Bills’ Marrone Made Difficult Personal Decision by Passing on Nassib
John Fennelly , Lead Writer
Doug Marrone, the former Syracuse head coach who was hired this winter to do the same for the Buffalo Bills, is feeling bittersweet about his first selection in the this year’s NFL Draft: Florida State QB EJ Manuel.
Bills’ GM Buddy Nix and Marrone both agreed the Bills needed to start over at QB and made the decision to take Manuel over Ryan Nassib, Marrone’s QB at Syracuse, to lead their club into the future. Many felt that player would be Nassib, but the Bills needed to start this new chapter in their history with the right player under center.
“I don’t think I was very conflicted,” Marrone said when asked about taking Manuel over Nassib. “I think that at the end of the day there are a lot of good quarterbacks in the draft and we were able to take the best quarterback that we felt fit us here in our situation in Buffalo.”
That’s it. He did what was best for the Buffalo organization. Good for him, but it hasn’t been so cut and dry for Marrone. Nassib was an integral cog in re-establishing the Syracuse program, which elevated Marrone to NFL head coach timber. Marrone says it is unfortunate the partnership with Nassib couldn’t continue at the next level.
From Peter King of Sports Illustrated:
“I don’t know if words can explain it,” Marrone said from his office.
“In one sense, you study all the quarterbacks and you get the one you believe is the best one, and you’re happy. You’re ecstatic,” Marrone said. “In another sense, you’re hurting about Ryan. And it did hurt. You’re hurting in a different way for the other quarterbacks too, because you spent a lot of time with them too, and there was a lot to like about all of them. But with Ryan, it was very difficult after what we did together. It hurts. It definitely hurts. He’s a special kid. Unbelievable worker. So smart. Very, very good quarterback with all the intangibles. He will win games in this league.
“The responsibility I had was to get the best player we could get. There are a lot of people relying on me to get the best players we can get here — all the people in the organization and all the fans who buy tickets to see us play.”
Marrone need not worry about his former star QB. Ryan Nassib will be just fine. The Giants’ fourth-round draft pick will be reunited with former teammate and friend Justin Pugh and another Syracuse alum, head coach Tom Coughlin. Eli Manning and QB coach Sean Ryan will tutor Nassib on the finer points of being a pro quarterback.