Sammy Watkins: Past Bills coaches were on EJ Manuel’s back too much

Buffalo Bills quarterback EJ Manuel has more confidence now according to receiver Sammy Watkins.
Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

By Larry Brown

Sammy Watkins is looking forward to seeing what E.J. Manuel does this week as quarterback of the Buffalo Bills now that he has a different kind of support from the coaching staff.

The Bills will host the Cincinnati Bengals in Week 6, and it sounds like Tyrod Taylor may not start because of his knee injury. Further confirmation of that belief came Wednesday based on the way Watkins talked about Manuel, the team’s backup.

Watkins, who says he will be playing after missing two games with a calf injury, is looking forward to playing with Manuel. He says Manuel is a different player now that he doesn’t have coaches breathing down his neck constantly.

“Confidence. His swag. Now, he’s got more freedom,” Watkins said of Manuel via the Buffalo News. “Nobody’s on his back every play telling him what to do. He knows what to do now. He’s a veteran. So the quarterback has to make the right decision. That’s where he’s at.”

Manuel was a first-round pick by the team in 2013. While he led the team to four victories that season, he did not produce at an overall level the Bills were seeking. He was benched last year and is just now getting his first crack in 2015. If he performs well, that could be an endorsement of the current Bills’ staff compared to the past two seasons under Doug Marrone. And Manuel must be doing well, because last season Watkins wasn’t exactly thrilled with the former FSU quarterback.

 

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