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Doug Marrone: E.J. Manuel is ahead of any rookie QB I’ve seen

Buffalo Bills Rookie Camp Getty Images

A month after selecting quarterback E.J. Manuel in the first round of the NFL draft, Bills coach Doug Marrone likes what he sees.

Marrone said at the conclusion of the Bills’ Organized Team Activities today that his rookies have developed “better than expected” and that Manuel is ahead of any other rookie quarterback he’s seen.

“From my standpoint,” Marrone said, “E.J. Manuel has done better [as a rookie] than any of the other organizations I’ve been a part of.”

Of course, that isn’t really saying all that much: Marrone has only been a coach on one team that has drafted a quarterback, and that was in 2003, when Marrone was offensive line coach of the Jets and they spent a sixth-round pick on Brooks Bollinger. We would certainly hope that Manuel is ahead of where Brooks Bollinger was.

So when Marrone says Manuel has done better as a rookie than any rookie in any other organization he’s been a part of, Marrone is setting the bar awfully low. But at least Manuel has cleared that bar.

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65 Responses to “Doug Marrone: E.J. Manuel is ahead of any rookie QB I’ve seen”
  1. blitzinc43 says: May 31, 2013 12:42 PM

    Here’s the real McNabb 2.0

  2. brutus9448 says: May 31, 2013 12:42 PM

    since he’s a college coach before this I doubt he’s seen many NFL rookie QBs

  3. ozymandias121 says: May 31, 2013 12:42 PM

    Show me a coach who doesn’t say this and the you really have news. Every rookie QB since like 2007 has had the same thing said about him.

  4. blacknole08 says: May 31, 2013 12:43 PM

    To all those sleeping on E.J. Manuel and saying it was a mistake taking him in the 1st round, I can’t wait to see you guys eat crow!

    Not even a Bills fan, but as a Nole fan and alum I’ve seen every college game he has played. He plays his best in big games. He can make all the throws. He is a student of the game and a quick learner. He’s got speed and can run over people. And he rarely turns the ball over!

    Trust me Bills fans, you made the right choice!

  5. whatnojets says: May 31, 2013 12:49 PM

    Those sly, sneaky Buffalo Bills!!!

    If I didn’t know better, I would say that they are trying to build a secretive dream team!

  6. kd75 says: May 31, 2013 12:49 PM

    He’s also the first rookie QB you’ve ever seen, rookie head coach.

  7. jaxbeachjagfan says: May 31, 2013 12:50 PM

    As Bugs Bunny would say, “What a marrone.”

  8. sdb0ltz says: May 31, 2013 12:50 PM

    Anyone else notice the only talk about Geno Smith has been his off the field decisions. Not a single mention about how he is performing on the field.

    Nice to see the better QB in this draft is getting props for his on the field work.

  9. westampa says: May 31, 2013 12:51 PM

    As an FSU fan I will be following this guy very closely. He reminds me a lot of Josh Freeman. He can make all the throws, but just doesn’t have the “it” factor to make him elite. Both of these guys have great supporting cast, so lets see what happens in 2013.

  10. dc49er says: May 31, 2013 12:51 PM

    Haha…””Of course, that isn’t really saying all that much”

    I was about to say the same thing

  11. zimaman says: May 31, 2013 12:51 PM

    I guess that’s plausible coming from a first year NFL head coach

  12. peanutele24 says: May 31, 2013 12:51 PM

    I wonder what Jerry jones would say about that statement ?

  13. jjb0811 says: May 31, 2013 12:52 PM

    I hope that the Bills got their coach/QB of the present and future. But I have my doubts.

  14. SAV says: May 31, 2013 12:52 PM

    WOW Doug you really went out on a limb there…I can tell you will do a great job motivating your team with BS. HINT-BS doesn’t win championships, the truth does, and not the inflated truth.

    Face it pal you have not enough experience around QB rookies to know much about them. Sorry to call out the obvious, but you sound like an idiot DM.

  15. durangokidii says: May 31, 2013 12:53 PM

    Dad: “You’re my favorite son”
    Son: “I’m you’re only son!”
    Dad: “Exactly”

  16. c1md6 says: May 31, 2013 12:57 PM

    Not a bills fan but I hope he does well, I like to see when these guys make the “experts” eat their words. Speaking of experts, Trent dilfer is always the first one to belittle a Qb as if he was an elite Qb when he played, the guy is such a clown, he didn’t win a Super Bowl he played on a Super Bowl winning team. He was the first one to take shots at Manuel, well I hope Manuel shows him where to shove it.

  17. billyjsunday69 says: May 31, 2013 1:01 PM

    What’s else is he supposed to say, We screwed up and blew a 1st rounder on a bum.

  18. phinfan says: May 31, 2013 1:04 PM

    His throwing mechanics in the photograph prove otherwise.

  19. kjp0810 says: May 31, 2013 1:05 PM

    Perhaps he should have chosen a better comparison…like if he is grasping the offense better than Kevin Kolb.

  20. turnofftheradio1 says: May 31, 2013 1:07 PM

    On a related note, Doug Marrone has lost his mind.

  21. hendawg21 says: May 31, 2013 1:10 PM

    brutus9448 says:
    May 31, 2013 12:42 PM
    since he’s a college coach before this I doubt he’s seen many NFL rookie QBs

    ________________________________

    I agree, of course it would’ve been nice to know which other (professional) organizations he’s been a part of…as this also could explain his surprise!

  22. Sambone says: May 31, 2013 1:11 PM

    Here is how it works here:

    Positive Bills article goes to profootballtalk.

    Jets and Dolphins fans make hateful comments.

    Bandwagon Pats* fans will dismiss it because they go way back to 2001 with the Pats*. Rinse, repeat.

    Fellow Bills fans: Just start winning that is the only right answer.

  23. corkspop says: May 31, 2013 1:14 PM

    I’m pretty sure that Coach Marrone also payed attention to other rookie QB’s on opposing teams and around the league. His passing on the opportunity to take his QB from Syracuse speaks volumes about his evaluation of Manuel, and, his desire to do what’s best for the franchise. I’m expecting Kolb to be the starter on Day One, but, wouldn’t mind being pleasantly surprised.

  24. 1zzo says: May 31, 2013 1:18 PM

    Many people know so little yet comment so much. While the statement that he hasn’t seen many rookie QBs is true, Marrone has spent more years coaching in the NFL than in college. People seem to forget that there are other coaches besides the HC.

  25. vtsquirm says: May 31, 2013 1:18 PM

    I’m not a fan of Manuel… but the coach said he’s the best rookie he’s ever seen, not the best he’s ever coached or whatever…

    I’ve never coached a day in my life, but i’ve seen plenty of rookies in the NFL.

    now with that said, this is total coach speak… there is no way that Manuel is as good as other players to come through recently… unless Marrone just cannot see very far.

  26. hendawg21 says: May 31, 2013 1:19 PM

    Ok did my homework…Miami Dolphins 87, New Orleans Saints 89 neither of which had a rookie QB…come on man, both teams starters those years were Marino and Herbert…Marino’s backup was some no name along with Don Strock, and Herbert’s backup was John Fourcade hardly any rookies…

  27. ratdogs says: May 31, 2013 1:22 PM

    Didn’t Cam Newton say he mastered the playbook last season too? Goofballs like Manuel and Geno Smith think learning a watered down rookie orientation playbook will make them week one starters. Good grief. Manuel and Smith should be on clip board duty for at least two years. Keep drinking the Kool Aid Bills fans..you have a winner.

  28. raiderufan says: May 31, 2013 1:26 PM

    I don’t know that saying he plays his best in big games is really accurate…

    2012′s biggest game? Florida. 18-33, 187 yards with 1 td and 3 picks.

    2011′s? Florida. 6-13, 79 yards….Oklahoma. 13-19, 85 yards, 2 picks….to be fair (I guess) Notre Dame. 20-31, 249 and 2 TD’s (bowl game)

    I honestly feel like he had a very good college career but I can’t say he’s his best in big games and I don’t believe he’s anywhere near game ready for the NFL. He needs seasoning and the proper seasoning will bring out a damn fine player.

  29. jimmysee says: May 31, 2013 1:27 PM

    We wish both of them the best!

  30. gacoltfan says: May 31, 2013 1:29 PM

    c1md6 says: May 31, 2013 12:57 PM

    Not a bills fan but I hope he does well, I like to see when these guys make the “experts” eat their words. Speaking of experts, Trent dilfer is always the first one to belittle a Qb as if he was an elite Qb when he played, the guy is such a clown, he didn’t win a Super Bowl he played on a Super Bowl winning team. He was the first one to take shots at Manuel, well I hope Manuel shows him where to shove it.

    _____________________________

    Never have understood this line of reasoning about Dilfer or any other analyst. Just because someone didn’t have the physical skills to be a great player doesn’t mean they don’t know what they are talking about. If the criteria for being able to evaluate talent is you had to be a great player, why aren’t GM positions filled by former players instead of guys who never played?

  31. kayakattack says: May 31, 2013 1:29 PM

    YOU STILL REACHED!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  32. larrydavid7000 says: May 31, 2013 1:43 PM

    How did this guy become a Head Coach? O thats right no one wanted the bills job. LOL.

  33. buffalomafia says: May 31, 2013 1:50 PM

    Start him!!!

  34. stealthjunk says: May 31, 2013 1:50 PM

    Wow, this is an obvious jab at Jeff Tuel, the Bills’ other rookie QB out of Washington State. Marrone must be trying to light a fire under him.

  35. dannymac17 says: May 31, 2013 1:51 PM

    well considering he came from college how many rookies has he seen in the NFL anyway?

  36. westampa says: May 31, 2013 2:00 PM

    blacknoleo8:
    Not even a Bills fan, but as a Nole fan and alum I’ve seen every college game he has played. He plays his best in big games. He can make all the throws. He is a student of the game and a quick learner. He’s got speed and can run over people. And he rarely turns the ball over!

    I guess you missed the Florida game where he threw 3 interceptions. This guy should have been a Heisman winner with the Noles crappy schedule. Last year was a huge dissapointment for having such an “elite” QB.

  37. thetwilightsown says: May 31, 2013 2:02 PM

    Worked three FSU games last year, on the sideline. Clemson, BC and USF. Never once – including vs. the hapless Bulls – did he appear anything other than a 3rd round pick. Carradine and Werner were the two best players on that team, IMHO and this guy… he’s just a guy.
    Sorry, Bills fans. It might take a minute.
    Not saying “bust” just… c’mon.

  38. stealthjunk says: May 31, 2013 2:02 PM

    “He’s the future . . . . Quite frankly, this man will solve all our problems for the next 15 years, and I told him that.” -Alex Spanos, San Diego Chargers owner, on Ryan Leaf

  39. pmp300300 says: May 31, 2013 2:04 PM

    How quickly all you ‘NFL gurus’ forget he was the OC in New Orleans for 3 years when Sean Payton took over. I think that offense turned out pretty well along with some QB named Brees.

  40. raideralex99 says: May 31, 2013 2:25 PM

    Seriously … why do you need to hype him up?
    The only reason I can see … they blew it by draftly him too early.

  41. EJ says: May 31, 2013 2:27 PM

    Michael David Smith says: Of course, that isn’t really saying all that much:

    I do believe he means that Manuel has done better as a rookie than any rookie in any other organization he’s been a part of… Meaning ANY ROOKIE, not just the QB position, but ALL ROOKIE RELATED POSITIONS.

    Organization’s-
    New York Jets (OL)- (2002-2005)
    New Orleans Saints (OC)- (2006-2008)
    Buffalo Bills (HC)- (present)

    So… No. Not setting the bar low. Out of ALL ROOKIES, for 6 or so years and an average of 7 to 9 Drafted and 25+ Undrafted a year… You’re probably looking at 200-225 Rookies… So I’d probably say that’s setting the bar pretty damn high.

  42. andrewsteindione says: May 31, 2013 2:34 PM

    gacoltfan says: May 31, 2013 1:29 PM

    c1md6 says: May 31, 2013 12:57 PM

    Not a bills fan but I hope he does well, I like to see when these guys make the “experts” eat their words. Speaking of experts, Trent dilfer is always the first one to belittle a Qb as if he was an elite Qb when he played, the guy is such a clown, he didn’t win a Super Bowl he played on a Super Bowl winning team. He was the first one to take shots at Manuel, well I hope Manuel shows him where to shove it.

    _____________________________

    Never have understood this line of reasoning about Dilfer or any other analyst. Just because someone didn’t have the physical skills to be a great player doesn’t mean they don’t know what they are talking about. If the criteria for being able to evaluate talent is you had to be a great player, why aren’t GM positions filled by former players instead of guys who never played?
    ______________________________

    Agreed, many coaches never played a down of football (at least professionally). Lombardi, Parcells, Belichick, the Ryan family…these guys are career coaches and nothing more, and it’s impossible to question their expertise. And aside from that, Dilfer is as critical of himself as those faceless observers on internet comment blogs are of him. Just because he couldn’t play, doesn’t mean he can’t evaluate talent.

    That said, I’m a Bills fan, so I do hope Manuel proves Dilfer wrong.

  43. jrcoop says: May 31, 2013 2:53 PM

    EJ,

    The article does say Marrone said “Manuel is ahead of any other rookie QUARTERBACK he’s seen.”

    EJ, you may want to consider changing your ID name… we know who you are EJ.

  44. jrcoop says: May 31, 2013 2:57 PM

    phinfan says: May 31, 2013 1:04 PM

    “His throwing mechanics in the photograph prove otherwise.”
    ————————————————–
    I noticed that as well, the last time that photo was used. The ball is about 180 degrees turned from where it needs to be to have anything but a slow and inaccurate delivery. It’s the same thing they’ve been saying about Tebow.

  45. buffalomafia says: May 31, 2013 3:01 PM

    I agree with LarryDavid7000

  46. ryann252013 says: May 31, 2013 3:01 PM

    Didn’t Cam Newton say he mastered the playbook last season too? Goofballs like Manuel and Geno Smith think learning a watered down rookie orientation playbook will make them week one starters. Good grief. Manuel and Smith should be on clip board duty for at least two years. Keep drinking the Kool Aid Bills fans..you have a winner.

    —————————————————-

    And Geno Smith and EJ Manuel will be eating up whatever team you likes defense for the next couple of years. Keep drinking YOUR Kool Aid.

  47. hehateme2 says: May 31, 2013 3:17 PM

    Who is Doug Marrone ? Thought so…

  48. sanjose61 says: May 31, 2013 3:33 PM

    MD Smith is wrong. Marrone said:

    “From my standpoint,” Marrone said, “E.J. Manuel has done better [as a rookie] than any of the other organizations I’ve been a part of.”

    Marrone played for the Dolphins in 1987 and the Saints in 1989.

    He then coached with the Jets from 2002-2005 before coaching with the Saints from 2006-2008.

    So that’s 9 seasons in the NFL.

  49. peepeetoucher says: May 31, 2013 3:38 PM

    Isn’t he getting reps with the 3rd team in OTA’s? That doesn’t sound like hes looking that great or ahead of any rookie Marrone has seen. He should @ least be running with the 2′s n pushing for the 1st string reps for being the 16th player picked in the draft. Actions speak louder than words.

  50. ericbendig says: May 31, 2013 3:40 PM

    I looked it up. He was an NFL coach in Tennessee in 2001, New York Jets in 2002-2005, and New Orleans in 2006-2008… In all that time, the only drafted rookie QB he coached was Brooks Bollinger in 2003.

    That is some tough company to compare with.

  51. beedubyatoo says: May 31, 2013 3:45 PM

    Russell Wilson and Andrew Luck are stunned at the short memory Marrone has.

  52. timekills says: May 31, 2013 3:57 PM

    jrcoop,

    The “quote” above is miquoted. The author (Mr. Smith) did an almost decent job of passing it off as having heard this first hand. The original quote from Marrone was “better than any rookie” he’d seen. I.E. not limited to QBs. So the “EJ” fellow is correct.

    Wise man thinks twice and speaks (or writes) once.

  53. truths4all says: May 31, 2013 4:07 PM

    If they are installing a West Coast Offense, Kevin Kolb will play rings around Manuel.

    The “Hype” is on and obviously it is only going to get piled up deeper and deeper to where even the Bulls will refuse to go relieve themselves on the any further Hype.

  54. godofwine330 says: May 31, 2013 4:10 PM

    @ MDS, “Of course, that isn’t really saying all that much: Marrone has only been a coach on one team that has drafted a quarterback, and that was in 2003, when Marrone was offensive line coach of the Jets and they spent a sixth-round pick on Brooks Bollinger. We would certainly hope that Manuel is ahead of where Brooks Bollinger was.”

    Way to be Debbie Downer, MDS. So he’s better than Brooks Bollinger the 6th round pick. lol.

    Good luck, Bills & Bills fans…except when you play my Browns, that is.

  55. jpmelon says: May 31, 2013 4:17 PM

    The quote everyone is arguing about is from twitter. Here is a full quote from buffalobills.com….

    “As far as EJ is concerned along with Jeff Tuel, who wasn’t on the field a lot, but I got to watch, both those quarterbacks from a mental standpoint and a physical ability standpoint being able to go out there and do it have done better in my experience than any other young quarterbacks that we’ve brought in with any of the organizations I’ve been involved with in the NFL”

    That is not limited to rookie QBs….and is a lot more significant than what was posted on PFT.

    Also, based on what’s happening at OTA’s, it appears that he’s trying to pick his starter out of Kolb or Jackson and let Manuel mature as the backup first…but it is also equally plausable that the decision has already been made to start Manuel and they are trying to figure out who to drop before the season starts.

  56. bigbenh8tr says: May 31, 2013 4:36 PM

    Could not find a more unintelligent thing about EJ Manuel. This is coming from the offensive coordinator who helped groom Drew Brees in New Orleans. Complete trash to help Manuels ego

  57. hendawg21 says: May 31, 2013 4:51 PM

    bigbenh8tr says:
    May 31, 2013 4:36 PM
    Could not find a more unintelligent thing about EJ Manuel. This is coming from the offensive coordinator who helped groom Drew Brees in New Orleans. Complete trash to help Manuels ego

    _____________________________

    I don’t know about grooming Brees in New Orleans, he was already a pretty decent but slightly damaged QB in San Diego…if not for the knuckleheads in San Diego drafting and then having to trade Eli for Rivers I think Brees would’ve pretty much had the same success in San Diego…

  58. spedman24 says: May 31, 2013 6:03 PM

    I guess he never heard of Elway, Marino, Luck, Peyton Manning, RG3…etc. The Shills have become the lost franchise of the NFL. There is no question this team should have waited till the 2nd or 3rd round for this fool or take Geno. People could throw fuel on the fire with Geno, but if you know anything about football it should be clear to you that Geno is the better player.

  59. pacodawg says: May 31, 2013 6:32 PM

    Has marrone seen another rookie ever?

  60. jbq2 says: May 31, 2013 7:23 PM

    I saw NFL combine workout tapes for E.J. Manuel. At 6 ft 4+ almost 6 ft 5, he was more than impressive. They showed him throwing for accuracy with two rushers and his throws from 20 yds were right “through the eye of a needle”. There is also no doubt of his speed. I just don’t understand from a BC perspective why Florida St was not more successful. He had the talent. It had to be coaching. Also, he showed a great deal of humility after being the only qb selected in the first round. However, the distance from Miami to Buffalo is a lot further than the distance. Can we all say SNOW? O.J. did okay in the “wing capital”. I wish him well and encourage him to bring his “long johns”. I guess if Chingachgook could make it (Last of the Mohicans), then he can too.

  61. cjspiller12 says: May 31, 2013 10:37 PM

    spedman24 says: May 31, 2013 6:03 PM

    I guess he never heard of Elway, Marino, Luck, Peyton Manning, RG3…etc. The Shills have become the lost franchise of the NFL. There is no question this team should have waited till the 2nd or 3rd round for this fool or take Geno. People could throw fuel on the fire with Geno, but if you know anything about football it should be clear to you that Geno is the better player.
    ______________________________________
    Spedman………Geno Smith will be a bust, you can bank on it. The guy is a head case. I even would have taken Nassib over Smith. The Bills made the right pick with EJ.

  62. iamtessaward says: Jun 1, 2013 3:51 AM

    Can you guys please give EJ a break! Dang, this kid has not taken a snap in the NFL and sooooo many negative things to say—just him on three games of his college career, judging him on the FL game last season—just stop it please! As for Marrone’s comment, its cynical interpretation. Whether this is the first QB he has drafted or not, he’s not knew to the game. Can everyone please take it down a notch and allow the season to start first…geez!

  63. in3webelieve says: Jun 2, 2013 3:15 AM

    I don’t want to see manuel fail or anything…but as a washington state guy, I hope someday we can see buffalo fans can say “its tuel time” and jeff tuel gets a shot. Not only because I like jeff tuel, but because its kind of catchy

  64. ranman1 says: Jun 3, 2013 11:47 AM

    It’s amazing how people with such smart mouths, can be so dumb. Marrone spent time in the NFL as an OL, offensive line coach, and an offensive cordinator. I’m gonna guess the “rookie coach” has seen a few rookie QB’s.

  65. seaeagle707 says: Jun 3, 2013 5:00 PM

    I know almost nothing about E.J. I know even less about Marrone. What I know about Kolb, I’d rather not. What I know about TJax, is that he should be given a chance (even more so than Tebow). Don’t give up, Bills fans. There ARE better times ahead. How do I know this? Ya got rid of T.O., didn’t ya?

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