Many in Western New York just simply want a franchise quarterback to lead the Buffalo Bills back to the playoffs, which has been over 15 years. In the upcoming 2015 regular season opener, Tyrod Taylor has been named the starter recently, but if you look at just the stats, many would be hard pressed to declare a starter.
fI will admit that my bias is toward quarterback E.J. Manuel. Especially after the articles this season showed that Manuel is one of the best young quarterbacks on first down ever.
However, as much I was rooting for E.J., I had to be neutral as a journalist and I will defer to a quote by Bills General Manager Doug Whaley.
“It’s a production-based business,” Whaley said in The Buffalo News. “He produced with the twos (Talking about Taylor) so we’re excited for him to get in there Thursday with the ones to see what he can do. Everybody knows what he can do with his feet. But I’m impressed with a couple of his throws.”
The problem is that when you look at the stats objectively their is a different story.
After four preseason games:
Taylor: 24 of 31 for 77.4% passing with 236 yards passing 0 TDs and 0 Int
Manuel: 30 of 20 for 66.7% passing with 358 yards passing 4TDs and 0 Int
When you just look at the stats clearly Manuel is the better of the two. However, it’s when you break down game film the difference is clear.
By athletic standards Taylor is superior between the two. However, in the history of the NFL, it’s pocket presence that wins out, which by the way was the main concern of main Bills media professionals.If you don’t believe me then ask yourself who are the top two quarterbacks in the NFL?
By most peoples’ standards’ it’s Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning and New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady. Neither of which are known for their athleticism.
So, how many Hall of Fame quarterbacks are known for the athleticism?
According to the Pro Football Hall of Fame Modern Era quarterbacks, definitely two in former Denver Broncos quarterback John Elway and Tampa Bay and San Francisco 49ers quarterback Steve Young. After that you could make a case for Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Terry Bradshaw and Bills Jim Kelly. Outside of those you’re talking about former Minnesota Viking Fran Tarketon and Cleveland Brown Otto Graham.
Either which way, athletic quarterbacks are no more than a fad. Pocket passing franchise quarterbacks will be remembered forever.
In the end, I will state that Taylor will falter and E.J. will prove to be the franchise quarterback we have been waiting for as pocket presence will always prevail over athleticism.