AFC East Notes: Manuel, Bills, Jets, Pats

Let’s round up the latest out of the AFC East….

  • In interviews with head coaching candidates, Bills general manager Doug Whaley is suggesting that E.J. Manuel‘s struggles can be attributed more to coaching than to the player himself, a source tells Vic Carucci of the Buffalo News. Per Carucci, Whaley has spoken in “glowing terms’ about the young quarterback, and is conveying to interviewees that he wants the team’s next head coach to make the progress in developing Manuel that Doug Marrone and his staff couldn’t.
  • Speaking of those Bills‘ head coaching interviews, the team has one lined up for Thursday with ex-Jets coach Rex Ryan, according to Kimberly Jones of (via Twitter). Ryan is drawing interest not only from multiple NFL teams, but also from multiple TV networks – he has spoken to ESPN and CBS so far.
  • Jason Fitzgerald of Over The Cap previews the Jets‘ offseason, as the team enters the winter armed with approximately $50MM in potential cap room. In Fitzgerald’s view, the club should target pass rushers, a second-tier cornerback, a running back, a backup quarterback, and a guard in free agency.
  • As he prepares to face the Patriots in this weekend’s divisional playoff game, Ravens wide receiver Steve Smith discussed the offseason meeting with New England that he never made it to. As Aaron Wilson of the Baltimore Sun writes, Smith’s meeting with the Pats was always viewed as tentative, since the Ravens had the first chance to sign him during his visit to Baltimore.
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