Less than a day after Tyrod Taylor appeared to claim the starting quarterback job for the Buffalo Bills, head coach Rex Ryan made it clear he’s not close to making a decision.
Right in the middle of Ryan’s press conference on Friday morning, he announced his decision will absolutely not come before Week 1.
“Yeah, I just decided that,” Ryan said with a grin (h/t syracuse.com). “It’s a beautiful call by me.”
Taylor appeared to make Ryan’s decision easy with a smooth performance on Thursday night against the Cleveland Browns. He completed 7-of-10 passes for 65 yards, rushed for 41 yards on four carries and moved the offense well during his time under center.
However, E.J. Manuel also looked good against Cleveland’s reserves, completing 9-of-14 passes for 111 yards with one touchdown and no interceptions. He did look uncomfortable in the pocket at times and took three sacks, however.
Matt Cassel didn’t play on Thursday, but nobody should read into that.
It will be interesting to see which quarterback starts in Week 3, which is traditionally when teams leave their starting passer in for at least a half of play, if not longer.
Ryan’s decision to withhold his decision is brilliant.
This doesn’t mean he can’t let his own players know beforehand, and he should do so if he has a starter in mind before Week 1. It can be confusing and frustrating for players to head into the season with uncertainty on their mind.
But nobody else needs to know. He doesn’t want to give the Indianapolis Colts any heads-up as to which quarterback will start when the Bills host Andrew Luck’s squad on Sept. 13 in Buffalo.
“Remember, I’m not going to make that decision until we play Indy,” Ryan said. “Competitive reasons, whatever. Go for it. We don’t need to tell them. Until the league makes us tell them, we can just go right up in there and say, ‘We’re not gonna say anything.’
“We may know. But why would we say any different? The quarterbacks that we’re talking about, they’re all three different. So plan for all three of them. And I think that’s smart on our part.”
And, make no mistake about it, knowing which quarterback will start would give the Colts the ability to game plan accordingly. Not divulging this information ensures that Indy’s defensive coaches must prepare their players for multiple schemes.
Of course, Ryan’s decision could also be based completely on his desire to thwart the media, which has been relentlessly pursuing an answer since Day 1 of training camp.
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