E. J. Manuel QB BUF 2 weeks ago

Manuel is expected to compete with three other quarterbacks in what the team is calling an open quarterback competition, BuffaloBills.com" reports. Said coordinator Greg Roman on Monday, "I think all four are doing a very nice job in our meetings and in communicating ... everyone will have a chance to work with the first team and everybody's going to have ample opportunity to put their best foot forward. When we start evaluating then we'll start to play around with things a little bit, who's with the first team the one day, and the next day, and so forth. We'll have a good feel for it as we go."

This might be just some rah-rah talk from a new coaching staff, as Tyrod Taylor would have to make a great impression to be in the starting mix and Jeff Tuel perhaps an even bigger one. More likely, the true competition is between Manuel and Matt Cassel. The real takeaway from all the offseason talk is that the Bills have made no indication Manuel is in any way going to be handed the job, and some feel it might even be an even race between him and the veteran Cassel.

E. J. Manuel QB BUF 1 month ago2 Comments

Coach Rex Ryan said on WGR Radio 550 on Friday that it will be an open competition between Manuel and the other Buffalo quarterbacks, BuffaloBills.com reports. Said the new coach. "It's a competition and whoever earns the job will be the guy that's out there. We have some talented guys and we'll see what happens. You bring in a veteran like Matt Cassel. He's done some pretty good things in this league. He's got that veteran presence about him. With EJ back there just going into his third year I really believe EJ is going to improve with his fundamentals having (quarterbacks coach) David Lee here. I love the fact that he's a gym rat and he's smart. With our offense being multiple we'll be able to get out of bad plays, so the mental part of it all of the quarterbacks we have should be able to handle that."

The Bills also have Tyrod Taylor and Jeff Tuel in the mix, plus they might bring in one more guy, but presumably the real competition will be between Manuel and veteran Matt Cassel, whom the Bills just traded for. While neither player is the next coming of Jim Kelly or anywhere close, this will possibly be the biggest tossup in the league this summer as far as starting quarterbacks go.

E. J. Manuel QB BUF 2 months ago1 Comment

Matt Cassel (foot) has been traded to the Bills from the Vikings. The teams have also exchanged undisclosed draft choices as part of the deal, which will become official next week. Cassel, Manuel, and Jeff Tuel are currently the team's three quarterbacks ahead of free agency.

The Bills could still bring in one more guy to create an all-out competition, as this is a new coaching regime not married to Manuel. That said, Cassel isn't exactly in the same caliber of Jay Cutler or someone with more of a resume, so Manuel might still be considered the top guy once camp rolls around. And there's some promise as Manuel picks up more experience and has a good QB coach in David Lee. Still, it doesn't sound like new coach Rex Ryan is simply going to hand Manuel the job, and this could end up being a pretty fierce competition all summer.

E. J. Manuel QB BUF 2 months ago10 Comments

Coach Rex Ryan emphasized Wednesday that he'll continue to look to beef up the quarterback spot this offseason, BuffaloBills.com reports. Said Ryan, "I think in an ideal world you'd have a veteran quarterback with a young quarterback. I don't think there's any doubt about that, whether it's a young guy starting with a veteran backup or vice versa. We'll see how it shakes out." Currently, Manuel and Jeff Tuel are the only quarterbacks on the roster.Since taking the job last month, Ryan has yet to give Manuel anything close to a ringing endorsement. That says, the young quarterback will have every chance to win the job, and it's not like there's anyone available that would be a no-doubt improvement over what the Bills hope is an improved Manuel, unless the team made a play for a Jay Cutler or Sam Bradford. Josh McCown is a possibility, but him and most other options would probably just make for a summer competition, and if Manuel has made some strides he might even be considered the favorite. Although his production hasn't matched his first-round status yet, Manuel will at least get a fresh start, and coordinator Greg Roman and quarterbacks coach David Lee have been known to get a good measure of improvement out of players.

E. J. Manuel QB BUF 3 months ago7 Comments

New coach Rex Ryan called the quarterback situation "unresolved" at Wednesday' press conference while saying the team would consider bringing Mark Sanchez into the mix, BuffaloBills.com reports.

We still think Manuel has some potential with his big arm and some of the skills he showed at Florida State, and Ryan did mention he'd like to see him use his legs in the run game more next season. But we also have to face facts, and Manuel has dropped several pegs since being a first-rounder in 2013. At best, he'll have to fight for the starting job. Even if he wins it, and he'll have every chance to earn it, also remember he'll be playing for a head coach and offensive coordinator (Greg Roman) who both always end up near the top in run/pass ratio. In a city that gets a lot of bad throwing weather to boot.

E. J. Manuel QB BUF 4 months ago

Manuel's teammate Kyle Orton announced Monday that he's going to retire.

And the door opens for Manuel again for retake his role as the starting QB. Much of this depends on what the Bills decide to do with the team brass this offseason. The franchise has a new owner, and while coach Doug Marrone's job appears to be safe following the team's first winning record since 2004, the GM and other front office personnel may not be so locked in. (Part of that is due to the team taking Manuel as a first-round pick in 2013.) Either way, you can bet the team will bring in a veteran or a high draft pick to at least compete with Manuel. If it was a Sam Bradford or even a Jay Cutler (egads) type, Manuel may have a tough row to hoe. But the Bills said he did nothing but fantastic practice work while showing improvement after losing his job to Orton, so the chances are also good they make Manuel the starter for one more year and have a young replacement ready to roll if it doesn't work out. Manuel finished his second season with just 131 pass attempts and a 5:3 TD:INT ratio, but his decision-making looked skittish most of the time. But again, that's where the Bills say he's started to show marked improvement, albeit in non-game situations.

E. J. Manuel QB BUF 7 months ago7 Comments

Coach Doug Marrone announced Monday that Manuel's teammate Kyle Orton will start Week 5 against the Lions.

Manuel still will be given chances to prove he's the long-term answer in Buffalo, but he just hasn't been getting the job done through four weeks. In the Bills' two wins, he performed just well enough that stronger units pushed them to a nice 2-0 start, and in the last two he's become too reliant on check-downs while simply not connecting on the plays a quarterback needs to rally his team after someone on defense makes a big play. In fact, with an even slightly above average quarterback, the Bills would likely be 3-1 and maybe 4-0. The journeyman Orton faces a tough challenge in Detroit as well as with some other defenses along the way, so this decision is far from being cemented for more than the next few weeks.

E. J. Manuel QB BUF 7 months ago

Manuel (abdomen) completed 21-of-44 passes for 225 yards with two touchdowns and two interceptions Sunday against the Texans. He also added three rushing yards on one carry.

While his receivers dropped a few passes, Manuel struggled for the most part with the Texans constantly causing pressure in the backfield and forcing Manuel into a career-high 44 passing attempts, of which he failed even complete even half. He threw a five-yard touchdown pass to rookie wideout Sammy Watkins in the second quarter, but didn't get his next touchdown until an 80-yard pass to Mike Williams in the fourth quarter. Removing Williams' touchdown, Manuel averaged just 3.37 YPA, a dismal number with the receiving options at his disposal. The struggles will only make the calls for a quarterback change louder, though it doesn't appear to be a serious option at this point. Up next is a trip to Detroit to face a Lions defense that held Jets quarterback Geno Smith to 209 passing yards in Week 4.

E. J. Manuel QB BUF 7 months ago

Manuel (abdomen) is active Sunday in Houston, Joe Buscaglia of WGR 550 reports.

The Texans have held opposing quarterbacks Robert Griffin (ankle), Derek Carr, and Eli Manning in check, but Manuel has tossed one touchdown and exactly four 20-plus yard passes per game this season, indicating a decent outing is attainable.

E. J. Manuel QB BUF 7 months ago

Manuel (abdominal) participated on a full basis Friday and is listed as probable for Sunday's game in Houston, ESPN's Mike Rodak reports.

This was never a worry, as Manuel will keep trying to prove he's the long-term answer for the Bills at quarterback when they take on the Texans this week in a battle of somewhat surprising 2-1 teams.