Doug Marrone’s first few days of training camp were not the best foot forward. In early August he got incredibly defensive when Buffalo media questioned why star defensive end Mario Williams had been missing for three days without explanation. Marrone even invoked FERPA regulations for not being more forthcoming. Yeah… about that. The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act only pertains to college kids, not professional athletes.
It seemed like a college coach who was in over his head, and already losing the battle of strong arming local media. But since that time Marrone has led a disciplined, controversy-free preseason. The Bills are developing a young quarterback, and almost upset the Patriots in the opener. This week the Bills get a second home game to nab Marrone’s first win, when they’ll host the Panthers. NFL lines at Topbet.eu Sportsbook has Buffalo as a three-point underdog.
I had 7-time All-Pro and member of the Bills Ring of Honor, Steve Tasker, on my show Friday morning. As an analyst for the NFL on CBS, he believes the new coach has pushed all the right buttons in Western New York.
“I think Marrone has been very impressive in the handling of his players, the program he’s put together, the preparation of his players at One Bills Drive. Marrone has been nothing but impressive. The team is rallying around him. He handles them extremely well. He’s changed the culture somewhat. The way they do things around the locker room, around the team, on road trips. I think the players have really liked the changes, and they’re thriving because of it. But they still have to keep working to make it come to fruition.”
Syracuse fans have their own set of problems, with an uninspiring 0-2 start, and an offense that looks putrid. It doesn’t help matters that the early returns on the last coach on the Hill have been growing more positive by the day.