EJ Manuel had his rookie season trimmed a bit short, as he started just 10 of a possible 16 games, but Fred Jackson has declared his confidence in Manuel.
Jackson explained on WGR 550 that he believes Manuel is wise beyond his years.
“I’ve had an opportunity to sit in the quarterback meetings with him and Nate (Hackett) while they’re talking through the schemes that are going in and Nate will be talking to him about a coverage and what he’s thinking and right off the bat he knows what he’s supposed to be looking for if it’s cover-four, cover-three or cover-two, he knows where he’s supposed to go and where the reads are going to be,” Jackson said on the show. “That’s tremendous for a rookie. Anytime you have a rookie that knows those types of things it’s going to make him better. His decision making with the ball is one of the things that helped us stay in games and put some points up.”
Many have thought that Buffalo's offensive playbook may have been restricted due to Manuel being a rookie, and Jackson would not deny that. He did, however, say that he expects their scheme to expand next season, as Manuel continues to develop.
“I would think so,” Jackson said. “EJ was a rookie so there were things we couldn’t put in or if it was too much they might’ve thought not to put it in. I definitely see them taking the shackles off if there were any. I don’t know what all the conversations were, but I’m sure with him being a rookie and defenses being a lot more exotic than what you see in college there was a lot of the offense that they left out. It’ll be fun to see what we do in OTAs and in minicamps and things like that because I think he’ll be a lot better.”
Fans are eager to see how Manuel will develop after having his rookie season under his belt. His health has also drawn concerns already, as he was sidelined three times in his rookie campaign. Yet Jackson doesn't appear worried, and should be well aware that Manuel will require him and CJ Spiller to continue to be a force in the running game so that Manuel can succeed in the passing game.
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