Report: College coach didn’t think EJ Manuel had the skills to be a starter

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Buffalo’s decision to bench quarterback EJ Manuel for Kyle Orton could make the team better.  But it invites more scrutiny by new ownership of the decision to use a first-round pick on Manuel in the first place.

As explained by Adam Schefter of ESPN, Florida State coach Jimbo Fisher told NFL teams that he didn’t believe Manuel possessed the skills to be a successful starting quarterback in the NFL.

While Fisher deserves credit for his candor — candor that could be used against him by other college coaches in recruiting — the question becomes why the Bills ignored what Fisher had to say.  Buffalo apparently saw something that Fisher didn’t, and whatever Manuel may have will remain under wraps, for now.

Given that Alex Smith was available for what ultimately became a pair of second-round picks, the Bills clearly got this one wrong, and Terry and Kim Pegula surely will have a hard time overlooking that fact when deciding whether to bring the coach and G.M. back for 2015.

19 responses to “Report: College coach didn’t think EJ Manuel had the skills to be a starter

  1. Fisher can’t even control the players on his team. What expertise does he have in determining what pro QB qualifications are? Zero, oh that’s right.

  2. reminds me of the Jets trading up to get the Sanchize too even when the coach told everyone that he wasnt ready.

    weird that the same coach has a SB trophy and Rex only has a cheap tattoo to show for it

  3. who keeps leaking this negative crap? gotta be someone in bills organization.some kinda power struggle.Whaley,for the most part has done a great job.Traded for jerry hugs,drafted Kiko,robert woods grabbed spikes on a 1yr show me deal.cant keep changing GM’s every 3yrs and expect to win.Would love for whoever is doing this media leaking 2 get exposed and fired/blackballed

  4. Between the first round pick they blew on Manuel and the two first round picks they gave up for Sammy Watkins , the Bills should have a few holes in their lineup for the foreseeable future.

  5. Given that Alex Smith is an individual with free will, why is it a given that he would choose to play for the Bills instead of the Chefs?

    Manuel was the best option in a bad draft year for QB’s, and was never thought of as anything other than a work in progress, riding the bench behind Kevin Kolb for a year.

    Geno Smith isn’t exactly proving them wrong, either.

  6. I was stunned that any NFL team would burn a first on Manuel (it was like the 16th pick or something like that). I was further stunned that Manuel was hand-picked over every other QB in the draft.

  7. The article states that Fisher told “NFL teams” that Manuel didn’t have the skills. To me that doesn’t necessarily mean that someone in the Bills organization said anything. What would be the point now? There are potentially 31 other culprits.

  8. Anyone who knows the program is aware that Jimbo was disappointed in how little EJ grew in his time in the system there. He doesn’t anticipate routes well, he doesn’t throw the deep ball well, he has horrible pocket presence, bad accuracy, and he was never comfortable throwing down the middle of the field at FSU, something both Jameis Winston and Christian Ponder got in their time in the system. He just hit a wall there, and never got over it. Any FSU fan (or just looking at the game tape, duh) could have told you all of this without Jimbo having to state the obvious.

  9. The draft is always a crap shoot – heck, there have been MANY QBs taken higher than him who crapped out in a worse way – and Manuel’s career isn’t exactly over

    But I’ll give the Bills credit for recognizing a mistake and correcting it.

    Other coaches/GMs would allow the team to continue to falter rather than admit there is a better player left sitting on the bench. All GMs make mistakes – the best of them just are more willing to admit it and adjust the roster accordingly.

  10. “While Fisher deserves credit for his candor — candor that could be used against him by other college coaches in recruiting”

    Not quite. Jimbo can now out recruit the other coaches by telling the prospects they have the skills to play in the NFL.

    What a brilliant coach!

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