You can surely make the argument that no quarterback in the NFL is under more pressure than EJ Manuel. Sure, the Buffalo Bills‘ signal-caller was just a rookie in 2013, but the tides are changing as NFL teams across the league now expect a level of success from a first-year quarterback. Manuel can thank the likes of Robert Griffin III, Andrew Luck and Russell Wilson for those high standards.
Either way, Manuel’s first NFL campaign was marred by injury as the quarterback was only able to play in 10 games and throw for 11 touchdowns. It’s perfectly fine to chalk Manuel’s rookie season up as a wash considering the Bills were in a rebuilding year, anyway, but the same can not be said about 2014.
In fact, the Bills are likely to be a hot-button team this offseason as a serious dark-horse contender. First and foremost, this Bills team was second to only the Carolina Panthers in sacks last year with 57. Needless to say, the Bills’ young defensive group is only going to get better with new defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz at the helm.
Thus, the pressure is building for Manuel. The former first-round pick must make sure he ends the offseason on a healthy note, so that he can hit the ground running come July and August. It’s a make-or-break time for Manuel as he doesn’t want to fall into the Blaine Gabbert category with another spotty year in 2014.