Pittsford, NY (WGR 550) -- As per the collective bargaining agreement, the Bills get Thursday off from training camp. The players of course can leave campus and do what they want, but Doug Marrone would like to see them relax, “It's two-fold. I talked with the players about it. I think the players have this time to maybe unwind a little bit, get off their feet, rest. People who have families can see their family.”
It’s not an off day for Marrone and his staff. He said, “ For coaches, it gives us some time to take a step back, make sure our evaluations are right, see how we're feeling going through the film. That's the type of process that goes on the off-day because, pretty much, the scheduling and what's ahead is already done.”
This gives us a chance to look back at the first four days of camp.
The topic of conversation is always going to center around Kevin Kolb and E.J. Manuel. In my mind Manuel has badly outplayed Kolb. Marrone disagrees, "We’re very happy with Kevin. He's done a nice job, it's the execution where he wants to go. He has to make better decisions. He needs to improvement from a standpoint, really from him, the protection, the receivers getting open, but as far as someone who has a really good background in the style of offense that we've done, as far as the tempo, so for him, really all three quarterbacks have handled that well, which is different.”
That takes us to the Bills number one pick in Manuel. He has gotten some time with the first teamers, but not as much as Kolb. Marrone said, “We've been discussing that. If you saw him in college and you see what he's doing now, I think between EJ and Nathaniel, he's done a really good job, a really excellent job at that. As far as the consistency, you're seeing that and we're starting to throw more stuff at him. We're seeing some good things, and obviously, we're seeing some things that we need to improve on. So he's really coming along nicely.”
When the Bills signed troubled college free agent Da’Rick Rogers many fans were intrigued by him. He was on his way to a great college career at Tennessee and he got himself in trouble and got kicked out. At 6’3, 205 he’s a big target and Marrone has noticed him, “I think he has stepped it up from when we were in OTAs and mini-camp. I believe he's in better shape than he was before. That's a credit to him and our conditioning people and what he did in the off-season. He's done some nice things. He's had some separation. He's a big receiver with strong hands. He's going to be competing for a roster spot.”
The left guard position has been held down between Colin Brown and Doug Legursky. Marrone doesn’t think either has distinguished himself and he may look elsewhere, “I think both players are doing the best they can. I think that we have to look to maybe throw someone else in the mix. I don't know if I see the separation that I liked to see right now. That will be a discussion Thursday to see if someone else can go there and see if someone else can step up and separate themselves. I see both players doing a good job and I think they both have to develop. I'm looking towards going to the preseason games and seeing how they perform in the preseason games, but, right now, it's not a solidified from a standpoint that you probably want to be right now I think as a coach you're always striving for getting things done fast. It's no different than any competition, whether it's quarterback competition, any competition. It's going right now, it's inconsistent play out of that position. We need to become more consistent. I think the frustration, as a coach, is you want it quickly and the players, at times, we have to do the opposite and tell them 'Hey, don't get frustrated, keep pushing.' So it's something that we're going to have to continue to strive for and work on, the detail and the things that they have to do to develop into that starting-type player.”
The Bills next practice is Friday morning at 8:10.