Inside The Bills

Manuel thrived in the backup role at FSU

Posted by johnmurphyshow on April 27, 2013 – 6:00 pm

Bills first round draft pick EJ Manuel will get a chance to compete for the starting quarterback spot. Head Coach Doug Marrone made that clear Thursday night, shortly after the team chose the FSU QB as their first pick.

“He is now thrown into the mix of competition,” Marrone said about Manuel.

But if the 23-year old passer has to back up Kevin Kolb or Tarvaris Jackson, it won’t be his first experience as a backup.

Manuel spent his first two years at FSU backing up QB Christian Ponder, who went on to become the Vikings first round pick two years ago. And Manuel got plenty of playing time during those backup years. He started four games in 2009 when Ponder got injured, and led his team to the Gator Bowl title. And Manuel started two more the following year, and led the Seminoles to victory in the Chick-Fil-A Bowl.

Manuel’s coach at FSU, Jimbo Fisher, says the young quarterback was extremely well prepared both seasons, when he was called upon to fill in for Ponder.

“I love the way he went about it,” Seminoles Coach Jimbo Fisher says. “I told him going in, backup quarterback is the hardest positon. Because you have to prepare like you’re going to go in, but you might never get a snap. It’s not like another position where you rotate.”

“But he took that role very seriously,” Fisher said, in an appearance on The John Murphy Show Friday night.
“And when we had Christian (Ponder) go down he jumped right in and led us to bowl games. When he had those opportunities he capitalized on them. He did a great job with his preparation.”

The entire interview with FSU Coach Jimbo Fisher is available here

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