Inside The Bills

Marrone talked to Tuel

Posted by Chris Brown on October 7, 2013 – 10:06 am

Just a few days after stepping in as the relief quarterback for an injured EJ Manuel, Jeff Tuel again finds himself as the backup quarterback this week to Thad Lewis. The turn of events naturally led to head coach Doug Marrone having a one-on-one conversation with Tuel.

“I talked to him this morning,” said Marrone in an appearance on Bills flagship station WGR Sportsradio 550. “We had a situation where he played very well in the preseason and we didn’t want to put him on the practice squad and lose a good, young developing quarterback. Jeff (Tuel) we’re excited about. He’s still developing.

“This is what I told Jeff. What happened to him was tough. On a short week he didn’t get any reps during that week because we had to get EJ all the reps possible with the defense being different from the one we faced the week before. We really put Jeff out there in the toughest situation we can. A rookie free agent quarterback, who’s had some success in the preseason and taken some snaps, but mentally for me I think that was a tough situation to put him in. Jeff told me he was ready to go, which is what you want from a player.”

In the way Marrone went back and described how things unfolded in the preseason leading up to final cuts, Tuel’s performance in the preseason games forced the club to carry him on their active roster for fear of losing him to another club if he was put on their practice squad. It sounds as if prior to the preseason the Bills thought they’d be able to carry Tuel on their practice squad with minimal risk of losing him, but once he performed well it removed that as an option.

So when Thad Lewis was brought in and appeared in just the preseason finale with no measure of familiarity with the offense that even came close to that of Tuel, the club decided it would be Lewis that went on the practice squad at the start of the season and Tuel would be Manuel’s backup.


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