EJ Manuel's rookie season in the NFL was largely compromised by an inability to stay healthy.
The Buffalo Bills quarterback was sidelined three times last season with knee injuries, leading to speculation that Manuel might not be durable enough to be a long term answer behind center.
On Friday's edition of NFL Total Access, Manuel explained an important lesson he took away from a trying first year in the pros.
"That was one thing I had to learn: to be smart when I take off with the football," he told NFL Media's Lindsay Rhodes and Brian Baldinger. "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.
"Obviously I didn't want to go down with an injury, because I'm a competitive player. I go hard each and every time I step out on the field, but it just so happen I had to come down with an injury. But I moved past it, thankfully I'm 100 percent healthy now and I feel like I'm stronger than I was last year so I'm looking forward to moving on."
Manuel lost four weeks last year by taking an unnecessary shot to the leg at the end of a long scramble against the Cleveland Browns in Week 5. Manuel's challenge is to remain aggressive while keeping the big picture in mind.
He's not the first young quarterback to struggle finding that balance.