Thad Lewis impresses Buffalo Bills' Nathaniel Hackett


When the Buffalo Bills chose to promote Thad Lewis off their practice squad to replace the injured EJ Manuel at quarterback, it left many people asking one question: Who?

Thousands shared stories telling us why they love football in a contest to win a trip to Super Bowl XLVIII. We chose 10 finalists. Now you choose the winners.

Lewis -- with just one NFL start -- was selected over Vince Young, Matt Leinart and a boatload of veteran free-agent passers. Bills offensive coordinator Nathaniel Hackett believes promoting from within gives Buffalo the best chance to win Sunday against the Cincinnati Bengals.

"I was blown away when I first started talking to (Lewis after Manuel was hurt)," Hackett said, per The Buffalo News. "I started asking him all these questions, and he knew the answers. I said, 'How'd you know all this stuff? He said, 'Well, coach, this is my job. I'm learning it just like I'm the starter.'"

Hackett said he expects Lewis to run the "full offensive package" after the two spent Buffalo's first five games side-by-side up in the booth.

"He's been up in the press box with me, so I've been able to communicate with him," Hackett said. "He's been able to see how I operate, see how the system works. He's gotten a lot of mental reps throughout the games being there. I think that was super important for him."

The enthusiasm is noted, but that's an entirely different beast than suiting up and facing a heat-seeking Bengals pass rush.

Lewis made his lone NFL start with the Cleveland Browns last December. We watched that game and it wasn't a disaster. His arm is lively and he's athletic, but -- despite Hackett's optimism -- no NFL passer is more of a wild card in Week 6.

The latest "Around the League Podcast" features Daniel Jeremiah and previews every Week 6 game.