Bills Gear Up for Open Quarterback Competition
Buffalo Bills offensive coordinator, Greg Roman, announced Monday that the team will foster an open quarterback competition featuring Matt Cassel, EJ Manuel, Tyrod Taylor and Jeff Tuel.
Here's a look at what to expect based on what we've seen from each potential starter on Buffalo's continued search for a franchise arm:
Matt Cassel: the former New England Patriot famously got his chance in the NFL when Tom Brady tore his ACL leading up to the 2008 season. Cassel completed 63.4% of his passes that year, adding twenty-one touchdown passes. That season would earn Cassel a new contract in Kansas City. He would lead the Chiefs back to the playoffs in 2010 only to fall 30-7 to the Baltimore Ravens. Other than his one trip to the playoffs, Cassel dealt with injury issues, missing fourteen games between the 2011-2012 seasons. He would land in Minnesota and continue to struggle before being acquired this offseason by Rex Ryan and the Buffalo Bills. In his eleventh season, the former seventh round pick looks to be the favorite barring the miraculous progression from Manuel in his third season.
EJ Manuel: the first quarterback taken in the 2013 Draft hasn't quite lived up to the hype thus far. He is 7-8 in his first two seasons and found himself on the bench in favor of veteran Kyle Orton in 2014 after posting a 19.8 QBR. The Bills aren't ready to give up on their investment, reasonably so. It remains to be seen how Ryan will deal with another former first round quarterback in his inaugural season in Buffalo.
Tyrod Taylor: the Virginia Tech product spent the last four seasons behind Joe Flacco in Baltimore. Although Taylor has just one career touchdown in that time, he has shown promising flashes, enough so that many have him as the dark horse to win the starting job. It wouldn't be the first time the Bills surprised the football world with their opening day starter. Which leads us to. . .
Jeff Tuel: Tuel has played well enough since entering the NFL to warrant a spot on the roster while also starting two games in 2013. The former undrafted Washington State enigma, will once again attempt to surprise the NFL as he fights to start the first game of the season for the second time in his three year career.
All four quarterbacks have a long way to go and may just find themselves in the most interesting quarterback battle of the preseason. As we've seen in the past, quarterback drama tends to follow Rex Ryan and 2015 looks to be no different.