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EJ Manuel: "I definitely feel like I can go"

Posted Nov 6, 2013

The Bills quarterback talks about getting back to practice, the benefit he got from watching the games in the coach's box, and the biggest challenge in coming back from his injury.

QB EJ Manuel

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Q: How did you feel out there?

A: It felt pretty good. I was able to get out there, get with the ones on a lot of reps and it felt good overall.

Q: What your expectations for the week and Sunday?

A: I definitely feel  like I can go and it’s still up to Coach Marrone as far as what we want to do as a team. But I definitely feel confident going into Sunday.

Q: You feel confident for Sunday?

A: Yeah, very confident. I’m pushing off it fine and running around making plays on it fine.

Q: Would it be safe to say that the training regimen is harder than anything you do on the practice field?

A: I think they try to make it as close as it would be to a real game. Chris Fischetti has done a great job of getting me back, just like he did with my other knee injury so I feel very confident like I said on my knee moving around. Obviously I wouldn’t do anything if I didn’t, so that’s the biggest thing is feeling confident on it, being able to make plays and throws.

Q: What expectations do you have from where you left off?

A: I definitely expect to just go back in and make plays. That’s it.

Q: What types of coaching or instruction have you been given about running with the football?

A: Not a long, lengthy thing. I understand what I want to do. And as far as when I took off and ran, what happened was a freak accident. It could’ve went either way. If the guy missed my knee by a half inch more above it wouldn’t have been a problem. I think obviously if I get out of the pocket and I can’t get any more yards, get down and move on to the next play.

Q: Will you be any more reluctant to move around?

A: If somebody comes through the line, I’m definitely going to take off and run, so I’m not going to stop doing it.

Q: Any similarities you’ve noticed between Cleveland’s and Pittsburgh’s defensive tendencies?

A: A little bit. Coach (Dick) LeBeau is obviously a legend in his own right as far as a d-coordinator. He’s one of the greats. They have a lot of guys that can make a lot of plays, guys that I’ve grown up watching on TV, so I’m looking forward to this opportunity.

Q: Any thoughts on playing an angry team after giving up 55 points last week?

A: I think we’re angry too with being 3-6, so I think as a team we all want to go out there and put a good product out there and come back with a win.

Q: What is the biggest thing about coming back, is it the timing?

A: I don’t really think about that. I just think about getting into the offense. I feel like if I have good practice reps, obviously it’ll turn over into the game. I just try to make my reps out in practice as fast a speed as they would be in the game. So like I said, if it can be good in practice you should be able to do the same in the game.

Q: Have you sensed any drop off in a certain area?

A: I don’t think so, no drop off.

Q: Have you noticed any benefits from watching the game with Coach Hackett upstairs?

A: A lot of benefits. First off, seeing it from his point of view and understanding why he calls certain plays in situations and almost being a coordinator out there on the field; just being an extension of him from the box and being on the field.

Q: How about watching coverages from up high?

A: That’s the easiest thing. You can see the coverages pre-snap. I don’t know if you guys know coverages, I know you guys sit up there, too, so I’m sure after you watch it a number of times you can see it a little bit easier.

Q: What did you think of Marquise (Goodwin) running under that deep ball? Did you think it was overthrown?

A: Nah, I think Quise (Marquise Goodwin) is a guy you can’t really overthrow. If you are overthrowing him that’s fine. Just know the second time you throw it out there he’s going to catch it. He’s a guy, also with T.J. (Graham), guys who we feel like we can stretch the field with.

Q: With the situation in Miami, you’re a rookie, what did they make you do here?

A: We’ve had some things where obviously every rookie has gone through. But I think the big thing that coach has talked about is having respect amongst your teammates and I think the veterans all respect us as rookies. Obviously we still have to do things that a normal rookie would do. I think we’ll keep that between the team, just leave it at that, but I think the biggest thing is continuing to have respect amongst yourself and the team.

Q: Have coaches been involved in that?

A: Not really. I don’t think coaches have to really be involved. I think we have good guys on our team and we have good guys who are veterans on our team, so I don’t think we really have that problem.

Q: What did you sense being a quarterback while you were out and seeing the team struggle?

A: Obviously, losing any game is always disappointing. But I think the big thing for myself personally is I was able to take a lot from it and trying to make a negative into a positive when I come back this week. I’m expecting myself to come back and do what I would do if I had never gotten hurt; just continue to progress.

Q: Will you be wearing a knee brace or anything larger?

A: I might wear a knee brace, I’m not sure yet. But I might.

Q: Any thoughts on protecting the ball and the difficulty playing against a defense like Pittsburgh?

A: First, you never want to turn the ball over, I think that’s huge. You always want to have the turnover margin in your favor; you’re more likely to win that way. You never want to turn it over. But I think every defense in the League is good and every defense is different. Some teams bring more pressure than others, but being able to see it in the box I think it’ll help.

Q: Can you talk about a playoff run here?

A:  I think we can as a team. We go out here and do what we’re supposed to do week-in and week-out and not look too far in the schedule, if we just take it one week at a time I think we can put something together.

Q: How much would you like to get some time throwing to Marquise Goodwin and Robert Woods this week on the practice field?

A: I don’t think that really matters. Those guys run routes just like our other guys do. obviously with T.J. (Graham) being a speed guy, or Stevie (Johnson) being a guy who runs great routes inside like Woody (Robert Woods) would I don’t think it’ll matter too much.

Q: Can you talk about the benefit of coming back as some people term you the quarterback of the future?

A: I don’t really think about what other people think or anything, so I’m just happy I’m back to be a part with my teammates. It’s not very fun to be sitting in the training room while everybody else is at practice and you see them coming back in the locker room joking. You want to be along with the guys so I’m just happy to be back out, playing, feeling good, and get back in to a good grove this Sunday.

Q: Do you feel like a rookie again coming back after a few weeks out?

A: I wouldn’t say I feel like a rookie. I feel the same as I did four weeks ago, so I feel the same.