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Buffalo Bills Look to Improve at Quarterback, with or Without EJ Manuel

February 25th, 2014 at 4:00 PM
By Paul Lane Sabres 101
6While he would like to keep EJ Manuel on the field more, Buffalo Bills coach Doug Marrone also said he won't rule out finding another quarterback to challenge the 2013 first-round draft pick for the job next season.
 
It just won't be done through the draft. At least not early.
 
'EJ Manuel Buffalo Bills NFL Draft 1st Rd Pick QB' photo (c) 2013, Zennie Abraham - license: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nd/2.0/
 
Marrone addressed the signal-caller during the NFL Combine in Indianapolis. He said he was happy with the progress Manuel made during his rookie season, but a lack of time on the field hampered his development. Knee injuries kept him out half the preseason schedule, as well as six regular season games.
"He played last year and really didn't practice that much," Marrone said. "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."
Thad Lewis was serviceable as Manuel's backup last season, but it's not known whether the team will re-sign him for 2014. Concussion issues may also force Kevin Kolb from the league altogether; he was hurt in the preseason in 2013 and didn't return to action the entire year.
 
So the Bills could stand to add another quarterback, if not to push Manuel then to give the team some assurance. Marrone said the team will look to add someone, but the team won't spend a first-round pick on another quarterback. Rather, the team will look to upgrade other positions early, and then perhaps a quarterback in the middle or later rounds.
 
To bolster the youngster, the Bills added a quarterbacks coach in Todd Downing and a senior offensive assistant in Jim Hostler.
Tags: Buffalo Bills, Doug Marrone, Doug Whaley, Football, NFL

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