E.J. Manuel will be looking to present a strong case for why he should start this season for the Bills

Starting job is E.J. Manuel's to lose.


When they announced that the Buffalo Bills traded down from the 8th to 16th pick in this years draft I looked at my friend and said ‘well, it looks like we are getting a Quarterback’. When we finally got to our pick and they called E.J. Manuel i was dumbfounded.  Geno Smith was passed over for Manuel? But I knew that the bills did their homework on EVERY available QB going into the draft, and the amount of QB prospects they had meetings with was really impressive. They were serious about finding a QB that could be the face of their franchise, and they left no stone unturned in their search.

Over the last few months I have become more familiar with who and what E.J. Manuel is, and the more I see of him the more I really like about him. Manuel is a natural leader that is smart, and respectful.  He is big, and mobile with an incredible arm. At 6’5  and 237lbs he is identical height and just 4 pounds lighter than big Ben Roethlisberger, and because of his size he is capable of running, or spinning right out of tackles. He is able to pick up 2-3 yards just from falling forward after a tackle, as his force of forward momentum is really incredible.

E.J. also has a work ethic that is going to be the reason he wins the starting job before the season starts. Doug Marone said that going into training camp the competition between Manuel and Kolb for the starting job is pretty much a tie. If after OTA’s Kolb and his 6 seasons in the NFL is tied with Manuel who is fresh out of college, you better believe big E.J. is going to start the season. E.J.’s desire and commitment to be a starting NFL Quarterback, combined with his intelligence and athletic ability is going to push him to the head of the class on this one.

I really like Kevin Kolb and I honestly feel he got the short end of the stick with what happened in Philadelphia. I think if the Eagles would of stuck with Kolb instead of committing to the reckless and self destructive playing style of  Micheal Vick, both Kolb and the Eagles would be in a much better place right now. Having a QB that can run 100 yards a game is great, just as long as he’s not picking up his teeth after every play.  You can’t have your QB breaking more ribs than he’s scoring touchdowns, but attempting to turn Micheal Vick into a pocket passer just defeats the whole purpose of his skill set. You have the most mobile quarterback in the NFL and now you want him to just stand there? OK Philadelphia, good luck with all that.

E.J. Manuel is in a completely different category athletically compared to Kolb, and after training camp is through you should not at all be surprised to hear E.J. is the starter. E.J. is a very intelligent athlete that is doing everything he can to prepare for this season. The coaches have thus far been able to install everything with virtually no setbacks as E.J. continues to impress  them on how well he absorbs the information they are throwing at him. When asked about the QB competition Doug Marone gives every indication that E.J. has a good chance of starting this season.  He doesnt come right out and say it, but you can clearly tell he anticipates Manuel being ready to start come week 1 vs. the Pats. Before I go, if you have not seen the ‘ESPN sports science’ they did on Manuel be sure to  check out the link below. Thank you for reading, and please like BLD on facebook and get those tweets out.  Go Bills!

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Tags: Buffalo Bills EJ Manuel ESPN Football Geno Smith Kevin Kolb Michael Vick NFL Sports

  • NWBill

    You make a lot of good points – and I breathed a HUGE sigh of relief when the Bills DIDN’T draft Geno Smith (man, what a headcase!). Keep in mind one thing, though …. Doug Marrone is his own man, and he’s not going to just hand the starting job to EJ right away. Marrone’s an old-school type of guy with a modern mentality; which means that he’s not going to be the next coach to shortchange Kevin Kolb, just because an EJ Manuel is sitting there, seemingly ready to go. And another thing – the New England Patriots, and the Hooded One himself, are NOT the way you want to start Manuel’s career. Slide him in gradually …. if it were me, I’d start Kolb, and play Manuel four or five series a game – and see what happens. By midseason, everyone will know what the real deal is, and what should be done about who starts the rest of the season. If the Bills are 1-7 at that point, well …. that’s one thing. But, if they respond to Kolb’s leadership (as I believe the team will), and both the offense and defense gels faster than originally thought, then why throw a QB “controversy” into it? Manuel’s time will come – there’s little doubt of that. But there’s nothing in Doug Marrone’s universe that leads him to hand this kid the reins until the time is RIGHT. There’s no rush … and Kevin Kolb is an established NFL starter in this league. I’m more than willing to wait, and let this kid learn and soak up the league first.

  • James Kriger

    you know I was really sticking with you there until you brought up the possibility of the bills going 1-7, and that is just complete insanity to me. There is no way that after they install everything in training camp that Kevin Kolb looks better than Manuel. Kolb has never been our intended starting QB. Everyone thought so when OTA’s started and it was Kolb and T. Jack getting the primary reps, until you found out they were looking at which one of them they were going to cut, then E.J. got immediately inserted into splitting the primary reps. E.J. Manuel will start this season unless he gets injured or suddenly one night goes completely retarded. its a beautiful thing too, there is going to be a day where you couldn’t believe you wanted Kevin Kolb to start over E.J. Manuel, and that day is sooner than you think.

  • NWBill

    Let me repeat what I’d originally written here for you, so that you’ll see it a 2nd time (because it sounds like you just skimmed it the 1st time, and didn’t really understand what my point was):

    “If the Bills are 1-7 at that point…”

    See that word “If”? That means that the writer is supposing something, or considering the possibility of something – not certifying it as football GOSPEL. And, yes, the possibility that Buffalo can nosedive is there, just as it is with any other team. Are you POSITIVE that: Buffalo will suffer no injuries to key personnel … or have trouble getting their rookies to adjust to the NFL, or find that the rest of the league dissects and defends their new offense and defense sooner than anticipated … or any one of a hundred other things that can go wrong at the start of the season? If you’re THAT positive you’re sure about these things, then you’re in the wrong place – you need to be NFL Commissioner, or the head football coach of the Buffalo Bills. Since we both know you’re neither of those people, allow me to propose that you settle the hell down, and stop being so defensive when people suggest other possibilities – ‘kay?

    Good.

    Now, Kolb has 6 YEARS NFL experience; Manuel has ZERO. Kolb has picked up the new offense just as quickly, if not more so, than Manuel up to this point – is that really a surprise to anyone? This is a tough guy, who was ravaged being behind one of the worse offensive lines the past couple of years in Arizona. Why wouldn’t he be the starting QB – why else would the Bills have bothered to sign him otherwise? And why – if you’re right – did the team keep him when they sent Jackson packing …. IF Manuel is the intended starter all along? I don’t think that they were looking at which one to CUT, I think, at the time, that they were looking at two things; who was absorbing the offense the quickest; and where was Manuel at that point? Jackson has always been a “system” QB – put him in the right one for his skillset, and he’ll prosper. Don’t – and you find out fast you don’t need him taking up a slot on your team anymore. Obviously, the other factor was the fact that Manuel is picking up the new offense very well so far, and is settling into the team and with his teammates very nicely. NONE of that means he’s going to start – or should start – right away, though – unless you’re a head coach who’s job is on the line if your 1st round QB doesn’t start, and be immediately successful from the get-go. Does that sound like the situation Marrone and Buffalo are in right now? No, it doesn’t; at least, not to me. Maybe for you … but you’d be wrong.

    Look, I would love it if Manuel fully grabbed the reins and took off like RGIII did last year – but NO ONE KNOWS what’s going to happen with him!! That’s one of the reasons Buffalo signed Kolb in anticipation of drafting a QB (which was the worst secret in the league prior to the draft). For you to just hand Manuel the keys to the whole shebang right away, and insist that YOU know he and the team are ready to do so, is ridiculous.

    Just ask Rob Johnson, and J.P. Losman, what happens when that’s done.

  • Paul Kawalerski

    Really good article. You guys did your homework. No just because you validated EJ, but you backed your analysis with good data. Thanks for the link too, to ESPN’s assessment of EJ. I have never seen that before. You know all of this can mean nothing come game time, but it’s great to see some positive things going into this season. God knows, we need a winning team in Buffalo after all this time. I would love to see EJ start. Great point about EJ and Kold being even with EJ being a rookie. I like KOLB; and the more I looked into his background, the more I saw a QB that had good performance, but either injury or poor protection and probably both. Can’t wait till week 1. Especially with the PATS, Go Bills !!!

  • Paul Kawalerski

    Hey I respect both of your opinions, but the bottom line is, we really don’t know how either of these guys are going to pan out. But, it’s fun to think how it’s going to be. Let’s not forget the defense has a lot to do with how well the offense does. I hope Marrone pans out as a coach as well as Hacket and Pettine. They play a major role in the formation of Schemes and Attitude on the team. Can’t wait till September.

  • James Kriger

    thanks for the kinds words Paul, as a Bills fan from the super bowl days I am so excited to see us have a winning team once again. we definitely have potential excitement on both sides of the ball this year. and i like our new coaching staff, so unless they prove to be complete idiots and we lose all our games, im staying highly optimistic about the Bills this year.