Bills First Round Draft pick EJ Manuel seems to have been destined for the NFL from an early age. In fact, his high school football coach, Darnell Moore, says he knew Manuel was headed to the NFL back in the eighth grade.
The recently retired Bayside High School (Virginia Beach, Va.) was a guest on The John Murphy Show and talked about developing Manuel as a quarterback in high school. Coach Moore says he prevented Manuel from running an option offense in his first two years in high school, in an effort to encourage him to become a pocket passer.
“His first two years, it was somewhat of a tight leash,” Moore said. “We wanted to make sure he wasn’t viewed as just an athlete. I wanted people to look at him as a quarterback, who was an excellent athlete, not just an athlete playing quarterback. We wanted to make sure he got the techniques down so that he could be a pocket passer.”
Coach Moore insists he saw NFL potential in Manuel when he was just 13-years old. But he was concerned that Manuel might be typecast as a running quarterback.
“I felt like that if he was going to have an opportunity to play in the league, he needed to be a drop back passer first,” Moore said on the radio show. “And then those other things would come into play. So often, you get African American kids who play quarterback and people just view them as runners and not very good passers. I didn’t want him viewed as that. I wanted him to be viewed as a drop back passer who could get out of trouble and make things happen.”
The entire interview with Coach Darnell Moore is available here
Tags: Darnell Moore, EJ Manuel, The John Murphy Show
Posted in Inside the Bills