When Buffalo Bills General Manager Doug Whaley made a bold draft day move to go get Sammy Watkins, many said his decision to give up a first round pick in the 2015 draft was basically doubling down on EJ Manuel.
Perhaps the G-M has essentially tied his own future to the success or failure of Manuel, so Whaley is closely following his QB’s progress in year number two.
Whaley was a guest on the WGR morning show on Wednesday and the scout in him came out when Whaley was asked about what he’s been looking for from Manuel during practices and games.
“When you have a quarterback you want a guy that is decisive and not only with his decision making on the field, but with his decision making even when he is spitting out an offensive play” Whaley said. “A guy that can command the huddle and has a presence around him, which we saw at Florida State. That’s something we’re looking for and we’re starting to see it. A guy who looks comfortable and has a presence about him as far as the whole essence of being a quarterback.”
Whaley said Manuel is a perfectionist and at times they have to tell him not to worry about being perfect and to “just be a football player”. Whaley added that he has seen some differences in Manuel this summer as opposed to the rookie QB he watched last season. The Bills GM cited last Saturday’s game in Pittsburgh and an attempted pass for Scott Chandler that was picked off as one example.
“He wouldn’t have made that throw last year. He wouldn’t have tried to fit that into a hole so we’re okay with that” Whaley said. “He’s so hard on himself that he doesn’t want to make a mistake, that sometimes he doesn’t take the patience and let a play develop. ‘Oh its not there, let me dump it off.’ Take a second and let the play develop.”
Whaley also talked about the offensive line and said he wasn’t surprised at how well rookie tackle Seantrel Henderson has fared so far. Whaley said Henderson, who has been the number one right tackle in practices this week, would have been a first round pick had it not been for off field issues while at the University of Miami.
While Henderson was taken in the seventh round, the Bills used a second round selection on fellow tackle Cyrus Kouandjio. As opposed to Henderson who is flourishing, Kouandjio has had his fair share of struggles.
“It’s a realization that we thought the transition from left to right was going to be a little bit easier for him and its going to take some time. When he uses the proper technique, he’s fine but when he gets overanxious and he’s not comfortable, he abandons his technique and that’s when he gets into trouble.”
You can hear the entire interview with Whaley and hear what he had to say about Sammy Watkins, CJ Spiller’s contract/future, the possibility of a Marcell Dareus suspension and his scouting plans for the upcoming college season:
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I'm not buying it even if this was offered at a garage sale. We need a quarterback and I'm not backing off on my opinion one bit. The backups are a Joke. Find one that has played in this league and let EJ learn the ropes if that is possible being the backup if he stinks the joint out at Chicago as the starter. Do something. I'm not impressed one bit at the quarterback situation. If there is an envision of getting to the playoffs this season, quarterback is the key once again at One Bills Drive. What do we want? To be 10-6 or 6-10 or worse? Getting someone who could push EJ could make a difference too. What we have at backup now couldn't push a broom.
Working for Who next Year!
New owner, New G.M. ?
All in on Manuel
Guess Whaley will be looking for a new job next year if it depends on Manuel. Bring in a top flight receiver for a QB who only throws to backs and tight ends. Can't wait to see what happens when he goes down to injury with no real experience backup.Maybe Pittsburgh will take him back.
I personally think Whaley has done a good job. But, in this league, hanging your hat on one rack means if they clean hose, the rack gets changed to. I hope EJ pans out THIS YEAR because Buffalo (and it's new owner) doesn't have anymore patience for years to come. At some point we want to see results. And this year, that result is a playoff birth. Apart from that , it's been another failure. This team has pro bowlers, great new talent, and everything else that is capable of making the playoffs. It come down to one simple equation. Can you beat the other teams enough to make the playoffs. And that starts by winning your division. Better team or not. Win The Games.
What is not to like about henderson
First of all the bills got bookends now. When was last time we had that. Seem to me they got bookends on the defense too. depending on how they play these guys and we got depth to go with that. if the bills are throwing punches at each other. What dose that tell you when they are playing another team. I mean come on now we got players that can come off the bench and get the job done. I will say this again when was the last time we had that. If you say with the 90 bills than you are correct. Lets go ruff buff.
Whaley's a dork. So is Simon.
Stop with the "Find another QB"
We got EJ, we will stick with EJ...no matter what. The kid is going to get 16 games. The defense is good enough. The running backs are good enough, the O-Line will be fine. This team has all the makings for a team that (on paper at least) can compete. If EJ plays just two steps better than how he played last year we can get to 9-7. This team is good enough for a 9-7 season. 9-7...anything can happen. Maybe we will get lucky and take a game that we shouldn't win. Either way EJ is getting 16 games. Sit down, strap in and pray for 9 wins.
EJ Doesn't Need Motivation
You guys are idiots if you think EJ needs a vet to push him. Say anything you want about him but work ethic is not the problem. How many teams have really good back-up QBs in the league? Very few.
Draft 2015 2 - 7 rounds
Next year, lets take a QB in each round... we would be sure to uncover some talent.
Does Steve Balmer have any money yet... maybe he could buy the BILLS
Re: Stop with the "Find another QB"
You're Joking. Stay off the energy drinks my friend. I'll strap in and prepare for the train wreck.
I have no problem
with this GM reaching and drafting manuel - but to not bring in more qb's this year after watching the batch of garbage we had play last year is inexcusable and proof positive that this GM is completely clueless when it comes to QBs. The fact he's happy with what he's seen of EJ so far in practice and preaseason shows how clueless he is. And there is no question he put his job on the line by using 2 first round draft picks to get manuel a great wr. Unfortunately the next GM wont be able to replace manuel with a first round level qb in next years draft. Again, the worst part is not brining in more QBs - even if you think manuel is good, at least accept the possibility you are wrong, or understand even if manuel is good, he could get injured. When the Bills are sinking because of terrible QB play by mid season, everyone will understand what I'm saying, and will be wishing we had at least a hopeful in a second or third round QB from this draft that we could at least put in and hope we win the lottery, because you know we won't get anything from tuel or lewis.
E.J >>>>>> The Experiment.
If it fails, he should be fired immediately. How many more good years have to be wasted on experiments?