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Manuel will have to earn starting job

Manuel AP

Bills coach Doug Marrone has raved about rookie quarterback EJ Manuel.  Still, Manuel will be handed nothing in his first NFL season.

Supposedly.

G.M. Doug Whaley recently joined PFT Live to discuss, among other things, whether the starting job is Manuel’s to win, or Manuel’s to lose.  Whaley emphasized that the best man will play.

“I think what we decided, and I think [Marrone] promotes it, is competition
throughout the whole team,” Whaley said.  “And I will throw in those three guys in there and see the competition makes everybody rise to the occasion and whoever takes the bull by the horns and wins the job that will be our guy and we will rally behind him and go into the season and expect for the best.”

Whaley said the team feels no pressure to give Manuel the job, based on his arrival via the 16th pick in the draft.

“I think what we’re going to do is, we’re going to do what’s right and necessary
to accomplish our goal,” Whaley said.  “And if EJ is the guy, we’re going with EJ.  If it’s Kevin Kolb, it’s Kevin Kolb.  Or Tarvaris Jackson.  I think once you start putting undue pressure on people then expectations are risen and I think it hampers the
ability of the player to achieve his utmost ability.”

In our view, even if a team plans to install a first-round quarterback as the starter, there’s value in making the rookie believe he won the job.  Overcoming a pair of veterans gives the rookie a little extra confidence entering the season, and confidence could be the difference.

But it’s also important that the rookie not look over his shoulder.  A competition that lasts too long implies that it was close, which could make the rookie think he’s on a short leash.

Thus, in our view, it’s Manuel’s job to lose.  With the five-year plan yielding at some point to a three-year plan and then giving way at some point to a win-now-or-risk-getting-fired plan, anyone who picks a quarterback in round one needs to be ready to use him.  Otherwise, the team should have picked someone else.

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20 Responses to “Manuel will have to earn starting job”
  1. shawon0meter says: May 31, 2013 8:26 PM

    Tarvaris Jackson will be starting for the Buffalo Bills from week 1 until their AFC Championship game loss to the Denver Broncos.

  2. nytroutdog says: May 31, 2013 8:29 PM

    “Thus, in our view, it’s Manuel’s job to lose. With the five-year plan yielding at some point to a three-year plan and then giving way at some point to a win-now-or-risk-getting-fired plan, anyone who picks a quarterback in round one needs to be ready to use him. Otherwise, the team should have picked someone else.”

    This ‘winning’ portion of this argument supports starting the best person instead of starting someone based on draft position…which is what they should do.

    Regardless of this post the Bills are going through a sorely needed culture change and those are not completed overnight (or in a season): see Buffalo Bills, 1986.

  3. thestrategyexpert says: May 31, 2013 8:42 PM

    Well since a lot of teams graded him as a 4th Rounder and you are the ONLY one that wanted him bad enough to make him a Top 16 selection, then I think this statement is truly atrocious and embarrassing. If there is any human being on the planet that seems more likely to want EJ Manuel to have the job without having to earn it, then it’s the Buffalo GM! What a crock!

    This GM should be fired immediately, because he just doesn’t seem to get it; his brain circuits are turned off. This guy can’t seem to even reconcile what his own thoughts and opinions are and now he’s going to lead this team to the promised land? Wow. Ok, good luck with that Buffalo. I have less confidence in your team now than I did just yesterday all of a sudden.

  4. TheMansiere says: May 31, 2013 8:54 PM

    @shawon0meter
    As a fellow Bills fan, in which I consider my self to be relatively in touch with reality, I have to tell you that you be up out your tree homeboy. Aint no AFC Championship in the Bills’ near future.

  5. billsboy88 says: May 31, 2013 9:25 PM

    You do realize that Whaley was promoted to GM well after the draft had taken place, right?

  6. andrewsteindione says: May 31, 2013 9:46 PM

    So “a lot of teams” had him graded as a 4th rounder? You are privy to team draft boards? Where did you get that information? Show me.

    This GM should be fired immediately? What? Why? What are you talking about? Your arguments are…baffling. Manuel hasn’t even played a down of football yet, and you want a GM fired over his selection. Amazing.

  7. helinhater says: May 31, 2013 9:51 PM

    Hey genius, you do know that Whaley wasn’t the GM who drafted Manuel, right?

    Sounds like your brain circuits are turned off.

  8. cover200 says: May 31, 2013 10:45 PM

    This post above me is just ridiculous. A lot of guys had Jamarcus Russell rated a first rounder, Tom Brady a fifth rounder, etc.

  9. GrossmanDaSexCannon says: May 31, 2013 10:52 PM

    Psychology says that the way Whaley worded it, T-Jack is out of the race. I’m pulling for Kolb. Quarterbacks with big arms (Big Ben, Sexy Rexy) never really impressed me. Quarterbacks with big brains (P. Manning, Jim Kelly) are the ones who impress me.

    Let the rook ride the pine for a year. Develop his brain. If more people took that approach, we wouldn’t be joking about some rich jerk going in debt over a bar tab from the Cheesecake factory, let alone grabbing some random Work-In-Progress from Minnesota to never even got passed the first page of his playbook.

  10. sammyscrawfo says: May 31, 2013 11:11 PM

    ^ you’re an idiot. He would’ve been taken early second at the absolute latest. Lets wait til the season starts before making ridiculous claims and bashing Whaley.

  11. bossbertozzi says: Jun 1, 2013 1:59 AM

    Thestrategyexpert, the bills GM stepped down after the draft… Do your research. Also, I think E.J. Manuel is pretty good and will end up winning some games for the bills

  12. thestrategyexpert says: Jun 1, 2013 2:37 AM

    helinhater:

    Ahh yes I did forget that Nix stepped down as I supplied my comment, my bad. I’m a results oriented guy and to me the Bills didn’t get the job done in terms of having a good offseason and draft due to what I see as bad value.

    How you divvy up the accountability or who the Decision Maker is I could really care less about, it’s the team that’s on the hook to back up the franchise’s decisions regardless of who is making those choices. So yes it is indeed my bad for calling out Whaley in that specific manner, but still somebody has to accept responsibility for what the Bills have decided to do, but for all I know this is Whaley’s guy the same as Nix.

    My intent is to question the strategy of the Bills’ choices, so I apologize for failing as a research expert on this one. Nice bust!

  13. bigyellow83 says: Jun 1, 2013 2:46 AM

    thestrategyexpert says: May 31, 2013 8:42 PM

    If there is any human being on the planet that seems more likely to want EJ Manuel to have the job without having to earn it, then it’s the Buffalo GM! What a crock!

    This GM should be fired immediately, because he just doesn’t seem to get it; his brain circuits are turned off.
    ———————————————————-

    You do know that Whaley has been the GM for about two weeks right? He wasn’t the GM during the draft and while I think he had some influence on choosing Manual, he did not make the final decision so why does he deserve your rancor? Don’t be a troll there is enough of them on this site already.

  14. navyeoddavee9 says: Jun 1, 2013 6:17 AM

    strategy: Not a Bills fan, but the vibe on Manuel was middle to late first, early second. Maybe your team had him as a fourth. Which is why your team probably underachieves

  15. kwickett85 says: Jun 1, 2013 10:10 AM

    To the guy that said EJ was rated by teams as a 4th round pick… no. Manuel was rated as a mid 1st to mid 2nd round pick. The NFL even invited him to come to the 1st day of the draft. If he was a 4th rounder do you really think he would have been invited?

  16. kwickett85 says: Jun 1, 2013 10:16 AM

    Also, to respond to some previous comments… Yes, Whaley was the one who drafted Manuel. He said it himself.

  17. micknangold says: Jun 1, 2013 12:00 PM

    The idea that if a rookie QB can’t play Week One he’s not any good is stupid. It’s not like QBs can’t develop like any other position can. Some guys need more time. Mark Sanchez in particular could have benefitted a great deal from a year or even two of playing behind a vet. Christian Ponder comes to mind as well – but to the Vikings credit they did try to do that, but McNabb played like crap.

  18. edwinmoses says: Jun 1, 2013 12:57 PM

    Strategy – you’re a complete douche

  19. boyshole25 says: Jun 1, 2013 2:25 PM

    From an upstate New Yorker that is a redskins fan I can sense the bills are on the up and one major reason is competition at every position. That’s what Washington got with shannahan and the bills will get with Marrone. They are coaches that don’t care about names Marrone made nassib look like a monster he will turn Manuel into a beast with Cj Fred Stevie and Rogers to throw to

  20. boyshole25 says: Jun 1, 2013 2:26 PM

    Manuel will be a winner in this league. Mark em

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