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Bills GM Whaley expects all quarterbacks to compete


The Sports Xchange

Buffalo Bills general manager Doug Whaley feels the quarterbacks on the team have an equal shot of winning the starting job.

Whaley denied reports that the team is moving on from quarterback EJ Manuel.

The Bills acquired Matt Cassel and Tyrod Taylor in the offseason to compete with Manuel for job.

“I look at it this way, in this business controversy sells,” Whaley said Friday in an interview with Jim Rome. “The more controversy that you can drum up, then the more interested people are going to be.

“For us we’re excited about the future of all three of those guys. It’s going to be a great competition. And we can keep three quarterbacks. So I dismiss that as just someone trying to get something stirred during this down time and lack of media stories for the NFL.”

Since head coach Rex Ryan arrived in Buffalo, he has not said anything negative about Manuel, the team’s 2013 first-round pick.

Manuel has completed 58.6 percent of his passes while throwing for 2,810 yards, 16 touchdowns and 12 interceptions in 15 games with the Bills.

Whaley expects Manuel to compete with Cassel, Taylor and Jeff Tuel as the quarterback competition ramps up again with organized team activities getting underway Tuesday.

“I look for him to come in and compete and try to take the job,” Whaley said of Manuel. “Everybody has got an equal footing. It’s a clean slate for all four of our quarterbacks. We’re not tied to anybody. We just want the best man to start.”

Whaley also discussed how Cassel has transitioned to Buffalo following the offseason trade from the Minnesota Vikings.

“He’s been exactly what we expected,” Whaley said of Cassel. “A veteran force who can galvanize the team and he can teach the young guys the intricate things that quarterbacks do that doesn’t take place on the field. Bringing receivers in and talking about preferences and what he’s seeing. Basically a lot of the things that people on the outside don’t see. He’s done that and he’s not afraid of the challenge. He’s ready to compete.”

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