Inside The Bills

NFL Network analyst says Manuel is “a sponge”

Posted by johnmurphyshow on August 9, 2013 – 5:00 pm

NFL Network analyst Mike Mayock has been covering the Bills in training camp the last few days. And the network’s top draft analyst says he likes what sees of first round draft pick E.J. Manuel.

Mayock appeared on The John Murphy Show Thursday night, after watching the Bills training camp practice. And when asked about Manuel, Mayock said the Bills rookie seems eager to learn.

“This kid’s got a little way to go,” Mayock said, “but let me tell you, 6-5, 240, arm talent, athletic, and he looks like a sponge trying to learn.”

Mayock covers the draft and he’s also the NFL Network’s Analyst on “Thursday Night Football.” After studying all of the quarterbacks in last April’s draft, he says Manuel is equipped with some key attributes.

“I saw a lot of his college tape, and he knew he’s athletic with a live arm,” Mayock told host John Murphy. “I got to meet the kid and I liked him. I felt like he was a gym rat, which to me, is a prerequisite to being a good quarterback in the NFL. If you’re not a gym rat, I don’t want you.”

Mayock acknowledges that some draft experts poked holes in Manuel’s FSU resume before and after the draft.

“A lot of people knocked him because he didn’t have to make a lot of post snap reads at Florida State. But that was their offense. You can’t knock a kid if they’re not asking you to do something.”

“From my perspective,” Mayock said, “the talent’s there, the work ethic is there, the intelligence is there. Now it’s up to Nate Hackett and the staff to get it out of him.”

The entire interview with NFL Network analyst Mike Mayock is available here

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Posted in Inside the Bills

Manuel: Always had a chip on my shoulder

Posted by Chris Brown on April 26, 2013 – 1:30 pm

E.J. Manuel has always wanted to excel and be elite. So when he was initially projected as a day three prospect in this year’s draft it bothered him a bit.

“When I got to college, I just didn’t want to be another guy. I wanted to be the best,” Manuel told the Orlando Sentinel. “That’s why I say, when I came out, to a lot of people, I was just another guy. I was a fourth- or fifth-round guy who they projected. I knew I was better.”

Even after Manuel was the first quarterback off the board national draftniks criticized the Bills pick again reiterating their opinions that they didn’t see him as a first-round caliber.

“It fuels me,” Manuel said. “It makes me want to go out there and work even harder and prove somebody wrong. I’m big on proving people wrong. I really like that. I like being the underdog at times.”

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Posted in Inside the Bills

Watch Manuel’s talents up close

Posted by Chris Brown on April 26, 2013 – 10:40 am

By now most Bills fans know that E.J. Manuel is blessed with tremendous physical talent, but there is sophistication to his assets as a passer. Two particular attributes that were proven to be exceptional were his quick release and accuracy as displayed on ESPN’s Sports Science series.

In the ESPN Sports Science draft lab with host John Brenkus, Manuel shows how quickly he can recognize a target and release the football, which rivals some of the top Sports Science alums. He also broke Colin Kaepernick’s record for accuracy under pressure hitting nine of 10 passes into a 3 foot diameter net from 15 yards away. Check it out.

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Posted in Inside the Bills

Mayock thinks E.J. can be special

Posted by Chris Brown on April 26, 2013 – 1:18 am

NFL Network draft analyst Mike Mayock provided some analysis on Buffalo’s pick at 16 after they took E.J. Manuel in round one.

“I look at him like a piece of clay,” said Mayock. “Raw, but you can mold him into something special. He is a real smart kid.”

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Manuel’s leadership evident

Posted by Chris Brown on April 26, 2013 – 12:49 am

One of the most attractive qualities of E.J. Manuel is how naturally leadership comes to him. For Bills head coach Doug Marrone and Buffalo’s scouting department it was pretty evident to them.

“One of the things you see when he walks into a room is just his presence and he’s had great leadership ability at Florida State amongst his teammates,” said Marrone. “I think that one of the important things when he comes in here is learning the trust of our players. He’ll come in here and he’ll compete for the quarterback position and he has a lot in front of him. It’ll be a situation where he’ll have to earn the trust of the players on this team already and he’ll obviously have to learn the system.”

Manuel said leadership was something that was encouraged with him by his father.

“I think my dad has always brought me up to be a leader, as far as the decisions you make in life and doing the right thing when nobody else is watching,” Manuel said. “I think that’s the best sign of a leader. Going in, I’m going to earn the respect of my teammates and I think the best way to do that is to work hard, not say a whole lot, but just try to learn as much as possible.”

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Posted in Inside the Bills

Manuel’s big arm will help in Buffalo

Posted by Chris Brown on April 26, 2013 – 12:38 am

Cutting passes through the windy fall days that roll in come late October and early November in Buffalo is no easy task, even for NFL quarterbacks. E.J. Manuel’s arm strength however, should be able to handle whatever the Buffalo weather throws at him.

Bills head coach Doug Marrone said Manuel’s physical skill set and work ethic give him a very good chance of being very successful at the NFL level.

“I think it is important,” said Marrone of arm strength to play effectively in Buffalo. “I think you have to have it. Obviously you talk about the weather and things like that, the wind. But again what’s important for that position with the intangibles we talked about is his ability to work. I think that’s the most important thing.

“When you have that desire to work and become better. Those are the things that came out when I was speaking with him and those are the things that I appreciate. Just like Buddy said, at the end of the day he works hard so if he earns the trust of the players and learns the system he could be an outstanding quarterback in this league.”

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Manuel jersey number

Posted by Chris Brown on April 26, 2013 – 12:35 am

E.J. Manuel has his jersey number and it will be the same as his college number at Florida State.

Buffalo’s top draft choice will wear jersey number 3. Aaron Corp, who had been wearing number 3, will change to number 8.

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Some QB metrics that favor Manuel, Nassib

Posted by Chris Brown on April 25, 2013 – 5:08 pm

As different metrics begin to take on more significance in NFL front offices here are a couple of statistics on the quarterback prospects in this year’s draft that speak favorably of Syracuse’s Ryan Nassib and Florida State’s E.J. Manuel.’s Alex Marvez interviewed John Pollard, who heads the Sports Solution Group that provides data for STATS LLC. Pollard said two key criteria NFL teams use for scouting quarterbacks are “breadth and depth.” As Marvez explains it how varied and deep were the throws attempted during a quarterback’s college career.

For this metric, Manuel and Nassib earn higher marks than three other top prospects in West Virginia’s Geno Smith, Southern Cal’s Matt Barkley and North Carolina State’s Mike Glennon.

Manuel and Nassib according to Pollard have accuracy and “diversity of throws” last season that favorably compare to the final college seasons of Andrew Luck, Robert Griffin III and Russell Wilson.“They move the ball all around the field,” Pollard said.

Both Manuel and Nassib were also among the best in the quarterback class in completion percentage on deep throws. Manuel completed 47.1 percent on 85 throws. Nassib had a 43.6 completion percentage on 94 attempts.

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Posted in Inside the Bills

Manuel sees himself as early pick

Posted by Chris Brown on April 25, 2013 – 4:24 pm

In our eighth annual mock draft we projected the Bills taking Florida State QB E.J. Manuel going eighth overall to Buffalo. Apparently E.J. Manuel believes he’s going to high in the draft as well.

“I do see myself going fairly high,” Manuel said in an interview with “It’s just a matter if one of those teams have fallen in love with me. I think there are three or four of them that have.”

As the story reports Manuel won 25 of his 31 starts and was 4-0 in bowl games counting the win he posted in relief of an injured Christian Ponder his sophomore year.

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Final thoughts on QBs from Bills Asst. GM

Posted by johnmurphyshow on April 24, 2013 – 9:30 pm

The Buffalo Bills are the focus of a lot of attention as the NFL Draft approaches Thursday night. And most of it centers on the Bills apparent interest in drafting a quarterback with one of their early picks.

Assistant GM Doug Whaley talked about the quarterbacks Wednesday night, in an appearance on The John Murphy Show. And he had complimentary things to say about some of the top candidates.

On Ryan Nassib:

“He’s a guy, we would say, you plug and play. Because of the familiarity he has with the system, but efficient. Strong arm, competitive.”

On E.J. Manuel:

“Powerful. He’s a guy that’s got the size. He’s got the ability to run as well. He’s more of a power thrower because he’s such a big man and he’s so powerful.”

On other potential first round QBs:
“You’ve got Matt Barkley. There are people that are going to look at him. He’s been on the big stage for a while, he’s been productive. One of the things he does is, he gets the ball to the playmakers. And then Landry Jones. He’s set a lot of records in the Big 12, and that’s not a shabby conference. He’s got size, he’s got the ability to throw the ball downfield. And one of the rare qualities he has, he’s not a great athlete, but he can be Fred Astaire in the pocket. He can be a Brady, where he can move around in the pocket and buy time.”

The entire interview with Doug Whaley is available at\johnmurphyshow

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Not much Manuel in M&T Bank draft challenge

Posted by Chris Brown on April 24, 2013 – 12:18 pm

Bills fans have had the opportunity to choose who they believe the Bills will take with the eighth overall pick in the M&T Bank Draft Day Challenge. There’s still time for you to pick with a deadline of 5 p.m. tomorrow, but not many to this point agree with the pick I made in my mock draft.

I selected Florida State QB E.J. Manuel for the Bills at eight, with the backup selection being LSU pass rusher Barkevious Mingo. Here’s a look at the Draft Day Challenge results in terms of the percentage of contestants that picked Manuel or Mingo.

3% – E.J. Manuel
3% – Barkevious Mingo

Not surprisingly, Syracuse QB Ryan Nassib is one of the more popular choices of Bills fans in the M&T Bank Draft Day Challenge at 21%. As I said in my mock draft, I don’t think you can rule him out.

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Bills scout: “Manuel has run dynamic”

Posted by johnmurphyshow on April 23, 2013 – 7:45 pm

The Bills scouting staff is down to the small strokes now, when it comes to the draft. And for the Bills, that obviously includes the quarterback group in this year’s class.

Bills Regional Scout Tom Roth has had a chance to scout Florida State’s E.J. Manuel for the last several months. And he believes Manuel brings a number of qualities to the NFL, including the ability to make plays with his feet.

“How the game has changed last year with RGIII and Russell Wilson, he’s got that dynamic,” Roth said, in an appearance on The John Murphy Show.

“He’s got the run option dynamic. I did three big name quarterbacks, (Tyler) Bray (Tennessee), (Mike) Glennon (NC State), and Manuel, Bray and Glennon are not runners, they’re pocket passers. But E.J., he’s got that dynamic.”

The entire interview with Bills Scout Tom Roth is available at\johnmurphyshow

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Bills scout: QB Manuel “not a finished product”

Posted by johnmurphyshow on April 23, 2013 – 7:15 pm

Just a couple of days away from the first round of the NFL Draft and the Buffalo Bills are closing in on their decision.

A group of Bills scouts met the media Tuesday to provide one last look at some of the top prospects. Regional Scout Tom Roth has been with the Bills for nine years, and his primary scouting assignment is the Southeast, including the SEC and the ACC.

Roth has scouted Florida State QB E.J. Manuel extensively and he says he likes what he sees. But in an appearance on The John Murphy Show podcast, Roth said Manuel has room for improvement.

“He’s not a finished product,” Roth said. “He’s got a good upside, but there’s still some stuff he needs to improve on. And his best exposure was the Senior Bowl. The defenses have to do vanilla defenses basically, there. But he looked really good there and he looked in Indy, and at his Pro Day. So it’s all on the come with him, but he’s still got some things to improve.”

Host John Murphy asked Roth where Manuel needs to improve.

“Footwork—they all need to improve on footwork,” he responded. “A little bit of accuracy. It’s good, but putting the ball pinpoint for run after (the catch) he needs to improve on that. Maybe making a little bit quicker decisions. And that’s not to be critical of the guy, but he could do better with that.”

The entire interview with Bills Scout Tom Roth is available at\johnmurphyshow

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Manuel: Eagles, Bills, Jets most interested

Posted by Chris Brown on April 17, 2013 – 11:26 am

NFL teams that show the most interest in a prospect don’t always draft that player. Knowing all the circumstances that can unfold in a draft there are way too many variables to definitively ink a prospect in a team’s selection space in the draft, but Florida State QB prospect E.J. Manuel believes there are three teams that has shown the most interest in him during the pre-draft process.

Appearing on the Dan Patrick Show Wednesday morning, Manuel listed the Bills among three teams that he feels are most interested in him.

“I feel really good about the Philadelphia Eagles, I feel really good about the Buffalo Bills, I feel really good about the New York Jets,” Manuel said. “I met with even more teams than that, but those are some of the teams I feel really confident in. I know they need quarterbacks, I know they want quarterbacks, they have brand new coaching staffs and things like that, so they want a fresh start. They want an energetic kind of quarterback to come in and play.”

Manuel also said he thinks he’ll be a first-round pick come next Thursday. He also said he’s compared himself to Ben Roethlisberger and Colin Kaepernick. He also said that former NFL head coach Jon Gruden compared him to Daunte Culpepper when he sat down with him.

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Bills check QB E.J. Manuel’s footwork

Posted by johnmurphyshow on April 12, 2013 – 10:00 pm

The Bills have gone the extra mile in the last few weeks to try to identify the best quarterback for them in the April 25th NFL draft. They’ve had nine of them in Orchard Park for pre-draft visits, and they’ve had private on-field workouts with several of them.

And when they got together with Florida State QB E.J. Manuel in late March for a private workout, they seemed especially interested in his footwork.

Manuel talked about the workout in an appearance on The John Murphy Show Friday night.

“The workout was great,” he said. ” A lot of the Bills top officials came out, and that was awesome. We had dinner the night before and the next day we had the workout. Coach (Nathaniel) Hackett put me through a great workout. I was able to show a lot of what I could do moving forward into the NFL, and I think they were very pleased.”

Manuel said the Bills seemed especially interested in how nimble he is in the pocket. He says they asked him to move around a bit more than he became used to, in his Florida State career.

“I think the biggest thing they wanted to see was my footwork,” he told host John Murphy. “Every offense is different as far as how you drop, and the type of drops you’ll take.”

“In the offense that Coach Hackett is running, he wants the quarterback to move up in the pocket. At Florida State, we would drop back and try to stay stationary, try to stay in one spot. Obviously, if you get have no pass rush, you can move left, move right, move up, move back. In Coach Hackett’s offense, he always wants your progressions to be moving forward in the pocket. And that was something new , but I picked it up fairly quickly.”

Manuel is projected as a first or second rounder in most mock drafts.

The entire interview with E.J. Manuel is available at\johnmurphyshow

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E.J. Manuel wants to be first round pick

Posted by johnmurphyshow on April 12, 2013 – 9:30 pm

Florida State QB E.J. Manuel has made a pretty steady climb on the pre-draft rating boards in the last few months. His performance the Senior Bowl, where he was the Offensive MVP of the game, got him started on the right foot this offseason.

And Manuel says his goal all along was to hear his name called in the first round of the NFL draft on April 25th. He made the comments Friday night in an appearance on The John Murphy Show.

“It is important to me,” Manuel said. “It’s one of the things you can be proud of, to say I was a first round pick in the NFL draft. But I know that’s not up to me. All I can really control is how I played in the Senior Bowl, how I looked in the combine, how I interviewed with coaches in the last three months. Those things, I’ve done well in the last three months.”

Manuel has been hovering around the first and second rounds of most mock draft for the last few weeks. But once he’s drafted, he wants to play as soon as possible. Radio Host John Murphy asked the FSU Seminole if he expects to start right away in the NFL.

“I think so,” he answered. “The biggest thing for me is earning the respect of my teammates and coaches. I think everything else will fall into place after that. Once you get guys to believe you can do it, that’s where the qualities of being a starter come from. You have to show you can do it first.”

The entire interview with Florida State QB E.J. Manuel is available at\johnmurphyshow

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Manuel has connection with Bruce Smith

Posted by johnmurphyshow on April 12, 2013 – 8:45 pm

Florida State QB E.J. Manuel has worked out for the Bills coaching staff in a private session. And he visited One Bills Drive a couple of weeks ago. But his connections with the Bills franchise don’t end there.

Manuel is a product of Virginia Beach, Virginia, the same hometown as Bills Hall of Famer Bruce Smith. And Manuel says he’s had a longstanding relationship with Smith over the years.

“Bruce is basically my godfather,” Manuel said Friday night, in an appearance on The John Murphy Show. “I’ve known him since I was pretty much a baby. He’s been very involved in this process and when I was in college, giving me a lot of things, and telling me just to enjoy the process.”

The process has been lengthy for Manuel, starting with his work as the Offensive MVP at the Senior Bowl in January, continuing with a strong showing at the Combine in Feburary, and then private workouts and pre-draft visits to several teams, including the Bills.

But he tells host John Murphy he’s looking forward to the payoff–being introduced by Roger Goodell as a first round draft pick on April 25th. He’s one of 23-players invited to attend the draft at Radio City Music Hall in New York.

“That was one of the bigger goals for me going into this pre-draft process, to get the opportunity to be at Radio City Music Hall for the draft,” he said. “And whenever my name is called, to get a chance to go up and shake Roger Goodell’s hand, that will be a memorable time in my life. I may still be wiping tears from my face, I’m so excited about it.”

Manuel is also excited that his mother, who has been battling cancer, will be able to attend the draft in New York in two weeks.

“She’ll be there,” he said on the radio show. “She still has to get radiation. She’s been working the last two or three weeks and she’s doing a lot better. I’m extremely proud of my mom.”

The entire interview with QB E.J. Manuel is available at\johnmurphyshow

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Reports of more rookie QB visits for Bills

Posted by johnmurphyshow on April 3, 2013 – 12:42 pm

As the Bills continue their search for a quarterback, there are more reports of pre-draft visits to One Bills Drive by some of the top prospects in the draft.

Ian Rapoport of reports the Bills will be active the next few days, hosting some of the top quarterback prospects in Orchard Park.  North Carolina State QB Mike Glennon reportedly is at One Bills Drive already:

Earlier, Rapoport reported that the Bills will host Oklahoma QB Landry Jones at One Bills Drive this week.

The Bills announced yesterday at FSU QB E.J. Manuel was visiting the team complex.  The team has also conducted a number of private workouts off-site with some of the top QB prospects.

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Report: Bills to work out Tyler Bray

Posted by Chris Brown on March 28, 2013 – 1:43 pm

Bills GM Buddy Nix has said they intended to see all of the top quarterbacks in the 2013 NFL draft pool. Tennessee junior eligible Tyler Bray is apparently in that pool.

According to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, the Bills will hold a private workout with Bray late next week.

Buffalo has already had private workouts with three other quarterback prospects in Geno Smith, E.J. Manuel and Landry Jones.

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Report: QB Manuel to work out for Cincy Fri.

Posted by Chris Brown on March 28, 2013 – 12:54 pm

He reportedly had a private workout today for the Philadelphia Eagles today, and Florida State QB E.J. Manuel apparently has another private workout tomorrow.

According to the Cincinnati Enquirer Manuel worked out for the Eagles today and will have a private workout with the Cincinnati Bengals Friday.


Manuel had a private workout last Saturday with the Bills. Considered a late riser, Manuel is now seen by some as a first-round pick based on long term potential.

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