No tension between Bills, Watkins over comments

ByMike Rodak ESPN logo
Friday, October 16, 2015

ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. -- Buffalo Bills quarterback EJ Manuelsaid he doesn't believe Sammy Watkins caused harm when he said this week that he was frustrated with his lack of targets.

"Sammy's a great player, and obviously he wants to help us win. I don't think he meant anything negative by it," Manuel said Friday. "That's what I like to hear. I think as quarterbacks, we like to hear our receiver is hungry and wants to make plays."

Bills coach Rex Ryan also wasn't surprised by Watkins' comments.

"This just in: He's just like every other wideout," Ryan said. "[Chris] Hogan said the same darn thing. 'Just give me the ball; give me the ball; give me the ball.' "

Watkins told The Buffalo News that he wanted at least 10 targets per game and that his agent contacted the Bills about how they were "making me look bad and you're making yourself look bad" after drafting him fourth overall in 2014.

Ryan said he hadn't spoken with Watkins' agent.

"But look, we all get it. The guy is a tremendous talent," Ryan said. "He's frustrated because he hadn't played. He's been out. So yeah, he's hungry. He wants to be out there, wants to be out with his teammates and contribute. I think that's the big thing. Get him the ball, that's fine, but I'd rather him get it on the field than out on the sideline."

Manuel shares Watkins' agent and could start Sunday against the Cincinnati Bengals if quarterbackTyrod Taylor (questionable, knee) can't play.

In the first two games of the season, Watkins was targeted 10 times by Taylor, tied for the most on the team.

Asked whether there was a danger in trying to force the ball too much to Watkins, Manuel responded: "There's not, because there's talent all over our offense. You look at us, on paper, we have one of the better offenses skill-wise. You look at our running backs, our tight ends and our receivers -- I think all of those guys are hungry for it, so it is what it is."

Related Video