From the moment Doug Marrone declared an open quarterback competition in Buffalo, it has been widely suggested by NFL analysts that EJ Manuel will be the Buffalo Bills week 1 starter. “You don’t draft a guy at 16 in today’s NFL and think to yourself ‘well, let’s wait down the road.’ There’s no reason to wait for him. Let’s get him ready to go,” says the NFL Network’s Charles Davis.
Charles is right, and the Bills appear to be doing everything within their power to ‘get him ready to go.’ So far, Manuel has risen to the challenge and appears poised to succeed in Buffalo’s new offense almost instantly. He is already developing chemistry with the team’s other young offensive weapons, namely Robert Woods, Marquise Goodwin, and undrafted free agent Da’Rick Rogers.
On top of the early chemistry, Manuel also has a high football IQ, superior athleticism, and a good grasp of the offense working to his advantage in the alleged open QB competition. In a radio interview on Sunday, Manuel claimed to be picking up the offensive playbook rapidly, and loving the new progressive scheme. “The funny thing is it’s easier to learn than the offense I had at Florida State,” he said. “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.”
This all bodes very well for Manuel, who is as primed as any rookie quarterback in recent years to have instant NFL success.