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Home / NBA / EJ Manuel: Bills offense easier to learn than Florida State’s

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Photo Credit: nfl.si.com/AP

The Buffalo Bills shocked many when they pulled the trigger on Florida State Seminoles quarterback EJ Manuel with the 16th pick in this year’s NFL Draft. Manuel, a 6’5, 240 pound athletic freak, was suspected by many not even to be a first round pick. In fact, many analysts had Manuel going in the third round, and also predicted the Bills to draft former Syracuse Orange quarterback Ryan Nassib given the connection between Nassib and new Bills coach Doug Marrone, who coached Nassib at Syracuse before being hired by Buffalo this year. However, Marrone and the Bills instead went with Manuel, who will now compete with recent addition Kevin Kolb for the starting job.

Marrone has decided to institute a West-Coast offense with the Bills, and Manuel could not be happier about this, even going as far as saying the offense is easier to learn than his previous offense with Florida State. Here are some comments from Manuel courtesy of ESPNNewYork:

“The funny thing is it’s easier to learn than the offense I had at Florida State,” he told SiriusXM NFL Radio. “It’s a true West Coast-type progression offense. That’s really what I wanted when I was coming through the pre-draft process. I wanted something that I could just go in and say 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, check it down and run it. That’s it, it’s that simple. I love it.”

He said he spent extensive time during the Bills’ rookie minicamp and organized team activities working with offensive coordinator Nathaniel Hackett.

“I’ve done great. The learning curve for me is a lot shorter simply because of what I had at Florida State. [The Seminoles’ offense is] more complex and a little bit harder to catch on and learn. This offense is very simple. I’ve done a great job with it,” he said in the interview.

That statement must be music to Bills fans ears, along with the coaching staff. Manuel has the physical abilities to be something special in this league, given the proper chance to develop at this level. However, just as important as comprehending the teams offense is being able to read the opposition’s defense, which is the true adjustment for most young quarterbacks.

It will be interesting to see how the Bills handle Manuel’s progression. Many teams that use a first-round pick on a quarterback feel pressured to throw him right into the fire, but it may be better for the Bills to let Kolb start the season until Manuel is ready to play at an NFL level. Coach Marrone has come out and said he is still open to both possibilities, so an official decision may not come until closer to the start of the season.

By: Frank Santos


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