Manuel's bad-weather workout impressed Bills
EJ Manuel's ability to handle bad weather evidently was a factor in the Buffalo Bills' decision to use their first-round draft pick on the quarterback.
Bills coach Doug Marrone revealed in an interview with Sirius XM NFL Radio that Manuel impressed Buffalo's brass by throwing the ball well during an extremely windy thunderstorm at a private workout in Tallahassee, Fla.
Marrone said that Manuel's performance in the wet, windy conditions helped convince the Bills that the former Florida State star would be able to handle inclement weather in Buffalo, especially in December and January.
"Going into it as far as what we were putting down, that was one of the things as far as criteria for playing up here," Marrone told Sirius XM. "I remember when I first got the job here in Buffalo, and I had been up here and played up here before, and I got out of the car in January and the wind -- I was like, 'Wow.' I never realized how windy it was that time of the year."
Manuel was the first quarterback selected during an offensive-line-heavy first round, and he landed in Buffalo as the 16th overall pick after the Bills took a gamble by swapping their first pick, at eighth overall, in a deal with St. Louis.
Listed at 6-foot-4 and 237 pounds, Manuel has a strong arm, is mobile and went 25-6 in four years with the Seminoles. He also had the largest hands (10 3/8 inches) and longest arms (35 inches) of any of the quarterbacks at the NFL scouting combine.
"We started talking about the quarterbacks, and we went back and researched all the teams that played in the Northeast in the bad weather and all the success they had with quarterbacks and the common traits that they had," Marrone told Sirius XM. "They were big and had big hands and were able to throw the ball in tough weather, and that's what we were looking at."
Manuel became only the third quarterback Buffalo has ever selected in the first round, and fills a need that's been unsettled since Hall of Famer Jim Kelly retired after the 1996 season. He becomes the new face of a franchise that hasn't made the playoffs in 13 seasons -- the NFL's longest active drought.
Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.
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