Niagara Gazette

Sports

September 5, 2013

Bills to start Manuel in opener

(Continued)

Niagara Gazette — Marrone isn’t lowering his expectations with Manuel set to make his NFL debut, and against an AFC East rival that has won 18 of the past 19 games against Buffalo.

“I’d be lying if I’m sitting here saying, ‘I don’t expect him to do great things,’” Marrone said. “We expect not just EJ, but all of our players that are out there to perform at a very, very high level.”

Manuel is a strong-armed and mobile player, who best fits Marrone’s up-tempo approach to offense.

In two preseason games, Manuel was inconsistent, but showed encouraging signs of developing as a starter. He went a combined 26 of 33 for 199 yards passing, with two touchdowns and no interceptions.

Center Eric Wood was excited about Manuel’s return, and believes the rookie will be ready Sunday.

“I don’t think it’ll be too big for him,” Wood said, noting Manuel had a 25-6 record, including four Bowl victories, at Florida State. “He’s got a good head on his shoulders.”

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