Training Camp Battles: Backup Quarterback

Will it be Vince Young backing up Ryan Fitzpatrick in Buffalo this season? Photo: US Presswire

By BBD Staff Writer Eric Samulski

Back-up QB

Vince Young/ Tyler Thigpen

The Bills front office would have you believe that the quarterback position is the most secure position on the entire roster. It’s Ryan Fitzpatrick’s job plain and simple. If only that were true, we would all approach Sundays with a little more confidence. Fitzpatrick may well be the clear-cut starter, but he has failed to put the stranglehold on the job that Nix and Gailey so desperately want him to. After battling injuries and inconsistently, Fitzpatrick hasn’t proven he’s more than an average starting quarterback.

Enter Vince Young. Everybody at One Bills Drive claims that Young was signed to be the back-up and while I am sure this is their intention, even minor struggles from Fitz will have fans suggesting that Young might be a better option. However, what this signing does guaranteed is that the back-up job is Vince Young’s to lose.

So where does that leave Tyler Thigpen? The third-string quarterback job is usually reserved for projects that a team is intrigued with and warrant a roster spot. One name to keep in mind is Alex Tanney. He’s famous for his YouTube trick shot antics, but while those do suggest serious accuracy, he’s also produced, albeit at a lower level of competition, throughout his entire college career. After looking pretty good in Rookie Camp, the Bills might be intrigued enough to bring him into camp as he still remains unsigned.

This also doesn’t factor Brad Smith into the equation. The Wildcat specialist is listed as a QB/WR on the roster, and the Bills used him as their third quarterback on many occasions last year. While he was not successful in 2011, the Bills paid a pretty penny to sign him and are blaming his lack of effectiveness on not having a full off-season with the team. I just don’t see how he’s going anywhere. Consequently, I think his role will be similar to 2011, and there is no reason to keep a third QB on the active roster. Thigpen, and his salary, are a good bet to be released, and Tanney could find himself on the practice squad if signed and if he has a good camp.

Tags: Brad Smith, Ryan Fitzpatick, Tyler Thigpen, Vince Young

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