Unlike many people out there that follow the NFL, I’ve actually heard of Jeff Tuel.
Tuel, who is being groomed as the Week 1 starter for the Buffalo Bills, was a pretty big deal in college at Washington State.
While battling injuries, Tuel was a two-year starter for the Cougars, racking up a pair of 2,000-yard seasons and throwing for 33 career touchdowns. He was on my radar in my college fantasy football league, but he just couldn’t stay healthy.
If, and with two weeks left there is still an if, Tuel does start Week 1 vs. the New England Patriots, he will become the first QB in modern day history to be undrafted and open the year under center.
Think about that on two fronts for a moment.
Tuel was bypassed by 32 teams and 254 picks. In fact, a total of 11 quarterbacks were selected – and he was not one of them.
Maybe it was his injury-prone history….or maybe it was his 4-22 record as a starter in college that forced so many teams to look past him.
I am all for giving the underdog his day, but this is the NFL.
This isn’t the Arena League, the CFL or even the XFL; this is the granddaddy of all sport leagues – THE NATIONAL FOOTBALL LEAGUE.
And here we have Jeff Tuel – pronounced, as you might expect, Tool, set to start Week 1 vs. Tom Brady, Bill Belichick and likely an incredibly tough defensive unit.
Another fact about Tuel, as the Pats worked him out, but went with Tim Tebow instead.
Wanna know a little more quickly about Mr. Tuel? Well, you are in luck….
– Along with Drew Bledsoe, Tuel started as a true freshman at WSU. They are the only two to do so.
– He owns a Twitter page, with just over 6,000 followers at present time. He is also a “Duck Dynasty” fan, according to his Tweets.
– In this day and age of mobile quarterbacks, Tuel ran for negative-203 yards in his college career. Yeah, that’s right…negative 203 yards, yikes!
So, is Tuel the worst starting quarterback to ever take a snap to open the year?
Without a doubt.
For all the Jeff Georges, Matt Leinarts, Vince Youngs and JaMarcus Russells, there really was never a “let’s put our hopes on Jeff Tuel” wagon.
While those aforementioned players never materialized, they did come with strong recommendations from somebody, within some circle, and courtesy some scout.
Tuel, though, was just forced into this spot.
Kevin Kolb might be forced to retire following another concussion. EJ Manuel, the top pick of the Bills, suffered a knee injury in the preseason.
Leinart, who has never fulfilled his promise, was recently signed as the backup, so maybe this is when he shows what made him a top pick all those years ago and supplants Tuel, leading Buffalo to the playoffs.
Really, all the Bills need out of this position anyway is somebody to turn around and hand the ball off to C.J. Spiller.
Or toss it to Spiller.
Or dump it off to Spiller.
Even a “Tool” can do those three things I would believe.