Sunday, January 6, 2013

Buffalo Bills hire Syracuse's Marrone

The Buffalo Bills have filled their head coaching vacancy by hiring Syracuse head coach Doug Marrone. Many are probably saying "who?" regarding this recent hire by the Bills, but if you look deeper than his win- loss record, Bills fans will realize that this hire was more about giving the Bills offense a jolt.

Before compiling a 25-25 record over four years at Syracuse, Marrone was an offensive line coach for the New York Jets from 2002-2005 and was the offensive coordinator for the New Orleans Saints from 2006-2008. When he took over Syracuse the program had been run into the ground and Marrone made it competitive and winning two bowl games.

Now the Bills have a major problem scoring points and offense is Marrone's background. He led the Saints' offensive renaissance during his three years in New Orleans. It helps if you have Drew Brees leading the charge, but nonetheless he was the coordinator so that counts for something.

NFL analyst Brian Billick called it a "great hire", adding that Marrone "brings substantial pro experience with a  mix of college."

I will not lampoon this hire considering I'm a Lions fan, but Marrone does have a superior weapon on offense in the underused C.J. Spiller. Marrone may not get the Bills back to their glory days of the early 90's, but the fans should give him a chance before saying the guy can't coach.

Lehigh's McCollum appers to break foot in loss to VCU

Lehigh guard C.J. McCollum entered Saturday's game against VCU as the nation's leading scorer. He left it with a tough break for himself and the team. McCollum appeared to break his foot in the first half of a 59-55 loss to the Rams.

This would be a terrible way for McCollum to go out if this is his last hurrah for the Mountain Hawks. Lehigh and McCollum entered the nation's consciousness after a win over Duke in the NCAA Tournament last March. The Mountain Hawks were thought to be college basketball darlings and McCollum was a legitmate NBA prospect.

Now the what appeared to be a promising season for Lehigh and McCollum is in serious doubt. The Mountain Hawks did notch a win without McCollum over North Texas on December 20, so all is not lost considering they are in the Patriot League which isn't all that powerful.

There hasn't been an official diagnosis of McCollum's injury so there is still a sliver of hope that he can return by season's end, but it's something I wouldn't count on.