Originally posted on Pro Sports Daily  |  Last updated 8/12/13
EJ Manuel’s pregame edginess was unmistakable to his teammates. The Buffalo Bills’ rookie quarterback had delivered snappish pep talks leading up to Sunday’s preseason opener against the Indianapolis Colts. Bills center Eric Wood relayed what he heard from Manuel: “Come on! Let’s do this! We gotta get this thing going!’ … Kind of pressing but that’s good. You want a quarterback that cares.” On the Lucas Oil Stadium field before Manuel’s debut the Bills noticed he was tense. “I think he warmed up an abnormally long time” Wood said. “He was throwing a lot of balls. Maybe that’s what he does. He wanted to be precise knowing that we might not play the whole game.” Manuel apparently didn’t wear himself out Wood noted. “His best drive” Wood said “was his last one.” Manuel struggled to move the ball against the Colts’ starters but capped the first half with an efficient two-minute drill that led to a touchdown in a 44-20 victory. Manuel took the Bills 92 yards on 10 plays finding tight end Dorin Dickerson up the seam for a go-ahead 17-yard touchdown. “The two-minute drill was impressive” Bills coach Doug Marrone said. Manuel played the first half. Undrafted rookie Jeff Tuel with veteran quarterback Kevin Kolb held out because he hasn’t practiced in over a week played the rest. Tuel completed 19-of-23 passes for 212 yards and two touchdowns with no interceptions. But what Manuel did right before halftime was the highlight. “That’s really where quarterbacks are measured” Manuel said. “As far as my maturing process in this offense and being a pro I think I showed that I can go out there and matriculate the ball down the field.” Manuel sputtered early but finished with oomph as he did in the Bills’ intrasquad scrimmage last Monday night.
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