Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Bills were sold on Manuel's bad-weather prospects


The Buffalo Bills aren't afforded the luxury of a dome or constant ideal weather, so they're looking for players who don't require those amenities.

They felt E.J. Manuel fit the mold. (photo: Dave Wilkinson, Flickr)

Buffalo selected Manuel, the former Florida State Seminoles signal-caller, in the first round of the 2013 NFL Draft. According to Bills head coach Doug Marrone, Manuel's prospects in inclement weather helped his team make that decision.

“Going into it as far as what we were putting down that was one of the things as far as criteria for playing up here,” Marrone said Tuesday, via the team's website. “I remember when I first got the job here in Buffalo, and I had been up here and played up here before, and I got out of the car in January and the wind I was like, ‘Wow.’ I never realized how windy it was that time of the year.

“We started talking about the quarterbacks, and we went back and researched all the teams that played in the Northeast in the bad weather and all the success they had with quarterbacks and the common traits that they had. They were big and had big hands and were able to throw the ball in tough weather and that’s what we were looking at.”

According to the report, Manuel's private workout with the Bills went on in windy, stormy conditions in Tallahassee, and Manuel's impressive showing despite the circumstance helped his stock with the team.

"Well I have said this before: I think you need to be able to play in the wind and the cold," Bills general manager Buddy Nix said after the draft. "He has got huge hands. He is really strong. As far as arm strength, he might depend on that a little too much.

"He may need some refining as far as some touch and stuff. As far as arm strength there is no question. He is a huge man."

Follow Nick @NickStDenis
Follow AFC East Daily @AFCEastDaily