EJ Manuel Has The Worst Chance To Win Bills QB Competition

You read the title. EJ Manuel has the worst chance to win the Buffalo Bills’ starting quarterback position. Well, technically Matt Simms has the worst chance. But that’s assumed, and almost as sure of a bet as Jeff Tuel being released. Out of Matt Cassel, Tyrod Taylor and Manuel, the third year Florida State product has the worst chance of winning the job.

There are basically two schools of thought on the Bills’ QB depth chart. There is Cassel in one group and Taylor and Manuel in the other. The break isn’t just quarterbacks who can’t run versus those who can. It’s a split in philosophy and potential.

Cassel is the safest bet on the roster. He’s probably also the favorite to win the job, however unfortunate that is. The veteran of the crew brings a lot to the table that his competitors don’t. Experience is the main thing, starting and winning for multiple teams. He’s learned the most amount of systems. He’s also seen the most amount of live defenses. Cassel will likely take care of the ball the most, as well. He’s made Pro Bowl teams and there is somewhat of a reason for that. If the Bills are looking for a mannequin under center, Cassel is their man. He can hand the ball off 50 times a game and make a few screen throws to Sammy Watkins or Percy Harvin to keep the defense honest. For these reasons he probably is the favorite to win the job. Rex Ryan and the rest of the coaching staff understand the talent they have at every position other than quarterback. They might as well pick the surest bet, a plug and play kind of guy that simply won’t take away from the rest of the guys.

The other side of the coin is Manuel and Taylor. Here is your risk/reward. Your bargain. The little red guy on your other shoulder, nipping at your ear, annoying yet indulging you. These guys don’t have much experience as NFL starters. They also have some questions in the pocket. Sure, they move great and avoid pressure. But is that a domino effect from their reluctance to find an open receiver quick enough? Taylor and Manuel will make some plays and certainly create some turnovers. They’re unpolished. Works in progress. But, they have high ceilings. The athleticism alone is enough to excite. But the potential that both of these players pack could entice a coach to hand over the keys to the offense, allowing them the opportunity to steer the blue and red painted pick up truck either around or into the oncoming traffic.

The jury is still out on Taylor, who has been Joe Flacco’s backup for four seasons. Manuel’s jury is still out, but just barely. His jury is piling their papers and capping their highlighters, ready to return to the courthouse. Many people are ready to give up on Manuel. And that is why he has the worst chance to win the job.

Cassel has the best chance to win it—being the safest though dullest option. But, if by some chance the Bills chose to pick a quarterback out of the latter group, it would seemingly have to be Taylor. The only pro of picking either Taylor or Manuel is the potential. And Taylor, who has had more time to learn under better lead men and has less mistakes in game play simply out of less time played, holds more potential than Manuel. If Ryan is lured in by the unknown, it will be Taylor that’s at the other end of the rainbow.     

Personally, I hope I’m wrong. I hope that Manuel plays so lights out that the staff has no choice but to play him. He seems like a great guy who has run into some bad breaks. Call it injury’s fault, Kevin Kolb’s fault, Doug Marrone’s fault, Kyle Orton’s fault, or the fan base’s fault, but currently EJ Manuel has the worst chance to win the Bills’ starting quarterback position. Well, other than Simms, that is.