Marrone admits to 'hurting' for Nassib after Bills took Manuel

EJ Manuel (L) and Ryan Nassib compete during February's NFL combine. (USATSI)
Just about everybody fell for the pre-draft posturing. The Bills seemed prime to take Syracuse quarterback Ryan Nassib with the eighth overall pick, reuniting him with his college coach, Doug Marrone, who took the job in Buffalo earlier this year.

And even when the Bills traded down to No. 16, Nassib still seemed a distinct possibility … right up until the moment that NFL commissioner Roger Goodell announced that the organization had selected Florida State quarterback EJ Manuel.

We half-joked at the time that Marrone had done the Steve Spurrier math and figured it wasn't in his best long-term interests to stock his NFL roster with former college players. On Sunday, Marrone admitted that he was conflicted about passing on Nassib.

"In one sense, you study all the quarterbacks and you get the one you believe is the best one, and you're happy. You're ecstatic,'' Marrone told Sports Illustrated's Peter King. "In another sense, you're hurting about Ryan. And it did hurt. You're hurting in a different way for the other quarterbacks, too, because you spent a lot of time with them, too, and there was a lot to like about all of them. But with Ryan, it was very difficult after what we did together. It hurts. It definitely hurts. He's a special kid. Unbelievable worker. So smart. Very, very good quarterback with all the intangibles. He will win games in this league.

"The responsibility I had was to get the best player we could get. There are a lot of people relying on me to get the best players we can get here -- all the people in the organization and all the fans who buy tickets to see us play.''

And because Marrone didn't want to tip his hand until the last second, he wasn't able to inform Nassib of the team's decision until Nassib found out along with the rest of us during Thursday's first round.

King writes he hears that Nassib, who was eventually drafted by the Giants in the fourth round (94 picks after Manuel), was wounded by the Bills' choice.

"I thought the situation in Buffalo was going to go a little bit different ... I was a little disappointed,'' Nassib told the media on Saturday.

For now, Nassib joins David Carr and Curtis Painter as Eli Manning's backups in New York. There are worse ways to make a living.

CBS Sports Writer

Ryan Wilson has been an NFL writer for CBS Sports since June 2011, and he's covered five Super Bowls in that time. Ryan previously worked at AOL's FanHouse from start to finish, and Football Outsiders... Full Bio

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