Rex Ryan says Bills will have an open competition at quarterback
When the Bills aren’t running the ball 50 times per game, they’ll be passing the ball. Or at least trying to.
So will get the honors? It depends on who wins the job in camp.
“It’s going to be open,” Ryan told WGR radio, via the team’s official website. “It’s a competition and whoever earns the job will be the guy that’s out there.”
The candidates (currently) are Matt Cassel, EJ Manuel, Tyrod Taylor, and Jeff Tuel.
“We have some talented guys and we’ll see what happens,” Ryan said. “You bring in a veteran like Matt Cassel. He’s done some pretty good things in this league. He’s got that veteran presence about him. With EJ back there just going into his third year I really believe EJ is going to improve with his fundamentals having [quarterbacks coach] David Lee here. I love the fact that he’s a gym rat and he’s smart. With our offense being multiple we’ll be able to get out of bad plays, so the mental part of it all of the quarterbacks we have should be able to handle that.
“With Taylor that’s going to be a young man, he’s probably the fastest quarterback in the league,” Ryan said. “He’s explosive running the zone reads, and we’ll see where he’s at. Then Tuel. We’ve got guys there to work with. That’ll be the important thing. There will be competition, but a person has to earn the job. It hasn’t been handed to somebody.”
Last year, Ryan’s Jets supposedly were having an open competition between Geno Smith and Mike Vick. But the deck was stacked for Smith. It’s entirely possible that, while the job in Buffalo won’t be handed to anyone, the Bills have someone in mind to win it.
Ryan also said that training camp will feature two simultaneous practice fields, with the goal of getting more reps for the players -- and specifically for the quarterbacks.
“We have some young quarterbacks and we want to make sure that everybody gets the right amount of reps,” Ryan said. “We’ll have the exact same practice that we have on field one as field two so everybody gets the same reps. You just basically double them up.”
Ultimately, it’ll be important to have a reliable quarterback, because multiple pass catchers will be clamoring for the ball. Percy Harvin wants to have a big year so that he can cash in come 2016. Tight end Charles Clay has a large contract that will need to be justified. And the Bills don’t have a first-round pick this year because they gave it up to get receiver Sammy Watkins.