Saturday, August 10, 2013

E.J. Manuel 'excited to play a new team'


In "dream come true" fashion, Buffalo Bills first round quarterback E.J. Manuel will start Sunday when the team kicks off it's preseason against the Indianapolis Colts.

The former Florida State Seminole got the nod over veteran Kevin Kolb, who returned to practice Friday after sustaining a leg injury slipping on a mat near the team's practice field earlier in the week. Head coach Doug Marrone said Kolb would dress for the game but did not specify whether he would play.

For Manuel, it's an opportunity early in the preseason to get reps with the Bills' starters, but perhaps more importantly for the young signal-caller, against another first-team defense.

"We’ve worked out very hard these past two weeks, we’re very excited to play a different team," Manuel said. "Our defense does a lot of different things, so actually watching film of a different team, you kind of get back to seeing the normal football looks you see from a defense, so that will be nice."

The Bills surprised many when they took Manuel with the No. 16 overall pick, making it clear that the franchise expects him to be the quarterback of the future. The expectations aren't too high this year, but fans in Buffalo certainly hope he begins developing into a player that can lead the team out of it's 13-year playoff drought.

But first things first.

"[We] just want to have a smooth operation," he said of the first exhibition game. "Do what we’ve been practicing all week."

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