Tyree Jackson met Josh Allen last summer at one of Jordan Palmer’s quarterback summits in California. After the meeting, the two would depart and head back to Buffalo; Jackson for his final year of college at the University at Buffalo and Allen for his rookie season with the Buffalo Bills in the NFL.
Now, the two players are going to share the same quarterback room.
Derek Anderson decided to hang up his cleats and shoulder pads after a 14-year NFL career. He joined the Bills last October and started two games. Anderson was set to be the No. 3 quarterback on the roster but with his retirement the role now opens up for undrafted free agent signing Tyree Jackson.
“We’re just trying to get better day by day,” Jackson said. “Everyone in that room is going to do their best to help each other and learn to get ready for the season. We want to attack each day.”
Jackson has been a winner at every stop in his career. He brought a mostly unknown high school, Mona Shores, to the Michigan high school state championship at Ford Field. In college he brought the University at Buffalo to its first Mid-American Conference Championship game in five years at the same stadium.
Jackson can now play at Ford Field again when Buffalo plays Detroit in Week 3 of the NFL Preseason.
In Week 4 of the NFL season, the Bills will play the Patriots. Jackson learned to throw by watching videos of Tom Brady.
“The physical side with Tyree was important because he was very raw mechanically,” Palmer said during Jackson’s pro day. “He got good coaching at UB for a couple of years, but before that it was YouTube, so we were more or less starting from scratch. So the approach was let’s not worry about the bad habits that you have. Let’s just create new good habits.”
“My plan is to let our three quarterbacks compete. We’re excited we got Tyree and we’re excited to see him this weekend.” General manager Brandon Beane
Jackson got his first chance to show the Bills what he was capable of during rookie minicamp on Friday. Jackson stood in the pocket delivering throws to other undrafted free agents David Sills and Nick Easley. He showed off his rushing ability, scrambling for a few first downs.
Jackson also threw against his former teammate Cam Lewis. Lewis signed as a undrafted free agent at cornerback.
“It’s definitely nice to have a familiar face here,” Jackson said. “It’s awesome to get a chance to play together again.”
Jackson and Lewis played at the University at Buffalo, just 25 minutes away from One Bills Drive.
The connection that the Bills organization has grown with the Bulls is why Jackson was such a coveted target immediately following the draft says head coach Sean McDermott.
McDermott said there’s a lot of trust between the staffs and the more they looked into Jackson and Lewis the more they liked what they saw.
“It’s a blessing, you want to continue to make the University at Buffalo proud and set a good example for the guys still there. I definitely have a lot of pride in the school and I want to continue to make them proud.” Quarterback Tyree Jackson
Click through to see photos of Buffalo Bills' newcomers from the team's rookie minicamp.
UB hosted its pro day at the Bills’ ADPRO fieldhouse where Jackson was able to show the work he’s put in with Palmer on short and intermediate throws and his footwork. It was a script copied from Allen’s pro day, according to Palmer.
The Bills were monitoring quarterbacks in the later rounds of the draft. General manager Brandon Beane didn’t want to root for anyone to go undrafted but was“thrilled” with the opportunity to bring him in.
“My plan is to let our three quarterbacks compete,” Beane said. “We’re excited we got Tyree and we’re excited to see him this weekend.”
The last player from UB to sign a UDFA deal with the Bills was Jordan Johnson in 2017. Johnson made it to the final round of cuts before the season began. Johnson was Jackson’s running back his freshman year.
“It’s a blessing, you want to continue to make the University at Buffalo proud,” Jackson said. “Set a good example for the guys still there. I definitely have a lot of pride in the school I went to and I want to continue to make them proud.”
Jackson went through a long offseason and a lot of stress during the NFL Draft to ultimately remain in Buffalo. His last game was the Reese’s Senior Bowl in January where he threw for 165 yards and two touchdowns. Jackson received the last invite to the game.
At the combine he shined with a 4.59 40-yard dash and his physical measurements blew scouts away. He was projected a third or fourth round pick but he never heard his name called until the Bills dialed his number.
“I feel like it’s all about going to a good situation and I’m surrounded by very good coaches and very good people in the city of Buffalo,” Jackson said. “I’m very excited for the opportunity I have.”