Manuel threw two interceptions in the second half of Sunday’s loss to the Houston Texans. One came on the final drive with the Bills trailing 23-7 with a chance to win the game. Marrone said Monday that the decision to bench Manuel in favor of Orton was his and not one that was cleared with the team’s front office.
“It’s not all EJ’s fault,” Marrone told reporters, via Mike Rodak of ESPN.com. “We need to get better production out of that position. We can’t keep going in the direction that we’re going. I didn’t ask [front office] for an agreement. I just went in and said this is the direction I’m going.”
Manuel, a first-round pick in 2013, hasn’t been horrible. He has a passer rating of 80.3 in four games this season and has completed 58% of his passes. The Bills, who beat the Chicago Bears on the road in Week 1, are 2-2. Apparently Marrone has seen enough for now.
When the Bills signed Orton earlier this month, Marrone was reportedly upset that the team chose to spend nearly $11 million on a two-year deal for a backup quarterback. He also supposedly felt that signing Orton could hinder Manuel’s development. He has already changed his mind.