Doug Marrone indicates there’s competition to back up EJ Manuel


The Bills’ backup quarterback situation is one to watch, even if only for the events of a season ago.

Starter EJ Manuel missed six games because of injury in 2013, and key veteran Kevin Kolb suffered a career-ending concussion in the preseason, leaving Thaddeus Lewis (five starts) and then-rookie Jeff Tuel (one start) to carry the load at times.

An undrafted free agent from Washington State, Tuel struggled in his first NFL season, completing just 26-of-59 passes (44.1 percent) with three interceptions and just one score. Lewis, who had prior NFL stints in Cleveland, St. Louis and Detroit, fared somewhat better after taking over as the top backup. He was far more accurate, completing 59.5 percent of his attempts (93-of-157). However, he had more turnovers (six) than touchdowns (five).

However, if Lewis is going to win the top reserve role once again, he may have to hold off a challenge from Tuel, who reportedly got some work with the second-team offense on Tuesday. Afterwards, Bills coach Doug Marrone told reporters there was competition for the primary backup job behind Manuel.

“Sure, we have a battle for the second team quarterback,” Marrone said, according to a transcript of his post-practice remarks from the club. “We’re trying to find out who it’s going to be, and Jeff did a nice job in OTAs, and he’s earned himself some more reps.”

The Bills carried just two quarterbacks to begin the 2013 season. And that means Tuel, Lewis and fourth-stringer Dennis Dixon could potentially be fighting for just one spot.

21 responses to “Doug Marrone indicates there’s competition to back up EJ Manuel

  1. When you run a story reporting a battle between Thad Lewis and Jeff Tuel to be the backup QB for a team that hasn’t won ten games in a season in like 15 years, you know it’s a really, really slow news day.

  2. They must be very confident Manuel isn’t going to get injured. They could have a contest to be his backup and come out better than this.

  3. Terry Bradshaw was benched his first year, and now is in the HOF. Johnny Unitas was cut his rookie year, and is now in the HOF. Jim Plunkett was a huge draft bust, but was SB MVP. Drew Brees was a castoff, but is headed to Canton. Warren Moon was blackballed and exiled to Canada, but is now in the HOF. You cannot tell after a handfull of games how good or bad a QB will be. Billy Joe Tolliver was on fire early, Jeff George the same. Don Majkowski was GB’s starter over Favre. Tom Brady was overlooked, like Russell Wilson. Please withhold judgement until you actually have all the evidence and facts.

  4. The headline should be “Doug Marrone indicates there’s competition to start Week 1 because EJ Manuel injured himself during pre-seaon”

  5. jpaq68 says:
    Jul 22, 2014 4:43 PM
    The headline should be “Doug Marrone indicates there’s competition to start Week 1 because EJ Manuel injured himself during pre-seaon”
    Say what you want, but he is better than any QB on Jacksonville’s roster. Blake Bortels = Blaine Gabbert. Enjoy traveling to London next year for your home games.

  6. Tuel was 4-22 as a starter in college. He’s really not the guy. I’m not sure what this crowd sees in him but it’s, eh, time to move on.

  7. .
    The Patriots have Tom Brady, Ryan Mallet and Jimmy Garopollo at QB.

    Buffalo counters with EJ Manuel, Jeff Truel and and Thad Lewis.

    Advantage : Patriots

  8. Tuel could definitely be the guy. At times last year he looked very sharp. His W-L record in college is not a factor. If it was, he wouldn’t be on an NFL roster. He has the ability. Needs more time with the ones and twos.

  9. sportstalkprofessional says:
    Jul 22, 2014 5:28 PM
    Bortles is 5x the QB Manuel ever dreamed he was. Someone is delusional. And this comes from a FSU fan.
    For someone sporting the name sportstalkprofessional and going on record saying Bortles is 5x better than Manuel when he hasn’t even taken an NFL snap is truly delusional.

  10. I wish other teams would start camp so all you TROLLS will stop your Bills bashing, it’s getting old after 15 years. You can only make fun of someone’s fat, ugly girlfriend so much, then it gets boring. Get a life, or get a team of your own, just leave us Bills Fans alone please. I don’t care enough about other teams to talk smack, I love Buffalo Bills football, that’s all, GO BILLS!!!!! #BILLSMAFIA

  11. Contrary to the haters of any NFL talent, I would just like to say I think Thaddeus Lewis is a fine backup and I’ve seen him on the Browns during real games and preseason. He’s like an upgraded Seneca Wallace.

  12. Their depth at the QB position is so shallow that it couln’t even be called a puddle.

  13. For all of those that are judging Manuel after basically one half of a season.. What is your deal? There is no way to tell the true potential of an NFL Quarterback after such a short time. Let Manuel get a full season in before you start calling him out.

  14. Dennis Dixon was my favorite QB when he played at Oregon, it’s a shame he went from heisman hopeful to fighting for an NFL roster spot, he’s better than that and deserves to have a chance.

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to leave a comment. Not a member? Register now!