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For those who have watched Manuel


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#1 KzooMike

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Posted 16 September 2013 - 11:05 PM

I work every Sunday, I don't have Sunday ticket, and I live in a market that has local feeds for both AFC and NFC match ups. Point being, I hardly get to see this Bills anymore. I follow them on NFL.com, it's just hard seeing live footage. I'm trying very hard to see EJ Manuel as our franchise guy so I was hoping for some perspective on a few specific areas of what you have witnessed.

I had watched several college games Manuel played in over multiple years, probably 7-8 total, and my perception of him was slow release, slow decisions, and loose with the football. It was also clear to me he had excellent mobility, massive strides, cannon for an arm. Just clearly a very athletic player. I have read great things about his character since we drafted him, so plus in that department.  

So I know he has all these intangible qualities that I should love, but watching him at Florida State, I just didn't think he was a guy that would put it together in the areas I talked about. Namely release/decision making/call it progressions etc. In my opinion that is what makes it in the NFL as a QB. I was very concerned when we drafted him and I understand I'm not the end all by any stretch, I mean Colin Kaepernick? I also saw a ton of him at Nevada, never saw that in a million years. I did expect Wilson and RG3 to be studs. Same reason I was worried about Manuel but the opposite. I saw those guys progressing down with reads and being athletic as Freshman. It was clear watching both those players even at a very young age in college they could do just about anything.

So the question(s) is when you have watched Manuel live what have you seen in terms of progressions? Is he checking down? Throwing a lot of predetermined throws based on pre-snap reads? Is he being given only 2 progressions? How is his timing in getting rid of the ball? I'm seeing great stats here, but I'm not seeing how he is reaching those stats. I would love to think his head is on a swivel and he's delivering to option 4, but I'm worried it's a lot of stuff that limits his progressions to the extent we can't get a read on him. I take this all in the context that this is a very young starter, so even if he isn't making progressions well now he could down the road. I'm just curious as to what people are seeing in this specific aspect of his game right now.

Thanks

Edited by KzooMike, 16 September 2013 - 11:10 PM.


#2 PromoTheRobot

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Posted 16 September 2013 - 11:22 PM

Hackett and Marrone has EJ running a very limited set of plays.  Some folks here complain he's too conservative but considering EJ only had half a training camp it's probably a good idea.  He's not taking big chances on throws so, yeah, he checks down often but there have been a few long throws to keep teams honest.

His accuracy is pretty good on short and medium throws, not so much on long ones.  He's only run a few times.  I can't recall a single read option where he took off with the ball.  His runs were mainly scrambles.  Luckily those have been few since the O-line protection has been pretty good.  I don't think he's been sacked yet.

His best quality seems to be his calm.  The guy doesn't get down on himself or rattled.  Right before he led that game wining drive he had a couple of tough turnovers.  He just shook them off.

Yes he's made some bad throws, but he's also made great throws that get called back on dumb penalties.  That's still a problem for the Bills,

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#3 Alphadawg7

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Posted 16 September 2013 - 11:56 PM

Here is the run down...

EJ missed a large chunk of training camp and preseason, and that was very important time to help him adjust to the speed of the game in the NFL.  So, the result of that is a kid who has to check down a few times, which is just fine and the right thing to do for a young QB and something I am sure they game planned for.  Basically if its not there don't force and be smart with the ball and check it down.  As he gets more reps and more experience he will see the field even more than he already is and he has shown a lot of growth already.  

EJ has seemed to start a little slow each game and then as he gets a feel for the D more as the game goes on seems to settle in more and start seeing the field better.

EJ has also made many throws that should have been completions that were either negated by penalty or dropped by the receiver, so I will say he has actually played better than the stats indicate.  Essentially in 11 quarters of live NFL play (3 quarters in the preseason and 2 full games) he has 6 TD's to one INT.  He has been smart for the most part with the ball and remains poised and confident with the ball.  

Seeing this kid lead a 2 min drive in the preseason was one thing, but seeing him do it in a real game, against a good D, with less than 2 min on the clock, and NO timeouts was very impressive.  This kid seems to have an IT factor to go with all his physical gifts.  

Yes, he has missed some throws, but a lot of that has to do with the fact he and the receivers are still working on their timing since they missed a lot of key time together.  At the same time, he has made many very impressive throws and impressive decisions, not to mention so key runs.  

Overall, this kid is playing better than a typical rookie, has a great rating, and has a lot going for him.  I am convinced that this kid is the real deal as he has things that can't be taught and the physical gifts to correct any flaws he still has to work on.  He has a lot to work on, just like any young QB, but he looks like he will be a real player in this league.

#4 Rubes

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Posted 17 September 2013 - 12:30 AM

View PostPromoTheRobot, on 16 September 2013 - 11:22 PM, said:

His accuracy is pretty good on short and medium throws, not so much on long ones.  He's only run a few times.  I can't recall a single read option where he took off with the ball.  His runs were mainly scrambles.  Luckily those have been few since the O-line protection has been pretty good.  I don't think he's been sacked yet.

Small point, but the strip/fumble is considered a sack as well since it was behind the LOS.


#5 Tsaikotic

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Posted 17 September 2013 - 01:08 AM

his ability to escape sacks seems to be good also...week 1 he twisted his body right out of a potential sack and week 2 he somehow was able to keep himself up with 1 hand to avoid falling and got the ball off...

I know this isn't what you asked for but I'll give you the stats of EJ vs. Geno thru 2 games:

Geno Smith: Pass - com/att = 39/73, 470 yards, 1 TD, 4 Int, 1 Fum, 9 sacks, 55.2 rating; Run - 9 runs, 64 yards, 0 TD's

EJ Manuel: Pass - com/att = 45/66, 446 yards, 3 TD, 1 Int, 1 Fum, 1 Sack, 95.5 rating; Run - 7 runs, 36 yards, 0 TD's

Edited by Tsaikotic, 17 September 2013 - 01:23 AM.


#6 bobblehead

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Posted 17 September 2013 - 05:39 AM

Slow release? Really?

#7 THE KIKO MONSTER

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Posted 17 September 2013 - 06:01 AM

I am happy overall with Manuels play thusfar, but he has had quite few very lucky breaks. He has thrown four or five would-be interceptions if the defender could've pulled it in. Every time he chucks it long,  I fear the outcome.

#8 eball

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Posted 17 September 2013 - 06:02 AM

View Postbobblehead, on 17 September 2013 - 05:39 AM, said:

Slow release? Really?

Yeah, that jumped out at me in the OP as well.  EJ has a very quick release.

To me the most impressive thing about EJ thus far is his ability to handle "the moment."  He's supremely confident without being cocky or arrogant, and teammates are already talking about his "cool" in the huddle.  You can see this also in the way he remains calm in the pocket -- compare, for example, Geno Smith.  First read isn't open, and he's dancing.

I believe the downfield passing game will continue to develop as EJ and his receivers gain more chemistry.

Look at it this way -- Luck and Griffin went in the top two picks last year.  EJ has played just as well as those guys did in their first two weeks, and everyone was raving about their quick assimilation into the NFL.

#9 Why So Serious?

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Posted 17 September 2013 - 06:51 AM

View PostKzooMike, on 16 September 2013 - 11:05 PM, said:

I work every Sunday, I don't have Sunday ticket, and I live in a market that has local feeds for both AFC and NFC match ups. Point being, I hardly get to see this Bills anymore. I follow them on NFL.com, it's just hard seeing live footage. I'm trying very hard to see EJ Manuel as our franchise guy so I was hoping for some perspective on a few specific areas of what you have witnessed.

I had watched several college games Manuel played in over multiple years, probably 7-8 total, and my perception of him was slow release, slow decisions, and loose with the football. It was also clear to me he had excellent mobility, massive strides, cannon for an arm. Just clearly a very athletic player. I have read great things about his character since we drafted him, so plus in that department.  

So I know he has all these intangible qualities that I should love, but watching him at Florida State, I just didn't think he was a guy that would put it together in the areas I talked about. Namely release/decision making/call it progressions etc. In my opinion that is what makes it in the NFL as a QB. I was very concerned when we drafted him and I understand I'm not the end all by any stretch, I mean Colin Kaepernick? I also saw a ton of him at Nevada, never saw that in a million years. I did expect Wilson and RG3 to be studs. Same reason I was worried about Manuel but the opposite. I saw those guys progressing down with reads and being athletic as Freshman. It was clear watching both those players even at a very young age in college they could do just about anything.

So the question(s) is when you have watched Manuel live what have you seen in terms of progressions? Is he checking down? Throwing a lot of predetermined throws based on pre-snap reads? Is he being given only 2 progressions? How is his timing in getting rid of the ball? I'm seeing great stats here, but I'm not seeing how he is reaching those stats. I would love to think his head is on a swivel and he's delivering to option 4, but I'm worried it's a lot of stuff that limits his progressions to the extent we can't get a read on him. I take this all in the context that this is a very young starter, so even if he isn't making progressions well now he could down the road. I'm just curious as to what people are seeing in this specific aspect of his game right now.

Thanks
First of all for $99 if you buy the Madden 25 video game you get Sunday Ticket on any device for free. You can sell the game after you get the paper out if you don't game. If you can still do it and afford the C note do it. Its a no brainer.

Second. I watched him at Florida State not as much as you and didn't see an NFL decision maker either. He is custom tailored to be a NFL QB in his height, size, arm strength, and speed but he seemed to make late/bad decision at Florida State all the time.

I gotta say he isn't lighting it up but he looks a lot better in pre season and the regular season. Especially in the 2 min drill.
I credit the coaching staff. He still seems to be afraid of the long ball but he has a quick release and is making decisions quicker on the short stuff than he did at Florida State imo.

#10 Doc

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Posted 17 September 2013 - 06:55 AM

He's still got a ways to go, but the early signs are very encouraging.  I didn't expect him to look this good being a rookie, nevermind missing 3 weeks of camp, 2 pre-season games and still recovering from knee surgery.  That he's running a no-huddle offense, and at times with a malfunctioning helmet radio, is even more impressive.

#11 Wayne Cubed

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Posted 17 September 2013 - 07:08 AM

Remember when Dick Jauron attempted to run the no-huddle with Trent Edwards...

#12 jboyst62

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Posted 17 September 2013 - 08:13 AM

I will reply tonight to this. Soooo someone quote me so I get the notification and remember.  It might be late, though.  Busy day

#13 chris heff

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Posted 17 September 2013 - 08:50 AM

I've written all this before. I watched Manuel at FSU. He gets blamed for some things that really should be on his receivers. The FSU offense is perceived by some as simple. Perhaps it is in it's design but not in it's execution, especially for young receivers. That offense is a limited number of plays run out of multiple formations. If a receiver is in the wrong place it can make a QB look indecisive or inaccurate. Manuel also did not have a very good relationship with Jimbo Fisher.

As to Manuel's current play, he is thinking too much. He seems to be so concerned about making a mistake, he is overly cautious,. He also aims the ball at times instead of just throwing it. When he is in a two minute drive he is at his best because he just plays. He did that on Sunday and in the first preseason game. To be able to run the two minute drill is a great quality that some QBs never get. As to the rest of his game, I believe it will come in time, as his confidence builds, the game will slow down and he gets to know his receivers better.

#14 YoloinOhio

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Posted 17 September 2013 - 08:52 AM

View PostWayne Cubed, on 17 September 2013 - 07:08 AM, said:

Remember when Dick Jauron attempted to run the no-huddle with Trent Edwards...
Talk about your all-time backfires.

#15 aristocrat

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Posted 17 September 2013 - 09:00 AM

Wasn't EJ timed and had the quickest release of all the qb's over the last few years?  I see him checking down to the 3rd and 4th reads.  Think about the drops and penalties bringing back a couple large gains...spillers 30 yarder(run play but set up pass but i'm not sure what the result of that drive was) and stevies 3rd and one etc.  2nd game of a pro career and people think he should be playing like Manning.  It's called developing a qb...its a process that you slowly give him more responsibility.

#16 Dorkington

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Posted 17 September 2013 - 09:07 AM

Other than a couple missed deep throws, I think EJ has looked really composed for a rookie, especially considering his pre-season.

The interception was a dumb, dumb, decision, but it wasn't like he does that a lot, so I consider it an isolated mistake... even vets do that sometimes. The fumble was a missed block, but he could use to tighten up his form so the ball is a bit higher, again another thing that isn't unique to him or even rookies.

Two games in, he's shown poise, command, decent accuracy and a solid arm. Couldn't ask for more as a rookie. :)

#17 chris heff

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Posted 17 September 2013 - 09:10 AM

View PostDorkington, on 17 September 2013 - 09:07 AM, said:

Other than a couple missed deep throws, I think EJ has looked really composed for a rookie, especially considering his pre-season.

The interception was a dumb, dumb, decision, but it wasn't like he does that a lot, so I consider it an isolated mistake... even vets do that sometimes. The fumble was a missed block, but he could use to tighten up his form so the ball is a bit higher, again another thing that isn't unique to him or even rookies.

Two games in, he's shown poise, command, decent accuracy and a solid arm. Couldn't ask for more as a rookie. :)
I also felt on that interception that Graham could have done more. Shouldn't he have been coming back to that ball instead of waiting for it?

#18 Nervous Guy

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Posted 17 September 2013 - 09:10 AM

why hasn't microscopes joined in this thread????

#19 FeartheLosing

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Posted 17 September 2013 - 09:24 AM

All ya gotta know is that 2 min drill EJ ran to perfection in the pre season was no fluke.

At the end of this game the Bills got the ball on their own 20 yard line with 1:28 left, and no time outs. 10 plays later EJ hits SJ in the end zone with :06 seconds left on the clock for a TD.The Bills tie the score and the point after gives them a one point win!! 23-24.

Poise out the kazoo for EJ, 27 / 39 for 296 1TD, 1 INT against a very good Panther front 7.

#20 Cynical

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Posted 17 September 2013 - 09:39 AM

View PostYoloInTheBlo, on 17 September 2013 - 08:52 AM, said:

Talk about your all-time backfires.

Backfire is understatement.
Depending on your perspective, it was either a nightmare or comedy gold.

Putting this back on thread topic:

At this stage, I am encouraged by what I have seen so far of EJ. I will leave it at that.

The guy has only played 2 regular season games, with a limited number of plays available to him.
If somebody is looking for flaws in his game, they will find them.
If somebody is looking for positive progression in his game, they will find their proof.