The weather in Western New York has a tendency to be fairly inhospitable during the latter portions of the NFL calendar.
Freezing rain, snow and plain bitter cold can affect the games and especially the quarterbacks trying to throw a rock-hard pigskin with fingers so cold they can’t get a real feel for the ball.
The knowledge of the wintry conditions in Buffalo shaped the way head coach Doug Marrone evaluated possible quarterback prospects leading up to last week’s NFL Draft. When the Bills brass went to Tallahassee to workout E.J. Manuel at Florida State, the weather was nasty. Wind and thunderstorms pounded the Florida panhandle and gave the Bills a look at what Manuel could do in poor weather.
“I remember when I first got the job here in Buffalo, and I had been up here and played up here before, and I got out of the car in January and the wind I was like, ‘Wow.’ I never realized how windy it was that time of the year,” Marrone said on SiriusXM radio, via the team’s official website.
“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. 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.”
It was Manuel’s performance during the workout that helped push Manuel to the top of the Bills draft board and the only quarterback to be selected in the first round of the NFL Draft.