Oakland Raiders quarterback EJ Manuel's last start was in Week 16 of 2016, and he will now return under center Sunday when he goes toe-to-toe with the Baltimore Ravens. In starting quarterback Derek Carr's stead – who's recovering from a back injury – Manuel will be at the helm of Offensive Coordinator Todd Downing's offense, someone he's particularly familiar with due to their time in Buffalo together.
Here are the quick hits from his media session:
Manuel shared if there's any differences now that he knows he'll be the starter while Carr is injured.
A look at the best images from the Raiders Week 4 game against the Denver Broncos.
"I think the only difference is the reps. I still show up at the same time. I still go home at the same time. Preparation-wise it's still the same. Obviously, T.D. [offensive coordinator Todd Downing] is talking to me direct now instead of Derek [Carr] in meetings, but not too much has changed."
Dating back to his time at Florida State University, No. 3 talked about how his familiarity with center Rodney Hudson is beneficial.
"It helps a lot. Knowing 'Hud' [Hudson] since I was 18 years old at Florida State and obviously knowing TD since the draft process and everything. It's been awesome for me. Not just in this instance, but since I've been here as a Raider. Having familiar faces around and obviously, my teammates accepting me and bringing me on board as well. There's not too much unfamiliarity. I think we're ready to go."
He broke down what he saw on film from Sunday's game against the Denver Broncos.
"I saw fast decision making, I saw accuracy. When I went into the game, I just wanted to help us win. That was my biggest thing going through my head. Just have solid footwork, things that I practice day in and day out. I'm really proud of the preparation weeks beforehand because I never know when I'll have the opportunity to play. Obviously, we wanted Derek to play because he's our starter, but when the opportunity calls, you have to be ready to go out there and handle your business. The O-line, the receivers, everybody was very receptive and like, 'Hey man, you got it. Let's go.' It gave me that added confidence."
**Manuel touched on what he expects to see when the Raiders host the Ravens Sunday.
"Solid defense. They're 2-2 just like we are. They have savvy vets all over the field and in the secondary and also on their D-line. It's going to be a great matchup for us. I think if we can get the running game going and everything like that, as well as the passing game, we'll be in good shape."
He emphasized his confidence in wide receiver Amari Cooper, and thinks he can get him going offensively.
"I think we can do a great job with allowing 'Coop' to be who he is. There's no pressure on him because we know he's a great player. That's why I threw that pass on Sunday because I know 'Coop' is one of those guys that if you give him a 50/50 chance, often times he'll come down with it. So we definitely want to get him rolling. Get his confidence rolling and everything like that and get him some touches early so we can make some plays."