Coach Rex Ryan was pleased with Manuel's performance during Friday's preseason loss to Washington, where the fourth-year quarterback saw extensive action, Buffalo
Manuel is locked in as the No. 2 quarterback, but maybe the Bills won't be in as rough shape as they were last season when Tyrod Taylor couldn't play, should the need arise again. And to his credit, Manuel took last year's demotion and struggles with class and has seemingly worked harder to revive his career, one that has never come close to living up to Manuel's first-round status.
As disappointing as Manuel's NFL career has been since his first-round selection in 2013, there's almost no chance a very green Cardale Jones will unseat him for the No. 2 role entering the season. He's also looked much better this summer as he quietly tries to earn some trust in a brass that's watched him muddle through a number of sloppy performances during his first three pro seasons.
Coach Rex Ryan confirmed that
Manuel has done very little to match his first-round draft status from 2013, and he may have had one of the league's ugliest quarterbacking performances in a decade during last season's London loss to Jacksonville. That said, Ryan and GM Doug Whaley are sticking by him, and there's something to be said about Manuel's arm strength and familiarity with the Buffalo offense. However, you'll hear an incredibly loud gasp whenever Tyrod Taylor is slow to get up from the Ralph Wilson Stadium turf this fall.
Since he was selected 16th overall in the 2013 NFL Draft, Manuel's start count has dwindled from 10 to four to two over the course of the past three seasons. His quarterback rating hasn't deviated much during his brief career -- from 77.7 as a rookie to a career-high 80.3 in 2014 -- and his lack of improvement allowed Tyrod Taylor to stake a claim to the No. 1 QB gig in training camp last summer. With Taylor bursting forth with 3,035 yards passing, 20 touchdowns versus six interceptions, and a healthy 568 yards and four more scores on the ground, he provided the offense with a dual threat that Manuel lacked. As a result, it was clear from the outset of the offseason that the Bills wouldn't commit the $11.4 million owed under the guidelines of Manuel's fifth-year option.
EJ Manuel started two games in 2015 when Tyrod Taylor was injured, both losses as the Buffalo Bills fell to the Bengals and Jaguars in back-to-back weeks. He finished the season 52-of-84 for 561 yards, three touchdowns, and three interceptions.
The performances on paper were actually better than what took place on the field, as Manuel pretty much single-handedly lost the Jags game in London, which derailed a somewhat promising season at the time for Rex Ryan's boys. He never tossed a pass after that, and while the team speaks highly of his work ethic and attitude, it remains to be seen if the former first-rounder can capably lead an NFL offense. We'll see if GM Doug Whaley sticks by his guy for one more season, though Taylor is the clear starter entering the 2016 season.
|9||11/7/16||@ SEA||8:30 pm|
|Bye: Week 10|
|11||11/20/16||@ CIN||1:00 pm|
|13||12/4/16||@ OAK||4:05 pm|
|17||1/1/17||@ NYJ||1:00 pm|
|Year||Team||G||Fum||Lost||Fum Forced||Own Rec||Opp Rec||Yds||Tot Rec||TD|