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Buffalo Bills hire Syracuse's Doug Marrone as new coach

The Buffalo Bills have hired Doug Marrone as their new coach, according to league sources.

The Bills began negotiating with the Syracuse coach after their visit with Oregon coach Chip Kelly. It became clear Kelly was more interested in other options, and Marrone was viewed as an excellent candidate with strong pro and college experience as well as ties to New York state.

Marrone was a candidate in several places. He was viewed highly by the Browns should they not land Kelly. He also had interviews planned with the Chargers and Eagles. He was most recently in the NFL as the Saints' offensive coordinator before accepting the daunting challenge to rebuild Syracuse in 2009.

[Updating coaching rumors]

The Bills were interested in having an offensive-minded coach, and figuring out the quarterback position is their top offseason objective. They told coaching candidates that owner Ralph Wilson would be aggressive in free agency and, while they might keep quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick for another season, they can be active in finding a replacement as well.

Former Cardinals coach Ken Whisenhunt also was a finalist for this job and was the first person whom Buffalo interviewed. The Bills, who conducted much of this search in Arizona, also spoke to Cardinals defensive coordinator Ray Horton and former Bears coach Lovie Smith.

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