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Bills not happy with backup quarterbacks

Tampa Bay Buccaneers v Buffalo Bills Getty Images

Players have started to shake loose from rosters ahead of Tuesday’s deadline to cut down to 75 players and the coming week will be filled with maneuvers by teams trying to get their desired 53 players for the start of the regular season.

One place to look for such a move is Buffalo, where coach Doug Marrone isn’t happy with his backup quarterback options. Dennis Dixon followed EJ Manuel into Saturday’s game because Marrone wanted to see him ahead of Jeff Tuel and Thad Lewis, but that experiment ended after Dixon struggled to hold onto the ball on his first drive.

“I’m not going to sit here and say I’m satisfied with the backup quarterback. I’m not,” Marrone said, via the Buffalo News. “Our conversations are always, ‘Hey, if we can better our football team, whatever we have to do, we will.’ We wouldn’t be doing right to ourselves, the team, the fans, if we didn’t.”

Tuel came in after Dixon while Lewis didn’t play at all against Tampa.

Offensive problems in Buffalo aren’t limited to the second team after the starters turned the ball over twice on Saturday to continue a poor preseason for Manuel and company. Big fixes for that unit will be hard to find at this point, so finding a better Plan B at quarterback may have to suffice.

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48 Responses to “Bills not happy with backup quarterbacks”
  1. jaygatsbytheoneandonly says: Aug 24, 2014 5:25 PM

    I think their backup situation is actually pretty solid…EJ Manuel is one of the better backup qbs in the league.

  2. leninthebuff says: Aug 24, 2014 5:28 PM

    Are they happy with their starter? lol The fans aren’t. Cleveland will be in line for a top 3 pick because of a smart trade.

  3. buffaloisadumpsterandtheirfansaremorons says: Aug 24, 2014 5:28 PM

    I look at that roster and all I see are backups.

  4. wiskybuck says: Aug 24, 2014 5:29 PM

    Backup QB? Shouldn’t he be concerned about finding a starting QB? That’s funny stuff!

  5. timmons94 says: Aug 24, 2014 5:35 PM

    Ej Manuel is awful….

  6. harrisonhits2 says: Aug 24, 2014 5:35 PM

    Might as well say Bills aren’t happy with any part of the team.

  7. claymatthewshairplugs says: Aug 24, 2014 5:36 PM

    Shouldn’t they be more concerned by the 2nd stringer they have masquerading as a starting NFL qb?

  8. Tom Cousins says: Aug 24, 2014 5:45 PM

    Not happy with QB play period! Kirk Cousins would be starter … Ryan Nassib may be as well. I was happy when EJ was selected but I’m no longer optimistic. They need to dangle Marcell Dareus out there and see if they can work a trade.

  9. hjb99992013 says: Aug 24, 2014 5:45 PM

    Most of us Bills fans arent also happy with either the starting QB or the OC

  10. realfootballfan says: Aug 24, 2014 5:47 PM

    The backups? Hello? Have they been watching the starter?

  11. richc111 says: Aug 24, 2014 5:55 PM

    Now everything is starting to gel. it is year 2, the new management picked the 1st QB in the 1st round, the have a total of maybe 5 years experience at QB, they traded away their 1st round pick in 2015 to trade up to get a premier WR, and they have a couching staff that 2 years ago half of them were at Syracuse. So here we are. this is the begin of the end. This season will be weak, We have been through the before. Every one knows where this is going. Only this time they might have screwed things up in epic proportion.

  12. dowhatifeellike says: Aug 24, 2014 5:55 PM

    I think when your starter isn’t any good, it’s only natural that the guys behind him won’t be any good either.

  13. paulec says: Aug 24, 2014 5:56 PM

    This is a problem that carried over from last year. Lewis and Tuel both struggled in their opportunities then, so I don’t know why the Bills didn’t address this in the draft/offseason.

  14. blowfishes says: Aug 24, 2014 5:58 PM

    They can take Ponder for a late round pick. I think he knows Manuel from their Florida State days…

  15. coltzfan166 says: Aug 24, 2014 5:59 PM

    Tebow

  16. garyridgway says: Aug 24, 2014 6:07 PM

    You want Tarvaris Jackson back? I think we’d be good with Terrell Pryor if you do. Just slide us some more draft picks

  17. v2787 says: Aug 24, 2014 6:09 PM

    I don’t know what it is about NFL coaches: they simply refuse to acknowledge reality sometimes. They saw Tuel and Lewis play last year, and it wasn’t exactly pretty. Did the Bills think that those two were somehow going to magically become NFL-caliber QBs during the offseason or something? Are the coaches so arrogant that they think they can teach marginal talent to be great? When you have subpar players, you get rid of them and try new ones. If you don’t do that, you’ll just keep getting the same results you’ve always gotten. My Vikings had to learn that the hard way with Ponder–he was mediocre from the start and never got any better. They should’ve seen those limitations during his first season, because he’s never improved since then. (They got into the playoffs with Ponder, but that was directly due to AP.) The Vikes wasted a couple of years with the Ponder experiment, which led nowhere. Looks like the Bills are doing something similar with Manuel–he’s a subpar QB and always will be. Cut your QBs loose, Bills, and try new people until you find someone with real talent. The guys you have simply can’t do the job and everyone–except the Bills coaching staff, apparently–knows it.

  18. corkspop says: Aug 24, 2014 6:09 PM

    Think Kirk Cousins or Mark Sanchez to push and/or mentor EJ Manuel. Backup??? Lost in the battle in Cleveland is a gamer named Connor Shaw. Go get him!

  19. fast34me says: Aug 24, 2014 6:10 PM

    Time to change things in a hurry. Tebow time. Plan B is a running offense with Tebow with just enough passing to soften up a defense for a running game. Tebow’s durable enough to last, he wins, and his dink and dunk game is sufficient.

  20. idoubtiwillbother says: Aug 24, 2014 6:19 PM

    Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain. The problems lie in the offices, not the locker room.

  21. britishraven says: Aug 24, 2014 6:20 PM

    Straight trade EJ for Fitzpatrick…?

  22. jimmysee says: Aug 24, 2014 6:29 PM

    Brian Brohm is playing up in Canada.

  23. mmmpierogi says: Aug 24, 2014 6:34 PM

    Since being drafted, Dixon has never looked impressive. Not sure if he wasn’t NFL caliber to begin with or missed important early developmental opportunities because of lack of playing time, but I’m not even if sure if this guy can hack it as a career backup.

  24. dbatrox21 says: Aug 24, 2014 6:46 PM

    Suddenly….Mark Sanchez looks like a really good option…

  25. gojags says: Aug 24, 2014 6:50 PM

    Should’ve picked Ryan Nassib in 3rd. The positive thing of picking EJ is they moved down and got some extra picks.

  26. jaxairsupport says: Aug 24, 2014 6:53 PM

    Time to trade for Tyler Wilson.

  27. jdrewsy says: Aug 24, 2014 6:54 PM

    Marrone’s not happy? How do you think Jim Harbrough feels in Santa Clara? He has Gabbert as his back up.

  28. Norseman says: Aug 24, 2014 7:05 PM

    Christian Ponder is readily available. Please take him.

  29. conormacleod says: Aug 24, 2014 7:13 PM

    Who are the idiots that keep saying Tebow? Let it go already. Your demigod never was.

  30. The Steelers are Marching and the world cowers. The three rivers were made from your tears and we build boats. We build lots of boats. We walk beside pristine trophy cases and engraved gold. They say it's lonely at the top, but we sure like the view. says: Aug 24, 2014 7:14 PM

    How does the head coach from a mediocre Syracuse team go straight to an NFL head coaching spot? Still baffled by this.

  31. browns2014man says: Aug 24, 2014 7:19 PM

    Who cares about Buffalo and I hope they move to Toronto. This coming from a guy in Cleveland.

  32. largent80100 says: Aug 24, 2014 7:28 PM

    Bills QB situation is now the worst in the NFL, even worse than Texans (which curiously carries former Bill Fitzpatrick as a starter), the Raiders and the Browns.

    They don’t even have a starter and their backups are awful, no one will develop, Manuel is a reach, they’ll be in the market next year.

  33. crappygovernment says: Aug 24, 2014 7:36 PM

    Tebow could bring excitement to the NFL’s Siberia, the Bills.

  34. inhokewetrust says: Aug 24, 2014 7:46 PM

    Ex bill Ross Tucker explained EJ Manual perfectly on Jim Rome show…..
    “Ej Manual is the Kelly Le Brock of quarterbacks”

  35. catquick says: Aug 24, 2014 7:57 PM

    EJ will be fine. He will improve weekly. His 1st pick was a perfect trow where the TE fell down. An easy 10 yd gain if he keeps his footing. All QBS throw picks. I saw Brady toss a stinker to Cary Williams who took it 77 yes for a td. Brady should be cut, right? It takes a few years for most QBs to get up to NFL standards. EJ kis ahead of schedule. Fans are just angry from all the losses before he got here. Andrew Lucks are rare individuals. He will be fine, and his arm strength will stretch the field eventually. Conventional wisdom is just that, Conventional. Everyone knows more than the pro’s who watch him every day. No receivers are down on him. Relax. It will all work out.

  36. pftfan says: Aug 24, 2014 8:07 PM

    Not the worst thing, the Bills can draft Marcus Mariota or Jameis Winston or Brett Hundley with their top 3 pick next year.

    OH WAIT…

  37. pjmax1 says: Aug 24, 2014 8:09 PM

    Like all of you I was really hoping EJ was going to be the next Jim. I even tried to make myself think he just needed more time etc. etc…. I live in Vermont and even from here I can aw the QB situation in Buffalo is really bad. The real question is now without one good QB where do we go…next draft??? I love our head coach but I think he should have looking this past offseason just in case our QB situation sucked. Now we are stuck and any good QBs are gone so what now?

  38. cavington says: Aug 24, 2014 8:46 PM

    They’ve given Tuel one chance at playing really and that was it. Hardly really given him a chance.

  39. codythao35 says: Aug 24, 2014 8:53 PM

    Bills not happy with starting qb period.

  40. nupe3 says: Aug 24, 2014 8:54 PM

    look people he has played ten games take it easy, it takes time to digest a NFL playbook and by all accounts the Bills are happy with his progress so let him play and lets see if you guys are saying the same thing in week

  41. iloveagoodnap says: Aug 24, 2014 9:41 PM

    Browns fan hoping the bills move. Classy statement. The bills fans and franchise had your teams back 20 years ago when your team bolted for greener pastures.

  42. iloveagoodnap says: Aug 24, 2014 9:44 PM

    Browns fan says who cares about the bills.

    That may be true. But the exact same thing is true about the browns. The browns are one of the few franchises with an even bigger joke of a history than the bills.

  43. ohand16 says: Aug 24, 2014 9:45 PM

    EJ Manuel will lead Buffalo to a 10-6 record and a wild card spot. Mike Williams and Bobby Woods will be a formidable receiving duo. Sig it.

  44. Billsweregreatonce says: Aug 24, 2014 11:07 PM

    GO BILLS!!!!!

  45. theeduck2000 says: Aug 25, 2014 12:06 AM

    i’m not gonna sit here and defend Marrone. Because millions of people have watched the preseason, and this guy says he is not happy with his BACKUP QBs. I say how about your starter,HUH? Because to millions of us, it appears he sucks too. Plus the backup will be on the bench when the real season starts. Manuel is no starting QB.

  46. iammrbinky says: Aug 25, 2014 8:06 AM

    Marrone is unhappy about his QB situation period. EJ Manual is absolutely pathetic.

  47. billstime17 says: Aug 25, 2014 8:58 AM

    Lets not panic yet – we are talkin about practice (preseason)

  48. beyond2k says: Aug 25, 2014 9:31 AM

    Marrone, you’re in over your head. Go back to college.

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