Why the Bills dumped Vince Young for Tavaris Jackson

Vince Young of the Buffalo Bills looks to pass against the Washington Redskins at Ralph Wilson...

Vince Young of the Buffalo Bills looks to pass against the Washington Redskins at Ralph Wilson Stadium on August 9, 2012 in Orchard Park, New York. (AFP)

John Kryk, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 10:08 PM ET

And the winner in the battle between Vince Young and Tyler Thigpen to be the Buffalo Bills' backup quarterback is ...

Tarvaris Jackson.

Yup, the deposed Seattle Seahawks starter, who this month wasn't remotely good enough to hold off a 5-foot-11 rookie (Russell Wilson) or a glorified career ball-cap wearer (Matt Flynn). The same guy who in the final two minutes of halves last season tossed zero touchdowns against six interceptions, and was sacked nine times.

As was reported Sunday night, the Bills on Monday afternoon officially cut Young and acquired Jackson in a trade with the Seahawks. The Bills reportedly gave Seattle a seventh-round draft pick, which could become a sixth-rounder if Jackson plays in six games.

The Bills signed Jackson to a new one-year, $3-million contract -- $1 million less than Young was set to earn.

Thigpen likely will be released following Buffalo's final preseason game Thursday in Detroit, in time for Friday night's 53-man roster cutdown.

Is installing T-Jax as the backup, 13 days before the opener, a desperate move, as some are proclaiming?

We say no. What it means, simply, is this.

Bills general manager Buddy Nix and head coach Chan Gailey believe that Tarvaris Jackson, who did not participate either in the Bills' spring practices or preseason camp, is a better option as the team's No. 2 QB than either Young, who did participate in both, or Thigpen, who has been on the team for 13 months.

That's less an endorsement of Jackson than it is an indictment of both Young and Thigpen.

Especially Young, who was just signed in May.

"I do not want to get into what (Young) can do and cannot do," Nix told reporters. "It just did not work out. Vince did everything he could. He worked hard at it.

"So we go another route, and it is not like we are thinking that (Jackson) can do something that Vince could not do. It is just we have seen him and he has played good, at times. Consistency has been a little bit of a problem. He has bounced around a little bit, but who knows, we will give it a try. We know he has the ability to do it. We will see if he can produce."

And if he cannot, and if someone better becomes available, then don't be surprised if Nix instantly dumps Jackson and signs that guy.

Nix all but said the signing of Jackson has nothing to do with the shaky preseason performances of starting QB Ryan Fitzpatrick. As with Young, Jackson is insurance.

"We put a lot of money into this football team," Nix said. "We think that we have good players and a chance to be competitive. I would not want one guy to get hurt, not be able to play and everybody else be helpless to get it done. It is a protection."

As for Young, so ends his second chance to jump-start his disappointing pro career, which fired up in 2006 in Tennessee, stalled after 2010 when the Titans let him go, and crashed after a dismal stint last season backing up Michael Vick in Philly.

Young might well be done in the NFL.

Remember, he went more than six weeks in the spring without fielding much, if any, interest before the Bills worked him out in early May.

At that time, we asked NFL talent guru Greg Cosell for his assessment. He foresaw precisely what transpired: He was unlikely to succeed in Buffalo.

"(Young) is limited in the kind of offence he can run," Cosell said. "He needs to run an offence whose foundation is the run, so you give him the play-action pass game...

"If you put him in the shotgun, he's not very good at seeing things before the snap, which is a very, very critical part of playing quarterback in today's NFL -- particularly if you're in the shotgun in a spread, because it's always up to the quarterback in the spread to figure out who potentially is blitzing."

The Bills, of course, utilize a shotgun spread most of the time.

"So what happens is he becomes an improvisational, random player," Cosell said. "And because he's got a lot of physical ability, every once in a while he'll make some spectacular plays."

Such as the bomb to T.J. Graham in Minnesota two weeks ago.

Two things twisted Young's learning curve in Buffalo.

One, Gailey's passing offence, which is complicated and apparently hard to digest after two years, let alone after just four months. Two, Young told me in July that QBs coach David Lee was tinkering with his mechanics.

Too much, too soon.

Now he's done. Too soon.

Again.

CARDS CAN'T DECIDE

The Arizona Cardinals still don't know who their starting quarterback is.

Kevin Kolb or John Skelton.

So, naturally, they're not going to play either Thursday in the Cards' final preseason game against Denver.

Huh? Exactly.

Third-string rookie Ryan Lindley out of San Diego State gets the nod. Maybe he can get the ball to Larry Fitzgerald.

Both Kolb and Skelton have pretty much stunk it up in the preseason -- or, more charitably, haven't had time to do much behind a terribly porous offensive line.

Head coach Ken Whisenhunt decided Monday to conduct final determinations after more closed-door practices.

john.kryk@sunmedia.ca

@JohnKryk

blogs.canoe.ca/krykslants/


Photos