Rex Ryan says Bills will have an open competition at quarterback

Getty Images

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.

58 responses to “Rex Ryan says Bills will have an open competition at quarterback

  1. Open competitions with Rex means that the guy he likes the most wins the job, no matter how good the other guys are. It’s not hate it is just facts.

  2. Everyone keeps throwing that “but” out there. “But” I think EJ is the best guy for the job. He hasn’t even played 16 games yet. The best is yet to come. Go Bills!

  3. Whomever loses that should be forced to where the old bunggels paper bag with the eyes cut out for the rest of the year. What… A….. Mess.

  4. Let me see if i got this straight, the Bills go out, and get a great competitive team, and hire Rex Ryan as the coach. Four steps forward, and Ryan puts them six steps back, already talking about how much they are gonna run the ball, wow this guy likes showing his hand, i dont see him doing much, but ruining the chemistry, and confidence of his players.

  5. With the Offensive Coordinator being keen to the West Coast/Read Option scheme w/flex blocking, Taylor and Manuel seem to have the edge… If they go with the Ball-control run-based offense like I believe they will, then Cassel will have the edge. Unfortunately for Tuel he looks like the odd man out… He has shown that he can run the offense with big help from the run game and mass protection, but as soon as either lags it’s game over for him… he just doesn’t have enough live experience to win the job.

    Watch them blow everybody away with a Run first/read-option type of offense with a hint of West Coast…

    IMO, the starter will be Cassel, second string will go to Taylor and both Manuel and Tuel will be cut. They will go with 2 QB’s on the 53 man roster and pick up a late round QB to stick on the PS.

  6. When you’re as stacked , on both sides of the ball , as the Bills are , I don’t think it matters all that much who the quarterback is.
    This team is going to win a lot of games , no matter who lines up under center — and I’m not even a Bills fan.

  7. I’d like to think that Taylor has a chance but after watching him for 4 years, he never made any kind of splash in the games he did play. The Ravens paid him like $2m so I don’t think he has any complaint, but if anybody thinks that he is a diamond in the rough after 4 years of coaching and practicing, I think they have a rude awakening coming. Last year he was rated the 65th best QB in the league; which meant that some teams had three QBs better than him.

  8. If I was a Bills fan, I’d be rooting for Taylor. We know Manuel can’t play, and if Cassell is starting for your team, that’s not the answer. We’re about to see if “any QB” could win with a good defense like Russell Wilson critics (and Kaepernick in the past) have said. I’m guessing not if the QBs they have stink it up. Eventually, he’s going to have to make plays and can’t be hidden forever, just ask Bengal fans.

  9. Isn’t that QB competition kind of like picking which Kardashian sister is the least irritating?

  10. Next week Rex promises the Bills will make it to the the Super Bowl.
    Hopefully he can find enough tickets for the whole team to go.

  11. It’s sad to see so many Bills fans getting so excited about Rex Ryan, as if he’s ever done anything as a head coach except talk big and disappoint and eventually anger the fans.

    And knowing that history shows that bringing in a bunch of expensive free agents and trades has never really solved a team’s loss ledger only makes me fell badly for Bills fans.

    It’s like watching vulnerable elderly people being taken in a scam.

  12. Rex Ryan is an idiot. Taylor is nothing but a back up qb, cannot believe coaches still buy into the zone read as a heavy part of an offense. Taylor cannot make the throws required to be a starting QB in this league.

    He is preaching the same nonsense he did last year when he had a competition in name only and gave the job to Smith who subsequently got him fired. Manuel is going to get the job and he is a step above Smith but that isn’t saying much as Smith is one of the worst QBs in the league. It baffles me that he is still with the Jets and his “upside” is being talked about still.

  13. Rex going on the Theory that 4 outright Backups QB’s add up to at least one below average Starter. Too bad because Buffalo has huge potential with the rest of the Roster.

  14. Two years from now I wouldn’t be surprised to see Bills fans pursue a class action suit against Ryan and Pegula for false advertising.

  15. One things is clear: When it comes to QB competition, coaching, or actual play, Rex has no absolutely idea what he is doing and has proven this every year he’s been in the league.

    I still can’t get over the fact that the Bills, with a good defense and needing to improve on offense, have hired this guy.

  16. Harvin is signed for 3 years at $24 mil, not 1 year as reported. Moore couldn’t beat out Henne when Tannehill was in college. .

  17. I love that Rex will oversee another round of QB musical chairs. You can’t beat the entertainment value of dumpster fire burning for 17 straight weeks…

  18. When there’s an open competition for quarterback, the season usually doesn’t fare well for said team. Heartache and misery, so sad. No commitment from coach to player leads to discontent in the system and no commitment in the huddle for the poor quarterback. So so sad. Rex may as well say, ‘We don’t need a quarterback’, and get it over with.

  19. All I’m saying is they picked Tyrod Taylor up very fast.

    Don’t be surprised if he ends up getting quite a bit of action early in training camp and those preseason games.

    Whoever ends up getting the job… It wouldn’t hurt to add another receiver or two. Preferably bigger types that serve as good red zone targets.

  20. One last time – EJ Manuel had a rookie coach and a lousy line, especially up the middle, when he arrived. In his first training camp, he missed a crucial two weeks of preparation with the first of three minor knee injuries. He was penciled in as opening day starter even veteran Kevin Kolb had a career-ending concussion. Amazingly, he was not replaced and the other QB on the opening day roster was rookie and undrafted free agent Jeff Tuel. While guys like Brady and Rodgers rode the bench and learned from Bledsoe and Favre, not so with EJ Manuel. Also take note of Peyton Manning’s 30 turnovers in his rookie year. Opening day against the Patriots and the Bills had the lead when EJ came off the field. Brady won with a 2-minute drill, aided in no small measure when the Bills two best DBs, Jairus Byrd and Stephen Gilmore were out with injuries. Subsequent knee injuries by Manuel had the Bills in panic mode where a bunch of QBs were evaluated and limited and inexperienced Thad Lewis brought in. It’s fair to say that Manuel did no worse than expected with these trying circumstances. Some magical belief that 2013 was a wash but Manuel would come out blazing was a joke. Someone finally realizing the lack of an experienced QB, the Bills signed Kyle Orton as a replacement for Kevin Kolb as much as a stand-in for Manuel (still cursed by a weak interior line).

    Smart guy, gym rat, and with some good tools, Manuel’s time with Orton should mean good results this year. Run a lot and when the defense responds with 7 or 8 in the box, they’ll be burned when some or all of our receivers will beat man coverage. With guys like Trent Dilfer and Brad Johnson winning Super Bowls, I’m going to enjoy Sunday afternoons when Manuel silences his critics.

  21. The Bills should draft Bryan Bennett in the 7th. He’s very raw, but has a great arm. He’s very mobile, running for 27 TDs and throwing 48 of them. He would’ve been Oregon’s QB if not for Mariota. He transferred to a small Louisiana school.

  22. Tangle, that may be all true….but Rex & David Lee will “coach him up” just as they did Geno & at the end of the day it will be 16-0 pressers, 8-8 playing record.

  23. The Bills spent 2 first round picks to get Watkins. Sorry Sammy, but it sounds like you just get the left overs this year.

    Bills have a really good D and Rex will continue that trend. But ground and pound is essentially writing off the investment in Watkins. He is a special talent and needs to be featured.

  24. What an All Star lineup! God, I am glad this isn’t my team. I couldn’t bare to watch. God luck Bills fans. May God somehow bless you.

  25. Poor Rex Ryan. It doesn’t matter who his QB is. Already under the curse of Tebow, now he has to add to it the long and well documented curse of Doug Flutie, which haunts the Bills. Unless the two mysteriously cancel each other out, the Bills are a team whose destiny is spelled d-i-s-a-s-t-e-r.

  26. EJ was screwed from the start. A rookie QB paired with a rookie Offensive Coordinator.
    That wasn’t wise. EJ will start this year and do well.

  27. All of them together don’t make 1 good backup QB.

    Buffalo, where losing is accepted by fans of 2 of the worlds worst sports teams.

    Wide right.

  28. Hope springs eternal yet again in Buffalo NY. Every spring the Bills fans dig themselves out and proclaim “I think this may be the year”.

  29. craniator says:
    Mar 21, 2015 5:04 PM
    When you’re as stacked , on both sides of the ball , as the Bills are , I don’t think it matters all that much who the quarterback is.
    This team is going to win a lot of games , no matter who lines up under center — and I’m not even a Bills fan.


    There is maybe 1 example in 49 years of a QB as bad as Manuel or Cassell winning a Super Bowl, and that was probably the best defense ever for the ravens in 2000.

    Brady, Manning and Roethlisberger have represented the AFC in the Super Bowl 12 of the last 14 years and it took a miracle catch to keep one of them out in 2012.

    You don’t win without a good QB. It’s that simple.

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to leave a comment. Not a member? Register now!

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.