Doug Marrone insists he didn't quit on the Buffalo Bills, that he simply opted out of his contract.
Marrone, hired to coach the Jacksonville Jaguars' offensive line, made his first comments since departing the Bills three days after their season ended. He spoke Thursday at a Jacksonville Jaguars media event to introduce him to the team's reporters.
Marrone was asked about the perception he quit on his former team.
"It is perception that's out there," Marrone, in a black Jaguars golf shirt, said to the team's broadcast media. "The coaches that we were with, the players, I don't agree that they feel that way. That was put out there."
In discussing Marrone's departure at the Bills Monday Quarterback Club's season-ending dinner last month, Bills captain Fred Jackson used the Q-word.
That Marrone took $4 million from the Bills not to work for them in 2015 further aggravated the Bills' locker room.
"I had an opportunity that was in the contract to opt out," Marrone said.
Bills fan Chris Davis paraphrased Marrone's explanation pretty well on Twitter: "I didn't quit; I discovered there was nothing stopping me from leaving."
"Terry Pegula and Kim, I think, are going to be outstanding owners," Marrone continued. "I had two great years there. The people in the organization were outstanding to me and my family.
"My family and I made a decision to opt out. It brought us here. For me, when I look at it, the decision was made. But when people start putting in things like 'quit' or things like that, that's not the case at all."
I'd bet folks around here will take Jackson's word over Marrone's.
Marrone reiterated his case in a scrum with Jaguars print reporters.
"At the end of the day, I had a three-day window on my contract which was obviously difficult because of the time aspect of it," Marrone said. "My family and I made a decision to leave.
"I talked to Terry a couple of weeks ago. We had a good conversation and made the decision to come. We're not looking back, and we're moving forward. Really, that's as simple as it is."
The moment Marrone opted out, reports erupted around the country he would be the most perfect of fits for the New York Jets, and he had connections there, and Jets owner Woody Johnson publicly stated he was interested in Marrone, and the Jets job was Marrone's to lose, and there was no way in hell someone would be reckless enough to forfeit one of the NFL's 32 precious head coaching jobs if he didn't have another one already lined up.
Marrone interviewed for the Jets, Atlanta Falcons and Chicago Bears openings and withdrew from an interview with the Denver Broncos because he knew he wouldn't get that job either.
Marrone and/or his agent, Jimmy Sexton, certainly seem to have miscalculated his value.
Marrone was asked if he assumed he would be a head coach in 2015.
"I think in this profession you can't really have that," Marrone said. "You really don't know. It's a league where anything can happen. I didn't have that going in. I knew that it was all open."