Doug Marrone on E.J. Manuel: “He probably practiced the least” of anyone in the league

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The Bills have big plans for quarterback E.J. Manuel as he heads into his second NFL season.

The team wants to see him make significant strides over where he was as a rookie and they’ve tweaked their coaching staff to help them realize that goal. Todd Downing is the new quarterbacks coach and former Ravens wide receivers coach Jim Hostler as a senior offensive assistant, putting more eyes on the quarterback after offensive coordinator Nathaniel Hackett handled those duties by himself last season.

Extra coaching shouldn’t be a bad thing, but it won’t help much if Manuel can’t stay on the field. At a Thursday press conference in Indianapolis, Bills coach Doug Marrone stressed the need for Manuel to stay healthy in order to make the improvements that the team wants to see.

“He played last year and really didn’t practice that much,” Marrone said, via Tim Graham of the Buffalo News. “If you think about all the players that played in the league, he probably practiced the least and played. For us, the priority, just like all the players, is to make sure that we keep him healthy. It’s important for us, important for his development.”

Marrone said that the team could also add a veteran quarterback to back up and mentor Manuel. Kevin Kolb’s salary and concussion history may make him a poor choice for that role a year after his brief competition with Manuel, but he is still on the roster in Buffalo at the moment.

15 responses to “Doug Marrone on E.J. Manuel: “He probably practiced the least” of anyone in the league

  1. In 10 years, no one will even remember E.J. Manuel and the Bills will have gone through half a dozen mediocre QBs. It’s too bad because their fans deserve better.

  2. Right. Whatever, Coach. Clearly you know what you’re doing, because you remind people often that you know what you’re doing. Trouble is, you’re generally incoherent. OK, the other trouble is, you don’t really look like you know what you’re doing.

    I think Manuel can be good. I fear that he will never be healthy enough to play a full season.

    I know that the coaching staff last year was not up to the task of making any of the players better.

    Maybe having a QB coach will mean that Manuel doesn’t throw deep balls down the left sideline to the slowest WRs on the team before they take three steps. Maybe having a QB coach will mean that Manuel doesn’t resemble Trent Edwards under pressure. Maybe Todd Downing is not, after all, the guy responsible for Matthew Stafford’s mastery of the mental side of the game.

    Doubt it, but maybe.

  3. Bills need a solid #2 QB. He might already be on the roster and he might not. Bills need to figure that one out quick. If it’s not Lewis, Kolb, or Tuel, then go get one!

  4. All the negativity is a little sad to me as a Bills fan. We can dump on the new regime all we want but the fact is that this staff had one of the best Bills drafts in years. If people are going to call EJ a reach, then Goodwin, Woods, and Kiko were absolute steals. Get this guy a legitimate #1 wideout, and let him have a full season as a starter before we write him off as a bust.

  5. This is way is asinine to hear media pundits trying to tell the bills to take another qb in round one. the kid barely had a preseason, rarely practiced during the season, and was hurt a bunch. yet he still played well at home, two away games before he got hurt, and in the rogers centre vs the falcons. yeah he had a couple of duds on the road, and was inconsisntant as a whole, but he’s a rookie qb. does anyone remember the nfl before 2010? number one qb picks used to hold a clipboard season one.

    anyone that thinks he had a bad rookie season isn’t paying attention.

  6. I’m not sure that Downing is your man. He was on his way to wrecking Mathew Stafford. Hopefully Jim Bob Cooter can salvage him.

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