2015 DRAFT GUIDE
Bills' Manuel, Jets' Smith ready for showdown

By DENNIS WASZAK Jr. - AP Sports Writer
    2013-09-18 18:29

FLORHAM PARK, N.J. (AP) - EJ Manuel and Geno Smith were two guys with big arms and even bigger dreams when they first met at a football camp in South Florida a few years ago.

They kept in touch with occasional text messages through high school and then college, where Manuel starred at Florida State and Smith at West Virginia. By the time the draft rolled around in April, both quarterbacks were considered first-round possibilities.

Manuel went to Buffalo at No. 16, a bit higher than some projected.

Smith, once mentioned as a possible No. 1 pick, slid all the way to the Jets in the second round at No. 39.

``I stood up,'' Smith recalled Wednesday of his reaction when Manuel was drafted before him. ``I congratulated him and that was it. I was happy for him. I was happy for every single guy that got drafted.''

Smith, however, went through the embarrassment of having television cameras focused on him as each pick was made in the first round - without hearing his name.

``I'm past that now,'' Smith said. ``I hate to talk about it because I'm focusing on what we have here, which is a great opportunity, (a) good team and we've got a tough matchup coming up on Sunday.''

That's when the attention will again be on the first two quarterbacks drafted, when the Bills (1-1) and Jets (1-1) square off. It's the 106th game in the series, and the first featuring a pair of rookie starting quarterbacks.

``To be compared to EJ, I'll take it,'' Smith said. ``EJ's a great guy. He's accomplished a bunch in his career and I think the world of him. He's also my good friend, so it's good to compete against a guy like that.

``But when it comes down to Sunday, there are no friends on the field. We're out there competing for our teams and that's all there really is to it.''

Both Manuel and Smith have already led their teams to fourth-quarter comeback victories and are considered the potential future of their respective franchises. Sunday's game also will put the winner in a respectable position in the AFC East at 1-1, while the loser will fall to 0-2 in the division.

``We know this is a huge game for us,'' Manuel said. ``One, it's on the road, and, two, it's a divisional game and it's definitely a game we need to win. We both lost to the Patriots and early on you don't want to get behind in the season.

``It just adds even more urgency to this game.''

Both quarterbacks were heavily scouted by the Bills and Jets during the draft evaluation process.

``You notice the physical (size), when he walks in the door he fills up that doorway,'' Jets coach Rex Ryan said of the 6-foot-4, 237-pound Manuel. ``He was really a tremendous person and you can see why Buffalo's excited about him.''

Manuel's ability to come through in the clutch was evident last week when he connected with Stevie Johnson on a 2-yard touchdown pass with 2 seconds left to lead Buffalo past Carolina 24-23. It capped a nine-play, 80-yard drive as Manuel became the fifth quarterback in NFL history since 1960 to record a fourth-quarter comeback in either the first or second game of his career.

The fourth quarterback? Well, that was Smith, who did it in the season opener while leading the Jets to the winning field goal with 2 seconds left in an 18-17 victory over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

``He's always been able to make every throw, he's always had a high level of accuracy,'' Bills coach Doug Marrone said of Smith. ``I see him going through progressions and I see him talking with protection. You're seeing that he's developing into a fine quarterback. He's going to create some challenges for our defense.''

Smith was the first quarterback to overcome a deficit of at least nine points in his NFL debut since St. Louis' Ryan Fitzpatrick did it against Houston in 2005. Meanwhile, Manuel is the first quarterback since 1960 to post a passer rating of 89.0 in each of the first two games of his rookie season.

Both the Bills and Jets fell just short against New England: Buffalo was edged 23-21 in Week 1, and New York dropped last Thursday's game 13-10. Manuel was solid against the Patriots, going an efficient 18 of 27 for 150 yards and two touchdowns. Smith threw three fourth-quarter interceptions at New England.

``Both players were poised, I thought,'' Ryan said. ``I'm not lumping them together, but EJ was impressive. I thought Geno was for the most part, as well.''

As for trying to prove whether the Bills or Jets got the better quarterback, both Manuel and Smith insist that can be for everyone else to debate.

``No, I think that mindset would be selfish,'' Smith said. ``It's about this team. It's about all of us going out there and getting a win for each other.''

---

AP NFL website: www.pro32.ap.org

Fantasy Football Player Notes RSS FeedPLAYER NOTES

Stephen HillAug 2 08:02p

The Carolina Panthers waived WR Stephen Hill (knee) after he tore his anterior cruciate ligament Sunday, Aug. 2.

Terrelle PryorAug 2 07:52p

Cleveland Browns WR Terrelle Pryor took reps with the first-team offense during training camp Sunday, Aug. 2.

Martavis BryantAug 2 04:22p

Pittsburgh Steelers WR Martavis Bryant (elbow) will undergo a procedure for an elbow infection that will cause him to miss the Hall of Fame Game Sunday, Aug. 9, against [ More ]

Michael EgnewAug 2 03:02p

The Pittsburgh Steelers have released TE Michael Egnew.

Tony McDanielAug 2 12:12p

The Seattle Seahawks released DT Tony McDaniel Sunday, Aug. 2. McDaniel should quickly find a new home.

Stephen HillAug 2 12:02p

Carolina Panthers WR Stephen Hill (knee) has an ACL injury, according to assistant head coach Steve Wilks Sunday, Aug. 2.

Sam BradfordAug 2 11:52a

Philadelphia Eagles QB Sam Bradford (knee) has been cleared for 11-on-11 drills Sunday, Aug. 2, and head coach Chip Kelly told reporters the quarterback doesn't have any restrictions.

Stephen HillAug 2 10:12a

The Carolina Panthers signed free-agent WR Paul Browning Sunday, Aug. 2. Browning is expected to take WR Stephen Hill's roster spot.

Brandon BoykinAug 1 08:12p

The Pittsburgh Steelers acquired CB Brandon Boykin from the Philadelphia Eagles Saturday, Aug. 1, in exchange for a conditional fifth-round pick in the 2016 NFL Draft. The Eagles could [ More ]

Kyle WilliamsAug 1 02:22p

Denver Broncos WR Kyle Williams (Achilles') suffered at least a partially torn Achilles' tendon in practice Saturday, Aug. 1, according to a source. He may be out for the season.

Melvin GordonAug 1 02:12p

San Diego Chargers RB Melvin Gordon has struggled with pass protection through the first three days of training camp.

Devin SmithJul 31 09:32p

New York Jets WR Devin Smith (ribs) will miss a majority of training camp after suffering broken ribs Friday, July 31, according to the team. He will be held [ More ]

Bashaud BreelandJul 31 07:42p

Washington Redskins CB Bashaud Breeland (knee) is expected to be sidelined for six to eight weeks because of a knee injury he suffered during practice Friday, July 31.

Bashaud BreelandJul 31 07:22p

Washington Redskins CB Bashaud Breeland has been suspended one game by the NFL for violating the league's substance abuse policy. Breeland received a citation for marijuana possession last year.

Jason Pierre-PaulJul 31 06:22p

New York Giants DE Jason Pierre-Paul (hand) is not allowed to use his injured hand while it is healing from the fireworks accident he had earlier this month. Pierre-Paul [ More ]

Orson CharlesJul 31 06:02p

New Orleans Saints TE Orson Charles has been suspended one game by the NFL for violating the league's personal conduct policy.

Marcus MariotaJul 31 03:52p

Tennessee Titans QB Marcus Mariota went 13-for-18 with zero interceptions during team drills at practice Friday, July 31. He was able to use a hard count to make the [ More ]

Jameis WinstonJul 31 12:52p

Tampa Bay Buccaneers QB Jameis Winston was officially named the starting quarterback Friday, July 31, by Buccaneers head coach Lovie Smith.

Junior GaletteJul 31 12:12p

Free-agent LB Junior Galette (Saints) will sign a one-year contract with the Washington Redskins, according to a source.

James JonesJul 30 06:52p

Free-agent WR James Jones (Raiders) is signing a one-year deal with the New York Giants. Financial terms were undisclosed.

Cobi HamiltonJul 30 06:42p

Cincinnati Bengals WR Cobi Hamilton was waived Thursday, July 30.

Jason Pierre-PaulJul 30 06:42p

New York Giants DE Jason Pierre-Paul (finger) has not reported to training camp as he continues to rehabilitate from a finger injury, much to the dismay of owner John [ More ]

David FluellenJul 30 06:12p

Free-agent RB David Fluellen (Colts) signed with the Tennessee Titans Thursday, July 30.

Tyler EifertJul 30 03:23p

Cincinnati Bengals TE Tyler Eifert said he is 100% healthy for the first time since the beginning of last offseason.

LeGarrette BlountJul 30 01:22p

New England Patriots RB LeGarrette Blount was placed on the Non-Football Injury list because he was not able to complete the conditioning test at the start of training camp. [ More ]

Kelvin BenjaminJul 30 01:02p

Carolina Panthers WR Kelvin Benjamin (hamstring) said his hamstrings are fine and that he is 100% healthy entering training camp.

Terrance WestJul 30 12:52p

Cleveland Browns RB Terrance West worked with the first-team offense during team drills Thursday, July 30. Head coach Mike Pettine said several running backs will see time with the starters during training camp.

Trent RichardsonJul 30 10:22a

Oakland Raiders RB Trent Richardson is rumored to being unimpressive with his new team.

Tom BradyJul 30 10:12a

Updating an ongoing story, New England Patriots QB Tom Brady's lawsuit was transferred to Manhattan, N.Y., by a Minnesota judge Friday, July 30.

Tom BradyJul 30 09:52a

New England Patriots QB Tom Brady has filed a lawsuit against the NFL asking a Minnesota federal court for penalties against Brady to be vacated. The suit alleges that [ More ]

Jake LongJul 30 09:42a

Free-agent OT Jake Long (Rams) left his visit with the New York Giants Wednesday, July 29, without a deal. It was his second visit with the team without a [ More ]

Joseph RandleJul 29 08:43p

Dallas Cowboys RB Joseph Randle received strong praise from team owner and general manager Jerry Jones Wednesday July 29. 'We have a player (in Randle) that has the potential [ More ]

RSS Feeds

NFL News:
 
Player Notes:
 
Forum Posts:
 

© 2015 RealTime Fantasy Sports, Inc.
Email Us  ·  Call Us 636.447.1170  ·  Lost Password
Advertising represented by USA Today Sports Media Group