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It appears to be EJ Manuel's job to lose
When you draft a player in the first round, the spotlight will inevitably shine brighter on him. When it's a quarterback, the intensity kicks up a notch. On Sunday, EJ Manuel will get his first taste of NFL game play.
At the outset of training camp, Kevin Kolb was getting the majority of first-team repetitions. As time has gone on, Manuel has seemingly outshined the veteran journeyman. Making things even easier on Doug Marrone was the fluke injury that has Kolb day-to-day.
Still, since Kolb was injured, Manuel hasn't exactly run away with the race. On Monday night, the Bills held an 11-on-11 scrimmage, and WGR 550 reports that Manuel had an up-and-down performance:
It wasn't the most awe-inspiring of starts for first-round quarterback EJ Manuel. Fresh off of a three-interception day on Sunday, the rookie started the live scrimmage with another pair of interceptions...From that point, it was slow and steady but the rookie eventually came around. Manuel's initial first down came on his ninth drive, which was a touchdown to T.J. Graham. He went on to throw another touchdown, and rush for another.
According to Doug Marrone, though, there has been one important takeaway from all of Manuel's mistakes. As he said to Pro Football Talk, "What I like about E.J. is he doesn’t make the same mistake twice."
It may take Manuel some time to develop, but it's clear that the rookie is a smart and dedicated worker in addition to his immense physical talent. On Sunday, we'll see how he faces against a defense that played in the 2012 playoffs.