The Bills were unable to get anything going on offense this past Saturday against the Redskins as they fall 30-7. The defense was on its heels the entire contest making 3rd string QB Rex Grossman and 4th stringer Pat White look like stars.
Do we have to? This is now an entirely different Bills team than the one that went into the game on Saturday.
As Manuel was recovering from a minor knee surgery the Bills turned to Kevin Kolb to try and win the starting job. Kolb was injured in the contest and his career is now in jeopardy. Jeff Tuel came in in relief and finished out the game but struggled, completing 10 of 17 passes for just 63 yards.
As was so eloquently put…
Manuel is out. Gilmore is out. OUR PETS HEADS ARE FALLING OFF #billsmafia
— Dan Kimble (@Dkimble88) August 26, 2013
I don’t know what a bigger train wreck is; Miley Cyrus or the Buffalo Bills QB situation. With Manuel recovering and Kolb’s future in doubt, the Bills have added free agent Matt Leinart and traded away LB and special teams’ contributor Chris White for Thad Lewis from the Lions. The fourth preseason game is typically a throw away for most teams as they sit their starters and let lesser known players battle for the last few roster spots. The upcoming game against the Lions this Thursday in Buffalo will be different.
The Bills will turn to undrafted rookie Jeff Tuel and try to prepare him to open the season as the starting QB when the Bills face the New England Patriots. We will also get our first looks at Matt Leinart and Thad Lewis in Bills uniforms. The staff will likely be looking to see if either of these QBs can fit their scheme and be ready in time to be a #2 vs New England. There is still the possibility that rookie EJ Manuel will make it back in time for the opener but I would not bet on it, and neither are the Bills at this point. They must proceed with the guys that are currently able to suit up… and therefore it is “Tuel Time.”
CJ Spiller has been excused from the final preseason game for personal reasons that I will not go into details about. We will see CJ back in action when the season kicks off. I would expect Fred Jackson to get more time than you might expect in a 4th preaseason tune up as he will provide great leadership in the huddle and an outlet for Tuel.
As bad as the QB situation is, could it be possible that the CB situation is even worse? With Stephon Gilmore now out of the lineup arguably the Bills weakest position group looks paper thin. According to Coach Marrone, Crezdon Butler and Justin Rogers will compete to open the season as the starter opposite Leodis McKelvin. McKelvin did not make anyone forget about his past underachieving with his first performance of the preseason and we need him to play up to his first round draft status now more than ever. The bills may even be considering other players that become available as the cuts come in to fill this void.
At this point I would like to remind everyone of something that Chris Berman once said, “No one circles the wagons like the Buffalo Bills.” Well the wagons certainly need to be circled to overcome this adversity. This is going to be a great test for a young team and a young staff. This Thursday will be interesting for sure as there are lots of story lines to play out and competition for roster spots, but I will be watching the QBs as our hopes and our dreams rely upon their ability to produce.