Jesse Johnson-US PRESSWIRE
This is the latest in our series of profiles on prospective Eagles coaching candidates. For others, click here.
Next up is Doug Marrone, head coach, Syracuse Orange.
1992 Cortland State (TE)
1993 Coast Guard (OL)
1994 Northeastern (OL)
1996 Georgia Tech (TE)
1997-1999 Georgia Tech (OL)
2000 Georgia (OL)
2001 Tennessee (TE/OT)
2002-2005 New York Jets (OL)
2006-2008 New Orleans Saints (OC)
2009-present Syracuse (HC)
Why he could work
Marrone is a similar candidate to Dirk Koetter in that he's got both NFL coordinator experience and college head coaching experience. After a short NFL playing career, Marrone began moving around the college ranks before finally making his way to the NFL with the Jets as an offensive line coach and then getting the Saints offensive coordinator gig the same year Sean Payton was hired in New Orleans. In his time there, the Saints finished 1st, 4th & 1st in offense. He spent 3 seasons there before moving on to take over a dismal Syracuse program.
Prior to Marrone, you would have to go back to 2001 to find the last winning season for the Orange. Under their previous coach, Greg Robinson, they went 10-37 and never made a Bowl game. Since Marrone took over in 2009, they've went 25-25 and won 2 bowl games. Given what he's accomplished with a near dead program and 2nd tier talent, you can see why NFL teams are interested.
Marrone certainly fits the mold of the "program builder" NFL teams look for and his NFL experience with a great Saints offense certainly doesn't hurt.
Why he may not be the guy
First and foremost, Marrone was not the playcaller in New Orleans. Sean Payton retained those duties and was the chief architect of that Saints offense. So going for a coordinator who worked under a head coach who dominates that side of the ball is always a bit dubious.
Still, the job Marrone with Syracuse and their offense would suggest that he learned a thing or two from Payton while in NO and may have had more input than he's given credit for.
That said, the value of the Syracuse experience depends on how you view it. No doubt it's impressive what he's done with a program of their level, but is that more impressive than a coach getting top talent and maximizing it? Is having been a head man at a lower level Big East school mean you're ready to jump up to the NFL?
As we've said about pretty much all of the likely candidates so far, Marrone has the resume of an NFL coach. With 6 years of NFL assistant experience and 4 years of head coaching experience in college, he's qualified to take the next step.
While Syracuse is not a top program, his success there is impressive and might actually make him even more ready to jump to the NFL than so many of the coaches at top NCAA programs. One of the big problems with high profile college coaches is that their success stems mostly from just having better players than everyone else and when they have to deal with the parity of the NFL they can't replicate their college success.
Marrone hasn't had better players than everyone else. Moving to a league where the pool of talent for him is the same as any other coach would not be a shock.
In the end, I like Marrone and think he's a qualified candidate. Of the rumored college coaches the Eagles have interest in, I'd rank him behind Chip Kelly and ahead of Bill O'Brien.