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Before game-winning drive, Manuel told teammates to be “legendary”

Manuel AP

In the NFL, legends are forged through late-game heroics.  Bills quarterback EJ Manuel realized on Sunday that he had an opportunity to take a step in that direction with his teammates.

Before taking the field while trailing 23-17 against the Panthers, Manuel called the other offensive players together and urged them to embrace the opportunity.

“I just gave everyone a fist-bump and said, ‘Hey, let’s go be legendary,'” Manuel told PFT Live on Tuesday.  “The whole situation played out great for us.  We handled the situation very well and Coach [Nathaniel] Hackett gave us some great calls and allowed us to make some great plays and great decisions.”

Manuel made plenty of great decisions on the 80-yard drive, constantly taking what the Carolina defense was giving him with short passes underneath the coverage.  Manuel only took one shot down the field, and the interception was overturned by a pass interference penalty on Panthers linebacker Luke Kuechly.

The drive ended with Manuel throwing a short lob to a wide-open Steve Johnson, who slipped from the left slot to the left corner of the end zone when a pair of Panthers followed Chris Hogan instead.  But Manuel didn’t have a chance to freak out when he saw Johnson wide open.

“I threw ball even before he came out of his cut,” Manuel said.  “So if he had been covered or not, that ball would have landed right where it landed anyways.  It just so happened that he was wide open.  I think that was the best thing about it, just trying to throw before he came out of his cut and not necessarily seeing him when he was standing there wide open.”

Johnson made the catch, the Bills avoided overtime by making the extra point, and the legend of EJ Manuel was born.

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82 Responses to “Before game-winning drive, Manuel told teammates to be “legendary””
  1. wearethesteelers says: Sep 17, 2013 7:48 PM

    Be legendary in a regular season game against the Panthers? LOL!

  2. patriots123456 says: Sep 17, 2013 7:49 PM

    I think they are going to beat the Jets this week…

  3. curtispaintersbackup says: Sep 17, 2013 7:50 PM

    Good for him. I’d like to see the kid succeed.

  4. tcmiller30 says: Sep 17, 2013 7:51 PM

    “This drive is gonna be legen.. wait for it…..

    Dairy!”

    -EJ Manuel

  5. thegreatgabbert says: Sep 17, 2013 7:54 PM

    The legendary 1-1 Buffalo Bill squad of 2013.

  6. jetssuckabig1 says: Sep 17, 2013 7:54 PM

    And his teammates replied with…”You got it Bust!”

  7. jakec4 says: Sep 17, 2013 7:56 PM

    I don’t know that he’s Jim Kelly yet, but it looks like Buffalo finally found a QB. He has that same kind of cool under pressure thing that Flacco immediately had as a rookie. It’s an underrated trait.

  8. thegreatgabbert says: Sep 17, 2013 7:58 PM

    E- Jendary Manuel.

  9. delusionalcardsfan says: Sep 17, 2013 7:59 PM

    Epic.

  10. brian55906 says: Sep 17, 2013 8:00 PM

    Geno Smith who?

  11. vegaskid21 says: Sep 17, 2013 8:00 PM

    As a gator honk, I’m starting to like this kid!

  12. beavertonsteve says: Sep 17, 2013 8:01 PM

    He’s going to have to keep ramping up the stakes if they keep winning. By week 6 he’s going to be on “God-Like”.

  13. mcguenther13 says: Sep 17, 2013 8:02 PM

    And what’s wrong with him saying that?? Way for a rookie to step up and will the team to win…..panthers have a very good defense and hung tough with everyone’s favorite SheHawks…..sorry Manuel isn’t the “sexy” pick of Geno Smith, but has way more talent and upside……future looks bright down the road for this up and coming team, LETS GO BUFFALO!!!!

  14. EJ says: Sep 17, 2013 8:03 PM

    It was a surprise to many of us Bills Fans. Manuel is confident and very calm for being a Rookie. WNY is very excited to finally have what looks to be a real Franchise QB. The teams first since Jim Kelly. Go Bills!!!! #BillsMafia

  15. green41563 says: Sep 17, 2013 8:05 PM

    Myth-making in full swing, I see.

    If he were on the Jets, headline would have been, “Rookie Manuel declares himself a legend; divided locker room chafes at selfish antics.”

  16. EJ says: Sep 17, 2013 8:06 PM

    -E.J. “The Man” Manuel-

  17. gochargersgo says: Sep 17, 2013 8:06 PM

    Like Mewtwo

  18. thegreatgabbert says: Sep 17, 2013 8:06 PM

    “I just gave everyone a fist bump and said, ‘hey let’s go out after for Ben & Jerry’s’. I thought the game was over, really, but we still deserved a treat after a long hard day….”.

  19. virgiltab says: Sep 17, 2013 8:07 PM

    Legendary? Against a defense who went into prevent with a depleted secondary and bad coaching decisions by the Panthers? lol.

    That’s Sofa King Stupid.

    But the Bills need something to lift their spirits since Jim Kelly retired.

  20. cmdrsmooth says: Sep 17, 2013 8:09 PM

    Beating Carolina even before they loss 3 of their secondary defensive players is not legendary folks.

  21. wearethesteelers says: Sep 17, 2013 8:16 PM

    mcguenther13 says:
    Sep 17, 2013 8:02 PM
    … sorry Manuel isn’t the “sexy” pick of Geno Smith
    _________________________________

    Geno Smith was a sexy pick?

  22. taylorgangtrippymane says: Sep 17, 2013 8:17 PM

    He got really lucky with that questionable PI call and terrible coverage on the TD

  23. seatownballers says: Sep 17, 2013 8:23 PM

    I’m no bills fan, but I’m rooting for this kid to succeed

  24. ttommytom says: Sep 17, 2013 8:28 PM

    Shining at the Senior Bowl is a big deal. Ask Sinorice Moss, Janoris Jenkins, Christian Ponder and now EJ Manuel (to name a very few). Some succeed, some don’t but it usually translates to a huge bump in the draft.

    I thought Manuel was so far ahead of everyone at the Senior Bowl and now it seems as a rookie too…

  25. keepingitrealdumb says: Sep 17, 2013 8:32 PM

    he said it and he delivered .. nothing wrong with that .. all good

  26. t1manit0 says: Sep 17, 2013 8:35 PM

    Questionable PI call? Did you watch the game?

  27. citizensmithgobills says: Sep 17, 2013 8:37 PM

    It might not have been “epic” or “legendary”. But for a region of the country that has been in a depression for 20 years it was awesome to be the ones who win on the final play and for the first time in a long time bills fans didn’t feel suicidal on a Monday in the Fall.

  28. linvillegorge says: Sep 17, 2013 8:44 PM

    Just don’t be legendary like Ron Rivera – a legendary loser of a head coach. No coach in the history of sports is more prolific at snatching defeat from the jaws of victory. Every Panthers fan new we were gonna find a way to lose that game. That’s just what we do under Rivera. We can play anyone to a nail biter, but we find and progressively more head scratching ways to ultimately lose. 2-14 now in games decided by a TD or less with 10 blown 4th quarter leads. He’s pulled that off in two full seasons + two games. Unreal.

  29. justsomerandomguy24 says: Sep 17, 2013 8:44 PM

    So did Barney Stinson!

  30. bennyb82 says: Sep 17, 2013 8:44 PM

    I am just glad Stevie Johnson did not drop it… for his own sanity. I am not even a Bills fan but he did not take his last potential game-winning drop very well.

  31. linvillegorge says: Sep 17, 2013 8:44 PM

    *knew

  32. mulehead70 says: Sep 17, 2013 8:45 PM

    Good for Manuel! Who cares if it was the Panthers – Manuel was trying to inspire the team. Isn’t that what leadership is all about?

    Not a Bills fan, but I’m very much rooting for him to succeed.

  33. theytukrjobs says: Sep 17, 2013 8:46 PM

    On his final pass, you can see him mouth out the worlds “legen wait for it”.

    Then after the completion you can see him mouth out “dary”. Pretty cool.

  34. hatesycophants says: Sep 17, 2013 8:52 PM

    Yeah, “Go on out there and get a legendary pass interference call and I’ll take us the rest of the way!”

    Bills fans are pathetic. You said the same thing about Fitzpatrick and all of you wanted… the guy who got taken out by a freaking mat to start. Credibility? Zero.

  35. ialwayswantedtobeabanker says: Sep 17, 2013 8:59 PM

    Santonio Holmes implored teammates in Super Bowl XLIII to “Dare to be great!”

    Different, but kind of similar too.

  36. puppybowler says: Sep 17, 2013 9:00 PM

    6-10 don’t care

  37. sportsmeccabi says: Sep 17, 2013 9:14 PM

    Charles Godfrey, Josh Thomas, Brandon Hogan, Quiten Mikell, and Charles Johnson all got hurt during this game. On top of this, Stevie Johnson literally just ran into Luke Kuechly to draw the pass interference call.

    It was a great moment for EJ, but lets not forget he was throwing against 3rd stringers. Before those injuries he looked terrible.

  38. yanksbills says: Sep 17, 2013 9:18 PM

    Rookie QB who all the experts said shouldn’t even play his first year, let alone be drafted before the 3rd round… Give the kid his moment.

  39. therolandobottom says: Sep 17, 2013 9:21 PM

    He must have watched Remember the Titans during halftime.

  40. jr507 says: Sep 17, 2013 9:23 PM

    If I dunk on my 1 year old can I call myself “legendary” too? I mean, it’s more difficult than beating the Panthers. Talk about blown out of proportion…

  41. jssgriffi says: Sep 17, 2013 9:25 PM

    Is it me or does he look exactly like Jamarcus Russell when he has his helmet on

  42. blanchonegro says: Sep 17, 2013 9:32 PM

    goodbye patsies. welcome the Bills. Bills finally got there QB!

  43. scmems07 says: Sep 17, 2013 9:35 PM

    As a dolphins fan, I really like this kid, big, strong and looks like he is fitting in and is comfortable already, the thing I like most is he is humble, unlike when cam came in or the way kaep got when he started receiving a little fame, this kid is not letting anything go to his head.

  44. hansenbrothers says: Sep 17, 2013 9:39 PM

    Thought they reached for him, but that was pretty cool on Sunday

  45. skoobyfl says: Sep 17, 2013 9:47 PM

    A star is born & winners win.

  46. kgun80 says: Sep 17, 2013 9:50 PM

    So what he made a corny statement…. And then led a game winning drive. The PI was blatant and an easy call. All the hater Jets fans are mad because EJ showed promise and some potential… And Geno did his best Byron Leftwich impression.

    GO BILLS!!!!

  47. ecnc30 says: Sep 17, 2013 9:55 PM

    Carolina gave that game away, so all you pathetic fans in Buffalo can put those rookie of the year accolades away.
    Still losers in a loser city.

  48. pftbillsfan says: Sep 17, 2013 9:58 PM

    Lol that’s a great point about the headline were he a Jets player. I wonder when the tipping point was from the media loving Rex to deciding they hated him with a passion and lost all objectivity

  49. cmscully37 says: Sep 17, 2013 10:22 PM

    hatesycophants says:
    Sep 17, 2013 8:52 PM
    Yeah, “Go on out there and get a legendary pass interference call and I’ll take us the rest of the way!”

    Bills fans are pathetic. You said the same thing about Fitzpatrick and all of you wanted… the guy who got taken out by a freaking mat to start. Credibility? Zero.

    ————————————————–
    I love how people re-write history. Bills fans wanted Fitzpatrick to win, but most knew that his long term deal was a bad one…And there was a serious minority who was pulling for Kolb to win the starting job over Manuel.

    Besides, what is wrong with pulling for the guy chosen as your starter to succeed? I guess you root against whatever QB leads the team you pull for! What a ridiculous post! The only credibility in question would be anything posted by people like hatesycophants.

  50. djstidd13bbills says: Sep 17, 2013 10:29 PM

    At least the guy is trying to do something with the opportunity given. Cam Newton is in year 3 and Manuel outplayed him. As far as the pass interference call goes, if u grab a receiver in the middle of the field most likely the pass will be picked off. Haters can be jealous bills have a qb and he will be better than at least half the other QB’s in the NFL in a couple years.

  51. scottseebohm says: Sep 17, 2013 10:39 PM

    It’s a start
    Bills need that in their leader not Fitz little girl screams

  52. sndmn331 says: Sep 17, 2013 10:41 PM

    Don’t mean to diminish what Manuel did, but I could have probably thrown that touchdown pass to Stevie Johnson.

  53. robgilman says: Sep 17, 2013 10:50 PM

    Just like in the movies!

  54. zucca636 says: Sep 17, 2013 10:58 PM

    Some of your comments are funny … Look at how other rookie quarterbacks are playing … He has done awesome in 2 2 minute drills and scored 2 touchdowns on each of them. Congrats on his first nfl win and it is truly something he will never forget .. Go bills #billsmafia

  55. steelcurtainn says: Sep 17, 2013 11:01 PM

    Be ‘Legendary” in week 2….lol….Good one….Fans must be thrilled…..

  56. catquick says: Sep 17, 2013 11:19 PM

    It seems like Hatessycophants, thegreatgabbert and wearethesteelers live to cause misery and division amongst football lovers everywhere. Get a life, losers. By the way, westeelers….EJ Manual is Ben Roethlesburger with class, intelligence and most importantly, morals.

  57. sandypar77 says: Sep 17, 2013 11:23 PM

    Legendary or not it remains to be seen but I can say one thing for sure, regardless of the fact that ej had two second half turnovers in his own end that could have been worse had the d not bailed him out. I was there and that was a thrilling end that ignited the crowd and entire fanbase!

  58. patsbrat says: Sep 17, 2013 11:25 PM

    mulehead70 says: Sep 17, 2013 8:45 PM

    Good for Manuel! Who cares if it was the Panthers – Manuel was trying to inspire the team. Isn’t that what leadership is all about?

    Not a Bills fan, but I’m very much rooting for him to succeed
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    The first commenter to use the word ‘leadership.’ Nice job mulehead70.

    Kudos to Manuel stepping into that role week 2 of his rookie year.

  59. thetooloftools says: Sep 17, 2013 11:25 PM

    Nobody is going to respect Buffalo until they punch YOUR team in the face.

  60. judsonjr says: Sep 17, 2013 11:35 PM

    Time for Buffalo to lock him up @ $20 Million a year.

  61. sportsfreak61787 says: Sep 17, 2013 11:51 PM

    not a bills fan but a fsu fan here. reading the bills haters comments on here is comical. especially when you see them coming from the likes of jaguar, jets, amd steeler fans. I honestly think the jags may be the worst team in the nfl over the last 15-20 years as for the steelers, tjey are not going to be good for a longgggg time. horrid o line horrid wr corp old te injury prone horrible rbs and a wsshed up old d. an to top it off a barely above average qb

  62. rangenius says: Sep 18, 2013 12:04 AM

    Give me a break, carolina blew coverage on the winning TD, this guy is garbage, watch the film of Gators vs Noles last year. Sanchez like performance for EJ. He stinks.

  63. hosmachine says: Sep 18, 2013 12:24 AM

    K Jon moxon been watching a little too much varsity blues

  64. mlbbal52 says: Sep 18, 2013 12:50 AM

    Nothing wrong with this, he’s a rookie stepping up as a leader to give them confidence to win the game against an up and coming D. And he played toe to toe with Brady a week prior. Seems like a good kid grateful for this opportunity. Bills fans need a good QB and may have found one…with all the talk around the other highly touted guys making headlines this guy is quietly under the radar playing well though it is still only week two but in all wouldn’t mind seeing him succeed…

  65. draculalambert says: Sep 18, 2013 1:58 AM

    a rich man’s vince young. I’m not impressed

  66. hehateme2 says: Sep 18, 2013 7:21 AM

    I’m not sure you can mention the words “legendary” and the bills in the same sentence.

    Longest drought of missing playoffs and a horrible decade plus are the facts.

    However, good for the rook but enough with the crying.

  67. losangelesbillsofbuffalo says: Sep 18, 2013 7:32 AM

    I’ve seen too many 4-0 and 5-1 starts that end in top ten draft picks to make any semi-reach statements this early on in the season. But if I had to guarantee one thing to bet my paycheck on it’s that EJ wins ROY and does so in runaway fashion.

  68. jgedgar70 says: Sep 18, 2013 7:47 AM

    green41563 says:
    Sep 17, 2013 8:05 PM
    Myth-making in full swing, I see.

    If he were on the Jets, headline would have been, “Rookie Manuel declares himself a legend; divided locker room chafes at selfish antics.”
    _____
    Perhaps. If the situation was reversed, and it was Cam Newton that said it and led the Panthers to the game-winning TD, the headline would have been, “Newton declares himself a legend” and there would be 1,000 comments about how saying that proves Cam Newton is the most evil human being that ever lived. And if it was Andrew Luck, Colin Kapernick, Aaron Rodgers or Bob Griffin, the article would be all praise and the 1,000 comments would be about how saying that proves what superior life forms they are.

  69. allmiamifan4444 says: Sep 18, 2013 8:12 AM

    I am a Dolphins fan but how can you not like what Manuel is doing and how is carrying himself.Geno is such a joke compared to EJ.

  70. jacksonjames4 says: Sep 18, 2013 8:14 AM

    Why would you Internet basement dwellers dog this kid for trying his best regardless of what team he’s on or who he beat. This is how every team wants their QB to act like

  71. buddysguys says: Sep 18, 2013 8:14 AM

    @hatesycophants nobody said anything remotley close about Fitz than what they are saying about EJ.

    go hate somewhere else moron.

  72. beerndrums says: Sep 18, 2013 8:21 AM

    Why couldn’t he be legendary against the cheating Patriots?

  73. djp141 says: Sep 18, 2013 8:37 AM

    Nothing legendary about last minute drives to beat the Panthers. They seem to happen all the time.

  74. fryeways says: Sep 18, 2013 8:46 AM

    Patriots fan here, and totally cheering for this kid. I think we finally have another star QB in the division.

  75. seminoleboy says: Sep 18, 2013 9:35 AM

    Not a Bills fan…….. this kid has got a leadership skill that only a few Pro QBs got! I have come to respect that part of his game n’ his work ethics…for y’all haters out there …have some damn respect!! What have you done to accomplished anything in ur sorry a$$ life?….noles4life…go EJ go !!….I might be aBills fan cuz of u!

  76. hatesycophants says: Sep 18, 2013 10:43 AM

    I love how upset Bills fans get when they’re call on their BS. Own it!

  77. captbuff says: Sep 18, 2013 12:47 PM

    It’s not as if EJ said “guys, if we win this, people will start calling me the next Joe Montana. Now let’s go become legends like the 49ers of the 80s.”

    He said something to get his young team fired up. Did they beat a Super Bowl contender? No, they beat a bad team, which is something good teams have to do. Last week when we lost to New England (for the 23rd time in 25 games), the story was how Tom Brady found a way to win despite injuries and a below average game from his team. In other words, we did this week what the Patriots did to us last week.

    Those of you calling the pass interference call legendary…would we have won the game without it? No. Was it pass interference? Yes. Tom Brady won his first Super Bowl because of the Tuck Rule. That makes him not legendary, right?

    None of us think we’ve won the Super Bowl. But our team has been awful for almost 15 years. So yes, I’m happy that we won this game. Yes, I’m happy that our QB has shown poise and talent in leading a 2 minute drive to win, and coming within 2 minutes of beating a team we’ve beaten twice since 2001.

    To the Jags (ha!) fan berating us, you have Blaine Gabbert as your starting quarterback. Let me repeat that. You have Blaine Gabbert as your starting quarterback. To the Steelers fans, you’re 0-2.

  78. usher716 says: Sep 18, 2013 2:14 PM

    Manuel of Steel

  79. packersarethebest says: Sep 18, 2013 4:05 PM

    This guy has Leader written all over him! I think that within a few years, barring any injuries and/or off-the-field issues, this guy is going to give my AR a run for the title of best in the league. I’m glad the Bills have a quarterback they can build and grow their franchise around. It’s been a long time coming for that franchise.

  80. billsboy88 says: Sep 18, 2013 4:17 PM

    To all the haters, the kid is a rookie, he rallied his team and he showed true leadership after playing an otherwise poor game. Great moment, end of story.

  81. billsfan50 says: Sep 19, 2013 6:06 AM

    All legends are born somewhere , and most of the time for a quarterback it is last second game winning drives . When he said ‘Hey, let’s go be legendary,’” this would be the possible birth of one. If this team eventually { an Emanuel } achieve greatness . I like the mindset of this team .

  82. monropoobah says: Sep 21, 2013 6:14 PM

    glad to see manuel do well. glad too for the bills, it’s been a long time.
    hope they continue to do well after losing to the jets this week.

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