Monday, July 29, 2013

Bills GM says QB choice is totally up to Marrone


According to multiple reports from the second day of Bills training camp, rookie E.J. Manuel may have gained some ground on veteran Kevin Kolb in the team's quarterback competition.

One person you can be sure who noticed is coach Doug Marrone.

While the new coach has been spending much of his time with the offensive line thus far, his focus won't be fully diverted from the team's battle under center. In fact, the final say on who ultimately starts Week 1 versus the Patriots will be his decision, and his alone.

That fact was made public by general manager Doug Whaley, who spoke with Toronto Sun reporter John Kryk Sunday night regarding the showdown. Whaley told Kryk that while he and offensive coordinator Nate Hackett will obviously put in their two cents on the subject, "whoever coach decides, I’m behind 100 percent."

"Every team I’ve been with, (that’s the case)," Whaley said. "I can’t talk about other teams, but with the Steelers and Seattle — hey, the coach is the mouthpiece of the team, and the coach makes all the decisions on who plays in every game, and we just support him."

Marrone said that he'll likely talk to Whaley "on a daily basis" about the ongoing competition, which may be leaning toward Manuel's corner at the moment. Marrone did defend Kolb's performance Monday, however, stating that the complexity he faced in terms of defensive packages was superior to schemes Manuel faced.

When asked whether he was anticipating that advanced level of schematic, Manuel told reporters he's ready to take whatever defensive coordinator Mike Pettine has up his sleeve.

"Sure," Manuel said. "Whatever defense they throw at me I adjust to be prepared for it."

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