E. J. Manuel QB BUF 24 Days1 Comment

Bills coach Doug Marrone stated at the league meetings Tuesday that E.J. Manuel (knee surgeries) will be ready for all offseason workouts.

It's good news for Manuel, who wasn't ready to play in the NFL as a rookie and additionally suffered three separate knee injuries, two requiring surgery. He was outplayed by Thad Lewis. We're still surprised the Bills were so quiet on the free agent quarterback market. They arguably have a playoff-ready roster at every position save signal caller, right tackle, and free safety.

E. J. Manuel QB BUF 2 Months3 Comments

ESPN's Louis Riddick calls the Bills' quarterback situation "one I could see going off the rails in a bad way very quickly."

Riddick is an avid game-tape watcher and has quickly become one of our favorite football analysts. He believes there are "not many excuses left for Buffalo to not start seriously contending in their division." It's true that the Bills have pieces in place to be an AFC East contender, particularly on defense and in the run game. E.J. Manuel played nearly as poorly as a rookie as Geno Smith, but hasn't received half as much criticism because E.J. plays in a far smaller market. Manuel will have to improve in a major way in 2014 to prevent GM Doug Whaley from going back to the drafting board at quarterback.

E. J. Manuel QB BUF 3 Months

E.J. Manuel (left knee scope) plans to wear a brace in 2014.

"I'll probably have to wear a brace from here on out," Manuel said Thursday. "When you have some defenders come down on you, you don't want to have to risk getting whatever type of knee injury. I'll have a brace, but it won't inhibit me still being able to take off and run." Manuel mentioned Andrew Luck and Peyton Manning as players who wear braces, but left out Robert Griffin III. RGIII's brace appeared to inhibit him at times in 2013. Manuel needs to do whatever he can to avoid further knee injuries, but wearing a brace is never ideal.

E. J. Manuel QB BUF 3 Months

E.J. Manuel underwent a clean-up procedure on his left knee earlier this month.

The "in-and-out" operation is related to the "minor" knee sprain Manuel suffered in Week 15. Speaking after Week 17, Manuel claimed he was unsure if he'd go under the knife, saying only "physical therapy and strength training" were planned. However, it sounds like the surgery was performed shortly after the season ended. Manuel appears well on track to be ready for the Bills' offseason program, but has now undergone two left-knee procedures since August. He suffered three knee injuries as a rookie. It's definitely a concern for a player who was shaky, at best, as the Bills' starting quarterback. Manuel can't afford to miss any practice reps ahead of 2014.

E. J. Manuel QB BUF 3 Months

Bills coach Doug Marrone plans to hire a quarterbacks coach this offseason.

The 2013 Bills made the rare decision to have no QBs coach on staff despite a rookie quarterback, letting rookie OC Nathaniel Hackett double down on the job. "Having just Nathaniel was a very difficult situation, one that we didn't foresee," admitted Marrone. "But it was the situation we were in." Manuel's position coach-less rookie year had more worrisome than promising moments. We're skeptical Manuel will make a major statistical leap in 2014.

E. J. Manuel QB BUF 3 Months1 Comment

Bills coach Doug Marrone plans to expand his team's usage of the passing game in 2014.

Buffalo finished the season 24th in pass attempts and first in rushes, but ranked 22nd in points scored. "We would like to be able to take more shots, throw it more on first down and become more productive from the standpoint of scoring," said Marrone. "Make no mistake, you have to have a better ratio than what we had." The Bills will simultaneously hope overmatched rookie E.J. Manuel is up to the task. He suffered three separate knee injuries in 2013.

E. J. Manuel QB BUF 4 Months

At their season-ending pressers Monday, both coach Doug Marrone and GM Doug Whaley threw support behind E.J. Manuel as the Bills' 2014 starter.

"Absolutely," was Whaley's answer. Buffalo made Manuel the 16th pick in April's draft. He went on to suffer three separate knee injuries as a rookie, missing six games and finishing with an 11:9 TD-to-INT ratio. Manuel's skill set reminds of Jake Locker. He is athletic and flashes big-time tools in doses, but has a long way to go as a pocket passer and is ultimately a project.

E. J. Manuel QB BUF 4 Months1 Comment

E.J. Manuel "isn't sure yet" if his most recent knee injury will require surgery.

According to Manuel, all he has planned for now is "physical therapy and strength training." A new operation would be Manuel's second since being the No. 16 overall pick of last April's draft. It's definitely an issue. If Manuel goes under the knife, it would be a major setback were he not ready for OTAs. Few players need a full offseason program more than Buffalo's shaky rookie signal caller.

E. J. Manuel QB BUF 4 Months

E.J. Manuel (knee) has been ruled out for Week 17 against the Patriots, and Thad Lewis will make his fifth start of the season.

Coach Doug Marrone said Manuel didn't progress as much as the team had initially expected him to, so Lewis will start again this week. Lewis completed 15-of-25 passes for 193 yards, one touchdown, and one interception in last week's 19-0 win over the Dolphins. He's not a fantasy option. Manuel has now suffered three knee injuries since being drafted. He should be ready for OTAs.

E. J. Manuel QB BUF 4 Months

E.J. Manuel (knee) is practicing Thursday.

Manuel appears on track to start Sunday's season finale, but it's worth noting that Thad Lewis was getting the initial first-team reps Thursday. We'll know more after coach Doug Marrone addresses the media.