A number of Buffalo Bills players were asked on Wednesday what they thought of head coach Doug Marrone’s decision to bench EJ Manuel in favor of Kyle Orton. While most of the players deflected the question and said the preparation would be the same, Sammy Watkins was a bit more longwinded.
Watkins, the No. 4 overall pick in this year’s draft, seemed pleased that the team is switching to Orton.
“Today went pretty good with Kyle starting. We just had a different approach to practice,” Watkins told reporters, per Matthew Fairburn of The Post-Standard. “He demands what he wants out of us, we just have to do the same, be on the same page and practice hard.
“He’s more of a veteran guy. The way he talks, the way he handles business, the way he look at plays and break down defenses is kind of different than EJ. He reads it quicker, the balls coming out faster. That’s just some things that we have to adjust to.”
Orton certainly has more experience than Manuel, as he is 31 and is playing in his 11th NFL season for a fifth different team. Manuel is still very raw and has had a difficult time adjusting to the speed of the NFL game.
Before the season even began, there were questions about whether Manuel would be able to get the ball to Watkins. The former Clemson star has tremendous big-play ability, but he has only caught six balls over the past two games. Buffalo needs to get Watkins the ball more, and Marrone is hoping Orton can do a better job of it than Manuel.
Hopefully Orton has an easier time getting along with his Bills teammates than he did co-existing with Tony Romo.