All the draft picks at this week’s NFL Rookie Symposium are learning about the pitfalls that can come with their new opportunities.
But as the first quarterback taken, and the guy expected to lead the Bills out of a generation of mediocrity-at-best, there’s an extra burden on E.J. Manuel.
Manuel said that the Symposium was an introduction into what he can expect as the guy the Bills expect to become the face of the franchise.
“It’s a great responsibility,” Manuel said, via Tim Graham of the Buffalo News. “You’re always going to be watched, always going to be evaluated each and every day. You’ve got to take that responsibility and respect it. . . .
“I had high expectations no matter where I went in the draft. I’m a natural competitor. I mean, that’s something I was going to work toward anyway. So I don’t feel any added pressure.”
Of course, the first thing Manuel has to do to reach his goal is to prove more able than Kevin Kolb. While that shouldn’t be the most difficult thing in the world, being in a setting where setting up their future is the main topic of discussion had Manuel thinking about what his legacy as a player would be.
“I’ve always been taught that a good name is more important than great treasure,” Manuel said. “So just keeping that respect for yourself and keeping your name clean, I think that’s what adds to your legacy.
“Obviously, when you play well you have a football legacy. But at the end of the day, I still want to be known as more than a football player. I want to be remembered as a great man.”
If he can deliver the Bills to the playoffs for the first time since 1999, he’ll have the first half of that taken care of.