Inside The Bills

Fred: EJ benefited from time on sidelines in ’14

Posted by Chris Brown on July 23, 2015 – 11:35 am

EJ Manuel would prefer not to talk about his play. He’d prefer to let his play do the talking. That’s why he only gave a couple of offseason interviews during the OTAs and minicamp this past spring. Manuel has set about improving his game in several areas as he has before, but his teammates claim there has been a noticeable difference. Perhaps even more telling is teammates believe he benefited from the setback he professionally navigated last season when he was demoted to backup quarterback behind the now retired Kyle Orton.

“I think having to sit back and watch and learn from a veteran last year he knows how to approach the playbook this year,” said Fred Jackson. “He knows what he’s doing. A guy that’s physically gifted and can make all the throws and when he needs to he can pull the ball down and run with it.”

Most outside observers felt Manuel had a slight edge on Tyrod Taylor and Matt Cassel coming out of minicamp. Now with training camp starting up next week the final stage of the evaluation process will take place.


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Fan Friday 7-10

Posted by Chris Brown on July 10, 2015 – 12:14 pm

Our training camp countdown is on! Here’s your latest round of questions on email at AskChris@bills.nfl.net and on Twitter at @ChrisBrownBills.

1 – Chris,

My question to you is lately the Bills have brought in guys i.e. Wayne Hunter, Matthew Mulligan to add to our depth. In your opinion do these guys have a chance to make the team or are they just filling positions because we are running basically two teams in practice now.

I know Rex likes his ex-players and both have a history with him. It appears Seantrel Henderson is losing ground on his position and is it possible that Hunter was signed because the coaches don’t like what they see in Henderson?

Also we cut Lee Smith who was basically a blocking tight end and now we bring in Matthew Mulligan essentially the same type player is there a concern that the tight ends on the roster outside of Charles Clay can block effectively? We have had Chris Gragg the last few years and he has not impressed as either a receiving or blocking tight end.   Would love to hear your thoughts and again thanks for all you do for us!!! Let’s Go Buffalo!!!!

Donald F.

CB: The signings of Hunter and Mulligan are for very specific roles. Not leading roles mind you, but roles where Rex Ryan wants a veteran player he feels he can trust. Hunter is a player who struggled as a full-time starting right tackle in his last season with the Jets, but as a jack-of-all-trades role player in 2009 and 2010 for the Jets, Hunter excelled as a swing tackle (first off bench in event of injury), a blocking tight end in jumbo and short yardage packages and even as a defensive tackle in goal line formations.

Mulligan will serve in a blocking capacity as well. So you know Lee Smith wasn’t cut. He was a free agent and got big money from Oakland. Buffalo wasn’t going to pay Smith upwards of $3M a year. Mulligan is a reliable veteran blocker and is a much better value.

 

2 – Hey Chris,

I watched your 1 on 1 interview with Greg Roman and I found it interesting when he said that whichever QB is in there on game day will be the franchise QB in his opinion.  I was curious of your reaction and thoughts to that?  That’s a pretty bold statement.  Do you think that one of these 3 guys just may have shown something in OTA’s and minicamp for him to say that?   I also thought maybe he just meant that when one of these guys shows he can understand and fully command Romans offense then it means he is Romans “franchise guy”?   Whatever it means I am very confident in Roman and whoever he chooses to be the guy.

Go Bills!
Jillian

CB: I didn’t interpret Roman’s comment as an indication that one of the three QBs showed him franchise QB ability. If that was the case the guy would be the starter already.

I think he was simply saying when one of the QBs separates himself from the others that he will be the franchise guy because he’ll be the starter. That being said, depending on that QB’s performance who the starter is could be subject to change. Let’s just hope whoever wins the job performs well enough and consistently enough to hold the job for the whole season.

 

3 – Hey Chris

Want to start off by saying thanks for the great work you put in.  Keeping us all updated on the team for us not in the Buffalo area.

My first question is about EJ.  I can’t say I was a big fan of us drafting him first round overall. That being said I think he is working hard.  I would like to see him get a real shoot this year. I know this is an all in season for the bills. With all the free agent adds. So I get why they are trying to have so much competition but I feel he needs to get a full season in. He wasn’t that bad last year.  Don’t get me wrong he wasn’t that good either.

I feel with all the competition going on can be a bad thing as well. I feel whoever wins the job we need to stick with regardless and not switch guys after a few bad games. The whole team gets hurt this way since none of the QBs are the same style.

My second question is about Fred Jackson.  They keep talking about cutting him. I think that would be the dumbest moves we make this year. I think he works hard and he makes plays but more importantly he is a captain and a leader.  I think we need that more than anything with all these high profiled playmakers on the offense side of the ball.  I think he might be our best shot of these guys playing as a team.

CB: As I stated in the above answer the ideal situation is that the QB who wins the starting role holds onto it the whole season. That means he’ll be performing consistently and effectively and that’s good for the offense. You’re right there are contrasting styles between the three, so keeping that position consistent with the same person helps the other 10 players on offense.

As for Fred Jackson, I think the things working in his favor more than anything else are his leadership and his pass protection. LeSean McCoy might be the only back on this roster who knows how to pass protect as well as him. If you can’t trust a guy to pick up blitzes and make pre-snap adjustments to be in position to protect your QB, you can’t put that guy on the field.

The offensive coaches can trust Fred. I think the only thing that puts his job in jeopardy is if he struggles to get through camp and perhaps looks a step slow. Knowing how well he takes care of his body I don’t see that happening.

 

4 – @ChrisBrownBills

With an unsure O-line (although I think they will surprise us) isn’t Tyrod Taylor the smart choice? #bills #ScrambleFactor

Dustypractor

CB: I think your premise is a bit of an oversimplification. Offensive coaches will base their starting QB decision on a myriad of factors that will go far beyond the protection capabilities of the men up front. I think the offensive line’s pass protection would have to represent a jail break on every pass play in the preseason to move this kind of factor high enough on the priority list in why they choose one QB over another.

 

5 – Hey Chris,
Thank you for keeping us Bills fans well informed, you are doing a great job, keep up the good work.

Now my question may be the same old song, but as fans it is very important to us; The Quarterback Position. With the three QBs splitting reps with the first team, does that give enough time for the #1 guy to develop a relationship with the WRs, TEs, and the backfield?

Also since none of them have set themselves apart from the others, does that mean that the coaches aren’t pleased with any of them or are all 3 looking that good? Everyone hoped that Matt Cassel would come in and at least get it done for this year. Since he does not have a contract extension yet, is that saying anything about how he is doing? Thank you
Ken
Lancaster, NY

CB: Your first question is a valid concern. Rex Ryan has said that he will take as long as he needs to pick the right guy. I don’t question for a second that picking the right guy is the most important factor in all of this. A close second however, is making a decision that leaves enough time to get that starter ready for the regular season.

With all three splitting reps it inadvertently compromises the on field chemistry between the QB and the 10 other starters on offense. After witnessing Kyle Orton step right in last year with no preseason or training camp snaps perhaps it’s not as big a deal as some might think.

But with a new offensive system as varied as Greg Roman’s, deciding on a starter with a preseason game or two left on the schedule would be ideal because it should afford the starter enough time to get fully in tune with the rest of the starting unit.


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QBs not surprised competition is tight

Posted by Chris Brown on June 16, 2015 – 5:54 pm

All three of Buffalo’s quarterbacks in the competition for the starting job had their moments on Tuesday, but head coach Rex Ryan said he’s not expecting true separation until training camp.

“There’s not going to be any separation until the pads come on,” said Ryan. “It’s not going to be won until we get to playing real football. I think the number one thing is to pick the right guy. Is time on our side a little bit? Yes it is. In an ideal world, would you rather have your quarterback named by now? Yeah. That’s an ideal situation. But you know what — we’re not there.  We’re in an ideal situation to have competition at that spot and I welcome it.”

Ryan’s comments that the competition figures to stretch well into training camp is anything but surprising to Buffalo’s signal callers. They figured the offensive staff would wait until real football when more realistic decision making becomes part of the competition.

“I figured that’s what it kind of would be anyway just by the way we’ve been rotating in OTAs and in minicamp,” said EJ Manuel. “It is what it is. I think the way you have to go into this thing is do your best with the reps that you get and at the end of the day they’ll make the decision that’s best for the team.”

When asked if he felt the competition was close Manuel simply sees all three QBs in the competition faring well.

“I think we’re all doing a good job,” he said. “Everybody is being very sharp and picking up the offense like coach Roman wants us to do pretty quickly. When you’re playing against good competition in the league that’s how it is so it’s the little small things that will separate all of us.”


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Roman dismisses speculation on EJ

Posted by Chris Brown on May 19, 2015 – 2:59 pm

Bills offensive coordinator Greg Roman has heard the widespread speculation, which was soon taken as fact in cyberspace Monday, that EJ Manuel isn’t long for Buffalo’s roster if he doesn’t show marked improvement this season. Roman dismissed the contention as just that, speculation.

“Speculation is the key word there. I don’t ever remember saying that,” said Roman. “And that’s the furthest thing from the truth. He’s busting his hump every day and doing a very good job. There’s a lot of clay to mold there. Whatever people are talking about, I don’t know where that’s coming from.  The answer is no. He’s doing a good job.”

Roman maintained that the quarterback competition will be a three-man race between Manuel, Matt Cassel and Tyrod Taylor.


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How QB competition is progressing

Posted by Chris Brown on May 19, 2015 – 9:43 am

The Bills have a quarterback competition that has already begun in earnest even though the team’s first set of OTA practices is still more than a week away. Here’s how things have been working in their sessions on the field knowing that the offense cannot have any opposition working against them.

In an appearance on Bills flagship station WGR Sportsradio 550, Ryan explained how they’re running two offenses at the same time at opposite ends of the field and how Matt Cassel, EJ Manuel and Tyrod Taylor are all rotating through with the first team offense.

“How we run things, we have a two spot drill going on at all times, so we’ve got two offenses going,” said Ryan. “What we do, because in this phase two you can’t have any type of opposition, we actually put lines on the field, like a big ‘V’ showing the defensive line and the linebackers and all that. And we get our plays in and we move it from the hash to the middle, left hash, right hash, all the way down the field. It is sharp with guys communicating and things like that. So there you can definitely get a feel for who these guys are and I’ve been impressed by all the quarterbacks. As far as the true evaluating that’s going to come in training camp and snapping the ball for real.”

With respect to the competition, Ryan insists it’s a legitimate three-way battle.

“Three guys for sure will be getting shots with the ones,” he said. “We’ve been doing it each day. Let’s say the first offense is running out there and it’s Matt Cassel the first day, then it’s EJ, then it’s Tyrod. All three are getting opportunities to lead and to be with that first group. It’s not like we’re going to just throw Matt Cassel in there every day or EJ every day. Tyrod is getting as many shots with the ones as the other two.”


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Jim Kelly talks Bills QBs

Posted by Chris Brown on May 18, 2015 – 9:38 pm

In an appearance on NFL Network Bills Hall of Fame QB Jim Kelly was asked about EJ Manuel’s future and the quarterback situation heading into OTAs. 

When asked specifically about Manuel’s future he’s optimistic for Manuel, but knows it’s put up time

“I think that with the new offensive system Greg Roman brings from San Francisco, I think it might be something that EJ needs,” said Kelly. “He’s a good kid. I’ve heard him talk to the players, I’ve heard what type of leader he is. He has it all. But he knows he has to get it done on the field. 


“Now he has competition with Matt Cassel coming in who has a very, very strong arm. It’s a new system for both of them, it’s a learning experience for both of them. We’ll see what happens. But that is one key position. I don’t care if you’re Vince Lombardi, Don Shula, whoever it may be, if you don’t have a guy under center that can get the job done week in and week out, you’re not going anywhere. So I wish one of those two step up and rise and be the quarterback we need them to be.”


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Manuel calls Bills offense “sweet”

Posted by Chris Brown on May 13, 2015 – 9:38 am

It’s understandable when a quarterback openly accepts a new offensive scheme that comes in the door with a new coaching staff, but in an interview on Bills flagship station WGR Sportsradio 550, you could hear EJ Manuel’s enthusiasm for offensive coordinator Greg Roman’s scheme.

“I just think the dynamics that we have and the personnel that we have, you look at the receivers, running backs and the tight ends we have at the skill positions and the O-linemen getting better, getting stronger, getting nastier,” said Manuel. “But with the shifts and motions and the things we’ll do to mix it up for a defense is going to be really good. Instead of just being vanilla we’ll have a whole lot of different looks for opponents to prepare for.”

Manuel did not elaborate as to whether his vanilla comment was in reference to the team’s previous offensive system, but Roman’s is known to be diametrically opposed to the offensive system the team ran in the past. That plus the big play weapons that litter Buffalo’s offensive roster have Manuel encouraged about the possibilities this season.

“I think all these guys add big play ability,” Manuel said of the skill position personnel. “Charles (Clay) is one of the guys who every time we played the Dolphins he was making big plays. Shady McCoy is if not the best running back in the league he adds a great dimension running the ball and we’ve still got Fred (Jackson) and Boobie (Dixon) and you add Karlos Williams to the mix and then Bryce. The receiver room just looks crazy. Those guys as far as the speed we have on the outside, the reverse game, the vertical game is going to be great.”

Of course Manuel has to win the starting QB job this offseason if he is to be a weekly part of the Bills seemingly high-powered attack.

 

 


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Bills will provide single voice for EJ

Posted by Chris Brown on May 13, 2015 – 9:15 am

It was widely believed that last season there were too many coaches in EJ Manuel’s ear giving instructions and coaching points that were not consistent leading to mixed messages. It proved to play a factor in Manuel’s performance last season, though Manuel himself has faulted his throwing motion for accuracy problems last season. Accuracy problems he has since corrected through offseason work with Steve DeBerg. The good news is Buffalo’s new coaching staff sounds committed to providing Manuel with a singular voice from the coaches.

In an interview on Bills flagship station WGR Sportsradio 550, Manuel said Rex Ryan’s offensive staff will not subscribe to group instruction when it comes to the quarterback position.

“I know (offensive coordinator) (Greg) Roman allows (quarterbacks) coach (David) Lee to coach,” said Manuel. “That’s the cool part about ‘G-Ro’ is he is going to let his position coaches coach. I’ve even heard him say that. We were critiquing a thing with the receivers where we were wondering, ‘Hey, maybe the receiver should’ve broken that route here.’ And he said, ‘No, don’t worry about that, (receivers coach) Sanjay (Lal) will take care of that.’

“It’s obviously communication, but that’s something I’ve noticed about coach Roman. He’ll let his position guys coach.”

When Manuel was asked if his conservative play last season was a byproduct of the wishes of the former coaching staff, Buffalo’s third-year QB indicated that was indeed the case.

“I think I was doing what I was coached to do,” said Manuel. “Obviously decision making is something that’s extremely important. The main thing is you don’t want to turn the ball over, but now I’m more willing to take chances just because of the confidence I have in my throwing motion and my arm. So more of those vertical passes will definitely be shown.”


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EJ: Mastering QB an obsession now

Posted by Chris Brown on May 13, 2015 – 9:05 am

Bills QB EJ Manuel has always been a diligent worker when it’s come to being an NFL quarterback, but he reached a different level of commitment this offseason.

In an interview on Bills flagship station WGR Sportsradio 550, Manuel said his commitment to the quarterback position has reached a point of singular fixation, and attributes it to the adversity he faced last season when he was benched after just four starts.

“I think what I went through that’s just what made me grow up. That was true adversity in my playing career,” Manuel said. “As far as the competitive edge I have now, it’s crazy. It’s almost an obsession now as far as mastering this position and mastering this offense and mainly the fundamentals and mechanics of the game. Why not spend all my time doing that? There’s really nothing else to do right now. The main thing is just being all in and investing in yourself.”

Manuel insists his throwing accuracy is much improved after working for four months this offseason with former NFL QB Steve DeBerg. He credits DeBerg with eliminating the wind up in his throwing motion that compromised his accuracy. His throwing motion is much more compact now and he feels his accuracy is much improved.


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EJ on the radio

Posted by Chris Brown on May 12, 2015 – 5:28 pm

Here’s where you can find Bills players on the local radio airwaves Wednesday morning.

Featured on the Bills Radio Network will be EJ Manuel.

7:15 am – Kiss 98.5, Janet and Nick
–          EJ Manuel

7:30 am – WGR 550, Howard Simon and Jeremy White
–          EJ Manuel

 


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EJ & Cassel have crossed paths before

Posted by Chris Brown on April 29, 2015 – 3:30 pm

Even though there’s a seven-year age difference the paths of quarterbacks EJ Manuel and Matt Cassel crossed prior to the two signal callers becoming teammates in Buffalo.

The two first met at the Elite 11 quarterback camp in California back in 2011.

“I was one of the counselors there and EJ was there as one of the highly recruited guys at Florida State,” said Cassel. “He impressed me then and continues to impress me. He’s got great maturity. He works hard and studies. So I think the ceiling is super high for him.”

“He was one of the NFL guys who came and talked to us, but we’ve been good. We actually had the same flight out to California once we got our little break (recently),” said Manuel. “We were able to talk and have lunch in between flights and stuff. He’s a good guy. Obviously we’re competing and stuff, but he’s still a great guy.”

As a 10-year vet, Cassel knows while he’s part of a competition he also is here to help Manuel along in his development as a quarterback in the NFL.

“You go out and you compete when you’re on this field and do the best you can do and go out and win the job,” Cassel said. “At the same time when you’re in the locker room and someone has a question and he’s a teammate you’re going to help him out because that’s how I was raised. When I went into New England Tom (Brady) didn’t have to help me at all, but he was a great mentor to me and helped me along the way. And I think it’s my duty now with some of the young guys to do the same thing as I move on in my career.”


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Gruden on Bills QB competition

Posted by Chris Brown on April 22, 2015 – 10:28 am

ESPN Monday Night Football analyst Jon Gruden weighed in on the impending Bills quarterback competition that will ensue next week during the team’s voluntary veteran minicamp.

On a national conference call this week, Gruden believes EJ Manuel could be aided by the addition of offensive coordinator Greg Roman.

“They’ve signed some quarterbacks. They’re going to have a three or four-man battle for the position,” Gruden said. “EJ Manuel is still a young player. I think the offensive coordinator coming over from San Francisco (Greg Roman) has dealt with a mobile quarterback in Colin Kaepernick so maybe that will stimulate and help EJ.”

Gruden is also a big fan of Ryan as an NFL head coach.

“I’ve always liked Rex Ryan,” he said. “I’ve spent a lot of time over the years with the Jets coaching staff (when he was there) studying football. I really like his system. Getting Rex Ryan will be exciting for Bills fans and I think players will respond to him.”


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EJ Manuel on John Murphy Show tonight

Posted by Chris Brown on April 14, 2015 – 4:20 pm

Bills QB EJ Manuel has been working an awful lot on his throwing mechanics this offseason with former NFL QB Steve DeBerg. And he’ll be talking about it tonight on the John Murphy Show at 7:30 pm.

Murph told the John Murphy Show some of the drills he went through with DeBerg this offseason to sharpen his throwing motion and make it consistent.

“Some of the drills we worked instead of looking at the receiver you almost look at the defensive back instead,” Manuel said. “You start to throw away from the D-B. You know the receiver and the timing so you’re not throwing to the receiver, you’re throwing to where he’s supposed to be. One of the main drills we worked was throwing away from the defender and that helps avoid turnovers, interceptions and tipped balls.

“We had some live defenders out there during workouts, but we mainly had targets set up and Steve would have me read off of him and tell him to hit a target.”

Manuel also talked about how he and DeBerg would watch film of some of the top QBs in the league and simply watch their throwing motion.

“To my knowledge throwing motion is just like a jump shot. It almost becomes muscle memory and you have to rep it and rep it and rep it,” said Manuel. “We repped it so much to get it to muscle memory so when I get into the game a pass rush won’t compromise it. I’m not thinking twice about it. I’m just throwing the ball. That’s the good part about it.”

For those who can’t listen to the John Murphy Show the EJ Manuel interview can be found here at about 8 pm Tuesday evening.

 


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Bills QBs impressed in classroom

Posted by Chris Brown on April 13, 2015 – 11:29 am

Last week was first week of the voluntary offseason conditioning program, which features strength and conditioning training and classroom work as the new coaching staff works with the players to install the new offensive and defensive systems. Buffalo’s quarterbacks were all in attendance last week and made a good first impression on offensive coordinator Greg Roman.

In an interview on ESPN’s Inside the Huddle with John Clayton, Roman gave indication of how prepared his signal callers were for the first week of classroom work.

“After just a week of working with these guys I was very happy to find out how dialed in these guys are in their preparation, all four of them really. I couldn’t be more happy from that standpoint,” Roman said. “When we get out on the field we’ll roll the balls out and see what transpires. We’ll let those guys compete and I think we’ll have a great competition at the position. Really, Matt Cassel, EJ Manuel, Tyrod Taylor and Jeff Tuel all impressed me in the meetings.”


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QB Cassel on the new parts blending

Posted by Chris Brown on April 8, 2015 – 3:56 pm

Bills QB Matt Cassel was one of the many veteran players participating in the voluntary offseason conditioning program this week. He’s also one of the many new parts on the offensive side of the ball. Having been a new face in a new place before Cassel outlined how he expects the chemistry to develop with the new players on his side of the ball.

“I think you start to build a foundation,” he said. “You build that rapport, you build those relationships and you start to understand what guys do well and what I do well.  As you get closer to the season you start to refine that and get better as you go.  But I think you take huge steps and make huge strides in OTAs and minicamps of doing that.”

Cassel is seen as one of the top two competitors for the starting quarterback job with EJ Manuel.

 


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Do the doubters fuel EJ?

Posted by Chris Brown on April 8, 2015 – 12:58 pm

Bills QB EJ Manuel knows the magnitude of this his third NFL season and is all in when it comes to his efforts to win the starting quarterback job this summer in training camp. Manuel has had his share of doubters since he was made a first-round pick of the Bills back in 2013, but do the doubters fuel him all the more?

That was a question posed by NFL Network’s Kim Jones to Manuel, and though he didn’t directly say they do, he gave indication that was the case.

“I fuel myself as well,” said Manuel indicating doubters do fuel him. “But I think just moving forward and being excited about a new opportunity and obviously having coach [Rex] Ryan come in and give you that confidence as a head coach coming from him means a lot to us as his players. I’m just really excited and happy to be back in Buffalo.”

Manuel is never one to seek out criticism for motivation, which is probably why he didn’t give a direct response. His self-motivation is usually more than enough.


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Some veteran guidance for EJ Manuel

Posted by johnmurphyshow on April 7, 2015 – 2:45 pm

As he goes into his third year, Bills QB EJ Manuel has sought advice from a quarterback with one of the longest tenures at the position in recent NFL history.

Manuel revealed this week that he spent a considerable amount of offseason workout time with longtime vet Steve DeBerg. Based in the Tampa, Fla. area, DeBerg spent 21-seasons in the NFL with the Niners, Broncos, Bucs, Chiefs, Dolphins and Falcons. He led the Chiefs to two playoff appearances, and he remains in the top-20 all time in NFL history in passing attempts, completions, and yardage.

Since retiring from playing in 1998, DeBerg has been a quarterback coach with the Falcons and Giants. And he’s participated in a number of quarterback development camps.

EJ Manuel says he’s worked with DeBerg on improving his throwing motion.

“I don’t want to say I’ve changed my throwing motion but I’ve been working with Steve DeBerg pretty much since January,” Manuel said this week. “We’ve studied a bunch of the elite passers in the game. They all throw the ball, not necessarily the same exact way, but certain types of ways. I’ve been working on that since January. I think I have it down now.”

Manuel spent the last few weeks throwing with teammate Chris Hogan at a private facility in New Jersey. And he says Hogan has noticed how well EJ is throwing the ball.

“‘Hoag’  said he saw the difference,” according to Manuel. “Once we start getting out here in minicamps you guys will be able to see it as well. My confidence is extremely high and I want to keep it that way.”

 


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For QB Petty calling play in huddle is new

Posted by Chris Brown on March 31, 2015 – 9:00 am

There will be an awful lot of things that Baylor QB prospect Bryce Petty will need to learn on the fly as he’s drafted to an NFL club this spring. While most everyone knows that he never really operated under center in the Bears’ offense, most may not realize that in Art Briles’ offense he never even called a play in the huddle.

“It was a little different. We were a signal system at Baylor,” said Petty. “I love Baylor. I wouldn’t change it for the world. If I had to go back and do it all again, I’d do it the same exact way. With coach Briles, he’s an outstanding coach. I love him to death. The teams we had were great and really prepared me for what I’m doing now. It’s a learning curve a little bit going from what we were doing at Baylor to where we are now. But it’s all part of the process, so you’ve got to enjoy it. You’ve got to love it, really, and I do love it.”

NFL Network draft analyst Mike Mayock has said more than once that making this kind of projection on a college quarterback, going from a spread system to a pro-style is among the toughest for NFL scouts. He also doesn’t see Petty as a potential target for the Bills in round two, in light of the fact that they’re still trying to develop EJ Manuel into a bona fide starter. He doesn’t see why they’d be interested in bringing on another development project.

“The quarterback thing is hard,” Mayock said. “Talking about pick number 50, I believe for Buffalo in the second round. Petty or Brett Hundley, one of those two could be there, if not both of them they’re both projects. You’ve already got a project in Buffalo right now who probably has as much talent as those two kids. So I’m not a big believer in investing in a position just because you think you have a need.”

 


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Rex: QB competition is open

Posted by Chris Brown on March 20, 2015 – 4:00 pm

The Bills have added a pair of quarterbacks over the past few weeks in Matt Cassel and Tyrod Taylor. When asked where the quarterback position now stands with offseason workouts on the horizon, head coach Rex Ryan said the competition is open.

In an appearance on Bills flagship station WGR Sportsradio 550, Ryan explained where things stand at QB for his squad.

“It’s going to be open. It’s a competition and whoever earns the job will be the guy that’s out there,” he said. “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.

“With Taylor that’s going to be a young man, he’s probably the fastest quarterback in the league. He’s explosive running the zone reads, and we’ll see where he’s at. Then Tuel. We’ve got guys there to work with. That’ll be the important thing. There will be competition, but a person has to earn the job. It hasn’t been handed to somebody.”

A lot of outside observers assumed that Cassel would be handed the job, but that’s not how Ryan is running things.

With four quarterbacks on the roster, most think it will be hard for Ryan and his offensive staff to not at least whittle the competition down to just a pair of quarterbacks going into training camp knowing there just aren’t enough reps to go around and get an accurate assessment of each QB.

Ryan however, intends to run practices a bit different than Bills fans have seen in the past with two offensive units and two defensive units going at the same time on two different fields at St. John Fisher.

“When we get to training camp we’ll do a lot of things on two fields,” Ryan said. “It won’t just be the offense going and the defense going, we’re going to be working on two fields. That’s how you develop young quarterbacks. We’re blessed to have guys on our staff who can really develop quarterbacks.  Greg Roman, Chris Palmer and this is how they did it. You switch whoever is running with the twos on one field and then the ones are on another field. That’s how you get better. We’re going to have that.

“We have some young quarterbacks and we want to make sure that everybody gets the right amount of reps. We’ll have the exact same practice that we have on field one as field two so everybody gets the same reps. You just basically double them up.”


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Reed weighs in on Bills QBs

Posted by Chris Brown on March 17, 2015 – 12:03 pm

andre-salute-cp
Bills Hall of Famer Andre Reed appeared as a guest on NFL Network’s NFL AM show Tuesday. He was asked to weigh in on Buffalo’s quarterback situation. Unlike most he’s not assuming that recent acquisition Matt Cassel will be the starting QB come September.

“There’s going to be a quarterback competition,” Reed said. “They’ve got Matt Cassel now and they brought Tyrod Taylor in from the Ravens. There’s going to be three guys competing and Rex won’t make a decision until probably the first game.

“I think EJ (Manuel) is going to get another chance and another crack at this. I’d like to see him do well. He’s a good kid. He has all the tools to be a starting quarterback in the NFL. I think the guys are behind him. He just has to have the right mindset going into camp of not only getting better, but being the leader that this team needs on offense.”


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Posted in Inside the Bills