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Young makes move in backup QB race

Posted Aug 19, 2012

It will take more than one play to settle the argument—who’s the Bills   backup quarterback?

But with one play Friday night, Vince Young made a strong, bold statement.

His 64-yard bomb to rookie T.J. Graham on the first play from scrimmage in  the second half, showcased not just Graham’s game-breaking speed, but Young’s arm strength, and his ability to deliver the big play.

“It was good.  It was far,” Graham said in the Buffalo locker room after the game.

“I’m a speed guy, and the quarterback always wants to throw it and show off their arm, and as a speed guy, I wanna  go get it.  I’m really excited about it.   It made my day.” 

At the other end of the play, veteran Vince Young loved the play call from the sideline—to take a shot downfield on the first play of the second half.

“That was a great call by Coach, definitely,” Young said.  “They went cover four.  The play we had was a cover-four beater. T.J. did a great job of getting on the guy with his speed, and I just made the read, made the throw down there, and let T.J. do what he does, with the great speed that he has.”

Young’s deep pass set up a one yard touchdown run by Tashard Choice—the end of a nicely executed drive at the start of the second half. 

“Choice did a great job of reading the blocks and pounding it in,” Young said.  “We had some great communication at the line of scrimmage, that whole drive, and made sure we were on the same page.  I stepped into the huddle and I told the guys, ‘Let’s just take one play at a time, and if you make a mistake, put it in the past, we’ll watch it when we get back to work.  But make sure we just take one play at a time, all the way down the field.’   And the guys did that.”

The battle for the backup job is being watched closely by Bills fans and coaches.  And Vince Young   took a step closer to clinching the job, with his play Friday night, according to the Head Coach.

“Vince did a good job,” Chan Gailey said in his postgame news conference.   “He hit the big pass.  He made a check out there.  He got us in a good spot   to score the touchdown, he did well.  And Tyler did well until he threw the interception.  The last two throws he had were not good throws.  But up until that he played pretty well.  But you’d have to say Vince came out a little bit ahead tonight.”

Tyler Thigpen’s battle took a turn for the worse in the fourth quarter when Vikings rookie Audie Cole picked him off and ran it back for a touchdown—the first of his two in the game. 

“As soon as I was throwing it, a guy hit me from the right side,”  Thigpen said after the game.  “When I got hit I wasn’t able to put enough on it, and he was able to cut underneath it.”

Thigpen’s experience in Chan Gailey’s offense is his trump card in the fight to be number two.  And he’s not going down without a fight.

“Just, y’know, take it one day at a time.  Like I’ve said before, I’ve got to continue to make myself better each and every day, and let the rest of that take care of itself.”

There are still two preseason games left on the schedule, and three weeks until kickoff Sunday—so the issue isn’t settled yet.  But Vince Young looks like he’s pulling ahead in the race to back up at quarterback.