Jeff Tuel: "It can happen"

Posted Aug 26, 2013

Bills quarterback Jeff Tuel addressed the media after it was learned that the team is planning on starting him in week one if EJ Manuel is not ready to go.

QB Jeff Tuel
August 26, 2013

Q: How crazy is to think of yourself as going from a few months ago not being drafted to playing on opening day in the NFL possibly?
A: Just explains that you can never expect, you can never know what’s going to happen in this league, you’ve always got to be ready. That’s why I’ve said since the day I walked in this building that I’m going to prepare myself because you never know what could happen. Even going back in college, I had my redshirt burned freshman year, the first time I played was in the Coliseum against USC in 2009, so it’s happened to me before. I came here and started just preparing like I was a starter since day one. It can happen.

Q: If you start you’d become the first undrafted rookie to start a season opener.
A: That’s cool. Didn’t know that. It’s pretty cool, it would definitely be an honor if that’s the case. I’m surprised that I’m the first if that’s the case, but like I said it’s a cool thing.

Q: How awkward was it today being on the practice field helping Matt Leinart and Thad Lewis get through practice when you were the inexperienced one just four months ago?
A: I don’t know if awkward is the right word, but it was a little strange, odd. It’s just a completely different scenario. It’s two new guys and like you said, I’m the veteran now all of the sudden. I have to tell these guys the footwork, the progressions, stuff like that. I was telling Matt, it’s just funny how things circle around and you meet people. Last time I saw Matt I was watching him in the Rose Bowl in the National Championship against Texas and I was in the stands. I was like in eighth grade or something. Now here we’re on the same squad. It’s just crazy how things work out. It’s really neat. Just enjoying every second of it.

Q: Is there anything you did since you’ve got here that is paying off now that you’re in this position?
A: I think everything that Coach Hackett has had me do was a great idea. He’s really treated every quarterback equally. He doesn’t play any favorites or anything like that. He really gives his all in each rep every quarterback takes. That’s huge and speaks volumes for his coaching. It’s helped me tremendously because when I was with the threes, I was taking those limited reps, he was still coaching me like I was the number one guy and still telling me those things. I think the biggest thing is I’ve tried to concentrate on just being a sponge and listening to everything when I’m not in. Whatever he’s telling EJ (Manuel) or Kevin (Kolb), so I can try to learn from the mistakes they make when I get the opportunity. That’s really been huge for me, when I’m not on the field, just to soak it all in, the coaching points that he’s giving to the other guys.

Q: What’s going to be your greatest challenge coming up before the season opener?
A: I think just earning the trust of my teammates and getting everybody to trust me. Building that relationship with some of the one’s that I haven’t been able to over the camp because I haven’t thrown any balls to Stevie Johnson or T.J. Graham or guys like that. Even in RBA’s it’s kind of scripted so Kevin and EJ were throwing with those guys and I was throwing with the two’s and three’s. Just getting used to how they run routes and certain timing routes is going to be the biggest challenge to be able to put the ball where I need to put it. Just like today a couple times I found myself a little late to Stevie because he does things a little differently and quicker and stuff like that. That’s going to be the biggest challenge for me, just getting to know my guys and getting on the same page as them.