Saturday, August 22, 2015, 1:15pm
Rex Ryan isn't sold on any of his quarterbacks in Buffalo.
The first-year Bills coach has once again been tasked with picking a respectable starter from a mediocre litter of gunslingers. Despite some flashy and consistent play from Tyrod Taylor in the first two preseason games, Ryan remains unswayed.
Ryan told the Buffalo media Saturday that there is a "high possibility" of keeping the Bills' top three quarterbacks -- Taylor, Matt Cassel, EJ Manuel -- on the roster for the season. He also reiterated that the Bills will give each of the Three Amigos a shot in the team's next preseason game.
"We haven't decided yet who's starting at QB next week," Ryan said. "We'll rotate all three in this week."
Despite being surrounded by only laughable talent — nothing but down-roster receivers and emergency-signee running backs — the Bills shifty QB, Tyrod Taylor, impressed for the second time in as many preseason games.
Only this time, he showed he could do it not just when pass plays break down, but from the pocket, an integral and increasingly elusive attribute in the 2010s NFL.
In front of as many empty orange seats as people at FirstEnergy Stadium, Taylor was sharp through the air (7-of-10 for 65 yards), deadly on the ground (four keepers for 41 yards) and smart with his decisions on his three first-half drives.
The Bills are desperate for good play out of the quarterback position, and Taylor is pushing Matt Cassel hard for the starting job. There are some weapons in the passing game -- Sammy Watkins, Percy Harvin, Robert Woods, Charles Clay and LeSean McCoy -- so Taylor could work his way into the streaming/QBBC conversation if he wins the starting job.
Sunday, August 16, 2015, 4:00pm
After the Bills finished their preseason opener on Friday night, coach Rex Ryan’s comments made it sound like the team was moving toward turning their three-way quarterback derby into a two-man race.
Sunday’s practice didn’t do anything to send a different message. Matt Cassel and Tyrod Taylor split reps with the first team while EJ Manuel worked exclusively with the third team, just as he did against the Panthers. After practice Ryan explained why things broke down that way.
“He’s going to get the majority of the game running with that group this second preseason game, so that’s the reasoning behind it,” Ryan said, via the Buffalo News. “Does that mean he won’t get the two reps? No. It doesn’t mean that at all, but is want we wanted to do. We’re going to put Tyrod in and mix in Matt. As the week goes on, don’t be surprised if he does get some two’s. I know you guys want to look into anything, but I don’t think you need to. We’ve been working this thing for how long now? It’s been the same type of rotation for probably three weeks.”
The story summed it up pretty well: Taylor will start the game against the Browns and as much as Ryan would seem to prefer no one reads anything into his decisions, they become telling at a certain point. Manuel may benefit from the increased reps he’ll get with the third team, but it certainly seems that a team seriously considering him as a starter would also want to see him with the player he’d be sharing the team with in that role.
Among the three quarterbacks competing for the starting job, Tyrod Taylor was arguably the most impressive of the bunch. He managed to convert his two drives into touchdowns and also put his feet to work, tallying 47 yards on the ground in six rushing attempts. Additionally, Taylor completed 5 of 8 pass attempts for 49 yards.
This was enough progress for head coach Rex Ryan to decide that Taylor will start in the second preseason game against the Cleveland Browns next Thursday.
Quarterback Matt Cassel, who opened for the Bills in Week 1 as the starter, passed for 45 yards on seven completions. E.J. Manuel was hit-and-miss, completing 4 of 8 passes for 77 yards, which included a 51-yard touchdown bomb to Deonte Thompson. He also had trouble with snaps, which resulted in a couple fumbles, the story said. The piece added: Ryan all along has talked up Taylor, despite his limited NFL starting experience as the Baltimore Ravens' backup quarterback for four years. During that time, he completed 19 of 35 passes for 199 yards, zero touchdowns and two interceptions. Maybe the purpose behind Ryan's decision is it serves as a wake-up call for either Cassel for Manuel to step up and win the job.
Sunday, August 9, 2015, 11:03am
Bills coach Rex Ryan said after Saturday night’s scrimmage that the plan is for Matt Cassel to take the first offensive snaps of the preseason.
“We’ll probably start Cassel in the first game against Carolina and let’s go from there,” Ryan said, via the Associated Press.
Cassel, Tyrod Taylor and EJ Manuel each led the starting offense at points during the scrimmage and the 13 points that the offense put up in 17 possessions speaks to the need for the team to show improvement on that side of the ball. Ryan complimented Manuel, who threw the only touchdown pass of the night, and said he was a “little disappointed” in Taylor. Cassel, meanwhile, is looking forward to facing the Panthers.
“Great. I hope I play the whole game, to be honest with you,” Cassel said. “I honestly would embrace the chance to start and go out there and play a little bit and get into a rhythm.”
With no one separating themselves from the pack in Buffalo to this point, the competition should rage on well beyond the first preseason outing, the story pointed out. The winner of this battle still likely won't be a highly-desired add to fantasy teams.
Cassel has been joined by either EJ Manuel and Tyrod Taylor in taking reps with the top group in 11-on-11 action. Taylor rotated with Cassel on Friday and Sunday, while Manuel took reps with Cassel on Saturday.
"We put [Cassel] there. That's what we want to do," coach Rex Ryan said after Sunday's practice. "With his experience, we think it's more important that he's always rotating with that group. Tyrod is going to get his equal turns at the one spot and so is EJ.
"So it's like, we're putting him there, but then to him running some other ones, they go down to the threes. Because they're younger, they're going to be with some of these younger guys. And we think that's the best way to develop these quarterbacks."
It's also worth nothing the story added Cassel's performance in practice hasn't stood out above Manuel's or Taylor's and, at times, has been worse. But on Sunday, it was Manuel who lagged behind Cassel and Taylor. When the Bills broke into a single 11-on-11 drill at the end of practice (as opposed to their simultaneous "two spot" drill), Manuel held the ball too long on his first dropback for a sack and then overthrew Chris Hogan on his second dropback, the story said. In this run-first offense, whoever wins the job isn't expected to put up huge fantasy numbers.
Saturday, August 1, 2015, 3:47pm
The Buffalo Bills' shaky quarterback play in practices this spring and summer reached a new low Saturday when Matt Cassel and EJ Manuel went a combined 1-for-8 in a period of 11-on-11 work in practice.
Cassel and Manuel split reps with the first-team group in the Bills' "two-spot" drill Saturday after Cassel and Tyrod Taylor split time with that group Friday. If the pattern holds, Taylor and Manuel will be the first-team pairing Sunday.
There is no indication that the Bills are close to narrowing the group competing for the starting job to two quarterbacks, nor has there been any clear separation by any of the three quarterbacks over one another to this point, the story said.
The Bills brought in two new quarterbacks this offseason, trading for Matt Cassel and signing Tyrod Taylor. Most people figured Cassel was in line to start and Taylor was brought in to be a backup. But that may not be the case.
The Buffalo News reports that Bills coach Rex Ryan has shown greater enthusiasm for Taylor than for Cassel, that Ryan has wanted to coach Taylor for a long time and previously wanted the Jets to acquire him, and that Ryan says Taylor is the fastest quarterback in the NFL and can change games with his speed.
It's going to be a run-heavy offense, but if Taylor wins the job, he could become fantasy relevant thanks to his ability to run the ball. The Bills aren't lacking for receiving weapons, either.
Saturday, June 27, 2015, 1:51pm
Bills beat writer Vic Carucci answered a question about keeping struggling QB Matt Cassel because he's a veteran.
Carucci: [$4.75 million] is a whole lot of cap space to devote to a backup. I believe the Bills acquired Cassel in a trade with the Minnesota Vikings last March with the intention of making him their starter. Furthermore, I would fully expect the Bills to extend Cassel’s contract to provide cap relief if they are convinced he will have the job.
The fact that hasn’t happened and that there is no indication of it happening any time soon after his struggles through the offseason raise some legitimate questions about whether he will be on the roster if he isn’t starting.
Carucci said he thinks Cassel is wired to accept a backup role as a mentor to EJ Manuel or Tyrod Taylor or any younger starter, but doubts the Bills would devote that much to their cap. With a run-first plan of attack likely still in place, whoever the Bills starter is won't have a ton of week-to-week fantasy value.
Matt Cassel has brutal day.
There was one repetition during red zone 7-on-7s that displayed a good throw from Matt Cassel into the back of the end zone. That play, by itself, was the only redeeming quality of Cassel’s performance against defensive players on Wednesday. Right from the start, Cassel put too much air under his throws, resulting in a number of passes that could have been intercepted by the defense. He was late on throws, he was inaccurate, and missed a deep throw to Tobais Palmer by about 15 yards (and that isn’t an exaggeration). Cassel’s lackluster day was concluded by a fade throw on the right sideline, in which the receiver was covered by three defenders. Predictably, the throw was intercepted — this time by Ronald Darby. Of the other quarterbacks, EJ Manuel had the best day of the bunch, while Matt Simms was getting worked in a bit more after having one week on the job. As for the most interesting man at One Bills Drive, Tyrod Taylor, Wednesday was merely a ‘meh’ day for him.
We currently project Cassel to win the job, but we'll have to adjust our projections if he continues to struggle.
Friday, April 20, 2012, 12:08pm
The signing of Curtis Painter hasn’t changed that.
“Tyrod is our No. 2 quarterback; I want to make that very clear,” Harbaugh told WBAL radio yesterday.
“Everybody competes for their job, there’s no doubt about it, we believe in that, we always will, but he’s our No. 2 quarterback. He’s entrenched as our No. 2 quarterback.”
Harbaugh said that Painter is currently the No. 3 quarterback, and that the team may opt to continue to have a third arm on the roster throughout the season, whether that position is given to Painter or someone else. The Ravens’ head coach is also leaving the door open to bringing in a fourth signal caller during training camp.
Saturday, August 20, 2011, 8:17am
Backup quarterback Tyrod Taylor directed two fourth-quarter touchdown drives for Baltimore, the first ending with Jalen Parmele’s go-ahead 10-yard touchdown run with 7:16 remaining as the Ravens defeated the Kansas City Chiefs 31-13.
Taylor later added a 5-yard TD run of his own, a dive to the right pylon that withstood a video review. He finished 5 for 11 for 88 yards.
Kansas City’s Tyler Palko completed eight of 13 passes for 95 yards, but produced 10 points in his three drive - a tying 4-yard touchdown pass to Terrance Copper late in the second quarter and a 12-play march culminating in a tiebreaking 30-yard field goal by Ryan Succop with 6:58 left in the third quarter.
Saturday, May 7, 2011, 2:37pm
"He brings an added dimension of being a terrific athlete," said Newsome, who cited the prevalence of NFL quarterbacks "who can get out of the pocket and hurt people."
Monday, May 2, 2011, 10:46pm
Ravens GM Ozzie Newsome on QB Tyrod Taylor: "We drafted him as a quarterback, and he was evaluated as a quarterback. As far as him coming into our system, we feel like he has the skill sets to play the position and he also brings the added dimension of being a terrific athlete that can get out of the pocket and hurt people. He has the ability to do that also."