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Look... it's way early.

Watching the tweets roll in Monday night you would have thought it was the end of the world. Yes E.J. Manuel struggled at the start of Monday night's scrimmage. He led things off with a pick six and I thought, got marginally better from there.

This is kinda what I expected.

I've probably been repetitive to a fault since the draft in describing Manuel as "raw" talent. The Bills drafted him more for his potential than his readiness in year one.

Thus, when Kevin Kolb was excused from camp because he was dealing with a death in the family, Manuel got the first team reps in Monday's live scrimmage... the highest degree of difficulty he's faced to date.

He stumbled at the start, and to his credit... settled down and had some success as the night went on.

Standing near the end zone he was driving towards, I watched him struggle through his progressions and by his own admission his "decision making."Interceptions, incompletions, three and outs characterized the early portion of his scrimmage. But he settled down as the night went on, hitting some passes, and having some success in the 2:00 offense.

Let's keep it in perspective. E.J. Manuel is not Andrew Luck or Robert Griffin the Third. He's not nearly that refined as a rookie. For those expecting instant results, it was a reality check. It probably was for E.J. too.

That's a good thing.

Let him learn from it.You saw the reason why Doug Marrone has chosen to bring him along slowly. He's got tremendous talent, but in the truest sense of the word, it needs to be developed.

It may well be that Manuel is the starter against the Patriots in the September 8th opener. If that's going to happen, he's going to need to show more than he did on Monday. I'll agree with Doug Marrone in the sense that he bounced back and dealt well with the adversity.

Preseason games will tell more of the story... a story in which the first chapter has yet to be written.

My point?

Don't overreact. E.J. Manuel has arrived exactly as advertised. He's got tremendous talent but needs a lot of work.I firmly believe this is about Manuel being the answer at quarterback in 2014 and beyond... the long awaited long term answer.

Despite it being ugly at times, I think Monday's scrimmage was a small step in that direction.

-abenigni@wgrz.gannett.com

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