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As Buffalo Bills Get Set for Training Camp, All Eyes are on EJ Manuel

July 16th, 2014 at 9:51 PM
By Anthony Custode Jr

With the defense expected to be as stout as last season, and the new additions made to the offense, all eyes will be fixated on Buffalo Bills second-year quarterback EJ Manuel.

Manuel missed six games last season due to injuries to both knees, and his effectiveness suffered after missing time. He seemed to be progressing fairly well until he was injured in week 5 against the Cleveland Browns. Four weeks later, Manuel returned and laid a Ryan Leaf-sized egg against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. 

As this season is set to begin, Manuel says he feels stronger than ever and that he doesn't expect his health to be a concern. If that's the case, his game better progress, and progress quickly. The Bills are in a "win now" mentality, and with the early success of other young quarterbacks like Andrew Luck, Robert Griffin III and Nick Foles, Manuel can't hide behind the fact that he only has 10 regular season NFL games under his belt. 

Buffalo made Manuel's job easier, though, at least it seems that way. Not only is he getting a healthy Fred Jackson and CJ Spiller to start the season, he will also get a speedy play-maker in Sammy Watkins and a big frame in Mike Williams to throw to, not to mention Stevie Johnson is no longer in Buffalo to drop the ball in critical moments. 

Manuel may be entering his sophomore season with the Bills, but in the eyes of many, this is his make-or-break season. If he doesn't progress enough to help Buffalo compete for a playoff berth, many will view the season as a failure and throw Manuel in a category of the other nameless quarterbacks who have failed in Buffalo since Jim Kelly retired. 

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