Doug Marrone thinks 'media really pumped up' Ryan Nassib connection

By Will Brinson | NFL Writer

When the Bills traded down to No. 16 overall and grabbed quarterback EJ Manuel in the first round of the 2013 NFL Draft, it was easily the most controversial pick of the first round.

As if Manuel being the first quarterback off the board wasn't stunning enough, seeing Doug Marrone and Buffalo pass on Ryan Nassib, his former quarterback from Syracuse, was quite the surprise. Marrone, speaking to Tim Brando on the Tim Brando Show on Wednesday, said it was very "tough" to not take Nassib but thinks that "the media really pumped up" that possibility.

"We spent a lot of time with these quarterbacks. All of them. You grow attached to them but, obviously, the attachment to Ryan is far deeper than anyone else," Marrone said. "We didn't put anything out there saying we were talking to Ryan or saying we were going to take him or anything else. But the media really pumped it up, and I'm thinking to myself when we made the decision on who we want to go with, you're talking not just on draft day but days leading up to it of being "Ugh, this is awful." And everyone asking you, "Hey, you gonna take Ryan?"

"It was just tough, and you're right. You make the decision on what's best for your organization."

It's not Marrone's job to make Nassib happy and select him in the first round. I personally mocked Nassib to the Bills and didn't like it for one minute, mainly because Nassib didn't seem like a solid first-round prospect.

That makes me right -- and wrong! -- and I wasn't the only one. So maybe Marrone has a point, since he spent the entire draft process declining to comment on Nassib being the Bills' choice.

Brando, as you can see/hear in the video above, also asked Marrone about Manuel (obviously). And Marrone (obviously) had nothing but strong praise for the former Florida State quarterback.

"Here's someone who was a three-time all ACC academic performer. Here's someone who had a very high winning percentage as a quarterback at a major program, which I think is very important obviously," Marrone said. "And the other thing is the completion percentage. When we went down and broke down the completion percentage, it was more completions vertically down the field than more the short passing game."

The Bills coach also noted Manuel's size and strength, lest you think he just likes the big brains on EJ.

One other interesting thing that Marrone had to say about Manuel came during a recent interview with Sirius XM. It involved Manuel's ability to perform in bad weather.

Via the Bills team website, Marrone noted how well Manuel threw in strong winds and thunderstorms during at a workout in Tallahassee and related it to the strong winds that circle Buffalo during the NFL season.

“We started talking about the quarterbacks, and we went back and researched all the teams that played in the Northeast in the bad weather and all the success they had with quarterbacks and the common traits that they had," Marrone said. "They were big and had big hands and were able to throw the ball in tough weather, and that's what we were looking at."

I'm not sure it's entirely fair to compare any Tallahassee weather with winter Buffalo weather, but certainly weather is a factor in Buffalo and the NFL as a whole.

But as cold as it might get in Buffalo during the winter, it won't be anything but warm for Manuel if he's thrown into the fire as an NFL starter from day one.

 
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