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EJ Manuel: "I still prepare like I’m going to start"

Posted Aug 14, 2013

Bills quarterback EJ Manuel spoke after the night practice on Wednesday about Coach Marrone's decision to start Kevin Kolb against the Vikings, playing in front of the Bills fans for the first time and seeing a lot of ex-Florida State teammates.

QB EJ Manuel

Training Camp — August 14, 2013

Q: Do you understand where coach is coming from in trying to keep the competition equal?

A: Kevin’s healthy now and he made the decision I wouldn’t be starting.

Q: When you do get in there and you’re not starting from the get go, what’s different?

A: Nothing’s different. I still prepare like I’m going to start. Like I said when I get the opportunity to go in there and play, do well.

Q: What are your thoughts on seeing Christian [Ponder] again when you play the Vikings?

A: It’ll be good to see him. I talked to him a few months ago just to say hello and things like that. But it’ll be nice to go out there and play against some of the guys that also went to Florida State, Xavier [Rhodes], Everett Dawkins, Anthony McCloud, Rodney Smith. So, it’s quite a few guys.

Q: So, it’s going to be like a reunion practically, right?

A: Yeah, but we still want to get out of there with a win.

Q: Are you looking forward to play on your home field?

A: Most definitely. I’m really looking forward to seeing what kind of crowd we get out (there). Hopefully it’s a lot of people. We’ve had a lot come out to our night practices and things like that. So I’m sure being it’s a night game, our first game in Buffalo, I’m sure fans are really excited. I’m looking forward to seeing them out there.

Q: Coach Hackett said he needs you and [Jeff] Tuel to settle down a little bit. Is there a way to control your emotions?

A: I think what he meant by that was just stick to what he’s coaching us. Don’t try to do any more or any less than what we’re supposed to do as quarterbacks. Do our job, and we’ll be fine.

Q: Is there any sort of frustration that it was a big win, and now you’re not starting?

A: I wouldn’t say it’s frustration. Like I said, I’m focused on getting the reps I get and going out there and playing well.

Q: Does it motivate you even more to go out there and play harder?

A: Not really. No, sir.

Q: Were you surprised when you were told you weren’t getting the start?

A: I wasn’t going to be a bad teammate about it or anything like that. Coach is going to make the decisions. It’s his call. And that’s what it is.

Q: Obviously you’re a competitor and you’d liked to get the first reps?

A: Definitely.

Q: How did it feel getting the disappointment of not starting but also being told you played well last week?

A: We have conversations all the time. When he told me, it wasn’t like I was blindsided or anything like that. We have a great mode of communication, I think myself and all the quarterbacks and the coaches. So, he just told me that I played well and things like that.

Q: Did it take you by surprise when he told you?

A: No.