The search for the next head coach of the Buffalo Bills appears to be over.
Syracuse University head coach Doug Marrone is expected to be the next head coach of the Bills. League Sources tell WGR 550 although nothing is done, the college coach would be the next man in charge in Buffalo barring any last minute breakdowns.
Marrone to the Bills was initially reported by ESPN's Adam Schefter, who reported the two sides have reached an agreement.
NFL.com and CBSSports.com have also confirmed Schefter's intiial report.
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Syracuse.com's Brent Axe:
Scott Sarama, Two Bills Drive.com
Mike Cohen, Daily Orange
Marrone spent four seasons with the Syracuse Orange as their head coach and is noted for building their program back up from being one of the worst programs in a BCS conference. Over that span, he amassed a 25-25 record, culminating with an 8-5 record in 2012.
The Bronx, NY native took over that post from Greg Robinson, who went a combined 10-37 over the course of his four seasons as head coach. Marrone is an alumnus of Syracuse, having played offensive line for the school.
Before being named the Orange's head coach, Marrone spent three seasons as the offensive coordinator for the New Orleans Saints, where he did not call the plays for Sean Payton's squad.
Marrone was one of five men that the Bills interviewed by the end of Friday. The team also spoke with former Arizona head coach Ken Whisenhunt, Cardinals defensive coordinator Ray Horton, Oregon head coach Chip Kelly and former Chicago head coach Lovie Smith.
Marrone is the first college coach to reportedly bolt for the NFL, despite much speculation that Oregon's Chip Kelly would be the head coach of an NFL team next season.
The Bills have yet to officially announce the hire.
With the season on the line, the NHL and the players' association agreed on a tentative pact to end a 113-day lockout and save what was left of a fractured schedule.
Commissioner Gary Bettman and union executive director Donald Fehr announced the deal while standing side by side near a wall toward the back of the negotiating room and showing a tinge of weariness.
"I want to thank Don Fehr," Bettman said. "We went through a tough period, but it's good to be at this point."
A marathon negotiating session that lasted more than 16 hours, stretching from Saturday afternoon until just before dawn Sunday, produced a 10-year deal.
The collective bargaining agreement must be ratified by a majority of the league's 30 owners and the union's membership of approximately 740 players.
"Hopefully within a very few days the fans can get back to watching people who are skating, not the two of us," Fehr said.
All schedule issues, including the length of the season, still need to be worked out. The NHL has models for 50- and 48-game seasons.
The original estimate was regular-season games could begin about eight days after a deal was reached. It is believed that all games will be played within the two respective conferences, but that also hasn't been decided. The players have been locked out since Sept. 16, the day after the previous agreement expired. That deal came after an extended lockout that wiped out the entire 2004-05 season.
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Rob Ray, MSG