QB battle begins on first day of training camp

Buffalo Bills quarterbacks Matt Cassel (16), EJ Manuel (3) and Tyrod Taylor (5) drop back to pass during their NFL football training camp in Pittsford, N.Y., Friday, July 31, 2015. (AP Photo/Bill Wippert)

PITTSFORD, N.Y. (WIVB) – The Bills’ quarterback competition is underway, with Matt Cassel getting the first shot with the starters during today’s first practice of training camp.

Cassel, Tyrod Taylor, and EJ Manuel are expected to rotate until Rex Ryan and his staff decide on a winner. To rotate them through practice more quickly, Ryan has two groups going at once on separate parts of the practice field.

“That’s something (offensive coordinator) Greg Roman has brought to us,” said Ryan. “He did that at Stanford, he did that also at San Francisco. I think it’s a great idea. It’s not necessarily that you’re doubling the reps, but you’re getting more reps for your guys.”

None of the three quarterbacks stood out during Friday’s session – the first organized practice for any of them in more than a month. Ryan says he’s not over-analyzing every throw.

“Well I don’t think that is what we are going to do, ‘Well hey he moved ahead, he had a great throw here.’ I don’t think it is going to be like that. At the same time every day is important,” said Ryan.

For the quarterbacks, it’s a friendly competition. Tyrod Taylor and Matt Cassel both spoke after practice, saying their group gets along very well and helps each other quite a bit. But in terms of competition, they all want to be the last one standing with the starters.

“It’s competition, whether it’s for starter or not, you still want to go out there and make the other person better. So it’s an understood competition, there’s no enemies or anything in there. Our job is to make the team better, and let the coaches decide at the end of the day who’s the best man for the team,” said Taylor.

“I think every time you go out there you’re trying to prove that you’re the guy and also that you’re prepared and ready to go. So of course there’s a sense of urgency each and every time, but I think at the same time you have to go out with an understanding that you can’t put too much pressure on yourself or you, you know you take away from what you’re trying to get done,” said Cassel.

Training camp continues Saturday with a 10am practice at St. John Fisher.

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