Seen and heard outside Ralph Wilson Stadium before the Bills’ preseason opener against the Carolina Panthers....
Fans divided on QB
Neither Matt Cassel, Tyrod Taylor nor EJ Manuel has been able to establish himself as the Bills’ top passer thus far through the preseason, leaving fans with a wide array of opinions on who they’d like to win the starting job.
Justin Roberts of Bradford, Pa. had a message for coach Rex Ryan written on his shirt: “EJ for QB 2015. Do the right thing, Rex!”
"That’s my guy," Roberts said when asked to explain why he supports Manuel. "First year, he looked great. Then they put the training wheels on with [coach Doug] Marrone. Cassel is [Kyle] Orton The Second, maybe worse."
Here are the best quarterback opinions fans shared Friday:
On Matt Cassel: “In this race, he’ll get the nod. ... We’ve seen some things from EJ and they weren’t that pleasing. - Gavin Dia, Toronto
On EJ Manuel: “Total misuse by Marrone. He didn’t let him play. The last six games Orton shouldn’t have played. If Matt Cassel was the answer he would’ve been the answer somewhere else.” - Joe Gemza, West Seneca
On Tyrod Taylor: “I think he’s got a big arm and he’s quick with his feet. He hasn’t had much opportunity and he could run with it.” - Aaron Marsh, Williamsville
Rex’s middle finger?
News Sports Reporter Vic Carucci wrote Thursday that “The Bills had no obvious need for IK Enemkpali,” the player who broke Geno Smith’s jaw, “nor even a subtle one.” The New York Post called his signing “Rex Ryan’s middle finger to [the] Jets.”
The majority of Bills fans I talked to Friday were indifferent to the signing -- and some were even excited. Most don’t foresee Enemkpali making much of an impact this season.
“I’m pumped because I hate the Jets," Corey Konieczko of Lancaster said. “Anybody that could give us extra motivation is good.”
“It’s a jab to the Jets,” Dave Saskowski of Cheektowaga said. “[Rex Ryan] knows the guy. He knows the ‘D’ and player. He’s the best guy available."
“We need some strength. He adds more toughness to our ‘D’," Nate Sonnleitner of Nunda, N.Y. added. “He made an honest mistake. Geno deserved it. Even his teammates said he deserved it. Geno was running his mouth.”
Jeff Montante of North Tonawanda didn’t see it that way.
“To me, it doesn't make sense to bring in a marginal player,” he said.
After the Bills signed IK Enemkpali, the sports satire website Sports Pickle wrote a story saying that Rex Ryan offered a roster spot to any player who punched New England coach Bill Belichick in the nether regions.
Several fans were overheard talking about this offer before Friday’s game. PSA: That wasn’t a real story. Fans in Lot 7 were disappointed to learn Rex Ryan did not actually say such things.
Cameron Forrester of Perry, N.Y., didn’t want to wear his Kiko Alonso jersey to Friday’s game since Alonso was traded to the Eagles for LeSean McCoy. But Instead of putting current No. 50 Tony Steward’s name over Alonso’s, Forrester decided he’d try to turn the jersey a McCoy shirt.
So he divided by two.
She doesn’t even go here
Jerseys seen around the Ralph that were not related to Friday's game: It was a light day for these, probably because there was such a thin crowd for the preseason opener. The questionable jerseys spotted Friday were Peyton Manning, Russell Wilson and Dan Marino.
Saturday, Aug. 29 vs. Pittsburgh, 4 p.m. (preseason game three).