At least publicly, Doug Whaley's support of EJ Manuel has not wavered.
"When you look around the league, we think he's as good a No. 2 as most out there," the Buffalo Bills' general manager said of the team's backup quarterback.
It's safe to say a significant portion of the team's fanbase doesn't agree. They remember the meltdown against Jacksonville or chuckle about the infamous hospitality-tent throw last training camp.
But the Bills are "very comfortable," with Manuel as their backup, Whaley insists, and they'll need to be. The only other quarterback on the roster is Cardale Jones, the raw rookie out of Ohio State who will serve as the third-stringer this season.
In a recent ranking of the league's backup quarterbacks, Sporting News did not share Whaley's lofty view of Manuel. The publication ranked him No. 18 among No. 2 quarterbacks, with author Bill Bender writing "Tyrod Taylor is the established starter, and the battle for the backup spot between EJ Manuel and Cardale Jones will be interesting. Jones plays with a lot of confidence and has a strong arm. At some point, Rex Ryan might give Jones a chance if he takes advantage. It’s on Manuel to step up his game."
That last part is spot on. As for Jones challenging Manuel, that doesn't seem likely. It's clear the Bills feel like he needs at least a year's worth of seasoning before seeing the field.
No. 1 on the list of backup quarterbacks was A.J. McCarron of the Cincinnati Bengals, while the New York Jets' quarterback situation was deemeed the worst in the league.
As for Whaley, Sporting News ranked him No. 20 among the league's general managers, with author Vinnie Iyer writing "Whaley has been a huge upgrade over Buddy Nix, with three good drafts in the books. He also found someone to give Buffalo competent play at quarterback in former Ravens backup Tyrod Taylor. We're still not crazy about the LeSean McCoy trade or misfit of defensive personnel for Rex Ryan."
Denver's John Elway was ranked No. 1 on the list of GMs, while the Philadelphia Eagles' Howie Roseman ranked last.