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Doug Whaley: Bills aren't looking for any more quarterbacks

ORLANDO, Fla. -- The Buffalo Bills are all set at quarterback, thank you.

General Manager Doug Whaley knows the Bills need to get better at the position, and he knows many fans want the Bills to sign an experienced veteran to mentor and perhaps challenge EJ Manuel.

Whaley, however, suggested everybody should get used to how the depth chart looks now.

This is how the Bills want it: Manuel, Thad Lewis, Jeff Tuel, Dennis Dixon.

"I'm comfortable," " Whaley told me this afternoon at the NFL owners meetings. "I like Thad. I thought Thad did a heck of a job for us.

"Everybody's all 'Get a vet! Get a vet!' In this business, we believe you want your backup to keep you .500. Thad got us 2-3. So close enough."

Whaley had no interest in Michael Vick or Mark Sanchez or Josh Freeman or Josh McCown or Ryan Fitzpatrick or Jason Campbell.

Last year, the Bills signed free-agent Kevin Kolb to be a veteran presence on Doug Marrone's first-year staff. Kolb suffered a knee injury in training camp and a concussion in an exhibition and didn't reach the regular season.

The Bills don't see the need to try another veteran now that Marrone's program is entering its second year.

"If you bring in a vet, you've got to understand he'll be a new guy in the system," Whaley said. "So how much really is he going to be able mentor these guys?

"I'd rather have three guys that are two years in than a guy who's maybe in his sixth year in the league, but his first year in the system."

Marrone reasoned that veteran backups who know their role are rare.

"It's a lot more difficult to find those players than what people think," Marrone said.

Marrone recounted enviable situations with his previous NFL teams, the New Orleans Saints as offensive coordinator and New York Jets as offensive-line coach.

"We were fortunate," Marrone said. "I had Mark Brunell, and Chad Pennington could go in for Vinnie [Testeverde]. Everyone was great and truly helped mold that player and teach him how to be a pro.

"Right now everyone's all competitive and stuff. Sometimes you don't get that. So for us, that's why you saw us do it the way we did."

Rather than sign a veteran quarterback, the Bills added quarterbacks coach Todd Downing (allowing Nathaniel Hackett to focus solely on calling plays) and senior offensive assistant Jim Hostler instead.

"Look at the moves we've done this offseason, hiring a quarterback coach, a senior assistant," Whaley said. "We're going to try to give EJ every means possible to be successful."

Whaley also reiterated what he said last month at the NFL scouting combine, that the Bills will not draft a quarterback in the first round. He added that he doesn't consider it mandatory to draft one in any round this year.

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