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.