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Bills notebook: Greg Roman says EJ Manuel’s still in the thick of a wide-open QB race

The narrative about the Buffalo Bills’ quarterback situation is no different now than it has been at any other point in the offseason.

EJ Manuel, Matt Cassel, Tyrod Taylor, and apparently even Jeff Tuel are competing for the No. 1 spot.

And, despite speculation to the contrary, Manuel’s roster spot hasn’t become any less secure than it was when the offseason began, according to Bills offensive coordinator Greg Roman.

“Speculation’s the key word there,” Roman told reporters Tuesday at One Bills Drive when asked about a report that said Manuel could be released in training camp if he failed to show sufficient progress. “I don’t remember ever saying that and that’s the furthest thing from the truth. I mean, he’s busting his hump every day and doing a very good job.

“There’s a lot of clay to mold there as well, so whatever people are talking about, I don’t know where that’s coming from. But the answer is, no, he’s doing a good job.”

That said, Roman insisted that so far through voluntary workouts, none of the Bills’ four quarterbacks has separated himself from the others.

He also made a point of shooting down the widely held notion that only Manuel and Cassel were battling for the starting job, while Taylor and Tuel were fighting it out for a reserve spot.

“Honestly, it’s anybody’s job to take,” Roman said. “Anybody.”

Then, pointing to a reporter, he said, “I mean, if you were the best player, I’d sign you and you’d win the competition.”

That prompted laughter, but Roman added, “I’m serious. The balls are out there, the opportunity’s presented, and whoever wins it, wins it.”

Coach Rex Ryan said that the competition began at the very start of the offseason, meaning that everything the quarterbacks have done to date has factored into determining who will be No. 1.

On that basis, Roman was asked if there is anyone he considers to be the leader.

“I think it’s too early to say because we haven’t gotten on the field with the defense, except for that first minicamp which was purely exploratory on our part,” he said. “We wanted to see where guys are at and now, let’s get our hands on them and see where we can hopefully take them.”

“Once we get through OTAs,” which begin May 26, “I’ll probably have an opinion. But I’m going to keep that under my vest,” Roman said. “But I don’t know. We’ll see. I mean, literally, we’re trying to get guys ready for the OTAs so they can put their best foot forward.”

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Andre Reed used his knowledge, along with considerable talent, to build a Hall-of-Fame career as a wide receiver for the Bills.

Now, he gets to impart that knowledge on Sammy Watkins and the rest of the Bills’ current group of receivers.

Reed has accepted a Walsh coaching internship – named after Hall of Fame NFL coach Bill Walsh – with the Bills this preseason, the agency that represents him announced Tuesday.

“I am honored and proud to serve the Walsh Coaching Internship with my home team, the Bills in Buffalo, N.Y.,” Reed said in a statement released by Bombastic Industries Group in New York. “We are going to do the work and put it in the dirt, and I hope I can help get these guys ready for a big year.”

In the past three years, Reed, whose goal is to land a full-time coaching position in the NFL, has been a Walsh coaching intern with the Kansas City Chiefs and has coached the wide receivers in the NFL Players Association Bowl college all-star game.

Reed, who spent 15 seasons with the Bills, was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame last summer.

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Roman on whether, with 13 wide receivers and seven running backs (including two fullbacks) on their 90-man roster, the Bills just might have too much competition at those positions: “That’s never a bad problem. Good players: bring them. More. More. More. Keep bringing them and there’ll be plenty of opportunity for everybody and a lot of guys are taking advantage of it right now as we speak.”

email: vcarucci@buffnews.com

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