E.J. Manuel is a rookie. He's going to make some bad reads, he's going to throw interceptions and he's going to take plenty of the inevitable lumps first-year signal-callers do.
The key for Manuel will be to not let one hiccup snowball into three or four of them. At least one of his teammates doesn't think that will be an issue.
"He repeats mistakes very, very seldom. That’s been one thing that’s been super encouraging since the day he got drafted," Bills center Eric Wood told reporters Wednesday. "Even today, little things I’ll talk to him and within the next team drill it’s already fixed or he’s already working better with us as an offensive line or whatever it may be."
Another thing in Manuel's favor is a long leash. Buffalo doesn't have a veteran quarterback waiting in the background in case Manuel falls on his face through the first part of the season. That job was for Kevin Kolb, but he was placed on injured reserve during the preseason.
Undrafted free agent Jeff Tuel is Manuel's backup, and the Bills are going to give their first-rounder every opportunity to stay on the field. Manuel's first test is only a divisional bout at home against the perennial champion New England Patriots.
"It’s big and we had confidence with (Jeff) Tuel as well as EJ. It’s going to be fun for both of them," Wood said. "They’ve not experienced something like Ralph Wilson is going to be on Sunday and I’ve told them that. These coaches, I’m getting them ready.
An opener against New England, it’s going to be wild and loud. I’m excited for them to get to experience it."