QB EJ Manuel**
Tuesday, July 22, 2014
Q: Give us your thoughts on the day. Seemed like it was a little bit rough.
A: No, it was a good day. I thought we had a good day. It was the first third down day. We just have to continue to get better. It was the first full pad practice. I thought we ran the ball well. I thought we threw the ball well. So, it was a good day.
Q: When the pads go on does the blocking seem more real?
A: Yeah, you get a more realistic look as far as run blocking and pass blocking. Obviously the pads are what you play with in a real game. So it felt like a lot of action today.
Q: Can you speak to the better balance you want to achieve on offense?
A: I thought we did lean on the passing game. It just so happened that we ran the ball very good. Anytime you're second in the league (in rushing) and 28th or 29th in passing, obviously you're going to think it's a true imbalance. But I think the way Coach (Nathaniel) Hackett calls plays is very balanced. Obviously, just when we have opportunities to connect, that's when we need to execute it. I don't think it's him calling different plays or the balance was off as far as his play calling. I think it's more so us executing the passing game better.
Q: At this time in 7-on-7s, are you working on specific things or is it just what you see that you go ahead and play?
A: No, it's never just what you see. You always have to have a basis. We're a progression-based offense and you always are going to go through your progressions someway, somehow. So if nobody is open, do a realistic thing, throw it away or take off and run.
Q: Are there times when that is the purpose of the drill?
A: Yeah, I think that's always the purpose. Like I said, we're a progression-based offense, so that's what we're supposed to do. You may be saying, if somebody may have leaked open that wasn't in our progression, that does happen sometimes. But you still have to go through your own progressions because when we look back on the film, that's all we worry about.
Q: Can you explain how you guys go about rectifying miscommunications on the field?A: During practice you have to move past it. I try to treat practice like a game and I think the rest of the team does. So if you have a miscommunication, like I said, we're still putting new players in the thing, so if a guy didn't get a signal or if he forgets what he has on a certain route, just move on to the next one. Try not to let one mistake become two.
Q: Do you think you and Robert Woods weren't in sync today?A: I don't think so. I'm very honest when I throw the ball and I can't remember one that I was underthrowing. I know the defense did a great job covering overall. I thought Woody and I did a good job. I know on the first 7-on7 period we did a good job. The team overall just has to get everything flowing all together, as in the pass blocking, my steps and all that kind of stuff and just being on time with the routes.
Q: What concerns do you have with your offensive line especially with the uncertainty of Cordy Glenn's illness?A: I don't have a true concern. I think in time Cordy will be fine and be healthy. I know he is going to work hard to get back healthy and get out there for us. The other four guys who are starters from last year, I know they're going to do great. If Cordy can't go, I'm sure one of the other young guys will come in and play a huge role for us.
Q: What do you think (Anthony) Dixon and (Bryce) Brown will bring to the running offense and what will their roles be?
A: The sky is the limit for that group. You have four true guys who I think can start or play for any other team in the league. When you have great talent like that on the backfield, it's always a huge friend to the quarterback. If the running game is great, the passing game should open up as well.
Q: Are there enough running plays to go around for all that talent? A: You'll have to ask Coach Hackett that one.