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Bills Beat Blog

By Joe Buscaglia
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Orton, Bills believe backup will be up to speed for Week 1

Just moments before the initial 53-man roster was due into the National Football League offices, the Buffalo Bills announced the signing of quarterback Kyle Orton. The move paved the way for the Bills to release second-year quarterback Jeff Tuel and to entrust Orton with all the responsibilities of being EJ Manuel’s backup.

The big question, though, is will he be ready to step in at a moment’s notice? Both he and Buffalo head coach Doug Marrone seem to think so.

“This week, and I think I'll be ready to go. I’ve really put a lot of work in the last 48-72 hours mentally,” Orton said. “Physically it went really good today and I'll be ready to go on Sunday.”

“I think you'd be surprised of what he can do, and I think we'll just go work during the week and just see how much he feels comfortable with handling,” Marrone remarked. “Probably more than what most people think because of his experience.”

It’s not the first rodeo for Orton in having to get ready in a short amount of time. He was waived by the Denver Broncos in the second half of the 2011 season, only to be claimed by the Kansas City Chiefs on November 24.

Less than a month later — December 18, 2011 to be exact — Orton made his first start for the Chiefs.

The Bills are certainly hoping Orton won’t have to step into action nearly that quickly, given the belief that they’ve placed in Manuel, their second-year starter. It does give them the comfortability that if Manuel does get injured, they now have a competent backup with plenty of starting experience on their roster.

Orton has a total of 70 starts in the NFL, a whopping 64 more than the three men that vied for the backup job behind Manuel all summer long. With Tuel, Thad Lewis and Dennis Dixon now off the active roster, it’s all on the former Bears, Broncos and Chiefs starter to take over in case of injury or otherwise.

“Kyle is much better for us,” Marrone said of his current situation at backup quarterback. “Experienced veteran. He was what we were looking for and we were fortunate enough to get him.”

Given his reported salary — $5 million for 2014 according to NFL.com’s Ian Rapoport — some will, and have, jumped to the conclusion that the signing puts Manuel on alert in case he struggles. While it’s on the minds of some, it’s not being considered by one of the newest Bills.

“My role on the team is a backup and to be ready to play whenever I need to be, but, probably job number one is to help EJ, and that's what I plan to do,” Orton said.

The Bills have three more days of practice for the week and will then take on the Chicago Bears for the first game of the regular season on Sunday.

Twitter: @JoeBuscaglia

**Photo courtesy of The Associated Press

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Locations : Buffalo
People : Dennis DixonDoug MarroneIan RapoportJeff TuelKyle OrtonThad Lewis

09/01/2014 3:54PM
Orton, Bills believe backup will be up to speed for Week 1
Please enter your comments below.
09/01/2014 4:13PM
Finally some competition for EJM. This signing should have taken place months ago. Now Manuel will have to perform if he wants to keep his starting job. Look for Orton to take over by week# 4.
09/01/2014 5:17PM
Pleeeaassse Coach!!!
Don't wait till it's too late to give Orton, the inevitable Bill's starter, his chance to lead this team!!!
09/01/2014 5:26PM
The real question here is
Why did they wait so long to sign an experienced backup if they knew they needed one?
09/01/2014 5:41PM
Bills week 1
Yeeeeeehaw!! FINALLY!! Betcha he plays Sunday when EJ struggles and gets hurt...just a feeling...not a wish
09/01/2014 5:52PM
Signing of another non factor QB for this team?
09/01/2014 5:55PM
This QB is going to make a difference? We need someone much better then what we have, agree?
09/01/2014 6:08PM
Start Orton
The Bills can't start Orton soon enough. One of the main reasons Orton comes to the Bills is due to a high probability that EJ will be benched. I just hope the Bills' decision makers make the switch quickly. Based on EJ's performances in games 1 & 2, I can see Orton starting on game 3.
09/01/2014 6:29PM
Orton a good selection
Seeing the availability of QBs on the market I think Orton was a good choice. He's had some very good games and performed well during his NFL career. He can definitely be an asset to EJ Manuel by sharing his knowledge about reading defenses. And he can be an asset for the Bills if he's called upon to step in for EJ. Go Bills!
09/01/2014 6:46PM
He needs a week
yet EJ isn't there after 2 years. Hmmm. Are you sure we'd be surprised Doug?
09/01/2014 6:58PM
Just like magic
Our #1 has been here for 2 training camps and about 1/2 a season and he's not ready, but this guy who has been bouncing all over the league will be. Haaaaaaa 16 weeks and the new owners will clean house
09/01/2014 7:05PM
Marrone is full of IT
If Orton was on his radar then they would have signed him once he was released from Dallas back in June. The Bills management group is a joke!
09/01/2014 7:11PM
Kyle the Knight
He will dethrone the Princess in game 4 - then possibly give the Bills a better chance of a playoff game- as for the princess? EJ can sit n watch and learn and might be our guy NEXT year
09/01/2014 8:40PM
Can't believe
There'd be a time when us Bills fans would swoon over Karl Orton! Bury me now.
09/01/2014 8:44PM
This is..
.. embarrassing for the Bills. Everyone tied to bringing in EJ as our #1 pick starting with Whaley, should be fired. 1 week and Orton is ready? Really? Is EJ that slow? I'd be ok if they benched EJ before game one at this point. His teammates don't sound like they'd be that disappointed.
09/01/2014 9:11PM
If most of you would have read other articles, you wouldve read where it was stated theyve been trying to sign him and Orton himself stating he wanted to wait so that he could spend more time with his young child. Also, that Bills were his choice from the get go.
09/01/2014 9:37PM
Worth a look
A QB I would like to be signed for a future possibility is on Denver`s practice squad. His numbers in preseason are very respectable. Plus it can`t hurt that he has been watching Peyton Manning. ZAC DYSERT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
09/01/2014 10:01PM
The Bills just realized Tuel wasn't an adequate backup? Really? I could have told them that 18 months ago but of course I'm not watching film all day and sleeping on the couch in my office.
09/01/2014 10:09PM
Im happy we got a betterqb at this time of the year what a good pick up huge upgrade
09/01/2014 10:18PM
what a joke, think about it......
Based on his actual performance to date and not what was expected of him, EJ is a 3rd string QB on most teams in the NFL. We just moved an undrafted free agent QB to the practice squad that actually looked no worse than EJ, how bad is that. And now we need a back up QB Kyle Orton to save the team. OMG, really!
09/01/2014 11:04PM
If We Want
.....To see what Sammy Watkins can do, start Orton, plain and simple. Sammy didn't do anything in the pre-season except get killed by his QB. Although Orton isn't the long term answer, he is exactly what we need now...a competent capable QB, which is something we didn't have prior to Orton's arrival
09/01/2014 11:23PM
What a pathetic organization
As others have pointed out, the guys running things have been here over a year, as has the QB they have picked and stuck with, and they're still terrible at the QB position, yet orton will be 'ready' after being here for about one week? I hope this is the last year of the Brandon/whaley/marone amateur hour - even as a long time Bills fan, I'm not sure I can take much more of this.
09/01/2014 11:54PM
Orton has a lot of years as a pro
The comparison is whether EJ has a higher long term ceiling, not if he is the better qb now. Plus, Orton being "ready" is not the same as having mastery of the offense and chemistry with the recivers. It took Orton 4 years to top 20 tds and 3500 yards. EJ may do that in year 2. This is a good signing, but is not the end for EJ. Another source said the Bills has been pursuing Orton this summer, but that Orton was not ready to sign until recently. Maybe more advantageous for him when the Bills really needed to sign a qb.
09/02/2014 12:02AM
There worried
Oh yeah! These clowns are worried about there jobs. If this teams record is bad this season the new owner can clean the house. From Brandon on down. If EJ is aweful through the first 3 games these guys are going to get really worried about there jobs. So enter Orton to try to save the season and there jobs. Also having a vet like Orton may have EJ looking over his shoulder and maybe grinding more instead of this I did great attitude he has when he throws a couple picks and passes for 55 yards. Marrone and Whaley would however have to get really lucky for this team to have a record that gives them a shot at the playoffs because they are lost and in way over there heads.
09/02/2014 1:14AM
I would think Terrell Pryor might have been a better choice.
09/02/2014 7:50AM
Yeah Terrell Pryor would have been an excellent choice. You would be an excellent GM with all of your football ignorance.
09/02/2014 9:12AM
start orton right away
manuel is a stiff! those who cant seen he has done nothing in practice and in games need to have their heads examined. this is not Whaley's guy. get orton in their at least we will have a chance against chicago!
09/02/2014 10:40AM
Come on
Pryor is a horrible QB!!! He can only run! Start watching college football
09/02/2014 10:45AM
Just wait
Just wait, the crowd is going to be all over EJ. This changes everything. EJ is going to get boo'ed out of the stadium. The masses will affect change quicker than you think.
09/02/2014 10:52AM
Hook Up Dream Team
Orton, a classic slinger and Watkins, with sticky hands...this will be a dangerous combo downfield (that's beyond the first down marker)...finally!
09/02/2014 11:01AM
Just wait
EJ has to win now. Do you think that Marrone and Whaley will wait an entire season at the cost of their jobs?! They have to win now or else they'll be unemployed once the new owner makes his or her changes.
09/02/2014 11:09AM
Orton from my new Armchair
Should be starting in week #2 after the train wreck in Chicago. I think I said that in another blog.
09/02/2014 11:37AM
Where does all the EJ hate stem from?
EJ has only played 10 games, during a rookie injury plagued season. Oh, and i forgot to mention the Vet got hurt and retired before the season; so he had NO VETERAN to help him through the NFL (oh and his OC is barely older than he is, and never played QB at even the college level). So why is he a bust? after 10 games? did anyone watch his preseason? He looked awesome, if you knew what to look for. He was progressing nicely through his reads, and taking what the defense was giving him, and he was moving the rock. The Redzone problems fall on the OC for only using the middle and corner of the end zone to attack, they rarely throw RB or WR screens from within the 30, which is one of the best ways to score in the current NFL. Run up the gut once or twice, then screen to the outside for a TD. That doesnt lie on EJ, thats on Hackett.
09/02/2014 1:09PM
"There Worried"
You do know there are three different ways to spell "there," right? They're worried and their jobs are what you were looking for.
09/02/2014 1:09PM
What a joke
This team is such a joke man. I'm just glad for one thing, that I don't have any delusional ideas about them being better this year. This team is going to be 4-12 or so, all because of the poor play at QB. So trading up to get a WR at pick #4 does what for this team exactly? Nothing. Yet another year of garbage football.
09/02/2014 1:49PM
He makes a pretty good back up. NOW WHERES THE STARTER?
09/02/2014 2:17PM
Bad Management AND Bad Coaching.
Sorry Fans, looks like another LONG year? How many years now? I think Jim Kelly retired 17 years ago? Man, a whole generation of kids watching this product? How old would some of these kids be today?
09/02/2014 2:30PM
Anywhere else, someone would be fired.
Even IF Orton is awesome and has to come in the first game and miraculously knows the offense, plays well and wins the game there's still no excuse for making QB changes this late and taking the chances that were just taken.
09/02/2014 2:53PM
For all those still on the optimistic "give him more time" bandwagon.
This was a question mark first round pick to begin with. There are countless QBs drafted that where more highly touted and didn't make it in the NFL period. His inconsistency has waiver-ed between average and bad. He struggles with accuracy even in the short game where he makes the catch difficult for the WR. He has shown no improvement through two training camps/preseason and 10 regular season games. And all this lack of accomplishment on an offense with a capable line and very good WRs/RBs. Add the fact the Buffalo has been notoriously bad at finding a QBs and first round drafts. Considering everything what odds do you think Vegas would put on this guy becoming a franchise QB. There's nothing else to see here folks, this team needs to move on.
09/02/2014 3:34PM
What difference does it make? Bills senior executive leadership suck!
Through an unbelievable act of sheer desperation (or absolute stupidity) of the executive leadership of the Buffalo Sillies proudly declare yet another unchallenged continuation of monopolistic grasp of LAST PLACE WINNERS as the TURDBASKET of the AFC East with an additional bonus act for the fans of red white and royal blue of an old fashion face rubbing humiliation with Cleveland’s nationally televised raping of the “much storied franchise” as they select and keep for themselves the Bills 1st round pick come draft day 2015 is just a mere 235 days away! Bears 37, EJ Manuel -10
09/02/2014 6:09PM
can't Believe?
"Karl" Orton? you mean Kyle has a brother playing football too? well let's sign him too?
09/02/2014 6:21PM
It's still the offensive coaches.
Marone was known for offensive line/offensive planning. So the best part of the Bills is the defense. What has Marone done for the offense and the line. That's what he is known for. I'm confused. The only reason Orton came here is that he knows he can take the starting job away from the ordained king. He likely will remain when Whaley and Marone leave......
09/02/2014 6:39PM
The afternoons are for the dogs
I have determined that there is absolutely nothing worse than listening to the incessant garbage spewing from Mike Schopp on the afternoons. The last few weeks he has reached a new low for even his nonsense. I am actually thinking that the return of the incomplete sentences of the Bulldog may actually provide some much needed relief.
09/02/2014 9:46PM
Kyle Orton
Can at least deliver the ball to Watkins, Jackson, and Spiller. EJ can't, and he never will be able to. He simply lacks the natural ability to throw an accurate ball. Just like Fitz, and Losman, and Edwards...oh wait, Captain Checkdown's issue was throwing it more than 3 yards, and Todd Collins, and Rob Johnson. Oh yea, and outside of 8 games one season, Drew Bledsoe was terrible here. Whaley should give Doug Flutie a call. Even at his advanced age, he would still outperform all of these clowns.
09/03/2014 8:36AM
Re: The afternoons are for the dogs
You mean Schopp hasn't been fired yet? I stopped listening to this jackazzz last year. What an idiot!
09/03/2014 9:36AM
He needs to be...
He needs to be ready to start. EJ will not make it the full season. Hope he can fill in until a real QB can be drafted. The Defense can not do it alone and will be on the field too much. The offense is three and out. Next owner needs to clean house in the QB department and the offensive coordinator position.
09/03/2014 8:22PM
The Bills better hope that Orton is up to speed week 1. They're gonna need him week 1.
09/03/2014 8:56PM
The Franchise
Marrone and Whaley can praise EJ Manuel all they want and make excuses for him. But thats BS! Theres a reason they brought in Kyle Orton just before the first game and paid him $11 Million. The Dougs wanna keep their jobs -when the new ownership comes in. So EJM will not be the starter for long. The Dougs cant afford it.
09/03/2014 10:02PM
Orton Knows..
He will be starting soon, that is one reason why he chose to come to Buffalo. He will be ready by week 4-5 to take over the reigns full time. EJ will be the backup after that, and in all honesty, if Tuel keeps progressing, EJ may find himself the 3rd stringer.
09/03/2014 10:41PM
I have never felt worse than I do now about the upcoming season
This team excels at loosing and excels at felonies and arrests They could not have done a worse job at preparations for the season. I hope the new owners run this management / coaching group right out of town the week they take over. A lot of people are hoping for the same thing
09/04/2014 12:16AM
Even If Orton Wasn't Ready
He would still be a better choice than EJ to start!
09/04/2014 9:37AM
The Morning show are worse!
Phony Polls, fixed voting.
09/04/2014 12:14PM
can you imagine?
can you imagine how Orton felt signing with the Bills? a career backup to a fragile QB with Watkins- Spiller- Jackson-Woods- Williams? and a decent line to work behind AND a Defense that just might be I the top 10 of the league? He must have got on hisknees and thanked the Lord?-let's hope Kyle can help Hacket with the play calling?
09/05/2014 11:28AM
Dont Wait
If EJ is struggling in game 1, the Bears, bench him. He has displayed the evidence that he doesnt have it. Dont Wait, we need to win early and the chances are higher with Orton
09/05/2014 5:03PM
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