AFC Notes: Bills QBs, Mario, Titans, Ravens

Most expect the Bills’ starting quarterback in 2015 to be either Matt Cassel or EJ Manuel, but don’t discount Tyrod Taylor, writes Conor Orr of Taylor, who backed up Joe Flacco in Baltimore from 2011-14 and signed with the Bills as a free agent earlier this offseason, has a fan in head coach Rex Ryan. Although Taylor has thrown just 35 passes in his pro career, Ryan recruited the 25-year-old to Buffalo and views his dual-threat abilities as a plus in coordinator Greg Roman’s run-first offense, notes Orr.

Bills general manager Doug Whaley said earlier this week that all three QBs are going to get a real chance to win the No. 1 job prior to the season.

“The way they’re structuring practices everyone is getting a run with the ones,” Whaley stated. “So it’s a fair shake. In this system that we’re trying to figure out who is going to be the number one it’s all about competition. That’s why everybody involved is excited about it.”

Here’s more on the Bills and a couple of their fellow AFC teams:

  • Star pass rusher Mario Williams is entering his fourth year with the Bills and will work under his fourth different defensive coordinator. Williams isn’t concerned about the latest change, however, despite the success the defense experienced last season led by departed coordinator Jim Schwartz. The Bills will go from a 4-3 base to a 3-4 base under Schwartz’s replacement, Dennis Thurman, but they used a similar scheme two years ago with ex-coordinator Mike Pettine. Williams thinks that gives him and his fellow defenders a leg up. “Understanding the defense, I love it,” Williams told the Buffalo News. “It gives everybody ample opportunities to just do different things and just be able to bring different looks, different angles, and attacks, stuff like that. So I’m ecstatic.”
  • The pecking order at wide receiver will be something to watch during Titans training camp, writes Paul Kuharsky of Kuharsky expects Kendall Wright, second-round pick Dorial Green-Beckham, and Harry Douglas to comprise Tennessee’s top three wideouts. Things get murkier thereafter, though, with Justin Hunter, Hakeem Nicks, and seventh-rounder Tre McBride jockeying for position.
  • The Ravens’ offense was a success last year under Gary Kubiak, finishing 12th in yardage, eighth in points, and ninth in Football Outsiders’ efficiency rankings. With Kubiak having left to be Denver’s head coach, Jamison Hensley of believes the offense will change in 2015 to fit new coordinator Marc Trestman’s identity as a play caller – which should mean more screen passes – but will still tailor to the the players’ strengths.
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