EJ Manuel QB BUF 1 month ago

Manuel heads into the break until training camp with some nice momentum in the three-man quarterback race, BuffaloBills.com reports. Said coach Rex Ryan, "He has had some moments. I thought EJ did well, he threw the touchdown pass in the two minute. Kind of looked a little watered down there on defense, but it was good. It was great to see. He looked pretty good and he had some nice plays."

No one will doubt Manuel's athletic tools and big arm, but if he prove he can run Greg Roman's offense and look savvy running the two-minute drill while taking a step in his footwork, decision-making, and accuracy, he may enter training camp with a slight leg up on Matt Cassel and Tyrod Taylor. Manuel reportedly looked strong in almost all areas through this week's OTA practices.

EJ Manuel QB BUF 2 months ago

Manuel gained 8-to-10 pounds in the offseason, The Buffalo News reports.

Manuel thinks some added muscle will help with durability, and he isn't too concerned about losing any speed. The Bills have an open QB competition that also includes Matt Cassel and Tyrod Taylor, with Taylor the underdog among the three. The Bills finally have an impressive collection of skill-position talent surrounding their quarterbacks, but the offensive line looks shaky.

EJ Manuel QB BUF 2 months ago

Both Manuel and Matt Cassel took snaps with the starting offense at Tuesday's organized team activities, The Buffalo News reports. Coach Rex Ryan did have some nice things to say about Manuel: "The thing that stands out to me, it appears that EJ is getting a pretty good grasp of this system. He's believing in what he's seeing and he's letting it rip ... know what you're seeing, believe in it, be right and pull the trigger. Let it fly. And I think that's what we're trying to do with all of these quarterbacks. It seems like it was pretty sharp."

With a number of NFL teams, you can look at snap counts during OTAs to determine who's ahead in the position races. However, the Bills are using a concept where they run two offenses huddling simultaneously on separate fields, then depend more on film later. The team did say Tyrod Taylor would get some looks with the starters this week as well, though it does seem clear that Manuel and Cassel are the two frontrunners.

EJ Manuel QB BUF 3 months ago

The Bills did not draft another quarterback, nor have they brought another one in after signing a handful of undrafted free agents Monday. That leaves the main competition for the starting job between Manuel and Matt Cassel, with Tyrod Taylor and Jeff Tuel seemingly looking like longer shots to compete.

For what it's worth, the Bills drafted two Florida State skill position players, which should give Manuel some more familiarity on offense as he tries to show he's progressed from an up-and-down first two seasons. Right now, we consider things close to a neck-and-neck race between the top two guys, each of whom brings vastly different offerings to Rex Ryan's new table. At least there's not another young fresh face added to the mix, one that may have gotten a number of followers off the Manuel bandwagon, a vehicle not as popular as it once was.

EJ Manuel QB BUF 4 months 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.

EJ Manuel QB BUF 4 months ago

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.

EJ Manuel QB BUF 5 months ago

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.

EJ Manuel QB BUF 5 months ago

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.

EJ Manuel QB BUF 7 months ago

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.

EJ Manuel QB BUF 7 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.