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Matt Cassel to start first preseason game for Bills

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Matt Cassel will get the first preseason crack at winning the Buffalo Bills' starting quarterback job.

Coach Rex Ryan said Monday that Cassel would start Friday when the Bills host the Carolina Panthers.

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The announcement signals Cassel is a smidgen ahead of EJ Manuel and Tyrod Taylor to start the preseason. But this competition is far from over. How much each will play Friday is yet to be determined, per Ryan. 

Following Ryan's announcement, the Bills released their first depth chart of the season. Cassel, Taylor and Manuel are all listed, in that order, in the starting quarterback spot separated by slash marks.

According to reporters at camp, Cassel enjoyed his best practice of the offseason on Monday, completing several deep balls and moving the first-team offense. Manuel again struggled.

There has been little optimism about the Bills' quarterback situation throughout training camp.

Ryan hopes one of his signal-callers will distance himself in the preseason and provide steady play without turning the ball over. So far, all three have been inconsistent.

Cassel is up first. We might not know until the eve of the regular season if he'll stay No. 1 or not.

The latest Around The NFL Podcast covers the latest on Aldon Smith's release and breaks down the training camp stories flying under the radar.

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