The Buffalo Bills' quarterback battle began in earnest with the start of organized team activities on Tuesday.
Coach Rex Ryan said all four quarterbacks got equal reps, with Matt Cassel and EJ Manuel working with the starters and Tyrod Taylor and Jeff Tuel with the backups. Taylor and Manuel will work with the starters on Wednesday as the Bills employ a "two-spot" drill system with two offenses huddling simultaneously on either end of the field to increase reps.
"You just keep rotating your guys like that," Ryan said, per the Buffalo News. "But the big thing is you want to evaluate all your players, not just the first team or second team. You want everybody and to give guys fair chances and a lot of times, the cream will rise to the top and you'll see something.
"Some guy will pop off the tape that maybe you weren't so sure of, and now you feel pretty good about him. And then, likewise, you might have somebody that you think you were counting on that really isn't showing up."
Ryan praised Taylor and Cassel for some nice deep throws and added that former first-round pick Manuel has displayed improvement.
"The thing that stands out to me, it appears that EJ is getting a pretty good grasp of this system," Ryan said. "He's believing in what he's seeing and he's letting it rip. And that's kind of what you want from the guy.
"Know what you're seeing, believe in it, be right and pull the trigger. Let it fly. And I think that's what we're trying to do with all of these quarterbacks. It seems like it was pretty sharp."
It would be beneficial for the Bills' front office if Manuel could win the starting job, but we'll need to see more than quotes from the ever-positive Ryan before believing the quarterback's taken a step forward. This is a true battle that isn't going away until we hit the end of August.