Five Things To Tell Yourself When Freaking Out About Buffalo Bills QB Situation

One of the disadvantages of social media is that it seems to disrupt my ability to remain in complete denial about the Bills during the off season. June used to be my favorite month in the NFL off season because I could distract myself with all sorts of things like fishing, hiking, gardening, etc.

Now I can check my Bills app while I’m in the middle of Nowhere, Wyoming (assuming there is cell service which is not the case in many places) and find out what’s happening at OTAs while they are going on. How spoiled are we as Bills fans today with guys like Sal Capaccio, Joe Buscaglia, Matthew Fairburn, Vic Carucci, and a host of other great media professionals tweeting live from practice?

Sal’s “Vines” and analyses are worse than a meth addiction for those of us pining away and impatient for football season to start. However, many of us who grew up in Western New York have a lot of cognitive dissonance about wishing the summer away too fast. It’s short enough as it is!

So when VIc Carucci’s tweet hit my timeline on Wednesday with the news that all three quarterbacks performed putridly in practice, it felt like being blasted out of a really nice long nap that was just getting started.

Within minutes, other reporters started posting “hold your nose” comments about the play of all three quarterbacks as well. Oh no… corroboration. Now how am I supposed to get myself comfortably ensconced in complete denial about the QB situation for the next few weeks leading into training camp?

I needed to find a better strategy. One of the most effective ways to control irrational thoughts is by refuting them, and replacing them with alternative (and arguably more rational) explanations. For example, if a Bills fan is obsessing about the absence of a clear QB1 in the middle of June, then what can they say to themselves that will assuage their fear over something they have zero ability to control and is months away from being answered?

It occurred to me as I thought about this situation that perhaps rationality is overrated. What difference does it make if the end result is that I feel better and can go about enjoying the rest of the summer in peace?

With that in mind, here are a few of the less than rational thoughts that went through my mind after we were rudely awakened to the reality that the Bills may not have a fully functional QB leading the way this season:

gray1. We don’t need no stinking QB anyway. Just eliminate the position and play the season out without one. Why not? An extra TE might be a good position to add for the extra player. It’s also been reported that there’s going to be a big battle at the tight end position at training camp. Didn’t MarQueis Gray play QB in college? Toss him in there and let Fred Jackson throw a few passes as well. Problem solved.

2. How about blaming poor QB performance on the rabid defense? Rex already said he had to pull Jerry Hughes out of practice because he was too disruptive for the offense to learn their plays. Eric Wood did mention this week that it was challenging to prepare to practice against this defense every day. Makes sense to me.

3. Or, my personal favorite is to go with the old conspiracy excuse. You know, where it’s all a plot to throw off upcoming opponents. This of course doesn’t explain all the corroborating evidence being presented by the media that the QBs looked nauseatingly bad throwing footballs. However, it does play into to my sense of paranoia to blame the poor play by QBs on an image they are trying to create, and “play possum”. This “irrational explanation” usually works long enough to get me through to training camp.

Greg Roman is known for his complex offensive scheme
Greg Roman is known for his complex offensive scheme

4. For the sticklers that want to focus on facts and measurable evidence, how about blaming the slow development of any QB on Greg Roman’s complex offense? Just looking at how the analytic folks break down his scheme is enough to make my head spin and puke green. The players keep emphasizing how many formations there are and how much he moves players around. It has to take much longer to learn and get it right. Right?

5. And last but not least, there’s always the tried and true explanation that one of the three QBs is just on the cusp of becoming the next Aaron Rodgers. “We just have to be more patient”, right? Mathematically we are due for a quarterback that won’t end up as another epic fail. The fact that it hasn’t happened for more than 20 years should only enhance the fact that this fan base DESERVES a good QB on their roster, right?

Why not make use of that great marketing approach inferring to customers that they DESERVE everything from a new car to softer toilet tissue? Look, none of these explanations are going to eliminate the realization that the Bills may be a headless bison heading into this season.

There’s no way to put lipstick on any of these guys and make them look any prettier at this point of the off season. So, rather than dwell on the fact that this team has not identified a ‘franchise’ QB, I say we should plunge into denial at full throttle.

Let’s refute those worries with the most outrageous explanations you can think of, and allow yourself to float in the river of denial. There’s no reason to get out of the water now, the weather is too nice. Just say or do whatever it takes to focus on enjoying a beautiful summer, and forget about the fact that the team you love is a headless snake at this point.

All those pesky little details like determining who will play QB for the Bills in September are weeks away anyway. It doesn’t make sense to ruin the summer fretting about it. But, if you do choose to do so, please add more irrational responses in the comment section below. Like cornerbacks, you can never have enough of them.

About Robyn Mundy

Robyn Mundy is Editor-in-Chief of the BillsMafia blog at BillsMafia.com. She's a retired oncology nurse & psychotherapist who loves to write about her life-long passion for the Buffalo Bills, and occasionally something of clinical or social relevance. Robyn lives with her husband Gary and their dogs in the foothills of the glorious Big Horn Mountains of Wyoming. Robyn is also a proud founding sponsor. Follow her on Twitter at @robynmundyWYO.

5 Replies to “Five Things To Tell Yourself When Freaking Out About Buffalo Bills QB Situation”

  1. My summer mantra: Until proven otherwise, the Bills are capable of winning the next Super Bowl.

  2. Hi Robyn,

    Another great thought provoking article as always. I tend to agree with your explanation #3, the “possum” theory.

    This coaching staff is a really sharp and crafty group. I truly believe that their “media” Wednesday practices are when the QB’s have been told to just go out and “stink it up” and their best performances are on non-media days. Ask, how many QB interviews have been given after Wednesday practices? Not too many … The problem with this “possum” theory is that they can only use it until training camp starts when 5,000 Bills fans will be watching from the stands at St, Johns Fischer. Rex Ryan and Greg Roman are not going to “tip their hand” especially during their media presentations.

    I wouldn’t want to be the Colts coming into the Ralph to play the Bills for the first game of the season. It’s going to be “pandemonium” from the 12th man and the “A Team” will be there in full force.

    Just like you said, it’s not going to ruin my summer. GO BILLS !!!

    • Hi Jeff!

      Thanks for your comments. I appreciate feedback and enjoy interacting here. Completely agree that the opener is going to be a barn burner this year.

      It’s been a long wait for Bills fans to begin a season with THIS much optimism. Have a great summer and GO BILLS is right!

  3. There’s no reason to tip our hand before playing the Colts; let them be forced to prepare for any of 3 QBs with contrasting style. With four preseason games, it would make sense to even out the snaps for all four QBs. Why risk injury to the ultimate starter and primary backup?

    All our QBs are new to a system, even Manuel isn’t completely familiar with surrounding personnel, so gleaning anything from June OTAs shouldn’t be expected. Competition is good and we should do the best we can with what we’ve got. In the absence of a clear #1 so far, why not look for the silver lining? There will be a feeling of accomplishment and a boost for the winner of this competition. Lastly, when all is said and done we can win with competence and we don’t need a superstar with our stacked roster.

    Stick to business and we can win 12 games and the division; that’s good for a first round bye and we would likely be hosting a playoff game in an electrified stadium. My eye is on that goal and from there it’s one game at a time. Why not us?

    • Hi JimV,

      Thanks for your insightful comments. I agree that it may play to the Bills advantage for them to drag this “contest” right up to the Colts game. Rex said that might happen, and I think he’s perfectly happy to have opponents in the dark about who might have the leading edge in the battle.

      You make a good point about contrasting styles between these three QBs. I can’t help but wonder if Rex/Roman might find creative ways to insert Tyrod Taylor for a drive or two each game. He could be used as a change-up guy that specializes in the no-huddle or something along those lines.

      Roman likes to change up the rhythm, and Rex loves deception. It would be fantastic if EJ could be the “base” QB, and then use Tyrod creatively throughout the game.

      We already know Cassel’s ceiling, but we don’t know either EJ’s or Tyrod’s.