Yes, this may be the worst Q&A we have ever done here at the site. Frankly, I would have shot myself a month ago if I knew a Q&A about Jeff Tuel would make this site. However, there's a possibility that this guy will be our starting QB come opening day. Call it a ploy to get cheap web traffic or me being hypocritical to care about the backup QB, but I want to know what the hell we have with this guy, especially if he's going to be playing.
So, we are joined by the managing editor (Mark Sandritter) of SB Nation's Washington State website (Cougcenter) to hear about Jeff Tuel. In case you didn't know (Me), Tuel played at Washington State, so, what better way to get the 411 then by asking the folks who covered him what his deal is…
1) What are his strengths and weaknesses?
Tuel has good size, a strong arm, is an above-average athlete at quarterback and proved to be an accurate passer in college. He displayed tremendous touch on fade passes while at WSU. He had some injury issues, but a lot of that can be attributed to playing behind a putrid offensive line. Tuel's biggest weakness is his indecisiveness. At times he held onto the ball too long or tried to do too much. When you have to be superman on a team severely lacking BCS talent, that happens.
2) What were some of the best and worst games he had a Washington State?
Tuel flashed a lot. There were times where you thought he had the potential to be a second or third-round draft pick. He played very well in Apple Cups against Washington, including last season. His best performance may have come against Oregon State in 2010. He carried a poor WSU team to victory that day, both with his arm and his feet.
He never had a game that stood out as terrible. There were times he just wasn't able to do much due to the players around him. From shot gun snaps rolling back to him to being forced to constantly scramble for his life, he just didn't get a lot of help.
His worst game probably came against California in 2010. He completed 9-of-25 passes for 92 yards.
3) The Bills run a variation of a west coast offense that relies on quick throws and allowing WRs to run after the catch, can Tuel adjust to that?
That shouldn't be a problem at all. While he was indecisive at times and tried to do too much, Tuel is accurate and was at his best when making quick throws. Mike Leach's offense features a lot of short to intermediate routes which require the correct read and a quick, accurate throw.
4) Are Bills fans doomed because he might be starting?
Tuel has all of the tools to develop into a viable NFL quarterback. Is he there yet? Probably not. But, before people start panicking I would suggest they watch his college debut. He was no where ready as a freshman and was thrown into the fire against a very good USC team. Despite being raw and the massive difference in talent on the field, Tuel performed quite well.
If the Bills' offensive line can give him some time to throw, it wouldn't be a shock if Tuel surprised a lot of people. He's smart and as tough a QB as you'll find.
5) How would you describe his time at Washington State?
Tuel was one of the few bright spots during a very dark era of Cougar football. There wasn't enough talent around him for him to really show his true skill set.
Not only that, but the guy just couldn't catch a break. Whenever things started to go well, he would go down with an injury. And then he had to transition through a coaching change prior to his senior year.