches and surrounding himself with a really good brain trust. What he did at Syracuse speaks for itself. He turned that program around. I expect him to do the same in Buffalo. I think it is a great hire.”

So although Bills fans aren’t all that familiar with just who they’re getting in Doug Marrone yet. Gruden assures the Bills are in very capable hands.

“I would be really excited if I was a Bills fan,” he said. “This is a guy I have been studying for a long time. I competed against him. He is a tough, hard-nosed and detailed coach. Really has a good command for the game and is really good teaching the game. I think he is going to win. I think he is going to get the Bills back in the playoffs soon. Coach Marrone is the kind of coach that can push you over the top. He has won everywhere he has been. I think he is going to continue to do that. He will find a way to get it done.”