Rex Ryan isn’t ready to throw in the towel of QB EJ Manuel just yet – even though Manuel has struggled similarly to his QBs with the Jets.
Rex Ryan says Buffalo Bills will have open QB competition
(Image) Buffalo Bills head coach Rex Ryan gets Jets tattoo colored Bills blue
Buffalo Bills HC Rex Ryan reacts to being fired by New York Jets
Buffalo Bills head coach Rex Ryan said that the team intends to include struggling QB EJ Manuel in the open-competition at QB when the team opens training camp.
In an interview with The Buffalo News, the bombastic head coach of the Bills said that the QB competition would be legitimate and fair, and did not seem at all concerned that the QBs on the Bills roster have either played poorly or not-at-all in the past year.
“You look at Matt Cassel (who the Bills traded for), obviously he’s won in this league (with the Patriots and Chiefs),” Ryan said. “He’s been a Pro Bowl quarterback, so there’s that experience that you have… And then EJ. Let’s not just throw him out after two years. Aaron Rodgers never took a snap for three years. So let’s see where Manuel’s going to be.”
EJ Manuel, who the Bills drafted with the No. 16 overall pick in 2013 under prior head coach Doug Marrone, struggled mightily in his second season with the team and was benched in favor of veteran Kyle Orton after a 2-2 start. Orton went 7-5 as a starter to give the Bills their first winning season in nearly 10 years, but Marrone opted out of his contract and left the team – which enabled the Bills to hire Ryan as his replacement after Ryan was fired by the Jets. The departure of Marrone left Manuel, Marrone’s QB, and his status very much in flux.
“I’m lining them up to literally have a competition for the position,” Ryan added. “People will say, ‘Well, is this guy ahead of the other?’ There’s going to be assumptions, but the great thing is, let it play out. Give both guys the opportunity and then at the end of the day, the cream will rise to the top. It usually does.”
The QB situation in Buffalo is similar to the one Ryan had in his final year with the New York Jets: A highly-touted 2013 QB (Geno Smith/EJ Manuel) and a former Pro Bowl QB in his 30s who appears well past his prime (Michael Vick/Matt Cassel) along with a third-string QB with plenty of talent but virtually no chance of being a legit NFL QB (Matt Simms/Tyrod Taylor).
Rex Ryan’s history of QB troubles are well documented. He stuck with QB Mark Sanchez throughout his first four seasons with the New York Jets even though it was clear Sanchez was not going to be the future of the team, and stuck with QB Geno Smith long after Smith’s struggles doomed the team to a 4th consecutive year without a playoff appearance in 2014.