The Buffalo Bills are rumored to be leaning toward a dark horse in the quarterback race, with reports that Tyrod Taylor is moving ahead of Matt Cassell and E.J. Manuel as the team nears training camp.
With just about a month until the team meets for camp, reports from Buffalo indicate that coach Rex Ryan is very high on Taylor. Ryan has spoken highly of Taylor’s abilities, including his speed.
Pro Football Talk said the praise is for good reason.
“Ryan might be right that Taylor is the fastest quarterback in the NFL: Among all active quarterbacks, the only one who ran a faster 40-yard dash at the Combine than Taylor’s 4.51 was Robert Griffin III, and Griffin doesn’t look as fast now as he did before the knee injury at the end of his rookie year. Taylor is so impressive with the ball in his hands that at times when he was Joe Flacco‘s backup in Baltimore, the Ravens let Taylor take snaps in the Wildcat formation, much to Flacco’s chagrin.”
Tyrod Taylor could also have the benefit of the mystery that surrounds him. He has very limited playing time in Baltimore behind the durable Joe Flacco, completing just 54.3 percent of his passes with no touchdowns and two interceptions.
While Manuel and Cassel both have more complete resumes, they are also clear in their flaws.
This is not the first time that Tyrod Taylor was rumored to be in line for the Buffalo Bills starting quarterback job. Back in May, reports indicated that he had emerged as the best among the quarterback candidates and could likely surpass both Manuel and Cassel on the roster.
In his draft assessment of the team, ESPN expert Mel Kiper Jr. said Taylor was making a strong move to start. And Bills coach Rex Ryan has said that all three quarterbacks are going to have a chance for the starting job.
“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.”
If the rumors are true, then the Buffalo Bills and Rex Ryan may be willing to take risks in order to break a 15-year playoff drought. Starting Tyrod Taylor would be a bold move, but the team has a stellar defense and took strides to improve the offense by bringing in LeSean McCoy and Percy Harvin, and many believe Taylor has the ability to lead the team back to the playoffs for the first time since the 1999 season.
[Image via Getty Images / Jim Rogash]