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Doug Marrone on EJ Manuel's return: "He looked good"

Posted Sep 1, 2013

The Bills head coach talks about EJ Manuel's return to practice, Jairus Byrd's foot situation, and the roster flexibility that the team currently has.

HC Doug Marrone

September 1, 2013

Q: We saw that EJ (Manuel) was out there at the beginning of practice. Can you give us an update on what he was able to do?

A: Sure, first day of transitioning him back in. He did all of individual. He didn’t take part of the team part of it. Tomorrow we’re expecting him to take part in the full practice.

Q: A good step forward today to be able to take part in the individual?
A: Very much so. I think that the he’s transitioning in, I think it’s no secret. I said it before, if we can have him practicing on Wednesday and we feel that he’s good enough and mentally ready to play, then he’s going to play. I’ll be able to give everyone an answer on Wednesday

Q: How would you evaluate him today?

A: He looked good. He looked good. I say that not knowing what can happen in the next couple days. As far as today, I think he looked good and we were excited about , but I don’t want to give the wrong impression that two to three days from now I don’t want to be communicating ‘Well wait a minute, he looked good, you led us on to believe that he’s feeling alright,’ I don’t try to play any games. Again, we’ll just see how he goes during the week and Wednesday we’ll make the decision. It’s either going to be EJ or its going to be Jeff (Tuel). Both guys will be available for the game.

Q: You said you hoped to have him back by Wednesday. To have him back tomorrow, would that mean he’s ahead of schedule?
A: I would say yes.

Q: Any update on Jairus Byrd?
A: He’s still working his way back in. Doing a couple of team things, but again still working his way back in to get him in a position where he can help us.

Q: Do you foresee him in next week’s game or is it too early to say?
A: I’m not sure on that.

Q: Is it a good feeling to have some guys returning from injury?
A: I appreciate your comments on that. Yes. I didn’t know if that was a question or not.

Q: Is C.J. (Spiller) just getting back to town?
A: Yes.

Q: Will he back at practice tomorrow?
A: Yes.

Q: Is there any trepidation on your part carrying two rookie QB’s on the active roster?
A: I think that’s our situation and we feel that we’re going to go in to it with the players we feel give us the best chance to win. I don’t have a problem if someone is a rookie, a veteran, whatever it may be. Our job as coaches is to make sure we put people on the field that we can rely on and we feel that we can win with. That’s our responsibility and accountability to the rest of the team. To answer your question, no I don’t, I don’t worry about.

Q: What can you tell us about Brandon Burton?
A: I can tell you he’s in transition, on his way here. That’s all I know.

Q: Is there any news on the other two open roster spots?
A: No, I think we’re still working on that and again I think it’s very difficult for me to sit here and say, ‘here’s where we are,’ until we get them in here and it becomes official. I just think it’s better for me to do that, rather than just spreading rumors.

Q: In general why did you leave those spots open on your roster?
A: I think anything else is going on, we’re in constant transition or constant motion going forward of trying to put together the best team we can. I think we’re always looking to upgrade this team, no matter what position it is. I think you’ll see that going through the season week to week. If there’s someone out there that we feel can better this football team, then we have to look at what those moves may be. I think that’s our responsibility as an organization to our fans and it’s our responsibility as coaches to our team.

Q: Do you have any update on Doug Legursky?
A: It’s a positive sign. I still think it’ll be some time. The positive thing is it’s not long-term because obviously we didn’t put him on IR.

Q: Would he be a candidate for the IR-Return designation?
A: No.

Q: So it’ll be a shorter timeframe than that?
A: Yes. In our opinion, if everything goes well than yes.

Q: Burton doesn’t have a lot of game experience, but how important is it to bring in a guy who’s been in the league?
A: I think we’ll see when he gets here. For me, I think it’s very difficult for me to discuss that down until he gets in and we get him out there. I think I’ll have a better feel and feel more comfortable answering that question.

Q: Did Jairus get a clean bill on the second opinion on his foot?
A: I think the definition of clean bill of health is very difficult. I really do. When a player is working his way back, obviously some people will view that as a clean bill of health. I think I see that, but there is a point where obviously the player has to feel good about coming back from whatever it may be, soreness or whatever. I think he’s transitioning back in to that, that type of role.

Q: Did he show up here with that injury?
A: I think that’s a good question. Obviously he passed our physical when he came in.

Q: Is the plan to start Justin Rogers Week One?
A: I answered that question before; we have four corners that we’re rotating through right now depending on what packages and what personnel groups are out there. We’ll make that decision as the week goes on who takes the first snap.

Q: Bringing Thad Lewis back, does that bring some flexibility in case EJ isn’t ready Sunday?
A: I think that’s obviously an option, but I think Thaddeus (Lewis) has shown us some things in a short period of time that we’re excited about and he had practice squad eligibility. We’re fortunate to get him back here at least from our standpoint and how we feel. Obviously that’s an option if something happens.