Lots of news coming out of One Bills Drive yesterday, as the team announced Tyrod Taylor will be their starting quarterback. Perhaps overshadowing that was the news that fan favorite and longtime captain, Fred Jackson, has been cut.
At 34 years old, Jackson is the oldest running back in the NFL. Jackson came to Buffalo as an undrafted free agent out of Division Three Coe College. That’s the same school where Marv Levy went and Marv agreed to give Jackson a tryout. A decade later, Jackson stands third all-time in rushing for the Bills, behind only Thurman Thomas and OJ Simpson. During his time here, Jackson won over fans with his gritty underdog bio and a powerful running style. He was also one of the team’s most visible members in the community. All that made yesterday’s decision difficult, according to GM Doug Whaley.
And as one era in Bills football comes to an end, another begins. It’s Tyrod Time in Buffalo as the team, which is poised to contend for a playoff spot this year, turns to a first-time starter to lead the offense.
Taylor has been in the league for four seasons, serving as the backup in Baltimore before signing with the Bills in the off season. He earned the job after several impressive performances in the preseason where he demonstrated the ability to throw accurately from the pocket and make plays on the run. His footspeed has already earned Taylor the nickname T-Mobile. Head coach Rex Ryan explains why Taylor beat out veteran Matt Cassel and former first round pick EJ Manuel to win the starting job.
The Bills have one more preseason game before the opener on Sept. 13 versus the Indianapolis Colts.