Calling the opportunity "another dream come true," Doug Marrone was introduced as the new head coach of the Buffalo Bills on Monday. The video of his introductory press conference is already available online; here are a few very early takeaways from that presser that also included President/CEO Russ Brandon and GM Buddy Nix.
- Marrone did not get into specifics in virtually any sense, and in particular dodged questions about the quarterback position and the defensive scheme he plans to run. He said that decisions on those particular topics would be made based in part on roster evaluations he has yet to perform, and also told reporters that he does not discuss players in the media for trust reasons.
- Marrone will not call plays on offense, delegating that responsibility to his offensive coordinator. He also went out of his way to state that he plans to have game-planning input and game day access in all three phases: offense, defense and special teams.
- When interviewing for coordinator positions, Marrone will be seeking candidates with "thorough" NFL experience. That prerequisite will not exist for the remaining position coaches, but Marrone wants experienced coordinators to lean on in his first pro coaching job.
- Brandon noted that the Bills met with Marrone five separate times while they were interviewing out in Arizona. Nix would later comment that Marrone was their second coach interviewed (likely following Ken Whisenhunt, though Nix did not confirm that).
- Brandon also carefully noted that the man leading the search committee was Nix, and not himself or any of the other parties there (reportedly Assistant GM Doug Whaley and VP/Football Administration Jim Overdorf).
- Nix told reporters that there was more interest in Buffalo's coaching vacancy than he had expected. It's unclear what prompted this comment, though public interest from Lovie Smith might have had something to do with it.
- Nix said that while the team discussed the quarterback situation with Marrone, his link to prospect Ryan Nassib - a player that the Bills had already been scouting for months - did not play a role in the decision to hire him.
- Asked why the week-long search - which Brandon described as "thorough, exhausting and exhilarating" - did not include coordinators from playoff teams defeated this weekend, Nix said that the team already had their hearts set on Marrone and did not want to risk losing him by conducting further interviews.
All in all, this was a fairly low-key beginning to the Doug Marrone era in Orchard Park. The coach was thin on details, but he was clearly excited to be working here - he emphasized that he "chose" to be here - and eager to get to work. As Bills fans, it's tough to ask for more than that from an introductory press conference.