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E.J. Manuel trying to assert himself as Bills leader

ERIC WOOD AP

As the Bills ponder a big move in the NFL Draft, one of the guys they drafted last year is trying to make a significant step of his own.

Quarterback E.J. Manuel told John Kryk of the Toronto Sun that he wanted to become more of a leader for the team this season, and has taken specific steps to do so.

“The biggest thing I want to improve on is becoming more of a leader, taking more command of this offense,” Manuel said. “That’s a broad statement but I really mean it.”

Manuel struggled with knee problems and consistency last year, but showed enough promise the Bills seem to trust him at the helm.

He said he consulted with quarterbacks including Drew Brees, Russell Wilson and Robert Griffin III (who knows about knee injuries and inconsistency).

He also met with a group of his receivers and backs twice this offseason, in Florida and California, to work through the playbook.

“We got more cohesive off the field,” Manuel said. “I think of the things we did together, like going out to eat, and waking up early together to work out, . . .The great teams I’ve been on — whether in college or in high school — it was because we were tight.

“On the field, I think we’re now better able to understand what each other is thinking when we get to the line of scrimmage. I was trying to help those guys realize, ‘Hey, this is what I’m looking at when we get into a certain coverage with this certain play.’ And so when they have the quarterback’s vantage point, I think that will help them even more when they run their routes.”

Whether the Bills make a bold move next week or not, Manuel’s health and development might be the biggest boost of the offseason.

 

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24 Responses to “E.J. Manuel trying to assert himself as Bills leader”
  1. wnbasuperfan says: May 2, 2014 10:11 AM

    This guy gets it. Whether or not he has the physical ability or poise at the line of scrimmage to play in the NFL is something to be determined.

  2. rbanks51 says: May 2, 2014 10:14 AM

    Can only help. I really want this guy to be good, he’s easy to root for.

  3. hehateme2 says: May 2, 2014 10:16 AM

    Seems like a good guy. Good luck with that.

  4. joeblowsintoronto says: May 2, 2014 10:22 AM

    If he can stay healthy, he has a great chance to be a very good QB. He is mature, polite well mannered young man who is easy to root for.

  5. mackcarrington says: May 2, 2014 10:43 AM

    Yes. Manuel really does get it. He wants to play football in Los Angeles and he knows he needs to be with Bills to get that second contract. By that time they will be on the west coast.

  6. corkspop says: May 2, 2014 10:46 AM

    Another rookie QB who got thrown in as starter too early. Give him some better protection on the O-Line and let’s see what he does in year 2.

  7. dontbugmeonsundays says: May 2, 2014 10:51 AM

    We billieve in Ej. He always says the right things and has always remained positive throughout his struggles. He’s very mature for his age and that will only help him as he adjusts to the NFL. He made some really nice throws last year that got overlooked by his injury. He’s definitely not a finished product, but with his attitude and good coaching I can see him being very successful in this league.

  8. jnbnet says: May 2, 2014 10:59 AM

    Although I am a Patriots fan, I do like this guy. I welcome the competition and I think the Bills are moving in the right direction.

  9. idoubtiwillbother says: May 2, 2014 11:03 AM

    Yeah, good guy. Sounds kinda dim, but that could just be presentation skills. He is unlikely to ever be healthy enough to maintain a meaningful career, but one can hope.

    And this administration isn’t keeping him in the starting position because he showed promise, they are doing it because they picked him and will chase their money back into the college coaching ranks.

    The real concern is that the Bills might be colossally stupid enough to trade up in this draft. I suspect it will only be to the second pick IF Clowney doesn’t get nabbed first, but even then I think they will be paying too much considering the wealth of talent in this year’s draft. This is a year to stockpile as much as possible, rather than go all in on one guy.

  10. coseybedaman says: May 2, 2014 11:05 AM

    I would love for EJ to pan out in Buffalo. I still can’t help but wonder (or possibly even hope) if the Bills could possibly shock everyone and grab another QB. I didn’t even think it was a possibility until the draft trade rumors. In a draft this deep I can’t imagine the team was pursuing a trade for any position other than QB

  11. jpaq68 says: May 2, 2014 11:06 AM

    Blaine Gabbert tried to be a leadr, too. See where it got him.
    If you don’t have the skills, you don’t have the skills.
    EJ Mauel doesn’t have the skills.

  12. leftlaneisforpassingonly says: May 2, 2014 11:11 AM

    Stock up!

  13. nomoreseasontix says: May 2, 2014 11:15 AM

    Sounds like he’s got his head on straight. And he’s probably hoping the Bills don’t see a QB in this draft that they like better.

  14. Iain says: May 2, 2014 11:49 AM

    My feeling is that if you need to talk about becoming a leader you aren’t one yet.

    Will be interesting to see how Manuel develops in year two. For me both he and Geno Smith could be better than Ryan Tannehill and we’ll probably get a big clue as to whether I’m right this season.

  15. joetoronto says: May 2, 2014 11:52 AM

    You can keep him when the team moves to Toronto.

    We have to get rid of the losing stench anyway.

  16. seahawkshurtpeople says: May 2, 2014 12:00 PM

    Why would any self respecting NFL player solicit advice from a bust like RGIII?

    I like Emanuel and think he has great potential but kid please stay away from that walking cancer of a team killer.

  17. jpaq68 says: May 2, 2014 12:09 PM

    EJ Manuel couldn’t lead on the leadingest day with an electified leading machine.

  18. joeblowsintoronto says: May 2, 2014 12:41 PM

    I’m just thankful that I live in Toronto and don’t deserve any kind of professional sports team. I prefer to watch Hockey and the Toronto Maple Leafs. We are going to win that cup!!

  19. djshnooks says: May 2, 2014 1:05 PM

    Comparing EJ Manuel to Blaine Gabbert does you a major disservice and shows you clearly have absolutely no clue what you’re talking about.

    If EJ stays healthy this year and plays even as a middle of the pack QB…the Bills are going to the playoffs, mark my words.

    The #2 rushing attack will be even stronger with a healthy Spiller and Jackson, as well as reinforcements on the o-line.

    The #7 defense will be even stronger, due to the addition of Spikes and the ability to stop the run…as well as Kiko Alonso being moved outside where he can make plays.

    Don’t sleep on this team if EJ plays well.

    (First time in probably a decade I feel this optimistic and confident…Whaley and Marrone have a lot to prove…and these players have A LOT to play for this year.)

  20. catquick says: May 2, 2014 1:45 PM

    He went down the field on the Panthers and won the game last year. He has the skills, the heart and that “it” factor you look for. As for brains? He’s an academic All American.

  21. lewiscafarella says: May 2, 2014 4:38 PM

    C’mon EJ! We’re counting on ya! We have faith in you!mi seriously hope this guy can stay healthy!

  22. buffalodiehard says: May 2, 2014 8:51 PM

    jpaq68 says:
    May 2, 2014 11:06 AM
    Blaine Gabbert tried to be a leadr, too. See where it got him.

    You talking about writing skills?

  23. gregfromlouisiana says: May 3, 2014 9:02 AM

    Was that assert himself or insert himself as a leader?

  24. harvestern says: May 4, 2014 10:29 PM

    If he wants to be a leader he should stay out of trouble off the field for a change. He’s a worse person than he is a quarterback and he is probably the worst starting quarterback in the league.

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