Niagara Gazette

Sports

August 19, 2013

Bills hint Manuel may be ready by opener

(Continued)

Niagara Gazette — Kolb noticed something was wrong with Manuel after that scramble.

“You can tell when you’re around a guy a lot and the way he runs and the way he acts and the way he grimaces, it just looked like something was a little wrong,” Kolb said. “And when he came to the sideline, he really wasn’t talking to anybody that much, so I could tell something was on his mind and I just left him alone.”

The injury comes at a difficult time for both the Bills and Manuel, and it appears to have changed the entire complexion of Buffalo’s preseason. Prior to the injury, Manuel looked to have taken the edge in the quarterback competition over the veteran Kolb. Manuel completed 26 of 33 passes for 199 yards and two touchdowns and ran four times for 29 yards in two preseason games. Manuel has displayed a good amount of composure and poise throughout training camp and has been a more consistent passer than Kolb.

The Bills have high hopes for Manuel, who is regarded as the future of the franchise. Buffalo chose the strong-armed passer 16th overall out of Florida State. At 6-foot-4, 237 pounds, Manuel is a dual-threat quarterback who is dangerous with both his feet and his arm.

“It’s a tough break for EJ, but he’s a hard working kid,” center Eric Wood said. “He’s going to get after it and do what he needs to do to come back and play. ... The sooner we can have him back the better.”

Kolb who is 13-for-21 with an interception and no touchdown passes, will start Buffalo’s next preseason game on Saturday against Washington.

The Bills signed the six-year veteran this offseason after he was released by Arizona. Kolb, a former second-round pick of the Philadelphia Eagles, has thrown for 5,206 yards, 28 touchdowns and 25 interceptions in his career.

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