5. EJ Manuel
Dec 15, 2013; Jacksonville, FL, USA; Buffalo Bills quarterback EJ Manuel (3) acknowledges the fans as he walks off the field after their game against the Jacksonville Jaguars at EverBank Field. The Buffalo Bills beat the Jacksonville Jaguars 27-20. Mandatory Credit: Phil Sears-USA TODAY Sports
If anyone has the most to prove to the outside world, it’s EJ Manuel.
The heraled “franchise” quarterback of the Buffalo Bills is heading into his sophomore year with an offense loaded with weapons. The Buffalo Bills haven’t had this much talent since the Eric Moulds-Peerless Price days. EJ showed his ability to throw the football; with some footwork and an upgraded offensive line, who knows what the kid can do.
But will EJ become just that? A child with too much responsibility? We’ve seen this kind of thing happen before with Mark Sanchez and Vince Young. It’s nothing new.
However, EJ Manuel has done everything you could ask out of a young quarterback. Working out with his receivers during the summer and developing chemistry with Sammy Watkins during OTA’s, there really isn’t much he can do that he hasn’t already done. The fact that he is going so far to develop himself and his offense shows maturity and leadership. These are traits that can’t be coached; One of the true signs he can become “The” franchise quarterback.
"“Obviously being a young guy sometimes you would look past somebody in a progression when you could’ve just held on a half second longer and he may have come open,” said Manuel. “So just going through my own film study this offseason is something I noticed.”-Buffalo Bills.com"
With the leadership of EJ Manuel, the Buffalo Bills have a playoff chance. They could also fall to 6-10. The success of the Buffalo Bills franchise rests on EJ Manuel’s shoulders. Whether he is ready, who can really say. QB coach Todd Downing explains what EJ has to do offensively in a nutshell;
"“I’m a big believer that knowledge is power and confidence,” Downing said. “EJ is going to have to learn this system inside and out. He needs to know it better than I know it. Then when he gets out on the field he can operate as a confident player and that will trickle down to the rest of the team.”"
No matter how much work Manuel puts in, it won’t be enough to silence critics. He has to show a vast improvement in his game this upcoming season or the fans will roast him alive. And trust me, Buffalo Bills fans are pessimistic, they’re never happy. Although you really can’t blame them.