Inside The Bills

Assts work with young QBs appealed to Marrone

Posted by Chris Brown on February 13, 2014 – 9:24 am

As we profiled in Bills Focus on the video side of today, Buffalo’s new quarterbacks coach Todd Downing and Senior offensive assistant Jim Hostler both have experience tutoring rookie quarterbacks, who were first round picks and seen as the future franchise quarterback. Both also had to guide those QBs through injury affected rookie seasons. It was part of what made Downing and Hostler appealing to head coach Doug Marrone.

“It was part of the process,” Marrone told “It was part of thinking about what do the Buffalo Bills need? I think that was the main thing. For us we want people that have that type of experience because they’ll foresee maybe some of the challenges that they have working with younger quarterbacks. If something seems like a challenge and someone is in the room saying they went through this with Stafford or Alex Smith and you’re like, ‘Okay it’s normal.’ And you’re not in a panic mode.”

Marrone was most impressed by how he saw Downing interact with the quarterbacks at the Senior Bowl in 2013, one of whom was EJ Manuel. And once Manuel spoke highly of Downing he was convinced.

“When I thought about Todd Downing I remember watching him at the Senior Bowl and watching him interact with EJ and I remember talking EJ about his experience at the Senior Bowl and who coached him,” said Marrone. “He mentioned Todd’s name and what their relationship was like and that was important for me because we were going to hire a quarterback coach and I wanted EJ as well as our other quarterbacks to feel comfortable in that type of setting where they didn’t have any barriers of communication. It was already set so that put us ahead of the game.”

Downing has worked with both Manuel and Thad Lewis having had him on his roster in Detroit last year before the Bills acquired him via trade.

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