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EJ Manuel says Doug Marrone has told him he will be starting QB in 2014

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Quarterback EJ Manuel said today he has been informed by coach Doug Marrone that he will be the Buffalo Bills' starting quarterback in 2014.

"I know for me personally, I'm going to always continue to work hard and make sure I'm ready to go. I do know I'm the leader and the quarterback right now of this team," Manuel said.

If the team had a game this week, Manuel said he'd definitely be playing. In the next breath, however, he said he's "not sure yet," whether the injury to his left knee will require offseason surgery.

"When you have the injuries I've had, there's always surgical things you can do to repair it, and then there's also ways if you just get rest and certain things like that, it might repair itself, so I just have to make that decision," he said.

Manuel sprained the lateral collateral ligament in his right knee in October against Cleveland, causing him to miss four games. He suffered the same injury to his left knee earlier this month against Jacksonville in Week 15.

Manuel went 4-6 in games he started and finished. He threw for 1,972 yards, 11 touchdowns, nine interceptions and a passer rating of 77.7.

"I would say it's a great season to learn from. Obviously you're going to have ups and downs as a rookie, being a young guy in a new system and things like that," he said. "Facing teams for the first time every time, traveling for the first time every time to different cities and things. For me, I'm just looking forward to the 2014 season. Really just honing in on all the things I did well and just trying to fix the things I did not do well."

Manuel bristled when told there are still questions about whether he can be the team's franchise passer.

"I'm very certain. I've had some good games, and like I said there's a lot I can take and build from," he said. "I don't really know who's questioning things, but as far as me, I'm just continuing to get better. I'm just going to hone in and focus in on this offseason and get better."

  • Vidiot

    A lot can change in the off-season.

    • jim

      Not with this team!

    • ptato22

      We can only hope. Just bring in some competition at QB! What's the difference between the Bills, Chargers, Colts, Packers, Patriots, Broncos and Saints? Honestly the only difference is those teams have real franchise QBs. All those teams have plenty of flaws that are covered up by quarterbacks who can simply win games. Some of the other playoff teams might actually have better talent all around, but the majority just have a better QB. The Eagles had a coach willing to make a bold decision and play a competent veteran QB; imagine just a competent veteran was enough to win 10 games. I think Seattle vs Cinci in the Super Bowl. Both those teams have lots of talent, but then again any of the QBs on the teams mentioned can win a close game so who knows.

  • AC

    Welcome to Buffalo, Mr. Cutler

    • MLS

      Child Please!

    • Jeff in Chicago

      HELL no.

  • ptato22

    Marrone says too much for a coach in the NFL. Why tell EJ he will be the starter? What's wrong with having to earn your spot? Amazingly, the Bills main decision makers suffer from hubris concerning the Manuel pick. This from a team that hasn't sniffed the playoffs in 14 years. I like EJ, but winning is what matters and competition should exist at every position, especially on a team that can't seem to win more than 6 games a season.

    • Mike

      Marrone also said that he was 110% sure that Manuel would start against the Patriots. Doh!

      Speaking of people saying too much: "I don't really know who's questioning things, but as far as me, I'm just continuing to get better."

      You don't really know who's questioning things? Seriously?

      • jim

        EJ wasn't selected based on superior intellect. He's paid to recite scripted lines to the media and attempt to emulate an NFL starting QB. So far, he's failing miserably on the latter based alone on availability.

    • jim

      You have to admit that probably wasn't the best thing Marrone could have said in context of selling season tickets.

  • Hal Jam

    EJ is awesome! Can't wait to see how he does with an entire offseason to get even better!

    • repomania

      Where's the punch line?

      • Jeff in Chicago

        there is no punchline repo. that's Hal Jam; he makes Pollyanna look like Lewis Black. but we love him anyway.

      • jim

        See above.

    • jim

      Gee whillikers, by then his career will probably be over! Um, you are talking about his performance on the field compared to the bedroom, right?

  • E.A. Richards

    Did he say he was 110% on that?

    • jim

      :-)

  • Prusak359

    Great, an ineffective and erratic passer is anointed the starting QB position for the 2014 Bills' season before training camp? Boy, that will sure attract some quality free agent QB's to Buffalo....

    On a positive front, EJ should be good for 8-9 games next year with those "healthy knees".

  • Carlos Danger

    He threw the same way in college. Sideline accuracy is sickening. Why hand him the job before the season ends? Make him work his rear off against a good free agent.

    • PaulR

      Make him work his rear off against a good free agent first round draft pick

      • jim

        I think we've seen and heard quite enough of EJ already.

        • rwsch

          Manuel should not be given the reigns uncontested. till he proves he's the franchise guy he should be looking over his shoulder...just sayin

  • JandM98

    Should be an interesting off-season. To me 2 ILB's, & TE are a crying need. So is winning more next year,

    • jim

      So is a decent owner, a decent CEO, a decent GM, and a decent head coach...none of which the Bills currently have.

      • ptato22

        I'm willing to give Brandon, Whaley and Marrone another year before I come to a conclusion (Wilson is hopeless as far as football operations), but the Bills are veterans at getting people in who simply "play" at being football people. Real hard decisions need to be made, not foolish off the cuff stuff. They seem shocked about the Stevie questions and already anointed EJ. They'll probably stuff up the Byrd situation (again) and leave us with Chandler as a starter. I want some cash splashed and some quality decisions this off season. Let's see.

    • David Ruzylo

      Jand, we have Kiko at ILB, you moron

      • JandM98

        Pot, meet kettle.

  • jim

    Jay Skurski: king of Buffalo Bills media propaganda. Geez Louise, I can't stand this guy...

    Assuming EJ even has the talent to become an elite starting NFL quarterback, the front office doesn't have anywhere close to the coaching needed to develop him and are too cheap to admit it.

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About the reporters

Vic Carucci returned to The Buffalo News as a Bills beat reporter in September. Carucci covered the Bills for 17 years before joining NFL.com as a columnist in 1999. Prior to rejoining The News, he spent three years as a senior editor for the Cleveland Browns.

Tim Graham returned to The Buffalo News in 2011 after covering the NFL for three years at ESPN and for one year at the Palm Beach Post. Before that, the Cleveland native spent seven seasons on the Buffalo Sabres beat for The News and was president of the Boxing Writers Association of America.

Jay Skurski joined The News in January 2009. The Lewiston native attended St. Francis High School before graduating from the University of South Florida.