Bills' Manuel feels '100 percent' for Sunday

Bills' Manuel feels '100 percent' for Sunday
September 4, 2013, 5:00 pm
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FOXBORO -- EJ Manuel found out on Tuesday night that he would be the Buffalo Bills' starting quarterback in Week 1 against the New England Patriots.

But before the decision was made, he had to convince his coach -- Doug Marrone -- one last time that his injured knee was healthy enough to play on Sunday.

"I did another workout, and coach felt like, and obviously I felt like I was ready to go," said Manuel in  a conference call on Wednesday. "But I just wanted to show him that I could be able to evade the rush, protect myself when things break down, as far as in the pocket. And I think he was able to go ahead and make that decision."

Manuel said the conversation between him and Marrone was "a simple one" and he re-assured that he was 100 percent.

"I moved around so much better than I did days previous to that, and my knee truly does feel better," said Manuel. "As a teammate, I wouldn't go out there if I didn't feel like I could go 100 percent. I don't want to be out there making excuses, this and that, 'Oh my knee was hurting.' I'm not going to do that. So I feel like I'm good to go. My mind feels good, and I'm ready to go.

"I definitely feel 100 percent. My knee feels fine. If it wasn't, where it felt like I couldn't out there and play, I wouldn't do it."

As for the Patriots defense he'll be going up against on Sunday in his NFL debut, the rookie QB expects to feel the pressure all afternoon.

"I think they're a very physical defense," said Manuel. "They have a lot of good speed, very instinctual guys who get to the ball and fly to it very fast, as far as running it or dropping back to pass. Those guys will add in the box and just try to run through your running backs who are trying to chip and block for you. So you definitely have to get the ball out in time."

It's that pressure up front, said Manuel, that New England's secondary feeds off of.

"They get to the ball," said Manuel. "They try to play a lot of man pressure. They kind of try to rely on that pressure to kind of force you to make bad decisions and throw the ball to guys that aren't open. They're covering them really well."