EJ Manuel Out, Kyle Orton In

Well here we go again. Doug Marrone makes another decision that boggles the minds of many. I say many and not all with this one because many Bills fans do not see the big picture and want Manuel out.

The facts are that EJ has only played 14 games as a pro. The Bills drafted him with the hope that he would be their next quarterback for a good long while.

EJ MANUEL ON DRAFT DAY.

EJ MANUEL ON DRAFT DAY.

When EJ was drafted we heard the coach’s talk about his large hands and how that will help him play here in Buffalo with our weather. What? I thought throwing the ball was important and not hand size. Some smaller dudes did not have big hands but played very well in increment weather. Doug Flutie comes to mind playing here and in Canada.

They mentioned how intelligent EJ was and this was something they liked along with his size and athletic ability.

Notice that no one was mentioning his throwing and accuracy!

My guess is that  EJ was probably born with big hands and was a very good size smart boy who got more agile as he got bigger and bigger. But throughout his college career at Florida State, he was never known as one of the most accurate passers. In fact NBC Sports reported this about him, “Despite the lofty college completion rate, Manuel’s accuracy is maddeningly scattershot beyond five yards and he seems virtually untrained in terms of pocket feel and footwork.”
He was above average in throwing and with his size, smarts, athletic ability and yes… big hands, he was drafted by the Buffalo Bills in 2013 with the 16 overall pick. It was obvious that he was picked to be our starter. 

Yes, they had Kevin Kolb, who the Bills now say upon EJ’s benching, that they wanted Kolb to play and EJ to learn for a while, but that is a joke!  Kevin Kolb is not someone any team should want starting let alone teaching someone who is a rookie looking to be the next big thing here in Buffalo. Kolb gets hurt and then we have Jeff Tuel who looked ok at times, like any decent backup would, then terrible. Thad Lewis was then in the mix and no matter what the Bills coaches say now, there was no way that any of these second rate players were going to be starting ahead of a draft choice chosen 16th overall!

EJ was our starter at the get go last year, as expected,  but then he would get hurt.  Everything in respect to him having the ability of going through one full season was never had. He needed to play and learn.

This year he is healthy and we win the first 2 games with EJ as our quarterback. He plays good enough with a team that is now loaded with talent. 

See my recap of game 1 against the Bears and then came the Dolphins where he went 16 of 26 for 202 yards and one touchdown as we won easily 29-10.  Nothing wrong with EJ from my perspective!

PHILIP RIVERS

PHILIP RIVERS

What happened in game 3 against the Chargers where he went 23 of 39 for 238 yards? Well Philip Rivers shined with a more talented team while the entire less talented Buffalo Bills got their heads handed to them. The final score was 22-10. It was not just EJ’s Fault, but the entire teams fault. This would include the coaches. The wind was also a factor and EJ’s big hands were as good as a munchkin’s would be as the wind in Buffalo is hard to handle for any quarterback.

Rivers did throw a few ducks in this one from that wind but Yes, he also threw well too because of his experience playing in bad weather. EJ needs to play more to know how to adjust to it. Dan Marino used to come to Buffalo and struggle with the wind as did many others. Yes our defense was good back then, but wind was a major factor in so many games. 

Jim Kelly had to learn how to throw in our windy stadium and it became a huge advantage when he knew how to deal with it.

After the Charger game so many were all over EJ because of all the bad throws. Wind was a factor and with time, like others, EJ would get better in dealing with it.

We then play the Houston Texans… who we were supposed to win against, but they have a guy named J.J. Watt who is one of the best defensive players and he had the game of all games against us. EJ had no time to throw as our offensive line was getting eaten alive. The Bills coaches decided to have EJ throw more instead of running more which was very questionable in this one.

EJ did complete an 80-yard throw to Mike Williams that resulted in a Touchdown and career longs for both players. He also showed his athletic ability by evading the rush and getting a pass off to Chris Chandler.

 He had an almost identical play against the Chargers. Seeing this in back to back games had me feeling that he is starting to move around much better. This was important when we were finding out that the coaches did not want him to run much but to find the sidelines when he did.

EJ would throw some terrible balls in this one…in a dome, so there is absolutely no excuse but to say he had a pretty bad game. It happens!  Tom Brady threw four interceptions and looked as bad as I have seen him in a recent game. It happens to all players! The interception that led to the Texans, J.J. Watt running it 80 yards for the score turned this game totally around and for that EJ needs to take responsibility. He did and we move on. This game ends 23 to 17 with the Texans winning and with a respectful division leading 2-2 record; the Bills coach pulls the plug on EJ.

I have questioned this coach on many things and this one is now right up there. You leave Manuel in to keep getting better. You utilize him with a running attack and keep his passing to just enough like the first two games.

Remember he was never, ever the most accurate passer. This should be no surprise, but he has gotten better and needs to be in the game to continue whatever progress that he is in.

I sincerely hope Kyle Orton plays well. He has a great team around him and if he plays decently with accurate passes along with managing the game, we will have a chance to win in Detroit. 

KYLE ORTON

KYLE ORTON

I disagree with removing EJ as he needs to play to get better. Kyle Orton at 31 is not the long term plan in any way shape or form. Most feel he was going to be a decent backup as he would be on any other team. The Bills paid him more than most can believe and now he is about to earn that money as our starter.