Rex Ryan’s post-game comments hint at two-man quarterback race

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Bill coach Rex Ryan was happy with the performance of the three contenders for the starting job. But his post-game comments seemed to suggest that Ryan could be cutting the competition from three to two.

Ryan told reporters that, with Matt Cassel starting the first preseason game, Tyrod Taylor will get more first-team reps and start the next preseason game. But Ryan wouldn’t comment on whether EJ Manuel will start the third preseason game.

“Why don’t we wait and we will figure it out,” Ryan said. “So we will see. [Manuel] did start the first preseason game I think, I mean our blue and white scrimmage. So every guy gets opportunities and we’ll see. But I am not going to back myself into a corner and saying I am absolutely going to start this guy. I did say Taylor would start Week Two, but I never said anything about Week Three.”

Which suggests that it could be Cassel or Taylor starting the unofficial dress rehearsal for the regular-season opener.

Ryan also declined to confirm that Manuel will be the first quarterback off the bench in the next preseason game, more evidence that he could be whittling the race down from three to two.

Still, he was happy with all three guys.

“I think pretty darn good,” Ryan said of their play. “You know, you get Cassel the veteran. He played to his strength. And Tyrod, you saw what he can do you got a little magic to him. And then EJ steps in and it’s unfortunate EJ is four-of-eight, I think, passing.”

Ryan realized that the numbers for Manuel could have been even better but for some drops.

“Four-of-eight passing and two tight ends decide they were tackles,” Ryan said. “You have to catch the ball. This is the National Football League — you have to catch the football. So I was disappointed with that obviously, that’s some big plays, run after the catch and unfortunately we don’t execute that. If that would have been the case EJ would have been six-of-eight, Tyrod five-of-eight, Cassel seven-of-eight. Tyrod missed, the only misses were all on deep routes, one of which I thought should have been caught. But overall I was very pleased with all three of those guys.”

It sounds like Ryan is a little more pleased with Cassel and Taylor; if either of them starts the third preseason game, that will be the clearest indication yet regarding Ryan’s potential plans for Week One.

36 responses to “Rex Ryan’s post-game comments hint at two-man quarterback race

  1. Cassell looked like a competent game manager. But don’t forget, the Panthers’ vaunted defenses was without 75% of their starting defensive line.

  2. My $$$ is on Taylor. He’s had plenty of time to develop and has been with some of the best QB Coaches in the game in recent years Kubiak and especially Caldwell. No coincidence that both of those guys are currently HC’s. Its a testament to their ability to develop QB’s and I believe that will be shown by Taylor having a better pocket presence and ability to read defenses than most people will give him credit for. Taylor may be from VTech but UNLIKE the legendary MV7 this kid knows how to protect his body and scramble and either get out of bounds or to the ground without sustaining significant damage. I believe that Rex will take a chance on his potential upside as a dual threat QB, knowing that Cassel has pretty much proven to be a quality back up level QB. But its all on Taylor, if he plays well and shows this same level of ability to successfully move the team down the field and score TD’s it will be hard to keep him on the sideline.

  3. That’s a ridiculous way to interpret the comments….being a real Bills fan a few things….Ryan said EJ started and played the best in the scrimmage out of the 3…then watching the game EJ clearly looked the best out the 3…some will say Taylor but if you factor in how EJ played with and against the scrubs of scrubs and went through his progressions not to mention a beautiful 51 yd TD PASS…while Taylor played with a few starters and didn’t turn his head once….I know there are you box score madden lovers that say TAYLOR HAD 46 yds rushing …hHES THE BEST…more to it then that….now what’s to say Taylor starts and throws 2 INTS and EJ has another solid game…what, soTaylor’s still ahead of him????…man o man… People just handing out jobs nowadays….and Cassel…I mean he didn’t throw one pass more than 12 yds down the field…not impressed for 4.5 million… how everything’s a wrap after the most vanilla play called game of the year….

  4. Tyrod Taylor is a name that people will be hearing a lot. I think he earns the starts somewhere during the season.
    I’ve never seen speed like this since a young michael Vick, and he can find the open guy with his vision.

  5. I just think it sucks as a fan when any team goes into preseason and has no idea who their starter will be. And unfortunately for us Bills fans it’s become the norm for way too long.

  6. Is it me or does it seem like agents of some of these marginal players post here on PFT? I’ve thought that in the past, but this thread just about convinces me of it.

  7. You saw a sample of what Taylor can do. He is ready to start in the NFL. There is nothing lacking in his game. People thought I was crazy when I stated upon the signing, that Taylor is capable of doing everything Russell Wilson can do.

    In fact, while at VT, he is the only QB in the ACC that rivaled Wilson as the best in that conference, year in, year out. The more snaps he gets, the better he will play.

    People lament the fact that EJ played with scrubs, but forget that Tyrod was throwing to backups. Starters could have caught 2 of his deep passes for TDs. At this point, the job is Taylor’s to lose, despite the fact that Cassel looked mistake-free.

  8. It doesn’t matter. Ryan WILL prove, once again, that his very foundation of NFL offenses is buried in some time capsule from at least 30 years ago. The NFL has moved on, but Rex has not. Good luck with that.

  9. uwisheuwereapatsfan2 says:
    Aug 15, 2015 6:23 AM

    Like picking the least dirty underwear from the dirty laundry….

    Almost spit out my coffee….comment of the month candidate…well done.

  10. I think Cassell is the safest pick of the three (considering their defense) while Taylor is the most dangerous (that goes both ways). Manuel has some issues but he is better than he was. I think he can be good enough to win with a strong team. The Bills definitely have an interesting QB competition.

  11. FSU QBs play well in their college system but then the NFL proves to be much bigger than they are… EJ is just following in the path of Christian Ponder and soon the latest one in Tampa will follow…

  12. uwisheuwereapatsfan2 says:

    Like picking the least dirty underwear from the dirty laundry….

    Not at all surprising your insight is missing in the thread about all 3 QBs playing well last night.

  13. This is a perfect example of why Bill Belichick handles the media better.

    “Who’s starting next week coach?”

    “We’ll do what’s best for the team.”

    End of subject.

  14. I think E.J.’s days in Buffalo are numbered. He’s clearly not Rex’s guy. He’ll get at least one more shot with another team though, assuming he’s willing to come in as a #2.

  15. Looks like Buffalo has a couple of serviceable quarterbacks. But with Rex at the helm the window for success is only 2-3 years before the wheels fly off. Still, it will be fun to watch the Bills’ version of the Buttfumble around 2018 or so…

  16. To those who claim EJ played the best QB in this preseason game – are you high? Otherwise, you don’t know what you’re talking about. First of all, he fumbled two straight snaps, neither of which were horrible, and killed a drive. Then he killed another drive by horribly underthrowing a wide-open tight end, showing his typical ridiculous inaccuracy. He had one very good throw that went for a 50 yard touchdown. Other than that he had about 20 yards passing. And that is all you get with EJ, one big play or two and then ridiculous mistakes and horrible accuracy, that’s why he was benched last year and that is why he is currently in 3rd place. Cassel on the other hand threw perfect passes on every one of his attempts (his one incompletion was a drop) and made zero mistakes. Taylor also made zero mistakes, all his throws were catchable (one of his long throws should have been a td but was dropped and another pass in the end zone was catchable but incomplete) and he added great scrambling for an additional 50 yards and kept drives alive with his feet – which helped him lead his unit to two TDs, which is what effective QB play is really all about – getting your offense in the endzone. So at this point, it’s definitely between Cassel and Taylor, with EJ just trying to make the team as the 3rd QB.

  17. Regardless of all else, EJ threw a long-range TD — and the others did not, regardless of whether it was against the Ones or Twos or Threes. TD do matter in the NFL lol

  18. Tyrod Taylor is explosive and exciting. He will be the trigger for a very talented Bills offense if he proves to the coaches that he can be trusted and not make self-inflicted mistakes (ie-turnovers) to kill his team. Cassell is more trustworthy at this point but cannot extend the defense like TT can.

  19. uwisheuwereapatsfan2 says:
    Aug 15, 2015 6:23 AM

    Like picking the least dirty underwear from the dirty laundry….


    Kind of like when Tom Brady retires right?

    Patriots fans are annoying as hell.

  20. It’s so cute Ryan DESPERATELY wanted to stay a Jet, and he had the ULTIMATE QB who “had a little magic to him” in Tebow; so he of course never plays the guy and gets run out of town. No coach who’s ever played Tebow has lost his job while doing so, Rexy, figure it out.

  21. Tyrod’s two deep passes weren’t caught, but most importantly, they were placed where the only guy with a shot to catch it was the WR.

    It’s only a couple of passes, but I was encouraged to see that.

  22. The Bills own announcers captured the essence of Rex Ryan’s offense:

    They called it a caveman offense. That perfectly captured it. CAVEMAN offense. Perfect.

  23. Platooning QB’s (or pull the QB whenever he makes a mistake) never works. Buffalo fans better brace for a long cold winter as it seems clear Rexie failed to learn that lesson from his tenure in NY.

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