AFC Notes: Manuel, Luck, Bryant, Haden

Bills passer E.J. Manuel was the top quarterback selected in the 2013 NFL Draft, but failed to live up to his selection because he was unable to stay on the field last season. Manuel was forced out of the game three times due to knee injuries. He is focused on staying healthy in 2014, writes Dan Hanzus of

“That was one thing I had to learn: to be smart when I take off with the football,” Manuel said. “Instead of trying to get an extra three yards, either step out of bounds or slide. Those are all the nuances I had to learn.”

Here are some other notes from around the AFC:

  • The Colts have a number of burning questions heading into 2014, but quarterback is not one of the more pressing issues. Even still, Kevin Bowen of examines a few nuances of the position heading into Andrew Luck‘s third year. One noteworthy improvement Bowen will be looking for is increased efficiency on third down and in the red zone from the star quarterback.
  • While the Steelers have lost receivers Mike Wallace and Emmanuel Sanders the past few offseasons, they still employ pass catchers they feel they can rely upon, writes Marc Sessler of Antonio Brown is coming off a career year, and Markus Wheaton is poised for a big season himself. Rookie fourth-round pick Martavis Bryant could provide the height and physicality needed for a red zone threat.
  • With the addition of LeBron James to the Cavaliers, Browns cornerback Joe Haden believes there will be a race to see which team will bring a championship to Cleveland first, writes Nate Ulrich of the Akron Beacon Journal“LeBron makes things happen pretty quickly, so we’re going to have to get to it. I say it’s going to be a tight fight,” says Haden. “I know me and Manziel will be pushing to make that happen before. That’s why LeBron is coming here to bring a championship to the city and I’m trying to do the same thing.” The Browns will have the first shot at it this February in Phoenix, Arizona.
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