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Bills Beat Blog

By Joe Buscaglia
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Observations: Lions 23 - Bills 0

At long last, the marathon summer that was Buffalo Bills training camp and the preseason has mercifully met its demise. A third straight exhibition contest that yielded frustrating results for the first-team offense was seen by all in Ralph Wilson Stadium, and it didn’t provide the hopeful momentum head coach Doug Marrone was looking for.

The Bills fell to the Detroit Lions 23-0 to wrap up their fifth and final preseason game with some uninspiring results along the way. What was learned in the last tuneup for the Bills ahead of the regular season? Here are some observations from the team’s most recent loss:

Another frustrating night for Manuel
- Due to a poor performance against Tampa Bay on Saturday night, Buffalo Bills head coach Doug Marrone decided to let his starting offense get the full first quarter against Detroit on Thursday. The results were not as bad as it was against the Buccaneers, but they weren’t much better, either. In three total drives, the Bills managed 55 total yards, four first downs (one from a penalty) and allowed two sacks. Quarterback EJ Manuel ended the day with 56 yards passing, having connected on 3-of-7 attempts. There were some opportunities missed along the way for the second-year quarterback. Manuel had an open Sammy Watkins along the sidelines on a rollout after the cornerback fell down in coverage. Manuel didn’t spot Watkins even though he appeared to be in his sightline, and instead threw the ball away and out of bounds.  On a later third down attempt, Manuel correctly spotted Robert Woods down the field on a crossing pattern about 18 yards down the field. He delivered the ball a bit too high, and a bit too wide and while it was technically catchable, it wasn’t anywhere near where it should have been placed. The worst example, though, was on the play that ended up in another Watkins injury. It was a simple slant route that Manuel eyed down right from the snap. Lions linebacker Ashlee Palmer read the quarterback’s eyes and bolted over to the receiver. The throw was about a yard ahead of where it needed to be and it put Watkins in a position to take a big hit, which is precisely what happened. Manuel made a couple of sound decisions in the game, but the offense in total was completely inefficient.

Watkins gets hurt: was the risk worth it?
- Marrone and the Bills made the interesting decision to play Watkins despite him just coming back from an injury to his ribs. The wide receiver was in fact cleared to play by the medical staff, but in many cases all over the league, teams will often exercise caution when it comes to their marquee players in preseason games. Marrone explained after the game that he was excited to get Watkins in a game with Manuel because the two didn’t have as much experience with one another in games as he would have liked. Was the risk of further injury worth it, though? As former Bills linebacker Darryl Talley pointed out on Twitter, Palmer took a forearm right to the ribs of Watkins in what he called “knowing your opponent.” A healthy and playable Watkins without much game day experience with Manuel is far more valuable than a banged up and experienced rookie wideout heading into the regular season. The severity of the rookie’s injury has yet to be determined, but he was still put in a bad situation by both the coach and the quarterback. Even if he didn’t get hurt against the Lions, the sentiment would remain. If a player is slightly injured and important to the immediate future of the franchise, don’t put them at risk for further injury in a meaningless preseason game. It’s that simple.

Palmer channels his inner Leinart
- Just three days ago, the Bills signed quarterback Jordan Palmer to come in an audition for the backup quarterback role with the team. On Tuesday he practiced, he went through a walk through on Wednesday and then got his big chance Thursday evening. After what was witnessed, it’s safe to say that he would have liked to have the majority of the game against the Lions back. Palmer finished the game completing 9-of-22 passes for 73 yards, and threw three interceptions along the way. Granted, it’s quite a tough situation for Palmer to walk into and try to perform at a high level. Without much time to prepare, he had to operate an offense he wasn’t familiar with. It was, however, reminiscent of what was seen in the 2013 preseason finale from Matt Leinart. Having been acquired just days before their game with the Lions, Leinart completed only three passes for minimal yards, threw two interceptions and was benched by the head coach. Expect the Bills to comb the waiver wire for players that get cut over the next two days because, to put it bluntly, the franchise is not at all happy with the level of skill the backups on the roster have shown.

A lesson in accountability for EJ Manuel
- Here are two quotes from quarterbacks on the Bills roster Thursday night:
“I got a couple of drops on third downs, but as far as going to the right place with the ball, I thought I did a pretty good job.”
“There were different reasons as to why things didn’t go the right way tonight but I own all of them. I’m the quarterback, I’m the one back there pulling the trigger so I’ve got to make better decisions and move the team and score, and I’m frustrated I couldn’t do that tonight.”

One of these quotes is from a quarterback that has been with the team for three days, and the other from the first-round franchise signal caller entrusted with the keys to the 2014 season. Based on the simple fact that you’re reading this, it’s not hard to figure out which of the two was said by EJ Manuel. The expectation for Manuel in a post-game setting is not for him to be constantly down on himself. The goal isn’t to see him stand up at the podium and watch him suffer through his words after an excruciatingly bad performance. Taking some accountability for his role in the pitfalls of the offense, however, is more than fair to expect. This hasn’t been a new thing for Manuel, either: after quite a few poor practices or games, he’ll often reply with a positive response and summarize that he felt the offense progressed and played well. There is being positive, and then there is deflecting any ounce of blame onto others, which is precisely what he did in his post game quote Thursday. How will it go over with Robert Woods and Fred Jackson, the two players that “dropped” passes on third downs, that their quarterback is pinning the blame of the offensive woes on them? Then you have Jordan Palmer, who has been with the team since Tuesday, bearing the weight of the woes on his shoulders alone. The Bills touted Manuel as being a mature, leader of men. And while this is only one example from one quote after one game, there is little doubt that he has some maturing to do to become the leader the Bills think he can be.

The punting competition that never was
- When the Bills claimed Jordan Gay off of waivers from Carolina, most anticipated he would be battling Brian Moorman for punting duties in the regular season. That wasn’t the case according to Marrone. They viewed Gay as a kickoff specialist, but due to the offensive woes, they weren’t able to see him more than once in that capacity. Moorman on the other hand struggled all through the night with a 38.4 yards per punt average. The head coach put the longtime Bills punter on alert after the game:
“Brian has really been outstanding in practice, but in the games you expect him to do a better job and come back. I’m not saying that you don’t expect once here or there. You understand that. But two in a row. That’s one of the ways we have to play, so we’ll take a good look at that. We’ll discuss it with Doug [Whaley] and see where we’re at.”

Marrone was clearly referring to shanked punts, and didn’t give Moorman a glaring public vote of confidence with that quote. Moorman may get a few more opportunities in games, but it appears his leash is short. He needs to produce — and quickly — if he gets the chance.

Bills MVP: HB Anthony Dixon
- A couple of tough runs and a 5.8 yards per carry average on eight rushes is the best the Bills got from anyone on Thursday. He also took a pretty gruesome hit to an area that will make any male wince, so he gets more points for toughness.

Bills LVP: QB Jordan Palmer
- Palmer has the smarts of a coach but clearly not the ability to go along with it. He’ll be a good coach down the line, but he may not be long for Buffalo after his three interception debut.

Up Next: Final cuts are due Saturday, August 30 at 4 pm. The Bills then move on to play the Chicago Bears on the road for the regular season opener on September 7. Kickoff is set for 1 pm.

Final Thoughts:
- An enduring summer of extra training camp practices and five preseason games is now over and the team needs to erase the last three on-field performances from their minds. They are merely exhibition contests, and it’s a given that both offensive and defensive schemes have yet to be debuted. However, even with the simplest of plays, this version of the Bills must learn to execute much better than they have been. Will they turn it around when the bright lights of the regular season finally gets here next Sunday? They’re certainly betting on it. As for now, it’s just a wait and see approach. And until it can be seen, Bills fans will be holding their collective breath that the preseason was merely a mirage.

Twitter: @JoeBuscaglia

**Photo courtesy of The Associated Press

Tags :  
Topics : Sports
Social :
Locations : BuffaloDetroit
People : Anthony DixonAshlee PalmerBrian MoormanDarryl TalleyDoug MarroneFred JacksonJordan GayJordan PalmerMatt LeinartRobert WoodsSammy Watkins

08/29/2014 12:59AM
Observations: Lions 23 - Bills 0
Please enter your comments below.
08/29/2014 1:14AM
This Fish Continues to Stink From the Head Down
What you see is what you get from this franchise. Poor execution starts at the top, and that is with Russ Brandon. He has a habit of talking tough but his actions don't back it up. The fact they are completely lost at the QB spot, AGAIN, falls on no one but him. He is very clearly in way over his head in running an NFL franchise. Let's hope that Terry Pegula does not make the same mistake in allowing incompetent top management to stay on when he takes controls of the Bills like he did with the Sabres. Russ Brandon is accomplished only at selling tickets, nothing more.
08/29/2014 1:52AM
the joke
continues with this organization. they will be lucky to go 4 and 12
08/29/2014 2:26AM
What has the offence been doing in practice ?? How long before the fans turn on marron and Hackett ??? What was Whaley thinking trading are first next year for a receiver when he knew we didn't have a quarterback?? Who are the new owner hire as ourcoach next year
08/29/2014 3:21AM
Your mom
Ej can only throw it accurately to your mom. First post
08/29/2014 3:47AM
I should have read this to before I posted on the other article
I am glad you pointed the quotes from the quarterbacks out Joe, I posted the same vibe in your other article before I read this, I leader of men does not do this and it has nothing to do with youth or experience ... either you are a MAN and you own up ... or you are not … no matter how old ... all age does it teach the person how to hide it better ... but a true leader, like Fred Jackson (bless u man) can sniff out a fool like that in no time ...
08/29/2014 4:38AM
What were seeing cant' be real, is it?
Bad Management, Bad Coaching, Just plain confusing on all aspects of the game of football. Hardly any (one) player sticks out as (I Care) This cant' be real, what we have seen so far, Right? I wonder what the new owner is thinking?
08/29/2014 5:20AM
This team looks to be a total wreck. Giving up a first round draft choice to get a talented receiver is something you do after you have a franchise QB and need that last piece to compete for the Superbowl. This team needs a lot more than just a piece or two including a HC and GM.
08/29/2014 5:55AM
The Browns are Smiling
2 top 10 picks in next years draft. How sweet it is!!!!! Plus they get josh gordon back. Too bad we couldn't give them are front office people and coaches for a #2 pick.
08/29/2014 6:06AM
And you wonder why the fans boo
Preseason or not: no QB, no offensive flow, no cohesion, poor special teams (punting), multiple penalties. What a disaster. Can't wait for someone at the top who will make everyone responsible!
08/29/2014 6:22AM
Why can't they see the pink elephant in the room??
08/29/2014 6:41AM
Frustrated fans.
Many fans including myself have had it and its only the end of preseason. EJ has shown no improvement and the offense cannot compete at the NFL level. Its going to be a long tear!
08/29/2014 6:41AM
Jim and Andre...just two games to get the season started. It would be good therapy for everyone
08/29/2014 6:53AM
Who's on first ?
Not only does this team not have a back-up QB, they don't have a starting QB either. Right now EJ would have trouble making any roster in the NFL. Hunker down boys, it's gonna be a long one. Hey you, get that snake outa here before he bites someone. He did? I'll get the gauze.
08/29/2014 7:03AM
Coaches are Hacks
Yea I know the EJ saga but the OC sets his team up for failure even before the game begins. Oh do we have an Offensive Line Coach? Look at the national news 2011, 2012 offensive line ranking under Gailey versus last year and today. We have better lineman today than Chan had but the whole running game and pass protection looks worse. I am also wondering if Marrone sucks too. I agree that management is poor. Ralph always surrounded him with incompetent yes men [Harvey Johnson]. Russ baby is Harvey with a smile and good teeth.
08/29/2014 7:09AM
Be worried. Be very worried.
08/29/2014 7:13AM
Buddy Nix
Flashback 2012: Bills team finishes 6-10, GM Buddy Nix announces he will retire but before he does, is allowed to take one more parting shot on his way out the door. He and his people decide FSU QB, EJ Manuel is the guy. WHAT!!! NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO, WHY? WHY? WHY? I keep asking myself this question and the same answer keeps bubbling to the top. The culture of dysfunction has been in place so long it's now the natural state of the Buffalo Bills. I hope new ownership cleans house. Everyone has to go! From the VP and GM down to the people working the concession stands to the people who empty the trash cans at the stadium. Everyone has to go. Losing is a disease and it's infected every part of this franchise.
08/29/2014 7:21AM
Fifteen years and counting
... there hasn't been a competent coaching staff since Wade Phillips was sent packing in a fit of pique by the late Mr Wilson. Other teams/organizations at least see tangible improvements when they change management and leadership, who will care ifthis rudderless ship relocates eventually. This how the Braves ended up sharing the Staples Center with the Lakers.
08/29/2014 7:39AM
Bad News Bills
Can't wait until Terry Pegula comes in and cleans house. Let's all hope he learned from letting Regier stay too long with the Sabres.
08/29/2014 7:44AM
EJ is a joke
EJ continues to think that he's "pretty good", and places the blame on his receivers. EJ is terrible, and what's worse is that he doesn't own it and his self-assessments are delusional. The coaching staff has created this beastby coddling him...good luck dealing with it.
08/29/2014 7:50AM
hey channel 7
can you replay Heidi instead of the game tonight??? we need a quarterback!!????
08/29/2014 7:53AM
Fans on Edge, Team will be Too
We've been through too much of this, and we've booed them off the field twice in pre-season. The crowd will turn on the team QUICKLY against the Dolphins on September 14 if someone or something doesn't look great in Chicago the week before. The team will see/hear/feel a crowd completely against them 1.5 games into the season. It could get really ugly this season.
08/29/2014 8:16AM
It's the Simple Things
You simply don't play a future franchise player in a meaningless preseason game when he is returning from an injury! You simply must execute on simple plays in preseason; otherwise, how do you execute complex plays? You simply don't trade away next year's first-round pick when there are still questions at QB. Simply put: at this point, the Bills have shown poor judgment, poor execution, and poor management.
08/29/2014 8:35AM
An offensive coordinator with no NFL experience and a marginal (at best) QB. What do you expect??
08/29/2014 8:39AM
Hire Fireman Ed from the Jets
He retired in 2012 cause they suck. Maybe Mario can get him to come here. At least the game would have some entertainment value since Elvis cant sing!
08/29/2014 8:41AM
Are Bills fans so surprised their team isn't any good? The problem is they believe the hype from WGR and its cheerleaders who love EVERY move the Bills make whether its a waiver claim, draft pick or a coaching hire. Then they find out 2 years downthe road that it wasn't a good move. Thanks on behalf of the other teams in the AFC East - we all pray that the Bills stay in Buffalo for the next 100 years - even if the league needs to subsidize them .... which is where its headed.
08/29/2014 8:45AM
Calm Down.....
Everyone calm down. You're making judgement on PRESEASON games. If this is continues in the regular season then have at them. Once again, it's PRESEASON!!
08/29/2014 8:52AM
the wheels on the bus go round and round all thru obd
pink floyd said it best. I've become comfortably numb...... This is what will happen. The new owner will come in and look at the last two drafts and say o.k. I understand the reach for EJ I can forgive that to some extent. but to take Watkins(who will be great once he is on a team that can get him the ball)over a lineman ? that's inexcusable. you need an O line mostly for someone with little experience and to give up your next year first round pick (which could very well be in the top 5) and on top of that you have a coach who was a O man. boys enjoy your season cause it's all over but the crying. P.S to commenter on Terry not shaking things up in Sabres land..... He has. you can't wave a magic wand and get the people you want overnight. remember this next spring cause he will be doing the same with the bills.
08/29/2014 9:01AM
And Cleveland Smiles
Because it looks like they will have the #1 pick next year as we gave it up for Watkins a guy I've see little of in pre-season
08/29/2014 9:03AM
Brad Ontario bills hardcore fan
I'm sorry but why is Morrone not manning up to his extremely poor decision of playing and injuring our young star wr in a pre season game,,,,,,any faith I had in the staff went out the window right there,,,,,,,I just hope our D can change our fortunes, because we really do have a great defence. We have no qb, we have a suspect o line, we have unproven wr's, go bills! Football is a funny game though I still billieve
08/29/2014 9:05AM
We'll get out future QB in next year's draft
Oh wait! Next year's 1st round pick, which should be the third or fourth overall will be going to Cleveland. Brandon and Whaley should be updating their resumes now! What were they thinking? If they really thought they were that close to a playoff team, would they have let Byrd go? Same old Bills! Incompetence runs rapid!
08/29/2014 9:06AM
Can they be worse than last year?
Is it possible to get worse with more practice and game time? After a full season in this system, it looks like all three QBs regressed. Or am I reading too much into preseason?
08/29/2014 9:10AM
Hoping Pegula doesn't by the team
I don't want to hear what has Whaley, Brandon, and coaching done wrong???? What a Joke we got going on over there at One Bills Drive. A JOKE!!! It's an embarrassment.
08/29/2014 9:28AM
We may have given away the 1st pick in next years draft
How bad does that deal look now...Watkins can be good if he had a QB to get him the ball not get him injured with poor throws. Looking at this team we have a head coach and his offensive headman in way over there heads. They are clearly lost thinking the problem is no backup how about no starting QB. Our GM could have traded away next years 1st round pick...good job Doug and Doug!!
08/29/2014 9:33AM
Looking at the picture of Marrone atop the page says enough. He has a pathetic football team and the two jackazzzes Brandon and Whaley are responsible for it. This team couldn't beat a high school team for crying out loud. That's how bad they are. Chicago will destroy this wreck. Can't wait to see the Pigeons that usually land on the field during the game.
08/29/2014 9:40AM
It Seems Reasonable...
to think they can't win a game. 0-16. Bears 31-10.
08/29/2014 9:41AM
Good Blog, Joe
For once somebody in the media is telling it like it is -about EJ Manuel. The others have been kissing up to "the franchise" since he has been in Buffalo. Its time for him to man up. He has NOT been doing a good job like he claims. He is gonna get Sammy Watkins killed! That was a wasted 1st round draft pick on him -and next years #1 pick has also gone by the wayside, This is gonna be a dreadful season,
08/29/2014 9:43AM
Number 15 coming up
The Buffalo Shams will miss the playoffs for the 15th consecutive year with a 2-14 record. Manuel will be gone at year's end, as will as the coaching staff and if C J Spiller has any brains, he will leave as well. An utter joke and, yes the score ofthe first 'real' game this year - Chicago 45 Buffalo 10 (if they are lucky).
08/29/2014 9:47AM
Exhibition Contest
Joe - All sporting events, Super Bowl, Stanley Cup, US Open tennis are exhibition contests. Games played before the Regular Season are PRESEASON games, games played after the Regular Season are Postseason games. You should start referring to ALL games as exhibitions or call the preseason games PRESEASON GAMES.
08/29/2014 9:47AM
No hope
This team looks horrid. The offense is offensive at best. The QB is going to get his recievers killed. Can the QB even read the play book. Manuel has proven that he is a back-up at best. He is no franchise QB. The coaching staff needs to re-evaluate themselves and the QB position. Maybe the next owner will clean house and make some changes for the better. If this continues there is NO Hope of winning 1-15 season. Great Job by the GM and Coaches.
08/29/2014 9:48AM
To the Next Owner of the Bills
Terry Pegula, Don Trump -or whoever - Bring back Bill Polian -please! He knows how to build a winning team. Enough of the Whaley/Marrone/Hackett/Manuel experiment. This is more of the same old past 15 years. Reminds me of the Donohoe /Gregg Williams days. Bills fans deserve better than this ineptitude.
08/29/2014 9:52AM
One step forward 10 steps backwards
A step forward in 2013 results in 10 steps backward in 2014. This is all too typical of the Buffalo Bills the last 14 years. Last year there was at least the inspired play of the defense forcing turnovers and getting sacks left and right. On offense they looked to be only one player away which was a great WR. Problem is their defense is without it's two best players from last season and there are severe depth issues at linebacker and in the secondary. Adding to a defense that won't be nearly as good this season is a brand new scheme that is much less creative and aggressive and actually one that really is not all that new. This defense in terms of a alignment bears a disturbing resemblance to the much maligned Dave Wannstedt defense from two years ago. Watkins looked like a good idea when they traded up to get him. Now he is hurt, doubtful for the first game and likely doubtful for the first few weeks. When Watkins was healthy, Manuel could not get him the ball. Add it all up and this team is worse in 2014. They could even be much worse in 2014 than they were in 2013. At every single position this team is poised to take a huge step backward. Fox sports predicted 3-13 Bills. SI predicted 5-11 for the Bills. I would say that is spot on accurate.
08/29/2014 9:58AM
The New Darcy
Russ Brandon is the new Darcy Reigier of Buffalo. Great guy good heart thinks he is doing what is best for the franchise and is instead running it into the ground. At least the real Darcy had some success poor Russ he can't even do a good Darcy imitation. Hope the new owner is quick to pull the plug oh year that may well be Mr Pegula oh well here is to a few more bad years. Go Saber-Bills
08/29/2014 9:58AM
The Shoe will fall
The Coach , GM, and President, are all remnants from the Wilson era and it breeds of the same stuff Bills fans have been faced to endure for years. All three completely over their heads and clueless. Almost certainly a new broom will sweep clean and we can finally gut out the low budget, low skilled incompetence. They have started the the thing on fire just in time to seal their fate.
08/29/2014 10:08AM
Manual , Hackett and Marrone are all jokes. Id take Chan gaily back at this point. Its going to be a long long long long long long year
08/29/2014 10:33AM
Buffalo Islanders
Suck for Cleveland
08/29/2014 10:37AM
Matt Flynn
This team is run by idiots. They don't have a decent number 2 or number 1 qb for that matter and they let Flynn go. Why? $$$ and he was a threat to precious EJ.
08/29/2014 10:46AM
This Is Our Time
It is the Buffalo Bills players time to disappoint their loyal fans AGAIN!!!!!!
08/29/2014 10:48AM
QB help? and pre-season record....
Here is part of an article from Yahoo Sports this AM written by a Detroit writer.. Winners and Losers Winners: QB Kellen Moore - Moore probably isn't going to be the Lions' backup quarterback -- it's pretty clear the team has already picked Dan Orlovsky for that role. However, he has made it tough for the Lions to release him. All preseason it has seemed like the Lions would keep only two quarterbacks, but perhaps Moore should stick around in the No. 3 role after going 17-for-28 for 172 yards and two touchdowns on Thursday night. He was outstanding all preseason. Bear in mind that in the glory years with Kelly and the K-Gun, the Bills were always winless in preseason. But dominated in September, for years and years...can this Bills team turn around? TBD Dave
08/29/2014 10:55AM
#1 Draft Pick
How do you justify putting in your already hurt, very talented #1 pick that you paid so much for into the last pre season game ? Were you thinking Detroit's guys would take it easy on him cause they know he's a little sore? This management / coaching team is wearing out their welcome fast. Lot's of talk, nothing to show for it. They were given the key's, said they would drive the team into a respected position, but we haven't left the pitt's. We got to build a new stadium for this?
08/29/2014 11:13AM
Marrone only wants to talk about not having a backup QB. The fact is he doesnt have a starting QB. He doesnt want to address that. And unless the Bills can trade for one -there is no hope for them this year. And not next year either -with no #1 draft pick.
08/29/2014 11:28AM
Wandering in the desert ... lost.
Manuel bereft of leadership skills. He's just hoping it will happen. Like, maybe, magic. Just because. Palmer pulled up on Watkins. Barely hit him. Not saying he couldn't have been hurt, but c'mon. This is like slowly knocking your head against the wall. I want Marrone to do well, but he's completely grasping at straws here. I pray new ownership brings new karma for our team. I feel bad for Bills fans. It's tough to take.
08/29/2014 11:28AM
No Way!
Buffalo has a lot of talent on Offense and Defense ... but a team will only go as far as the QB. That being said we are screwed until we get management to understand EJ is not the answer! Put CJ and Graham in a package deal out there to get a quality QBASAP.
08/29/2014 11:52AM
I am DISCUSTED!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! New owner, PLEASE, clean house! Maroon, his offensive staff, Whaley, are making Buffalo a laughing stock! Nix did not help by NEVER drafting a QB. EJ is a "great kid" but a delusional QB and NEVER excepts responsibility for his ineptness.
08/29/2014 11:52AM
Scribe Joe, good choice of game MVP..
Dixon's are brass!
08/29/2014 11:55AM
Worst offense I've seen in 40 years.
I know it's the preseason but this is the worst QB play we've had in a long time. I miss Ryan Fitzpatrick. Never thought I'd say those words.
08/29/2014 12:06PM
Why such pessimism? Well why not?
As of now, the Bills have the worst quarterbacking in the league and perhaps the universe -- like a big shiny car with no engine -- and their O-line is banged up so their running game isn't what it's supposed to be, so all that's left is their defense with its good front but suspect secondary, which means they'll have to win every game 3-0 -- but other than that, everything's fine. (And again, it is beyond unwise, it is downright irresponsible to place the fortunes of an entire team on the shoulders of any one player, especially an untried QB.)
08/29/2014 12:20PM
Watkins can't stay on the field in preseason. (You're playing with the big boys now Sammy). I'm sure glad that we got Downing to tell EJ what a great job that he's doing - Hah! He'll be injured within 3 weeks. It doesn't matter who is taking his place because the Bills are convinced that they can win and fill seats without an NFL caliber QB. I guess they haven't heard the boos!
08/29/2014 12:20PM
bunch of trolling clowns
Why doesnt anybody talk about the drops or how terrible the o-line is?! Of course EJ is going to struggle he technically is still a rookie. He was a project from the beginning and its unfortunate he was drafted in the 1st round because he would probably have a better chance at developing if we took him in the 2nd round. I knew he was a project and we want instant gratification in the form of an Luck, RGIII and Matt Ryan but unfortunately the REALITY is.... polished QB's out of college are RARE! 95% OF EVERY OTHER YOUNG QB STRUGGLES ESPECIALLY ONE'S WHO NEED AN ENVIRONMENT WHICH IS CONDUCIVE TO DEVELOPMENT. THIS ORGANIZATION AND FAN BASE WILL NOT ALLOW FOR THAT TO HAPPEN WHICH IS UNFORTUNATE. Im waiting until we get a full season out of EJ with his receivers making those easy catches and an o-line that actually protects him while utilizing a full playbook before I will reserve judgment.
08/29/2014 12:20PM
The QB comparison is ridiculous
C'mon. Jordan Palmer has to say that. He's trying to make a team. A few things though: While EJs 3rd down throw to Woods wasn't entirely on the money, it was certainly catchable. EJ had pressure, was leaning and threw a ball that hit Woods in the hands. And our O-line looked terrible, especially our guards—and I saw Glenn get beat a few times as well. There was no push to help the run game and the pockets were often crowded. Lastly, our play calling has to be the worst in the league. You can't have RBs and WRs as good as ours and a mobile QB and not place a significant amount of blame on the Offensive Coordinator when things don't get rolling or when we dont convert on goal line plays. I get that it's the preseason, but teams must only need to do 2hrs of film study to memorize our plays. If Hackett doesn't open up the playbook then we"ll have a repeat of last year.
08/29/2014 12:24PM
Just another hopeful year.
Its hard to see my favorite team suffer like this. The Bills defense is strong and has great potential this season. but yet again its the offense specifically the QB position that makes me cringe. I see our "franchise QB" looking too comfortable with the starling position and not a lot of proof of accountability or progress as claimed in several interviews. What is even more difficult to appreciate is the amount of talent and first round picks spent on this roster and starting lineup that is overshadowed by the struggling signal caller. The QB is the one who touches the ball every play, so without an at least semi-attractive QB performance this team will struggle to have a decent record this season. Side note: Speaking of first round draft picks, we don't have one in the 2015 draft. It seems like we have almost all positions set or close to good enough for a winning season, except for the QB position in my opinion. unless another attempt at a significant trade, (which could have a negative effect) the best chance we have for a true franchise QB is free agency, or '16 draft. I want this team to succeed like now, but i just don't see it happening this year. too much inconsistency at QB, and the defense i expect to taper off productivity through the later parts of the season due to little help from a struggling offense. Please prove me wrong, Im eager to see the success we deserve.
08/29/2014 12:35PM
I believe that i said previously, that EJ would get his recievers killed.
I also say along with Bill Polian,that you can't teach accuracy you either have it or you don't.He never did and it was obvious when i watched him play at Florida State. Drafting a fifth round QB in the first is not a mistake. It is a felony.
08/29/2014 12:46PM
Worse year coming
I'm so sorry that i even think this. 3 wins max! Poorly coached, very poor QB, Marrone isn't ready to coach. I was so expecting a lot of improvement this year.
08/29/2014 12:56PM
Step away from the ledge people!
The Bills looked bad, but despite the long camp the full offensive starting lineup heading into the season didn't get a lot of game snaps together which typically leads to sloppy play. Now that everyone will be slotted into there final roles for the season I expect to see improvement. I only expected about an 8 - 8 record this year to begin with and I still see that as a possibility. Buffalo scored 20 or more points in 11 games last season and they have upgraded the talent on the offensive line and at wide receiver. It may take a little while to develop chemistry but I can't really see them regressing so badly this year that they do worse overall than last year offensively. Add in what looks to be a more sound defense and this team is in better shape. Show a little patience rather than expecting miracles overnight and this team might surprise you.
08/29/2014 1:00PM
it is tuel's fault!
This whole preseason I've heard that they are unhappy at backup quarterback. They need to focus on the starter and stop telling us how great he is in practice. The staff blame much of the struggles on Tuel and Lewis now Tuel and Palmer. 3 of 7 is not good and EJ is around 50%. GEt a real coach to help all the quarterbacks. BUt at this point go with Tuel at least he is over 50%
08/29/2014 1:13PM
Bumbling Bills
I had initially liked the Bills going after Watkins, but now it's clear that was a really bad move. The poor guy deserves to be on a better team. EJ will get him killed out there ! They need to find a decent QB before making these kinds of moves.
08/29/2014 1:35PM
This comes down to whether or not EJ can mature into the player we all hope for. I think all of the other pieces of the puzzle are in place. You put a top notch QB on this team and it will fly. EJ has the physical tools and is smart but is he a winner on the field. He didn't really dominate at FSU and that should have been a flag. I was a believer in him when drafted but it's becoming apparent that if you are not DOMINANT as a qb in college,...it is virtually impossible to dominate in the pros. Unfortunately it is starting to look like the Bills swung and missed on EJ.
08/29/2014 3:05PM
Laughing Stock Of The NFL......
That is our lot in life.
08/29/2014 3:16PM
EJ is not the answer. He's just one in a long line of college QB"s that have the physical tools to succeed but lack the mental ability to handle the speed of the NFL. Give him 5 seconds to process what's going on and he'll see where he has to go with the ball, What you have with him is another candidate for the title of captain checkdown. It's a shame the team won't admit their mistake and find an NFL caliber QB. EJ's nickname should be 6 and 10 because that's about the best you can expect.
08/29/2014 3:19PM
Losing confidence
Thank God we can go after a QB with our fir.....oppps nevermind...Why would a coach risk injury on starters the last pre-season game...Manuel didnt get any better, Watkins is hurt again,..and the team is most likely questioning their coaches decisions..Not feeling like I did at the start of OTA's..I'll be there whooping and a hollerin, but reality sinks in quickly these days
08/29/2014 3:20PM
You think the play callng is going to get better?
HAH, the play calling was bad last year during the season, and it will be again this year, Hackett is holding this team back.
08/29/2014 4:07PM
Don't think it's the coach
It come down to the signal caller. He just isn't very good and they don't trust him to run the offense. You can see marones frustration with Manuel and Whaley.
08/29/2014 4:10PM
What Happens When ....
... the Bills actually have to play some quality opponents? Neither the Giants, Panthers (in their 1st game and without Newton), Steelers, Bucs and Lions are the elite teams in the NFL.
08/29/2014 4:45PM
House cleaning is needed
All I can hope for in the 2015-16 season is that a new perspicatious owner will find a coach with pro-ball instincts who will bravely clean house, letting go of EJ and any others who are an embarrassment.
08/29/2014 4:46PM
we stink
anyone feel good about Cleveland having our first rounder next year? might be first overall
08/29/2014 4:52PM
It's all a ruse!
Wait until the first game, then the real Bills offense will be unveiled and will be unstoppable! EJ has just been sandbagging on purpose, now its time for the real skillz to come out. No but really, if you watch his college games he can throw 1(spirals 2) hard 3) downfield 4) accurately. I know the NFL is different, but its not different with an open receiver, its just a pass.
08/29/2014 5:05PM
observations Lions 23 Bills 0
I have a lot of questions, 1) why did they pull EJ, early then put Palmer in with only 2 days of practice?? It was humilating. I feel bad for Palmer. I thought EJ needed the work. 2) Why didn't Tues get a chance to show what he might be able to? Why was Nigel Brandam playing when he is suspended for week 1. 3) Why didn't Gay get a chance to punt? 4) How many more offensive and defensive penalties are we going to see this year? I liked Palmers response, but really only 2 days of practice that play book must be really simple if someone expects him to have done well after just 2 days.
08/29/2014 6:08PM
Excuse me?
Bad performance in two straight games and you're canned. Why is EJ still seeing starting time?
08/29/2014 11:08PM
RE: it's all a ruse!
You are as delusional as the starting QB. Just sayin.
08/30/2014 2:15AM
Bills suck! Lol
08/30/2014 2:59AM
I feel good about Cleveland getting Buffalo's first pick next year.
But then again, I'm a Cleveland Browns fan...from Buffalo!
08/30/2014 7:25AM
Well, he isn't the best pickup, but he is an upgrade over EJ. Basically anyone we pick up will be a step above EJ.
08/30/2014 9:37AM
this team is filling up its diaper and fast & the season didn't even start yet. I see this team getting smoked on opening day on its way to a 2-14 season..... lets hope they somehow back-door their way into two wins or the failure will be complete at 0-16. New owner.............get a real coach, new front office and clean house top to bottom. Its time to sweep out these bumbling, stumbling, incompetent so called coaches, management, players...etc... a new start is needed.
08/30/2014 11:54PM
Hey S-T-U-P-I-D!... YOU yeah, YOU!!!!...
YOU are the one that's INCOMPETENT not the Bills and CERTAINLY NOT RUSS BranDONE! Because Y-O-U continue to buy this ridiculously and embarrassing product year after year after year. IMAGINE; a "professional sports organization" CANNOT COMPETE for it's sport's championship for the last "FIFTEEN YEARS" STRAIGHT, and there seems no let up in ticket buying!!!????? YOU, STUPID; GET WHAT YOU DESERVE! YOU STOP BUYING TICKETS!!!! Then see how fast things change! STUOID YOU...
09/01/2014 8:55AM
Rock Bottom
This is the year the Bills hit rock bottom. They will win 3 or fewer games. The story of the 2015 draft will be the browns two first round picks. The current brain trust will not be in charge foe the 2015 draft. The bills will be compared to an expansion team. I'll keep rooting for the bills, but I chose an NFC team too, to keep this season worthwhile. The Bears.
09/02/2014 1:22PM
Please get Josh Freeman!!!
Without a quality QB and without a top pick this year, I believe the team needs to re-sign Tuel and/or Thad as both are better than EJ. Drop Orton and sign Josh Freeman. Josh has all of the physical tools that EJ is supposed to have and can use them. He's been to the pro-bowl. He has numerous Tampa records in just a couple years. A new coaching staff didn't like the previous staff's QB. We all know how that works. He was given ten days to prepare for a regular season start and didn't look good (in Minnesota) and hasn't really had a chance since. Start EJ but please pull him if he continues to be incompetent. Put Jeff in for a few weeks before trying to start someone off the street. You would hope that someone at the NFL level would understand this but you need to give a QB a chance to learn a system before playing him. Somehow Doug and Doug don't get that. Why wait this long to bring in a QB??? It's too late to make QB changes but with Josh, you have someone with proven NFL talent / ability. We would have next year's starter this year or at least a very good QB competition. He might be able to get us into the playoffs for the first time this century, this season. Shame on management for not having the foresight to do this many months ago!!! It's inexcusable.
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