EJ Manuel knew he had a lot of work ahead of him after a tough rookie year. He appeared in ten games thanks to multiple injuries and in those games he put up some rocky performances to say the least. Manuel completed 58% of his passes for 11 TDs and 9 INTs. In order to prepare for the 2014 season, Manuel hit the film room hard. His subjects? Five quarterbacks in particular.
In a radio interview with WGR 550, EJ Manuel detailed his studying habits and the five players he studied. Those players? Drew Brees, Aaron Rodgers, Andy Dalton, Cam Newton and Russell Wilson.
“I think they all offer similar things that I can do” Manuel said when explaining why he chose those five. “Whether its throwing the ball down the field, the vertical passing game or taking off and running and just being smarter when you do that. That’s one area I had to grow from last year. That’s why I had the knee injury (against Cleveland).”
In addition to the mental aspect of the game, Manuel also noted that he’s worked extra hard on the strength in and around his knees, where he suffered all three of his injuries.
After the team mortgaged part of its future to move up in the draft and acquire Sammy Watkins as a top target for Manuel, many feel the pressure is on EJ to win this year and put a rough rookie year behind him. Manuel doesn’t necessarily agree.
“If you go out there and prepare, there shouldn’t be any pressure,” Manuel concluded. “Just go out there and play the game. Its still a game at the end of the day and just win. If you win, everything else will relax and that pressure that you talk about will be gone.”