Bills' Marrone said Manuel won't be a franchise guy overnight.
Orchard Park, NY (WGR 550) -- Doug Marrone has been open about his displeasure with the backup quarterbacks, but what about EJ Manuel?
The Bills second year quarterback has thrown for 461 yards in four preseason games with one touchdown and two interceptions. His completion percentage is 62.7 and his QB rating is 73.2. With only one preseason game to go, Marrone was asked where his concern level is with Manuel, “We have to have people around him playing well, there’s no doubt about that. There are things that go on that are very difficult to see, sometimes people aren’t where they should be and it’s the same old story, when you win he gets too much credit and when you lose, he gets too much of the blame.” Marrone added, “We’re going to progress with him, he’s not going to turn around and be a franchise guy overnight, that doesn’t happen often in this league, we’re going to work with him, we’re going to stick with him, I’m going to support him 110 percent and we’re going to get him better.”
When it comes to Jeff Tuel and Thad Lewis Marrone said, “Either they have to play better or we have to look to see if there’s someone that can better at that position. If we feel at the end of the day that it’s not good enough to win with, and we haven’t seen that yet, either you put a lot of work into those guys and get them better, or you have to upgrade that position some other way.”
It seems like Thad Lewis has fallen behind Jeff Tuel in the race to backup Manuel. Lewis isn’t surprised, “No, I respect the coach’s decision, so whatever decision they make, you’ve got to roll with it.” Lewis added, “There’s always going to be competition, so if you’re scared of competition, you shouldn’t play the sport.”
Lewis hasn’t had much go right for him on the field this summer and he said, “It’s been all right, not like how I would’ve liked it to gone, but I still have another opportunity to wrap it up. It’s not how you start, its how you finish so I’m taking that approach.”
Dennis Dixon got cut, but the other three quarterbacks remain and Lewis said don’t count him out, “We’ve got a game in two days so they’ll see how good you play and if they think you’re good enough to be the backup quarterback, that’s when they’ll make that decision.”
In other news, against the Bucs Erik Pears played right guard and Seantrel Henderson played right tackle. As of now, that seems to be the way it’s going to be. Marrone said, “I thought Pears did some really good things against who I respect as one of the top players at his position, so I like him there at right guard and I like Seantrel at right tackle.” Marrone added, “If everyone remains healthy and it remains the same and they continue to keep playing like they’re playing, I see that as what we’ll go with.”
Marrone has made the decision to play some of the starters Thursday against the Lions. He said, "I'm going to play some, how much depends upon what I want to see and what we want to accomplish." It sounds like Manuel will play as well as the offensive line, "It's probably more on the offensive side than the defensive side. I may not play every single starter, but on offense I want to play guys that haven't played together for a while.