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EJ Manuel: "I'm always critical of myself"

Posted Sep 8, 2013

The Bills rookie quarterback talks about his NFL debut and the 23-21 loss to the Patriots.

BUFFALO BILLS QUARTERBACK EJ MANUEL

On how he felt his first NFL game went:

The biggest thing is you want to lead the offense and get guys in position, move the ball down the field and not have three-and-outs or anything like that. Overall, for the first game I thought it was pretty good but we’ve got to win at the end of the day.

On the last drive of the fourth quarter going three-and-out and not killing the clock:

I think, not even that drive though, I think it was a few drives late in the third or fourth quarter that we had to continue to get down the field possibly getting a field goal or a touchdown that could’ve sealed the game. But it’s happened; it’s over with, now you’ve got to move forward to next week.

On if he’s critical on himself for today’s game:

I’m always critical of myself because I don’t like to make mistakes twice. I really don’t like to make them once, if not twice. Overall, at the end of the day we lost so I can’t really say we did this great, we did that great. At the end of the day you want to win.

On if he was calm or nervous starting the game:

I was very calm. I was very confident in the game plan we had going into the game. I knew it was my first time out there. I felt the energy of the crowd. It was packed, it was a great crowd. We just wanted to go out and win. But we didn’t. And like I said we’ve just got to move on to next week.

On getting the crowd into the game and what message he wanted to send to them:

We just wanted to feed off their energy. I think that was going into the fourth quarter. We just wanted to get them back into the game. They’re kind of like our 12th man out there. They’re extremely loud and they help both sides of the ball, not just on defense but they helped us out on offense as well.

On if he feels his reads improved as the game went on:

Sometimes early in the game we didn’t call those plays so I wouldn’t say it was necessarily the reads or I wasn’t seeing things. We called the plays for situation.

On the amount of penalties:

That was frustrating. When you have a big first down or a big play and then you get it called back, you definitely want to continue to fight those battles. But you kind of shoot yourself in the foot when you do that. As an offense we have to clean those things up.

On how you correct the amount of penalties:

Paying attention to the small details. If there’s something I can do, just clean it up, go back and watch the film. If there’s anything I can continue to do better as a quarterback continue to do that.

On RB Fred Jackson providing a spark to the run game:

Fred did an awesome job as well as C.J. (Spiller). But I really would thank the offensive line. They did a great job, not only run blocking but also pass blocking. I don’t think I hit the ground more than once throughout the whole game or any hurries or things like that so they both did a good job.

On if playing well in his first NFL against QB Tom Brady is any consolation for him:

I wanted to win the game. Obviously, Tom Brady is a great quarterback and is going to go in the Hall of Fame. At the end of the day you want to win. That’s how I see it.

On if he has more confidence now that he has a game under his belt:

Yeah, definitely. Obviously with every play I was continuing to get more and more confidence in myself and continue to relax, stay calm throughout the whole thing and stay poised as a quarterback.

On if the Patriots showed a different defense after the touchdown drive to start the third quarter:

I don’t think so. They pretty much played all the same looks. They did all the same looks that we saw on film. I thought Coach (Nathaniel) Hackett, like I said, had a great game plan going in to it. There wasn’t anything that really surprised us.

On if his knee is feeling ok:

When the game comes on and when it’s time to go play football I don’t worry about injuries. I had a couple other shots as far as a tackle so I had some other things bother me. But you play football, you don’t worry about… you’re never going to be 100-percent when you play a sport and you have to understand that. If you can walk, if you can run, go play.

On who gets to keep the football between himself and WR Robert Woods for their first career touchdowns:

Woody (Robert Woods) can keep it.

On not running as much during the game:

Not necessarily, but not by design. We didn’t call a lot of run plays for me.

On wanting to win, but if being close can he take away some encouragement on how close they were:

A little, maybe, but you want to win.