E.J. Manuel starts slow, finishes strong at scrimmage


With Kevin Kolb away from the team after a death in the family, E.J. Manuel had a big opportunity to make his case for the starting quarterback job at Monday’s Bills scrimmage.

The effort didn’t get off to a great start. Marc Dovi of the Rochester Democrat and Chronicle reports that Manuel overthrew some passes, miscommunicated with receivers on others and threw a pair of interceptions in the early stages of the scrimmage while third-stringer Jeff Tuel was driving for three scores in three tries. Manuel’s play perked up as the scrimmage went on, though, and coach Doug Marrone was pleased with how the rookie bounced back.

“What I like about E.J. is he doesn’t make the same mistake twice,” Marrone said. “That’s encouraging and we’re happy to see that. I was pleased how he bounced back from the interception early on and his demeanor in coming back each series. The defense was getting after him and he showed me he can handle it. He looked good in that two-minute drill.”

While he surely would have preferred to have avoided the early struggles, Manuel likely helped himself quite a bit on Monday. Getting all the snaps in a scrimmage is a great learning experience, while the ability to rebound from mistakes is an important trait for a rookie trying to show his coaches that he’ll be able to roll through the inevitable rough spots.

One scrimmage won’t be enough for Manuel to win the job, but it can set some important groundwork that he can build on in the preseason. It sounds like Manuel accomplished that on Monday.

16 responses to “E.J. Manuel starts slow, finishes strong at scrimmage

  1. wouldn’t expect manuel to be perfect right out of the gate. He will continue to learn and understand the game game more and he will be just fine

  2. Once Manuel gets a few games under his belt, he’ll be much more comfortable. The transition from the college ranks to the pro’s has to be rough. Players are stronger, faster, and much smarter. Right now he is getting his first taste. After a few more bites, It won’t be so bad.

    As for Tuel, I’m thinking he might just have what it takes to catch on to the 53 man roster. Washington state has produced a few good QB’s in its past: Drew Bledsoe, the Throwin’ Samoan Jack Thompson and Ryan Leaf. With the progress that he has shown and the repeat injuries to Kolb, his chances look better and better each day.

  3. Even with his early struggles, he should clearly be the starter in Buffalo…..I like Kolb, liked him in Philly but I think he has peaked talent, and chances wise…..Didn’t cement himself in Philly, sucked pretty bad in Arizona so why is he listed as the favorite?…..

    Look at Seattle and take a page from them…..Start the rookie and keep Kolb as a viable backup and watch your team rally and have success……

  4. I have no reason to disagree that bills fans can be optimistic with him. But if Geno Smith had that type of game, there would be 25 comments on how he sticks and the Jets are doomed. The selective treatment between the two is a funny narrative. We’ll see in a few years.

  5. Calm down…remember this is the AFC L east. Did you see the Dolphins the other day. The Patriots..I mean a slightly above average team with a slighlty above average QB can easily win that division.

  6. Get ready to have your hopes and dreams crushed Bills fans.
    It’s like this every year before the season starts – “This year will be different”, “There’s a new attitude in Buffalo” and so on. Just to be extra cruel, sometimes the Bills will actually win some of their first few games before they implode.
    But, in the end, it’s going to happen – it’s like the NFL’s version of Old Faithful. You can almost set your watch by it.
    They’s be lucky to finish 5-12.

  7. nyhealingpoints: very well said..the bills have been in the cellar for 13 years, yet these guys still talk and talk. unbeleivable. that goes especially for guys like coltswin!,who joke all day about the Jets, yet is silent about the massive beatdown they put on the colts last year..LMAO..

  8. The reason there is more optimism with Manuel then Geno Smith is the supporting cast..the Bills have a solid o-line a strong running game a good TE and good young receivers as well as a proven possession receiver in Stevie.
    The Jets have a bunch of average RBs and no viable receiving options besides Holmes.
    Realistically I don’t see either team as playoff caliber. The reason the Jets have a circus atmosphere and why so many people comment about the mess in NY is because is your coach has a big mouth,not just because everyone hates the Jets.

  9. jpaq68

    Good one! That comment about Buffalo going 5-12 would’ve made sense if the Bills actually PLAYED 17 GAMES. Even my 5 year old nephew knows how many games a team plays in the regular season. You need to sit down and be quiet because your embarrassing yourself! Lol!!!

  10. That’s right defend our team to the death! We here in B-Lo have more to be optimistic about then we have in years!

  11. I was at camp last night. Ej was brutal. Tuell made it work with what he had to work with. I came in with high hopes for ej but our eyes don’t lie. He needs reps reps and reps. What’s crazy is Jeff came in and made a bunch of plays with similar goodies also ej rebounded when they for some reason through Fred Jackson in and he ran for a huge run. Hopefully ej makes it happen.

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