The Bills need quarterback E.J. Manuel to be both healthier and better than he was in the 2013 season and the early returns on both counts are good.
Manuel has been able to participate in all of the offseason work after missing time before and during his rookie year with knee problems. Offensive coordinator Nathaniel Hackett said that the increased repetitions have benefitted Manuel’s confidence and improved his command of the offense.
“He’s doing a very good job. He’s put in a lot of work, all the quarterbacks are. They’re understanding the system, understanding what we’re trying to get,” Hackett said, via the team’s website. “It’s nice to see him make plays within the pocket, step up, find his check downs, throw the ball down the field a couple times. He’s really starting to get it all. It was funny, when he came into minicamp he was like, ‘Alright, no more new installs, let’s work on what we’ve been doing.’ I think that’s a refresher for a quarterback that he knows what he’s doing right now with what we’ve got in.”
Mike Rodak of ESPN.com reported that Manuel struggled with his accuracy during Bills OTAs, but Hackett said the team wasn’t concerned “at all” about that aspect of Manuel’s game. While it is hard to believe that a quarterback’s accuracy is of no concern to the team’s coaches, it’s clear the Bills are doing all they can to build Manuel up heading into his second season.