Bills emphasize passing game in Day 1

July, 29, 2013
7/29/13
8:00
AM ET
PITTSFORD, N.Y. -- With the Buffalo Bills not allowed to practice in full pads until at least Tuesday, the first two days of training camp will emphasize the passing game -- the focus of the team's draft in April.

Quarterback EJ Manuel, the 16th overall pick, took snaps after Kevin Kolb in the Bills' first practice on Sunday evening. It wasn't surprising given the need for the Bills to ease Manuel into the offense, something head coach Doug Marrone stressed after practice.

"We have a young quarterback in EJ and we're bringing him along," Marrone said. "At the same time, we have a lot of time before we get to the preseason games to get [the snaps with Kolb] to 50-50."

Manuel was impressive in a drill early in practice that pitted receivers 1-on-1 against cornerbacks on deep patterns, at one point chest-bumping a teammate after a would-be touchdown catch. Among the receivers Manuel targeted were two rookies: Robert Woods (second round) and Marquise Goodwin (third round).

"The one thing I think we've helped ourselves, as a receiving corps, is that we have more speed now at that position," Marrone said. "Now it's just a matter of people separating themselves, seeing what the best combinations are, seeing who runs the best route concepts to what we want to do."

Yet it was second-year receiver T.J. Graham, a third-round pick last season, who Manuel connected with twice on long balls Sunday evening.

"[Manuel] throws the ball and I run fast. So he just throws it as far as he can and I run underneath it," Graham said. "And that's pretty good chemistry."

Marrone hinted that any decision on who starts at quarterback may take time.

"Really if you can get 10-12 days prior to that first [regular season] game, that's when you're going to get pressed for time and have to make a decision on a quarterback," he said.

Mike Rodak

ESPN Buffalo Bills reporter

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