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Doug Marrone pleased with his quarterbacks after Day One of rookie camp

EJ Manuel
EJ Manuel prepares to make a pass during practice at the Bills mini-camp on Friday. (James P. McCoy/ Buffalo News)

By Jay Skurski

Quarterback EJ Manuel and the rest of the Buffalo Bills' rookies or first-year players completed a crisp practice of about two hours today inside the team's fieldhouse.

"Our goal as coaches was to come out here, get with these players, and start teaching them the playbook -- whether it be offense, defense or special teams," Bills coach Doug Marrone said. "Really just try to get a chance to know them, how they learn, what they do, and really teach them our tempo of practice and what our expectations are out of them. That was the goal going into today, trying to make sure that they know that."

Marrone said his staff was particularly looking to see who showed up in shape. Not surprisingly, most eyes of the media in attendance were focused squarely on Manuel, the team's first-round draft pick. 

"I thought both quarterbacks did a nice job coming in here," Marrone said of Manuel and undrafted free agent Jeff Tuel. "We gave them -- not a large package -- but we got them off and both the quarterbacks got off to a good start. But, again, the offensive line really blocked well today.

That last part, of course, was a joke. The Bills have just three offensive linemen in rookie camp. Thus, they only held 7-on-7 drills. Marrone said he wasn't paying any extra attention to the quarterbacks, even if the focus of media and fans will undoubtedly be on the position.

"I was interested in looking at the wide receivers also. I think you guys have seen me enough that I do rotate around (to different positions) quite a bit," he said. "People are going to be looking at that (the quarterbacks). I don't doubt that. But I was excited today by those groups of receivers. I thought they did a nice job."

The Bills will hold two more sessions with their rookies and first-year players who do not yet have an accredited season toward the NFL pension over the next two days. The players in camp are as follows:

    Quarterbacks: EJ Manuel, Jeff Tuel.
    Wide receivers: Robert Woods, Da'Rick Rogers, Kevin Norrell, Chris Hogan, Marquise Goodwin, Brandon Kaufman.
    Tight end: Chris Gragg.
    Running backs: Zach Brown, Kendall Gaskins, Drew Smith.
    Offensive linemen: Zack Chibane, Ryan Turnley, Hutch Eckerson.
    Defensive backs: Duke Williams, Jonathan Meeks, Nickell Robey, Kip Edwards, Jumal Rolle, Jordan Dangerfield, Dominique Ellis.
    Linebackers: Keith Pough, Kiko Alonso, Kourtnei Brown, Brian Smith.
    Defensive linemen: Corbin Bryant, Izaan Cross, Aaron Tipoti. 
    Specialists: Brian Stahovich (punter), Dustin Hopkins (kicker).


Brandon Kaufman | Chris Gragg | Chris Hogan | Doug Marrone | Duke Williams | EJ Manuel | Jeff Tuel | Marquise Goodwin | Robert Woods
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About Press Coverage

Tim Graham

Tim Graham

Tim Graham returned to The Buffalo News in 2011 after covering the NFL for three years at ESPN and for one year at the Palm Beach Post. Before that, the Cleveland native spent seven seasons on the Buffalo Sabres beat for The News and was president of the Boxing Writers Association of America.

@ByTimGraham |

Mark Gaughan

Mark Gaughan

Buffalo native Mark Gaughan started working at The News in 1980 and has been covering the Bills exclusively since 1992. He is a former president of the Pro Football Writers of America, and he is a member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame selection committee.

@gggaughan |

Jay Skurski

Jay Skurski

Jay Skurski joined The News in January 2009. The Lewiston native attended St. Francis High School before graduating from the University of South Florida. He writes a weekly Fantasy column in addition to his beat writing duties.

@JaySkurski |