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Rex Ryan: QB competition will 'be open' in Buffalo

The Buffalo Bills will have a starting quarterback by Week 1, that much we know. Who that quarterback will be remains anyone's guess.

Rex Ryan acknowledged as much this week during a call-in appearance on the Bills' flagship radio station, explaining that EJ Manuel and newcomers Matt Cassel and Tyrod Taylor will all be considered as starting options.

"It's going to be open. It's a competition and whoever earns the job will be the guy that's out there," Ryan told WGR-AM. "We have some talented guys and we'll see what happens. You bring in a veteran like Matt Cassel. He's done some pretty good things in this league. He's got that veteran presence about him. With EJ back there just going into his third year I really believe EJ is going to improve with his fundamentals having (quarterbacks coach) David Lee here. I love the fact that he's a gym rat and he's smart. With our offense being multiple we'll be able to get out of bad plays, so the mental part of it all of the quarterbacks we have should be able to handle that."

"With Taylor that's going to be a young man, he's probably the fastest quarterback in the league. He's explosive running the zone reads, and we'll see where he's at. Then (Jeff) Tuel. We've got guys there to work with. That'll be the important thing. There will be competition, but a person has to earn the job. It hasn't been handed to somebody."

(We enjoyed the belated Tuel reference. Let's just go ahead and slide him in at fourth place in the competition right now.)

The primary reason why many were surprised when Ryan took the Bills job was because of the uncertainty at the quarterback position, a hurdle that played a major role in his dismissal from the Jets. Manuel was deemed a lost cause by the prior regime, who felt a barely invested Kyle Orton gave them a better chance to win.

In other words, Ryan is probably telling the truth when he says this competition will be open. Consider Cassel the heavy favorite to win the job with Taylor representing the wild card. Jeff Tuel will also be there.

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