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      Buffalo Bills confirm hiring Syracuse's Doug Marrone

      It's the news Syracuse Orange fans have feared all week, and now it appears to be reality.

      The Buffalo News' Jerry Sullivan says via Twitter that Bills CEO Russ Brandon confirmed to him by way of a text message that the Bills have hired Doug Marrone

      Sullivan says that Brandon called Marrone "dynamic"

      Both ESPN and are reporting that the Buffalo Bills have hired Doug Marrone as their new head coach.

      The interest the Bills had in Marrone was no surprise seeing the work Marrone did at Syracuse in just four years and how Bills CEO Russ Brandon (an East Syracuse native) has close ties to Syracuse University.

      No official announcement has been made just yet, but that seems like a mere formality at this point.

      Marrone though, leaves the Orange in unbelievably better shape than when he arrived in Central New York. He's returned the program to respectability and completely changed the culture of the program.

      His departure does create a daunting task for Syracuse Athletic Director Daryl Gross- He's now charged with trying to find a replacement that will not only be the right person for the job, but also hold together a highly touted recruiting class less than a month away from National Signing Day.

      The obvious choice, in staff, is Defensive Coordinator Scott Shafer (if he doesn't go with Marrone to Buffalo). An in-staff hire like Shafer would be one of the best ways to hold the recruiting class together while continuing the momentum Marrone started.

      There's other options too, although time is of the essence for Daryl Gross to make a move like that. If Gross were to go that route's Pete Thamel (a former Post-Standard writer) theorizes, although admittedly way too early in the process, that Bowling Green Head Coach Dave Clawson could be a possibility along with Notre Dame Defensive Coordinator Bob Diaco. Thamel also mentions Shafer as a candidate.

      We'll keep close tabs on the situation as it develops.