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Rich Gannon on EJ: He has a lot of work to do

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Former NFL quarterbacking great Rich Gannon worked color commentary for CBS for the Buffalo Bills' worst performance of the 2013 season, the 27-6 loss at Tampa Bay in Week 14.

Bills rookie quarterback EJ Manuel threw four interceptions in the game, two of which were his fault. He completed 18 of 33 passes for 184 yards.

Gannon is as astute quarterback evaluator. Here's his assessment of Manuel's injury-shortened rookie season:

"I think overall it was kind of a rough first year. The injuries certainly played a big factor. He missed a lot of time in the preseason, and I think that really hurt him. Then he comes back and has the five weeks before he got hurt. Even when he came back, I didn’t see the spring in his step. I didn’t see the confidence and the explosiveness that maybe you thought you had seen. And I thought you saw a guy a little bit tentative. It’s hard enough to play the position when you’re healthy. It’s almost impossible when you’re not. I think he’s got a lot of work to do in the offseason. The good news is typically you see a lot of improvement from Year One to Year Two. He’s got a lot of work to do."

  • RedNeck Rocket

    So what Gannon is saying is EJ looked like Rich Gannon did most of his career?

    • Jeff in Chicago

      buh-ZING!

  • Johnny Football

    Bills must use their first round pick on a QB. There are 5 good ones in this draft.
    Bottom line is EJ proved to be injury prone, sack prone and was unable to throw the ball down field. What good are Graham and Goodwin if the QB can't hit them deep?
    Depth is needed at every position. Competition is good. They reached taking EJ in the first round last year. Get over it and draft a QB!

  • Ray

    Rich Gannon was garbage anyways EJ will turn out to be a better qb than he ever was.

    • MATTHEWS1

      MVP and got his team to a Super Bowl

  • George Winston III

    Last season EJ showed some momentary "flashes" of being the QB we had hoped for since Jim Kelly retired. They were however very short lived. Whether it be injury, just plain being a rookie or being injury prone as some are starting to label EJ, he did not have the season the fans hoped he would have. Year wto is critical, put up or shut up time, do or die, now or never, call it what you want, but year two will be EJ's defining year. The Bill's have too many needs for both defense and offense to pick another QB early in the draft. However, it might be wise to take a QB in the later rounds. Many great QB's were drafted in later rounds, and competition is always a good thing. Hopefully, EJ will prove the BIlls right this year.

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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.