Bills bench E.J. Manuel, go with Kyle Orton at QB

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The Bills didn’t wait long to pull the rip-cord on the parachute that is Kyle Orton.

Bills coach Doug Marrone announced today that he was benching second-year starter E.J. Manuel, and making Orton his starting quarterback.

“We can’t keep going in the direction that we’re going,” Marrone said.

The Bills are 2-2, but Manuel has struggled, throwing two picks and completing fewer than half his passes in yesterday’s loss to the Texans.

It’s an interesting play for a coach and a front office that will be on notice with new ownership coming in soon.

Marrone was upset with the addition of Orton, thinking it undermined last year’s first-round pick.

So going with him now either points to the fact it wasn’t his call, or he’s lost confidence in Manuel too.

128 responses to “Bills bench E.J. Manuel, go with Kyle Orton at QB

  1. Never liked the Manuel pick. Don’t think he ever throws the ball down the field. He takes the nickname ” checkdown charlie ” to a different level. If the Bills had a different QB they could make a run at the division since my PATS are mediocre.

  2. Dont know what they expected. EJ Manuel was hurt last year and thus didn’t play a full season. He still as to learn. Baptism by fire. If you’re about the long term growth of the franchise, you gotta stick with him through the good and the bad. Not sure if they are doing enough to adjust the playbook to make life easier on him. Same goes for Geno Smith.

  3. Paul Hackett was a joke of an Offensive Coordinator who kept getting jobs because he knew the right people.

    The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree, apparently.

    EJ Manuel isn’t great, but he isn’t the real problem. The real problem is the coaching staff, all of whom, thankfully for Bills fans, will be blown out the door after this season.

  4. It doesnt make sense. No doubt he’s been awful but the mere fact that you used a 1st on him last year and dont have one for next year youve just gotta coach him up,let him play and hope the experience (good or bad) makes him a better player. Lets be honest the Bills are not going anywhere this season

  5. Doug Moron has got to be the dumbest guy coaching in the NFL, that is the issue here.

    wasnt this clown trying to fist fight his GM not too long ago or something. better check his piss for roids.

  6. At least the Bills aren’t wasting time with teasing their fans that this year may finally be the year they turn the corner and make a playoff push.

  7. Well that’s a wonderful way to waste your first round pick and completely shatter the development of a young quarterback. At least the Jets are standing behind Geno in the face of the biggest media market in our country and not caving after 4 games.

  8. moneymike23 says:
    Sep 29, 2014 3:49 PM
    What did the GM see in this guy when he drafted him??? He would have done the team and Ej a favor if they waited.

    He was the only QB in the draft that could run the read-option. In other words, he’s totally worth a 1st round pick because, of course, his horrible accuracy could easily be developed… at least if you’re desperate enough to think it’ll actually happen.

  9. The Bills trade with Cleveland looks even worse now, because of this. They’ll have no first round pick, and if they win a few more games, they’ll be pushed even further back in the second round. I have a feeling that a whole new Front Office and Coach are next, for the Bills.

  10. Interesting that he was good enough for all 10 games he was in last year and this year he is on pace to throw for more yards and TD’s, and still have the same number of picks.

  11. Glad for Orton. It’s about time somebody else in the AFC East stepped up and made sure the Pats remain the team of LAST decade…

  12. And this helps them in the long run how? Orton’s career QB rating is slightly worse than what Manuel has posted this season. Not saying I’m sold on Manuel, but there’s zero reason to be sold on Orton and they have a first round pick invested in Manuel.

  13. He was obviously always a reach as a first rounder….the accuracy stuff was evident at FSU and shouldn’t be a surprise to anybody.

    So is that the reason, then? It is more than a little odd to essentially announce that you’ve given up on him after only 11 injury hampered NFL games (and 3 partial games). It’s not like their 0-4.

    I’ve got to think this is more about Marrone’s job than Manuel’s.

  14. Early. Unless marrone wants orton to struggle for one game against the lions front that made aaron rodgers look bad and then he can shove it back in managements face and reinsert manuel. Not sure if he is that smart tho.

  15. EJ Manuel had the Play of the game yesterday and he gets benched. That late game throw was Amazing. Ever wonder why the Bills suck every year.

  16. EJ Manuel wasn’t progressing. The rest of the team has been playing better than him. You only needed to see the last 5 minutes of the Texans game to understand how the team was in a position to move ahead, TWICE, and Manuel’s inaccuracy cost them dearly. But it isn’t this one game. Manuel seems to have hit a plateau. A low one.

  17. Good move. Give E.J. the rest of the year to learn under a vet. Too bad E.J. was thrown to the wolves.

  18. Those of you who think this is the coaching staff’s problem, and not EJ’s, clearly either know nothing about football or you aren’t really watching the games.

    1) Countless times yesterday receivers were wide open- wide, wide open- which means the schemes and play calling were working. The problem was, EJ either didn’t see him because of his inability to make a read and was telegraphing one option only, or, he flat out missed an open target. That’s not anyone’s fault but his.

    2) They try to call plays for EJ to dial it downfield and he cant connect. So they’re forced to run mediocre small ball plays because he is a mediocre QB lacking the ability to carry a team on his shoulders. If the play calling appears bad, it’s because EJ has proven he cant shoulder the load of big boy play calling.

    Ej has digressed- noticeably- since his first few starts last year. He looks worse than he did then, by a lot. Orton isn’t a long term solution, but he’s better than what they have now. I guarantee you they would have won that game yesterday with Orton under center.

  19. kcflake says: Sep 29, 2014 4:03 PM

    EJ Manuel had the Play of the game yesterday and he gets benched. That late game throw was Amazing. Ever wonder why the Bills suck every year.
    You clearly know nothing about football.

    EJ connected with a wide open guy 20 yards down field after the DB fell down and there was a complete coverage breakdown.

    That was a play that anyone should make and Mike Williams breakaway speed helped it. Play of the day might be the most ridiculous thing I’ve read, ever. Especially when considering that he missed about 15 wide open passes throughout the rest of the game.

  20. EJ has only played terribly because the expectations for him have been way too high.

    Plus, I felt that he was a 2nd or 3rd Rd pick for a reason.

  21. orton is a lazy neckbeard P.O.S., but he is plenty serviceable, and i’m certain he sees the field and understands defenses better than manuel does.

  22. Blowback blow…Detroit has 2nd best front 4…bills have 3 Pro Bowlers and the 4th guy (Jerry Hughes) had 10 sacks last year

  23. Poor franchises keep making poor decisions … both with Manuel & Orton. If the Bills think a qb with a career passer rating of 79.7 can deliver them from mediocrity … good luck. Other than his rookie year when the Bears actually still had a great defense his career W – L record is 25 – 29. Right about where he’ll take the Bills and not to the promised land.

  24. That picture could have been taken any time between yesterday and the early 1970s, right down to the mustache and empty seats.

  25. Anybody who has watched the Bills knows this is the right move. Sure, Orton may not be better, but EJ is essentially a game manager at this point and Orton can do a heck of a lot better at that. Id hope to see the play-calling improve as well, Hackett has done this offense no favors. My biggest gripe with EJ goes beyond the accuracy. How many times has he taken off on 3rd and 4-8 yards, just to jog out of bounds a few yards shy. Tony Romo, bad back and all, goes for the first down. Tom Brady has as well. If you don’t trust your arm to at least put one up that either your guy comes down with or nobody comes down with, then fight for those yards. Id love to actually throw up statistics, but it has to be at least 2 times/ game he does this. It doesn’t sound like much, but for a team that struggles to put up yards and points, those extra downs are like a breath of fresh air. It makes us look (a little) past the accuracy woes. I just don’t think the kid has “it” and Marrone is smart to jump ship now before the season spirals. To bad Bryce Petty will cost a 1st, the kids a gamer, reminds me of Elway.

  26. At least one coach gets it,,If Kyle Orton who is NOT in the same league like a mike Vick since i don’t see 4 PRO BOWLS in his resume ,, If he could get a start what does that tell you how MISGUIDED and out of touch a Rex Ryan is,,

    The CLOWN continues to ignore the fan base that PAYS his salary by patrolling BELOW mediocrity out there,, While the team better QB remains on the bench,, I hope he continues to lose,, and Vick get out of there in one piece to a team whose weak link is QB,,Vick remains faster than 99.9% of the QB’s out there and his ARM is second to none.

  27. EJ Manuel isn’t great, but he isn’t the real problem. The real problem is the coaching staff, all of whom, thankfully for Bills fans, will be blown out the door after this season.

    It wasn’t the coaching staff that threw the ball out of bounds on a 2nd & 4 with the Tight end open for a short pass that could have gained the 1st down. It wasn’t the coaching staff that threw the interception right to J.J. Watt for a touchdown for the opponent. E.J. threw that interception after the defense put him in field goal range. He wasn’t even under pressure. It wasn’t the coaching staff that kept throwing passes that consistently made catches more difficult than they needed to be. It wasn’t the coaching staff that missed wide open receivers. E.J. was the problem yesterday. That was a game lost by the QB if I have ever saw one

  28. This is good. No one is saying Orton is getting them to the super bowl or that he’s a long term solution. But he’s a better option on this day than EJ. And now EJ will sit and learn from a veteran. People forget- EJ was not supposed to be the starter last year. Kevin Kolb was.

    Learn from a vet, then when he gets back in there he is better for it. And if he isn’t, well then you take a new QB in the 2016 draft. it’s called a rebuild, folks. Anyone who thinks this is a bad move for the Bills, well, you don’t have a high football IQ.

  29. Orton is 35-35 in 70 starts. Everyone knows he can’t get the job done.

    If they pull EJ for a guy that they already know cannot get the job done then what?

    I don’t get it.

  30. Welcome back, Neckbeard! Good to see you again, Kyle. Don’t get killed out there. Be that QB we saw in the last Cowboys game last year. Only win this time.

  31. Wow. So the Bills blew a first round draft pick last year taking Manuel 16th overall, they blew a first round pick this year by taking Sammy Watkins when they have no one to throw him the ball, and they traded away next year’s first round pick to do that. So that’s a wasted first round pick in three consecutive years. As a Lions fan, trust me when I say that it takes a franchise YEARS to recover from these sorts of blunders

  32. Bad franchises make bad decisions.

    The Bills are not winning anything with Kyle Orton this year and have invested far too much in Manuel to just give up on him 4 games into his 2nd year.

    This move just guarantees that the Bills will be taking another turn on the head coach/”franchise” quarterback merry-go-round in the near future. How many times are the Bills going to start over before they get it right? What a joke.

  33. It’s hard when you don’t think you have your franchise QB. Ask Miami, Washington, Jets, Bills, etc…. Glad for the Ravens. They have theirs.

  34. G-E-N-O sucks, sucks sucks. Wait this is EJ Manuel we’re discussing. Oh well same problem. Overrated wastes of picks both of them. These teams need to stop wasting high draft picks on trash that couldn’t out play practice squad caliber QBs.

  35. As a Browns fan all I can say is that trade for next year’s #1 pick is looking better and better.

  36. Since Jim Kelly they’ve drafted Frank Reich, Todd Collins, JP Losman, Trent Edwards and EJ Manuel at QB.

    They’ve had early to mid first round picks for almost 20 years. How could they not get a decent QB in all that time.

    They could have gotten Favre, Brady, Brees or Rodgers. All guys that would have gladly played anywhere they were asked.

    They have to get a decent QB or they will continue this way forever.

  37. kcflake says: Sep 29, 2014 4:03 PM

    EJ Manuel had the Play of the game yesterday and he gets benched. That late game throw was Amazing. Ever wonder why the Bills suck every year.

    You mean when he threw that TD pass to JJ Watt?

  38. tblowpackblow says:
    Sep 29, 2014 3:42 PM
    He only has to face the most dominant front 4 in the league next week. Lucky guy!

    Report comment

    Orton is on the Bills , not the Lions.

  39. Wow giving up on your first round pick already? Give the guy a chance, Buffalo! He was hurt all of last year and has only played a few games. How do you know what you really have if the guy can’t get consistent game play?

  40. Marrone has his team looking pretty good. If you have your line protecting the QB, and wide receivers getting open, you can’t blame the coach if your quarterback can’t hit the wide receivers.

    The Bills have a tough schedule coming up but it is definitely worth trying Orton. He can’t do much worse.

  41. he wouldn’t have started last year of Kolb would have held his brain together. The plan was to have him sit a couple year and develop. Now with Orton who has learned the system after 4 weeks , he can do that. They were trying to get Orton since mini camp, Orton didn’t want to do all that so he held out. This will be good for EJ , I can’t imagine they are “pulling the plug on the EJ Manuel experiment all together. He is still the future of the Bills , whether bad or good. Orton is also one of the most underrated , under appreciated players of the last decade. He’s a better than average QB in this league.

  42. So our starting QB is now the man who has been benched in favor of Tim Tebow and Rex Grossman? I eagerly await the Pegulas coming in and cleaning house.

  43. How can they target Winston without a first round pick? No way anyone gives them a 1 for Manuel after being benched for Orton.

  44. Manuel is probably the worst starting QB in the league.Cant read defences,and no touch on the ball.Orton is a statue when dropping back but doesn’t make a lot of mistakes.Cant believe Fitzpatrick beat his old team because he sucks as bad as Manuel.

  45. Who ever said Detroit has the best Defensive front four is wrong… Maybe the second or third… Buffalo has the best front four… Mario Williams, Kyle Williams, Marcell Dareus and Jerry Hughes. 3 Pro Bowlers and the 4th guy had almost a dozen sacks last season.

  46. Just confirms my take, the Vikes Gm is the smartest guy in football. Trades away 30 year old guys who still has gas in the tank, get second round pick, trades two seconds for a one to go with there one. Lets see Kahill and Smith were one and two and both made pro bowl as rookies, Corderell Patterson was a third first round pick, then he backs into the first rount and gets Teddy Bridewater who looks like the real deal.

    And then you have the Bills who have all the pieces in place but screw up with a third rate QB pick. You can’t win without a quality QB who can think and manage a game and pass too and avoid the big turnovers.

  47. This was the original plan for EJ before Kolb’s career ending concussion. The Bills have the talent to win NOW! EJ just isn’t ready or capable to take this team where it needs to go.

    Good luck to Orton. Go Bills!

  48. Anyone who is blaming coaching or play calling obviously didn’t watch EJ play on Sunday.

    I liked his ability to stay up and escape the pocket under pressure but the guy can’t throw the football. Orton will actually be able to put woods and watkins to work. I hate QB controversies but Orton would have won the game yesterday.

  49. Also, with EJ benched and Geno being terrible as usual, is 2013 the worst QB class of the century or does this “honorable” title belong to 2007 (Jamarcus, Brady Quinn and Kolb)?

  50. Officially entering themselves into 2015 First Round-QB derby. And the cycle continues for the Bills. Hey, maybe Marrone realizes he is dea-man walking, just wants try for a couple of “W’s” before the new owner cleans house. And new owners ALWAYS clean house, …always history, it’s a lock& another wasted season.

  51. I can’t wait till the frickin BROWNS roll into Buffalo and embarrass them for a 2nd season in a row. Garbage Team. Garbage Fan Base. Maybe things will pick up when they get moved to Toronto.

    HeyyyyEyyyy!! HeyyyyEyyyy! A LITTLE BIT SOFTER NOW….A Little Bit Softer Now…..a little bit softer now…..

  52. I totally understand the change at QB, why wait till it’s week 10 and your 3-7 with no shot at making the playoffs.

  53. This is so overblown. The coach replaced a player performing poorly, big deal, he should be applauded. I don’t care what round, the salary or the new owner. Doug Marrone has an obligation to put the best players on the field and win right now. He’s doing that. If Orton sucks put EJ back in. I really don’t care about his feelings, if he cant handle being benched then I don’t want him on my team.

  54. you deserve the bad luck taking Watkins away from the team he really wanted to be on, the Lions!

  55. EJ Manual and Tom Brady compete for the most 3 yard passes. Neither one can throw the ball down the field. Revis has lost his touch because he never gets to play against QBs like Flacco.

  56. Denver fan here. Orton is a pretty good QB imo. He really didn’t get “benched” for Tebow as much as the organization wanted to play Tebow to a) shut up the Tebowmaniacs and b) prove that Tebow is not an NFL quality QB so that they could c) eventually sign someone like P. Manning.

    Orton is a 2nd tier level QB which is that bad considering what your Bills have had since the departure of the great Jim Kelly.

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