The Buffalo Bills entered the summer without a starting quarterback. E.J. Manuel was expected to give the starting gig a shot, the team traded for veteran journeyman Matt Cassel and also brought in Tyrod Taylor to form a three-headed competition. Between the three of them, new head coach Rex Ryan and co. figured the Bills would uncover one competent passer.
The competition is now down to just two quarterbacks.
Per reports, third-year passer E.J. Manuel has slid away from the competition and the organization now feels their 2015 starting quarterback is either Cassel or Taylor. The lingering question is naturally which quarterback gives the Bills the best chance to win, but after both passers out-performed Manuel all summer, it appears the team is at least one step closer to a final decision.
Taylor to Start
Taylor already impressed enough after the first preseason game that he is expected to start Buffalo’s second preseason game. Cassel started game one and didn’t do anything to overly impress, but also was accurate and poised in the pocket. Taylor starting appears to be the Bills simply getting a good look at Cassel’s only real competition against a first team defense and with Buffalo’s first team offense.
Taylor vs. Cassel
While Taylor has yet to actually seriously threaten Cassel, a good showing in week two could be enough to get the Bills on board. Taylor could have a decent chance in doing just that, as he exhibited nice athleticism and overall mobility in week one of preseason play and looked competent as a pocket passer, as well. After sitting behind Joe Flacco in Baltimore the past couple of seasons, it’s possible Taylor could be a gem the Bills simply need to keep grooming until he realizes his full potential.
Of course, the whole point of the battle is experience and safety versus upside, as Cassel is an experienced veteran who can master a playbook and take what the defense gives him. However, if Cassel can show he can also push Buffalo’s offense a little further than expected, then he could end up being the total package the Bills are looking for. Odds are the Bills don’t have a single complete passer on their roster, but the franchise will ultimately have to decide which quarterback gives them the most qualities they’re seeking in the position. Cassel figures to be the leader for now, but Bills fans will want to keep an eye on Taylor this week.
Bills Playoff Odds
The Bills already had the defense to make a playoff run and with LeSean McCoy, Sammy Watkins and Charles Clay on offense, the only thing they’re truly missing is a reliable quarterback. Cassel and Taylor are the final two options and both could end up being solid choices. However, if the Bills are to threaten for the AFC East crown and make any noise this post-season, one of them will have to end up being more than just “solid”.