EJ Manuel is under intense pressure to perform well for the Buffalo Bills this season, and wide receiver Mike Williams has noticed progress coming from the second-year signal caller.
Williams raved about Manuel after yesterday's joint practice with the Pittsburgh Steelers, giving Bills fans hope that he just may raise his level of play to help the Bills contend for a playoff berth.
"I told EJ, to be honest my exact words were this is the best I’ve ever seen him.," Williams said. "I don’t think he threw an incomplete pass (Thursday). Everything was on time, we got everything we wanted. It was perfect. Coming out of our breaks and the ball is right there. It’s just the best I’ve seen him. If he keeps going like this, we’re going to be something to play with."
Williams was acquired in the offseason in a trade with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and is one of many offensive weapons at Manuel's disposal. His big frame makes him a viable target in the redzone, along with tight end Scott Chandler. Still, with Manuel looking sharp against a Steelers defense, albeit in practice, it's a great sign for Buffalo.
"I thought I was consistent," Manuel said. "That is something I want to continue to build on. Don’t let it be a one, a two, a three-day streak. Make it an everyday thing. It is a process. I am still going to continue to buy into the process. Continue to listen to Coach Downing. He has been helping us out tremendously as a quarterback group together so I am very excited about the steps that we are taking. I think that we are right on time for where we want to be as an offense. Continue to develop within this preseason."
Consistency is something Manuel struggled with last season. While working through the growing pains of a rookie season and struggling to stay healthy, Manuel was unable to find consistency in his game. This season, he hopes to stay healthy and continue to progress, as consistency from him will be vital for the Bills if they hope to make a serious run at the playoffs.
Buffalo will play Pittsburgh on Saturday, and will come into the game without scoring a touchdown with their first offensive unit. That is something Manuel says he hopes to change.
"Yeah, that is one thing I really want to do is score," Manuel said. "I do not know how much I am going to play, but I know before I come out we would like to have a touchdown as an offense and as a first group."
Manuel's confidence seems to be growing, and his play will benefit from the boost. If Buffalo is able to score with their first offensive unit, it will give the entire team confidence that things are coming together, and Manuel will get more comfortable as the preseason moves along.
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