I'm not sure what you're talking about, but i'm going to talk about EJ Manuel and the gigantic uphill climb this kid has to become something special that the fans and organization.....needs.
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J.P. Losman - What do you think about when you hear that name? I think of a hard working guy that could throw one hell of a deep ball but struggled to read defenses and move the offense consistently.
Trent Edwards - What do you think when you hear about Trentative? Good accuracy in the middle and shorter ranges of the field but an inability to push the ball down field and be a play maker.
Tim Tebow - Extremely hard working guy, good football player but bad QB.
Ryan Fitzpatrick - Hard working, blue collar guy that struggled with accuracy and consistency.
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First things first. Sorry about including Tebow in this but I had to for obvious reasons once the post is finished.
There are things that I look for in a QB to try and see if he's got the potential to be a franchise guy. Not just for the Bills but in general. When I watch QBs I look for certain things so I figured i'd put my list of things I look for in a QB:
2) Excellent work ethic
3) Play making ability
4) Smarts to play the position
I'm sure you can add and/or subtract your own thoughts on a QB but those are more or less what i'd look for in a QB if I were to draft one.
If you look at EJ I think he's terribly inaccurate and lacks toughness. However, he does have an impeccable work ethic and has shown at times some play making ability. One thing is for sure in the NFL, finding QBs that have the entire package is very difficult.
So while thinking about EJ last night during the Bears/Boy's stint, I kept thinking back to guys that had things to work on in order to become a successful NFL QB and how they overcame their issues. Fact is, the more and more I think about it the more and more likely it is that QBs like EJ can never get over certain humps. If you look at Tebow he's one of the hardest working players you'll probably be around (from all accounts). Yet he couldn't come close to fixing his accuracy issues and is out of the league. Same goes for tons and tons of QBs that came out of college, some things are very difficult for certain people to do. J.P Losman is one hell of a guy and a great worker, yet he couldn't overcome reading defenses and moving the chains. Trent Edwards could never become a playmaker.
One of the things that I find very difficult for an NFL QB to improve upon is accuracy. There are things that teams can do to increase QB accuracy statistics like throwing shorter passes and limiting the offense but i'm talking about a major shift in play. How often does a QB improve their accuracy by leaps and bounds? We can bring up guys like Eli or whoever but i'm talking about the whole kitten caboodle. What % of all QBs can make a huge leap in play and fix glaring, obvious and detrimental weaknesses? I'm guessing not a whole lot. In fact I bet it's somewhere in the area of terrible.
If i'm looking at EJ as a fan and as a critic, I see his biggest issue is accuracy. His ball placement is not only bad, it's scary bad. It's bad enough that when you watch the All-22 you are certain you can make those throws if you had the arm strength.
History suggest that EJ has a very, very small chance in improving his accuracy in order to become a successful QB in the NFL. I think Buddy Nix got him right as far as work ethic, blue collar guy, a knack for making plays here and there but man, I cannot get over the accuracy issues. It's literally the #1 thing I look for in a QB and when you look at guys that have had small and seemingly little things to fix they can't fix them. For whatever reason it just doesn't happen. And these are guys that are as hard working individuals as you can find. Motivated individuals that live and breathe football. Yet they cannot do it.
This doesn't mean that I'm against EJ Manuel or don't want him to succeed because believe you me I want him to in the worst way, but i'm just not sure it's going to happen. If I were a betting man, i'd bet he'd flop and be a backup somewhere in about 4-5 years because of his accuracy issues. I just don't see him taking this gigantic leap in accuracy to be a top tier QB in this league. We can argue that you don't need a top tier QB in this league to win but you'd be wrong so there's no point.
Moral of the story is - i'm very, very skeptical of EJ. I want him to succeed but I don't plan on it because of what i've seen thus far in his career. Is it too early to put a label on him? Sure is. Is it too early for me to formulate an opinion on the guy after 9 career games? Sure isn't. So that's what i'm doing and that's what I see.
Hopefully for us Bills fans he will be one of the few players to make a major change in their game. I'm just not betting on it.