Inside The Bills

Why Marrone thinks EJ will succeed

Posted by Chris Brown on December 14, 2013 – 10:41 pm

Bills head coach Doug Marrone has said more than once that he believes EJ Manuel will succeed in this league, while also admitting he still has a lot to learn. In his weekly appearance on Bills flagship station WGR Sportsradio 550, Marrone explained why he has complete faith in Manuel’s abilities and how they’ll eventually reveal themselves on a consistent basis for Buffalo’s offense.

Marrone was asked about the balancing act with Manuel in terms of helping him know when it’s prudent to take what a defense gives you and when it’s right to take a risk.

“It’s like any quarterback. You have to know who you are and what you can do and throw that football if you believe it,”
said Marrone. “Where the management starts is when it’s 3rd-and-3 and you have a couple of players running five yard routes and one guy running the go. The percentage of completing the five yard route is pretty good compared to throwing the go and that’s where you really have to manage the quarterback on where to go.

“If you feel that someone is coming open and you trust that receiver and think he’s going to make that play and you think you can throw it and your guy can catch it then you’ve got to throw that football. If you sit back there and you start seeing shadows or you get spooked, a lot of that comes from lack of experience being out there. The ones that can overcome that and keep getting better on their vision of the field become very good quarterbacks. The ones that can’t tend to struggle throughout it.

“The thing about EJ that is different and the reason it’s a little more for me than trust. I believe in him and have faith in him because he has shown that he can do that. What we haven’t done is do it consistently enough because people are switching up and doing more on us than what they’re showing and what we’re preparing him for during the week. My point on that is we’re preparing him for the coverage that we see in the four game breakdown and they’re switching it up even further on him, which is a good thing because we’ve got guys that can make plays, but with our teaching we have to keep him coming along at a faster rate.

“We put Goodwin and T.J. out on that field in Atlanta and all of sudden they show cover two and they hadn’t played cover two. Now they’re throwing in cover two every now and then, and you go from one coverage to another coverage and another coverage, and that’s when you have to be good. Running a route to beat man, running a route to beat zone. The quarterback going from taking his matchups from man to taking his matchups to zone. And it’s not just the quarterback and receivers. Backs are picking up pressure or getting out in underneath coverage and the line is trying to give him enough time. That’s where we have to provide better protection.

“We’re in a process where the preparation and everything gives you the knowledge. If this happens I do this. If this happens I do that. You know that sitting in a room. Now you get out there and there are 325-pound guys running at you. There’s disguising going on and they’re showing me this and the ball is snapped and it’s bam, bam, bam, bam, bam. And it’s not just EJ Manuel, everyone is going through that with all the young quarterbacks every single week to see that and recognize it and be able to pull that trigger so they can make that play. You get to that top level of the top four or five quarterbacks and you’ll never have that to worry about again.”

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