Quarterback EJ Manuel is doing a weekly diary here on Birds 24/7 as we count down to the draft. In this installment, he talks about his experience at Jon Gruden‘s quarterback camp, upcoming private workouts, and more.
Last week was definitely a whirlwind, but a great opportunity to network and to get my name and face out there. The week began with an early flight to LA from Ft Lauderdale. From the airport, instantly went to ESPN LA, which is where I appeared on NFL LIVE, NFL32, and Sports Nation. Sports Nation was by far one of the best media events I’ve been a part of.
From there, I went to ESPN Sports Science and began to go through hours and hours of tests and drills. Nonetheless, I killed all of them haha. Should be a very cool show when they begin to air in April. Maybe the Sixers will be giving me a call instead of the Eagles. You’ll have to watch the show to understand what I’m referring to!
From LA, I took a red eye to Orlando that night to do an appearance for EA Sports along with Denard Robinson and Kenjon Barner. They’re both great guys, so we had a lot of fun together. NCAA14 is going to be really nice by the way. From Orlando, I was driven to Tampa to meet with Coach Gruden. I was able to get a workout in that night at the hotel so I was happy to get a little downtime and to be able to get some sleep in a bed instead of a seat on a plane. That next morning, I went to meet with Coach Gruden. It was an awesome learning experience! The biggest thing I wanted out of the visit was to LEARN as much as possible. He showed me a lot of love and really gave me more confidence moving forward into pro day and the draft. Obviously, a lot of what he and I discussed is between us two, but I left Coach Gruden as one of his all time favorites. He was hilarious! Gave me a hard time about the Nike long sleeves I wore versus Va Tech and NIU in the Orange Bowl. I told him I’d help him with his swag once I got drafted. We watched my film for about 3 or 4 hours, but it flew by because I was learning so much. Loved it!
The FFCA stands for Fired Football Coaches of America if you guys didn’t know, and Coach Gruden started this association on his own. I also met Coach Ron Zook during the trip with Gruden as well. The main thing he taught was to start taking full control of my team/offense. The fact that I’ll be in a NFL offense soon gives me a lot to look forward to as far as being able to audible at will, simply because of the extra film study I put in. We had a big responsibility in our offense at FSU as far as declaring protections, hot reads, sight adjusts, getting guys in good positions, etc. All of this before the snap! Overall, it was a GREAT EXPERIENCE with coach! He really valued all of my talents as a quarterback, even saying he wants a QB he could run any type of play with, any concept, and at any time. Throw it, zone read it, option it, design run it, whatever and however you want it, I’ve done it and have WON doing it!!
Thus far, I have 4 private workouts scheduled, none of the 4 are with Philly but I have no doubt they will be in attendance at my pro day and I’ll get a visit to their facility in Philly! If not, you guys petition for me so I can get the Wings on my helmet come fall! Haha thanks Eagle Nation, until next time!