By Tim Graham
PITTSFORD -- EJ Manuel's first pass was intended for Robert Woods. Leodis McKelvin jumped the route and returned the interception for a touchdown.
That's how tonight's intrasquad scrimmage began for Manuel. But he settled down and finished well, reminding the capacity crowd at Growney Stadium what a rookie quarterback does.
"I'm pleased with a couple things," Bills coach Doug Marrone said, "just his demeanor coming back, obviously, from the start with the interceptions. I'm pleased that he led us on a two-minute drive. He's done that consistent. I think that's difficult to do. We usually have to work a long time on those situations before they get used to it, and our defense is giving him multiple things when it comes down to that phase in two-minute.
"We're very, very pleased with his development. I think that a lot of times at that position you're going to look for a lot of things and expect it to happen overnight, and it's not. And I think he and a lot of the other players, from a team perspective, we've got a lot of work ahead of us."
Manuel and third-stringer Jeff Tuel split the snaps with Kevin Kolb excused from the scrimmage because of a death in the family. Marrone said Kolb intended to play tonight if the quarterback's injured knee would've allowed it.
Manuel appreciated the extra first-team snaps.
"It's great to get that fastball look from a live defense," Manuel said. "I think this is one of the best defenses in the league. I think those guys are going to do a great job this year for us.
"Having reps against those guys, having success and even when you have adversity I think it's good for me."
Unofficial stats tracked by Buffalo News reporter Mark Gaughan had Manuel completing nine of his 17 attempts for 113 yards and two touchdowns with two interceptions. Manuel also ran for a touchdown.
"You can't turn the ball over," Manuel said. "But definitely some good things I thought we did as an offense. The defense played great, but there are things we can go back on the film and watch and learn from."
Tuel unofficially went 10 of 20 for 160 yards and zero touchdowns or interceptions. He feathered some pretty deep balls over Bills defenders, but that could be more of a reflection of the cornerback depth than Tuel's ability.
taggedDoug Marrone | EJ Manuel | Jeff Tuel | Kevin Kolb