Buffalo Bills QB EJ Manuel joins Scott Van Pelt and Ryen Russillo in New York City to discuss his rookie season, among many topics.
On biggest surprise as a rookie: "How much time it truly takes as a quarterback. I think the defensive backs can go home [early], the linemen can go home, but the quarterback, you got to stay. I really feel like if you try to get out of there early, you're really shortchanging yourself. You're shortchanging your team. It really takes a lot of time to prepare for each game, week in and week out."
On playing through injuries: "I think you have to be smart. You have to be a professional at the same time and understand you want to allow your career to bloom and be as long as possible, minus the injuries and things like that. You have to be smart with it. But at the same time, it still comes to a point where of course yes, if you can play, go ahead and play. But if you can't, you got to make the decision and not go out there."
On younger quarterbacks like Russell Wilson making Super Bowl: "It makes me extremely hungry. Besides the success that those guys have had, I didn't get the chance to finish the full season. As far as my offseason, I'm definitely trying to get myself better for those reps that I missed in the game, or I missed six games throughout the year. I feel like the offseason is a perfect time to try to get those things back. You can't get necessarily the plays, but you can obviously go back to the film room and do things like that."
On watching film this offseason: "Of course you can watch yourself tons and tons of times. For me, I chose four guys I wanted to study. I may not be exactly like them. I chose Russ [Russell Wilson], I chose Kaep [Colin Kaepernick], I chose Aaron Rodgers and I also chose Drew Brees. Obviously there's great quarterbacks throughout the whole league, but I felt like those four guys, I could take something from each of their games. My plan is just to watch every game that they played last year, even some years before, so I can really put it back in my own regimen."
On playing in Buffalo: "The special things about Buffalo is we have great fans. It's a place where they had a lot of wins and things like that in the early 90s and they've had success in years before. And obviously with our owner, he's one of the most prestigious owners in the NFL, Ralph Wilson, so he's one of the guys who kind of, I guess, was in the frontier of the NFL when it first began. So for me, as a quarterback, it's an extreme privilege to be a part of the franchise, but at the same time, we really want to win, not for ourselves, but also for our fans."
On snow in Buffalo: "I'm sure you probably worried about it if you came up there, but when you're playing in it man, you really don't think about it."
On Jameis Winston asking about preparing for NFL: "He hasn't really asked a whole lot about it. Usually he'll just ask how I'm doing. He and I have that kind of relationship. I'm sure when the time comes for him to get ready, whether it's next year or whenever he decides to come out, he'll ask more of those questions, but I think he's just been really focused in on what he had to do at Florida State."
On Peyton Manning: "After you see the play happen, whether it's a great ball or a fluttery pass, it's still on the money. He makes his receivers look great. He has great receivers, of course, but Peyton is putting the ball in situations for those guys to make plays on it."
On comfort level with pre-snap calls: "I think as you become more of a pro and you have more years under your belt, of course those responsibilities come. But I'm a rookie -- or I'm moving into my second year -- I'm still trying to get myself right, so I think as time goes on, I'll get that responsibility."
On if there's a state law limiting C.J. Spiller's carries: "I don't know. We'll have to work on that right?"
Super Bowl prediction: "I think it can go either way. I think Seattle's going to win. I think people have made a big deal about the weather and things like that. I don't think it's going to effect these guys at all. Both teams played in cold weather games, so I think at the end of the day, Seattle's going to have it."