Rex Ryan hand-picked QB Tyrod Taylor, wanted him with Jets

Could Tyrod Taylor win the job in Buffalo? (Getty Images)
Could Tyrod Taylor win the job in Buffalo? (Getty Images)

The Bills were busy this offseason, adding playmakers LeSean McCoy, Percy Harvin and Charles Clay, and now new coach Rex Ryan is charged with getting this group to the playoffs for the first time since 1999.

But in today's NFL, any postseason conversations begin and end with the quarterback. Buffalo drafted EJ Manuel in the first round of the 2013 draft. Perhaps the biggest indictment against his two years in the league is that the team preferred Kyle Orton before he retired and traded for journeyman Matt Cassel this offseason. But it's the other quarterback the Bills signed, Tyrod Taylor, that may have the best chance to win the job.

Ryan has been a Taylor fan dating back to the quarterback's time as Joe Flacco's backup in Baltimore. And according to the Buffalo News, Ryan "hand-picked" Taylor after previously wanting to add him to the Jets' roster when he was the coach there.

“I actually tried to trade for [Taylor] when I was with the Jets,” Ryan said back in May, via ESPN.com. “If he’s not the fastest quarterback in the league, he’s certainly up there with them. He’s got great run skills. I’m not gonna say he’s Russell Wilson, but he’s got a little of that in him, where he’s able to run zone reads and pull the ball down and be effective.”

More from the News:

Ryan loves Taylor’s speed ... he also thinks Taylor’s passing skills make him a worthy contender. Taylor has a mixed review of his work through the offseason. At times, he was happy with his decision-making and passing and ability to move the offense. At times, he wasn’t, noting there were areas that he and the entire offense could improve.

It's not surprising that Taylor's inconsistent; he's the least experienced quarterback on the roster, throwing just 35 passes in the last four seasons.

“I think it comes with just building trust in the receivers, knowing the type of guys you have around you, just knowing the type of playmakers that you have around you,” Taylor said. “It’s my job to get the ball to them. We have a bunch of speed on the outside, a bunch of guys that can get the ball and do very well in the space, so it’s my job to get the ball to them as quickly as possible. And that’s mainly what I’m trusting when I go out there.”

No matter how much Ryan might be enamored with Taylor he understands that Jim Kelly ain't walking through the door.

"It's safe to say we won't have LeBron at quarterback," Ryan said earlier this month. ... "Wisdom tells me to let it play it out, we'll see what happens through the end," Ryan said. "So you just eliminated Tyrod Taylor, that's not fair to do. So I think wisdom says let this thing play out and it will all work out in the end."

If this all sounds familiar it should; CBSSports.com's Sean Wagner-McGough wrote in May that Taylor has a great chance of beginning the season as the Bills' starter.

CBS Sports Writer

Ryan Wilson has been an NFL writer for CBS Sports since June 2011, and he's covered five Super Bowls in that time. Ryan previously worked at AOL's FanHouse from start to finish, and Football Outsiders... Full Bio

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