Inside The Bills

EJ drafted in part for wind swept days

Posted by Chris Brown on November 17, 2013 – 11:20 pm

There were a lot of reasons the Bills drafted EJ Manuel with the 16th overall pick, but one of them was his hand size and arm strength. Knowing the weather often turns in November and December, Buffalo needs a quarterback with the ability to throw in compromising conditions.

“For us, when we went out and it goes back to Doug Whaley, Buddy Nix was here at the time, when we went and looked for quarterbacks, my big thing coming on board and being new but having been on teams in this type of element, it was a big thing for us to make sure and I know this sounds crazy and I’ve said it before, but one of the things we’re looking at is the hand size,” said head coach Doug Marrone. “When you look at the quarterbacks that have thrown well in bad weather, it’s mostly guys that can throw the ball, have a good arm, doesn’t have to be great, but a good arm and has big hands.

“Obviously EJ had the second or first biggest hands and then we knew for us we were able to, when we worked him out that night we worked him out in probably the conditions we just had (Sunday). Not the wind, but it was rainy, a little windy, we knew he could throw the ball and that was one of the factors that went in to picking EJ.”

At the NFL Combine this past February, among quarterbacks Manuel had the largest hands measuring 10 3/8ths inches from thumb tip to pinky tip with hand outstretched.

So in the most challenging weather condition day of the season, Manuel was arguably at his best.

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