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Bills likely scaling things back for E.J. Manuel

f7333b6edcf24235050ca56509b3b038 Getty Images

When a youngster is learning to swim, there comes a point when they have to jump into the deep end to figure out if they can handle themselves in the water.

The kids that float are fine. The ones that don’t have to be taken back for some more lessons before giving it another shot.

Why the swimming talk? Because the Bills are heading back to the shallow end with quarterback E.J. Manuel after Sunday’s 27-6 thumping at the hands of the Buccaneers. Manuel threw four interceptions and took seven sacks as he continued his habit of poor performances away from Ralph Wilson Stadium and coach Doug Marrone said after the game that the team would be cutting back on the offense to avoid overwhelming the rookie quarterback.

“I think we’ve been giving him more and more. Now it’s a point of where you have to re-evaluate that. He’s been going fast with his progression and now we just have to look at it and get him started again,” Marrone said, via ESPN.com. “It’s not starting over — don’t get me wrong — [but] we’ve got to look to see what we can do and probably cut down what we’re doing.”

Manuel’s rookie season has been a mixed bag in terms of performance and the knee injury that cost him four games certainly didn’t do anything to help smooth out his transition to the pro game. Scaling things back at this point and then rebuilding things during the offseason sounds like a wiser move than continuing to force feeding things that aren’t working at this moment in time.

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22 Responses to “Bills likely scaling things back for E.J. Manuel”
  1. thegreatgabbert says: Dec 9, 2013 7:36 AM

    When you throw kids in the deep end of the pool they all float eventually. Sometimes it takes a couple days before they bob to the surface though.

  2. cjnbsc says: Dec 9, 2013 7:37 AM

    Manuel doesn’t have “it”. Now three more years of futility while the team figures out that they made yet another QB error.

  3. jpaq68 says: Dec 9, 2013 7:39 AM

    Wow, it took Caoch Moron nearly eight months to see that this guy was a real reach at number sixteen in last years draft.

  4. exboomer says: Dec 9, 2013 7:43 AM

    Manuel certainly struggled against a team that is as bad as the Bills are right now. Not a good sign for the his or the team’s future.

  5. wwwmattcom says: Dec 9, 2013 7:45 AM

    Thad Lewis showed more promise. Doug Marrones inability to coach his own position, offensive line, is pathetic.

  6. sinkit5 says: Dec 9, 2013 7:56 AM

    I hated the hire of the coach and thought this was a wasted draft pick. He was a marginal college coach and was out coached in games this year, frankly punked!!
    EJ is a nice well spoken young man, but not the caliber of QB you build a team around.

    team was all caught up with the new wave of QB in the NFL. with the decision.

    the Dolphins were criticized for taking Tanehill and frankly i think they got a good one in the making,

  7. upstaterules says: Dec 9, 2013 8:08 AM

    Try benching Pears and Legursky 1st, then huddle up enough with the hurry up and get Lewis ready to come in at halftime. Got to light a fire under these guys Doug.

  8. pksullivanmha says: Dec 9, 2013 8:52 AM

    Please let bust not be so. @footballady52🏈

  9. broncostevenp says: Dec 9, 2013 11:32 AM

    *When* Shanahan is fired this week (probably today).

  10. longsufferingbillsfan says: Dec 9, 2013 11:59 AM

    At least we don’t have Geno Smith.

  11. bbillsfan01 says: Dec 9, 2013 12:44 PM

    Makes the same mistakes over and over.
    And so begins a new search for a QB.
    Johnny Football, how do you like snow, polish sausage and Canadian beer?

  12. Mr. Wright 212 says: Dec 9, 2013 1:36 PM

    EJ is a good guy and he will be an above-average QB at his apex, but he won’t be great. You can just look at how Jimbo Fisher has completely unleashed his entire offensive philosophy (with virtually the same roster) with Jaboo, but he called plays like Marty Schottenheimer when EJ was in Tallahassee.

  13. billsmafiaordie says: Dec 9, 2013 2:31 PM

    Everyone in Buffalo rejoiced when this pick was made cuz “we got our guy.” I stand by what I said at the time, that this was the worst draft pick in any sports entire history. At least Jamarcus Ryan leaf and other notable busts were SUPPOSED to be drafted that high. We were DEAD SET on taking a QB that year just to calm the fan base and look what we got? A 6th rounder on some teams board, a 4th on most others…and if he came out this year he would be the 6th or 7th QB taken most likely. Now with a D coming around and young pieces on offense we will waste time waiting to make sure hes not a franchise QB. If we waited till this year we could have got a true franchise QB but now will have to use another high draft pick in the coming years to address QB ONCE AGAIN…Being a Bills fan is like waking up on Christmas morning every year to find a mixture of one part coal, and 2 parts pain in your stocking.

  14. iloveagoodnap says: Dec 9, 2013 4:28 PM

    Mr. Wright 212 says:
    Dec 9, 2013 1:36 PM
    EJ is a good guy and he will be an above-average QB at his apex, but he won’t be great.
    ……………
    Well said.

    I’ve seen him play. He’s poised, confident and clutch for a rookie. He has the intangibles. The tangibles not as much, but he is still a rookie.

    While I cant blame Buffalo fans for being doomsayers- 14 years must be exhausting, and I do feel bad, because you guys deserve better- it’s also needed to calm down and not overreact. From what I’ve seen, EJ has enough potential to be a guy that can get them a wild card and get them back to the post season. He’s not good enough to win a superbowl unless they have a 2000 Ravens or 2002 Bucs defense around him, and a better receiver than Stevie Johnson as his number one. But I see enough there for him to bring this team to the post season at least.

    People need to remember that historically, the Cam Newtons, Russel Wilsons, Andrew Lucks- these are exceptions and not rules to rookie QBs. Its not necesarily true that Buffalo is headed for another total rebuild in 2 years.

  15. misteranderson41 says: Dec 9, 2013 4:29 PM

    i really hope new GM Doug Whaley drafts a qb in the 2014 draft or makes a play for the skins’ cousins….it was a circus this year with kolb going out, then thad, then tuel time……& ej looking scurred most of the year…….i like northern illinois’ lynch in the 3rd round for the bills….leave it to buffalo to wait 9 yrs to take a qb in the 1st rd again and screw it up again! 3 qbs in the first round in 30 yrs and only 1 (kelly) worked…..draft one a yr til you get it right whaley!

  16. Mr. Wright 212 says: Dec 9, 2013 4:55 PM

    Jimbo had to scale back a lot of what he wanted to do last year, because the complexity of his system had EJ in over his head (see the NC State and UF games last year). It’s not really an insult. Some guys have different tools. EJ will eventually get it, but there is too much shuffling taking place with the personnel in Buffalo due to injuries to spill the entire playbook on him this soon.

  17. mackcarrington says: Dec 9, 2013 10:17 PM

    EJ Manuel is no Jim Kelly… he’s no Tom Brady… he’s no Peyton Manning… He’s no Drew Brees… He’s no Russell Wilson… He’s no Dan Marino… He’s no Aaron Rogers… He’s no Joe Namath… he’s no Cam Newton… He’s no Troy Aikman… he’s no Joe Montana… he’s no Andrew Luck… He’s no Eli Manning… He’s no Otto Graham… he’s no Johnny Unitas… He’s no Bart Starr… he’s no Terry Bradshaw… he’s no Roger Staubach… he’s no Bob Griese… He’s no Jim Mc Mahon… he’s no John Elway… He’s no Jim Plunkett… he’s no Steve Young… he’s no Fran Tarkenton… He’s no Warren Moon… he’s no Brett Favre… he’s no Phil Simms…

  18. maxkingpin says: Dec 10, 2013 5:47 AM

    The eval on Manuel coming out was that he had “slow eyes”, meaning that he had trouble quickly analyzing what the defense was doing & then when to throw the ball & to which receiver. This is still a problem. His best throws are 9 routes, where he just heaves the ball, and curls/comebacks where the receivers “show their numbers” to him.
    Until Manuel learns to throw to a spot like most successful NFL QBs then he will be relegated to the scrapheap of QBs that could never make the transition from college to the NFL.

  19. ranman1 says: Dec 10, 2013 6:53 AM

    Funny…not, how when EJ has a bad game all the critics come crawling out like snakes to sound off on how “bad” he is. Even funnier…how they’re all strangely silent when he has a good game.

    mackcarrington,

    Every QB you mentioned has had bad games…Jim Kelly? Threw more than his fair share of int’s a crucial moments in games…I know…I was at a lot of those games. Some of them had bad games THIS WEEK…Russell Wilson…Cam Newton…Andrew Luck…Eli Manning. Luck threw as many int’s as TD’s in his rookie season last year, and I bet you’re one of the guys that was saying how good he was. BTW You seem to conviently have forgotten Manuel led Buffalo to the game winning TD against Newton in the second game of the season. The guy missed most of the preseason, and 4 games with an injury, and you can’t believe he’s not playing like an all pro. I don’t know what’s worse…your expectation that he should be playing like an all pro, or your lack of comprehension skills that keep you from understanding why he might not be playing like an all pro.

  20. jpaq68 says: Dec 10, 2013 8:28 AM

    mackcarrington says:
    Dec 9, 2013 10:17 PM
    EJ Manuel is no Jim Kelly… he’s no Tom Brady… he’s no Peyton Manning… He’s no Drew Brees… He’s no Russell Wilson… He’s no Dan Marino… He’s no Aaron Rogers… He’s no Joe Namath… he’s no Cam Newton… He’s no Troy Aikman… he’s no Joe Montana… he’s no Andrew Luck… He’s no Eli Manning… He’s no Otto Graham… he’s no Johnny Unitas… He’s no Bart Starr… he’s no Terry Bradshaw… he’s no Roger Staubach… he’s no Bob Griese… He’s no Jim Mc Mahon… he’s no John Elway… He’s no Jim Plunkett… he’s no Steve Young… he’s no Fran Tarkenton… He’s no Warren Moon… he’s no Brett Favre… he’s no Phil Simms…

    BUT, he may be a Tyler Thigpen … he may be a JP Losman … he may be a Trent Edwards … he may be a Rob Johnson … Ryan Fitzpatrick … he may be a Kelly Holcomb … he may be an Alex Van Pelt … he may be a Brian Brohm …. he may be a Vince Young …

  21. iloveagoodnap says: Dec 10, 2013 9:02 AM

    misteranderson41 says:
    Dec 9, 2013 4:29 PM
    i really hope new GM Doug Whaley drafts a qb in the 2014 draft or makes a play for the skins’ cousins….it was a circus this year with kolb going out, then thad, then tuel time……& ej looking scurred most of the year…….i like northern illinois’ lynch in the 3rd round for the bills….leave it to buffalo to wait 9 yrs to take a qb in the 1st rd again and screw it up again! 3 qbs in the first round in 30 yrs and only 1 (kelly) worked…..draft one a yr til you get it right whaley!
    ……………………
    Thank God you’re not a GM. Give the kid a chance. If next year at this time theyre staring down the barrell of another 5-11 season, then, yes time to think of drafting one. But my goodness, he’s played 9 games. And I’ve read the same Bills fans on here after his good ones say “I’ think we got a good future with this kid”. Give the Kid- because that’s all he is, just a kid- a chance to play some football.

  22. iloveagoodnap says: Dec 10, 2013 9:06 AM

    mackcarrington says:
    Dec 9, 2013 10:17 PM
    EJ Manuel is no Jim Kelly… he’s no Tom Brady… he’s no Peyton Manning… He’s no Drew Brees… He’s no Russell Wilson… He’s no Dan Marino… He’s no Aaron Rogers… He’s no Joe Namath… he’s no Cam Newton… He’s no Troy Aikman… he’s no Joe Montana… he’s no Andrew Luck… He’s no Eli Manning… He’s no Otto Graham… he’s no Johnny Unitas… He’s no Bart Starr… he’s no Terry Bradshaw… he’s no Roger Staubach… he’s no Bob Griese… He’s no Jim Mc Mahon… he’s no John Elway… He’s no Jim Plunkett… he’s no Steve Young… he’s no Fran Tarkenton… He’s no Warren Moon… he’s no Brett Favre… he’s no Phil Simms…
    …………………………………….
    Great post.

    No one says he is. No one thinks he will be. 99.9% of people ever to play the position wont be as good as those guys you just listed. The hope is a guy who, with a solid team surrounding him, can at least get his team out of the basement theyve been in for 14 years. Bring some sort of sports relativity back to his city. No ones saying he’s going ot be a hall of famer. People like you are the reason why every QB is considered a bust if they dont put up top 7 numbers immedately. Guess what Steve Young’s record was his rookie year? Or Aikamn?

    I understand Buffalo fans are impatient to start winning again after all this time but my lord.

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