Bills quarterback Jeff Tuel could start the first regular-season game of his NFL career, due to injuries suffered by EJ Manuel and Kevin Kolb. So how will the undrafted rookie do?
His most recent college coach, Mike Leach of Washington State, gave a candid assessment to Alex Marvez and Gil Brandt of SiriusXM NFL Radio.
“First of all when it comes to size and strength of all those things, he’s solid,” Leach said. But Leach points out that Tuel has “never really gotten in a rhythm,” due to injuries and coaching changes.
“I’m kind of curious to see how it’ll turn out. I know he’s a dedicated guy and a good student of the game,” Leach said.
“[H]e’s never really won any games,” Leach added, in reference to Tuel’s 4-22 record as a starter. “And I think that doesn’t mean he’s a bad quarterback. . . . Despite the fact he hasn’t had a lot he needs to go out there and expect success. . . . He’s got a couple years where that wasn’t reinforced.”
So what will Tuel do if he has to start?
“I think his upside’s higher than the other people that have been brought in,” Leach said.
The other people are Matt Leinart and Thad Lewis — a pair of players who were available for a reason. Now that Tuel has a chance to play with no pressure and even lower expectations, maybe he’ll provide the Bills with a pleasant surprise.
Which means, for Week One at least, staying within 30 points of the Patriots.