May 14, 2013; Orchard Park, NY, USA; Buffalo Bills quarterback E.J. Manuel (3) speaks with the media following organized team activities at Bills Healthy Zone Fieldhouse. Mandatory Credit: Timothy T. Ludwig-USA TODAY Sports

Buffalo Bills Say E.J. Manuel Needs "Work on Everything"


The Buffalo Bills gambled big when they drafted Florida State quarterback E.J. Manuel in the first round of this year’s NFL Draft. But while the gamble is one that has some fans in Buffalo excited about their team for once, there is significant work to be done before Manuel takes the field as the starter and leads the Bills. According to Offensive Coordinator Nathaniel Hackett, the Bills rookie needs work on just about every aspect of his game and is still a raw prospect.

“Everything,” Hackett said when asked about what Manuel needs to work on. “He’s a young man that’s got to work on a lot of things from footwork to progressions to plays to formations, everything. Defenses in the NFL are obviously a little different. He’s got to work on that too. He’s got to work on everything.”

This really shouldn’t come as too big of a surprise, as in the days leading up to the NFL Draft, Manuel was still rising on boards and was a last minute case of a guy breaking into the first-round. Many teams didn’t project or mock Manuel as a first-round quarterback until hours before the draft and his enormous rise up draft boards was a shock to some.

But the Bills thought that of all the prospects in the draft, Manuel was the best available and took him as the first and only quarterback in the first round. There is work to be done, but that should be expected of a rookie and Bills fans have no reason to hang their heads while they twiddle their thumbs in anticipation of Manuel starting.

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Tags: Buffalo Bills E.J. Manuel

  • NWBill

    Of course, EJ has to work on “everything” – he’s a college QB entering the NFL! How many truly polished QBs do you see come out of college, READY TO START ON DAY 1, on a yearly basis? Do you think an RGIII or a Russell Wilson pops up in the 1st round year after year? Even Wilson wasn’t thought to be a sure thing, until he got a chance to shine in Seattle! But what if he had been selected by the Giants? Or New England? You think that the circumstances would have been the same? My point is, everyone seems to think Manuel is so raw that Buffalo took a BIG chance on him; I see him as someone who has premier talent, but is in the same boat as any college QB – he has to learn the tools of his trade at that level, be able to lead his team when called upon to do so, and win games. EVERY QB faces that – and I don’t think this guy is a bigger risk than Geno Smith, Mike Glennon, or anyone else drafted this year. Bottom line is: NO ONE KNOWS what’s going to happen with these players. So, it’s WAY too early to be calling a particular player a “big gamble,” when that would apply to EVERY player drafted or signed out of college. There are way too many factors involved. Let’s just see what training camp and the first few games of the season holds in store for the Bills, OK?