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EJ Manuel Looks to Ride Momentum

Posted Feb 23, 2013

After an impressive showing at the Senior Bowl, Florida State QB EJ Manuel has his goals set high here at the Combine.

“I think I’m the best quarterback in this class. I’m very confident in my abilities,” he told reporters at Lucas Oil Stadium.   “No disrespect to anybody else, but I just feel like I can be the best quarterback coming out this week and that’s why I was excited about the Combine.  It’s another opportunity to present my skills to the world.”

Manuel, who was named the Senior Bowl’s Most Outstanding Player last month after leading the South to a 21-16 victory over the North, was also pleased with his effort during the workouts leading to the game.

“I think I’m consistent in my reads and consistent with my accuracy. I think I was fairly accurate though the whole week — not just in the game.  I was happy that I got the MVP,” he said.  “At the same time, I thought I had a great week overall — from Monday all the way up until Friday — as far as the practices.  I knew that was a very important part of it and the scouts were watching during the day.  I thought strategically I got better each and every day, and I was happy with my performance.”

The 6’5”, 240-pound Manuel was the most accurate quarterback in Florida State history, completing 67% of his passes while playing in a pro style attack for the Seminoles.  Over the past two seasons, Manuel threw for 41 TDs with 17 INTs. 

“I did a lot of drop-back passing.  It wasn’t like I was in the gun during the games,” he said.  “I understand snap, I knew how to do a cadence.  We did a silent count at Florida State.   I think a lot of the small things that get overlooked I could tell the difference when we got to the Senior Bowl.”

Although Manuel averaged only 2.8 yards per rush attempt, he totaled 11 TDs on the ground and has experience running the read option.

“I did a little bit of it at Florida State.  Coach (Jimbo) Fisher would wrinkle it in whenever he thought it would be good against a team doing that, so it wasn’t like we did it the whole time.”

You can guarantee that Manuel is going to interview well.   A three-time team captain at FSU, Manuel led the Seminoles to four Bowl wins.  He is supremely confident in his ability and has every intention on leading an NFL team in the coming months. 

“Leadership, winning and make plays.  I’m a playmaker,” he said when asked what he was going to bring to an NFL club.  “I think I made great decisions in college, I had a great passing percentage or quarterback rating — whatever you want to call it.  I really wasn’t big on my statistics.  I just wanted to win the game to be honest.”

O’Brien Mentoring NC State’s Glennon
Last summer, NC State QB Mike Glennon met former Jets QB Ken O’Brien at the Elite 11 QB Camp in California.  In preparation for the Combine and the Draft, Glennon returned to California recently to get tips from O’Brien.

“We’re working out, just trying to get my foot speed a little better, increasing my understanding of the game and just improving my mechanics,” he said.

Blessed with a huge arm, Glennon is a traditional pocket passer who played in a West Coast attack under Pack offensive coordinator Dana Bible.

“We ran a more college version of the West Coast, but the terminology, the protections and the process are very similar,” he said.

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