Rex Ryan Needs to Pick a QB Now

As a player, indecisiveness is your worst enemy.  Good players succeed because they can make good decisions quickly.  It’s an art more than an intellect.  If the smartest players made the best football decisions, Harvard graduate Ryan Fitzpatrick would still be our franchise QB.  As far as I can tell, the art of making good decisions quickly comes down to this: being smart enough to recognize the right play but being either stupid enough or egotistical enough to not waste time second guessing it.  The bottom line is that waiting is what kills you.  If you cannot make a decision quickly, it will be made for you by the other team, and not to your benefit.  I think that the Bills’ coaching staff could take a lesson from this as the quarterback battle continues to go on.

We are already past the halfway point of camp and despite committing to Matt Cassel as the QB for preseason game one, all three contenders are getting similar first team reps and Rex Ryan has already said he may not make a final decision until the preseason is over.  My problem is that dragging this out can only hurt the eventual winner.  Compare what is happening at Bills camp to what is going on at Green Bay’s pre-season practices or what would be happening at Patriots camp were there not the possibility of Brady sitting the first four game of the season.  The clear starter (Tom Brady, Aaron Rogers) gets the vast majority of the first team reps with some for the second QB on the depth chart and none for any other quarterbacks who practice with the backups.  Coming out of camp, these starters will have far more reps with their first team and all the things that come with that.  Consistency, chemistry, and the general mojo that are needed to make a top offense hum don’t usually appear by magic.  They happen because the quarterback and his receivers put in the time to get used to one another.  That is simply not feasible in a Bills camp playing a near constant game of musical quarterbacks in the name of a fair QB competition.

The bottom line is that it hurts the offense in the long run to wait too long to pick a QB.  All three are basically equal right now.  Cassel offers more consistency while EJ Manuel and Tyrod Taylor offer greater potential upside.  The brain trust needs to sit in a room for a day, figure out what’s more important to them in the short and long term and make a choice.  By getting that choice some exhaustive reps and putting effort into that offense (QB, receivers, offensive line, etc.) as a unit, good coaching might be able to create something good for the season.  Putting off a decision might offer a “fair tryout,” but the eventual winner and the offense as a whole won’t be any better at the end of camp than it was at the beginning.  And that just hurts the Bills.  Do I know who I would pick?  I don’t think I do, but I’m not the one whose job it is to decide.  The Bills need to be either stupid enough or egotistical enough to make a good decision quickly before they hurt themselves any more.