Here now are the takeaways from Thursday’s work at St. Vincent College:
EJ takes a step
Manuel connected on 60 percent of his throws on Wednesday, but was even better Thursday completing 13 of his first 16 pass attempts during team work.
“I told EJ, to be honest my exact words were this is the best I’ve ever seen him. I don’t think he threw an incomplete pass,” said
The Bills quarterback looked clear headed with most of his decision making, and though his ball accuracy wasn’t perfect, there were several well-timed pass plays that went for first down yardage and more.
“I thought I was consistent. That is something I want to continue to build on,” said Manuel. “Don’t let it be a one, a two, a three day streak. Make it a 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.”
Spreading the wealth
Manuel said he doesn’t make a conscious effort to get everyone involved in the pass game, he just goes to the open target.
“I think it just happens. When certain guys are in a read, certain personnel at different spots on the field, you just give them an opportunity to go out and make a catch,” he said. “I feel like all of our receivers can go out, make plays and get open against any d-back in the league. As we continue to build that trust with each other it is going to be a beautiful thing with our offense.”
Regardless of how it unfolded Mike Williams believes the passing game turned a corner Thursday.
“With him progressing every day, I think it’s because of him,” said Williams of Manuel. “We’ve been catching passes and he’s been hitting us. With him progressing, it looked good.”
There were many benefits to Buffalo’s two days of practice work with Pittsburgh, but perhaps the most important was the demand it put on players lining up on both offense and defense to communicate with teammates pre-snap.
“When you see the offense over and over (in training camp) you kind of expect what’s going to happen,” said
“When you see different stuff and how they’re attacking with the motions and moving guys around we’ve got to stay on top of that,” he said.
On offense the communication up front was critical for what on the whole was pretty good protection for the quarterbacks over the two practices.
“Whenever you’re playing a defense like this you all want to be on the same page,” said
“I think our communication overall has really helped us out,” said Manuel. “Communicating to the o-line as far as picking up their blitzes and the schemes that they do down on the fronts.”
The offensive line continued to shuffle here in Latrobe. With
“He said he definitely feels more comfortable on the right side so that’s why we’re keeping him there right now,” said Urbik of Richardson.
“Not really (worried),” said Urbik. “Obviously Cordy when he comes back will need a little bit to get adjusted to the game, but I think we’ve all been around long enough to work for a few days and be comfortable with each other again.”