Despite the booing from fans at Ralph Wilson Stadium on Saturday, the Buffalo Bills have EJ Manuel firmly entrenched as their starting quarterback. The same can not be said for the player backing up Manuel.
Jeff Tuel, Thad Lewis, and Dennis Dixon have all had various amounts of playing time throughout the preseason, with Tuel and Lewis receiving the most time as backup quarterback. Dennis Dixon was the second quarterback in the game Saturday against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, a surprise to most fans. He went 0-for-1 passing and had 13 yards rushing on four attempts, along with a fumble.
"The opportunity was a little short," Dixon said. "but at the end of the day I'll take it with a grain of salt and keep grinding."
Dixon, a fifth-round pick of the Pittsburgh Steelers in 2008, was signed by the Bills last year to their practice squad after Thad Lewis was promoted to the 53-man roster.
Jeff Tuel also appeared in the game against Tampa, going 8-for-14 for 90 yards. He gained one yard rushing on one attempt. Tuel was an undrafted free agent from Washington State in 2013.
"We were shooting ourselves in the foot," Tuel said. "A whole lot of that honestly."
Coach Doug Marrone was not pleased with the play of his backup quarterbacks, essentially throwing them under the bus following the 27-14 loss.
"That's obviously not good enough, but I think there's a lot of information inside of all those different things," Marrone said. "We've got to get playmakers on the field. We've got to get them to make plays."
The harsh criticism from the head coach led to speculation that the Bills may look to add another quarterback to the roster, hoping to increase competition.
"Our conversations are always, 'Hey, if we can better our football team, whatever we have to do, we will,' " Marrone said. "We wouldn't be doing right to ourselves, the team, the fans if we didn't."
Nobody really knows who the backup quarterback is going to be. The Bills need to figure that out before the season opener on Sept. 7 against the Chicago Bears.
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