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May 28, 2014; Buffalo, NY, USA; Buffalo Bills quarterback EJ Manuel (3) passes the ball as offensive coordinator Nathaniel Hackett and quarterback Jeff Tuel (7) look on during organized team activities at Ralph Wilson Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Hoffman-USA TODAY Sports

Buffalo Bills offense struggles early in OTAs

The Buffalo Bills sport one of the youngest offenses in the league thanks to the last two years of work by GM Doug Whaley. They’ve moved quickly to rebuild around second year quarterback EJ Manuel, rookie wide receiver Sammy Watkins and one of the top running games in the league. So it should come as no surprise that the early returns on this young passing game aren’t pretty.

WGR 550′s Joe Buscaglia reports, “EJ Manuel is either pulling the ball down quickly and not throwing it, or often he’s overthrowing wide open receivers.

That sounds a lot like EJ Manuel in 2013, but let’s not worry just yet. Veteran running back Fred Jackson put the struggles into perspective.

Right now we’re throwing just about everything that we have in the playbook at us, so guys are going to make mistakes, guys aren’t going to run the depth on their routes that they’re supposed to, missed blocking assignments, missed pass protections that’s expected with the volume that we’ve put in.”

It’s so wildly, incredibly early to criticize any team’s rhythm on either side of the ball, but let’s face it: the entire 2014-2015 stretch of Buffalo Bills football hinges on the play of EJ Manuel. If Manuel is a dud, not only do the Bills miss the playoffs again, but they miss out on a good draft in 2015 pick thanks to the Sammy Watkins trade. The team is all in on this season.

Any news of Manuel’s struggles is going to turn any Buffalo fan ashen-faced, but there are months of practice ahead and plenty of time to evaluate between now and September. For now, let the kids work the mistakes out of their system and get ready for the season.

Tags: Buffalo Bills EJ Manuel

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