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A positive re: Thad Lewis


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#1 dave mcbride

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Posted 24 December 2013 - 09:17 AM

As far as I could tell, he made all of the right calls and reads against Miami. He wasn't late getting to the line, and he seemed to act decisively even if the throws were inaccurate. he was elusive enough too.He obviously has limitations, but if you're looking for a guy who can come in in a pinch and effectively manage games while leading the team 17-24 points with only one or two turnovers, he fits the bill. He seems to have a reasonably strong arm too. Contra Jerry Sullivan, I'm fine with him as a long term backup. Is he any worse than what passes for backup qbs across the league? Is Matt Moore any better than him? I suppose a few are better (Matt Cassell, Kyle Orton, maybe Kirk Cousins), but he's hardly a bottom tier backup. Also, smart guys like him tend to get slightly better over time, and I like the fact that he slings it. What you want from a backup qb is a guy who gives you a chance to play .500 ball while the starter is down, and he did that this season. One of the two losses was in OT against a playoff team, and in fact every team he played has a winning record (Miami, NO, and the Bengals).

Edited by dave mcbride, 24 December 2013 - 09:27 AM.


#2 The Big Cat

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Posted 24 December 2013 - 09:20 AM

Agreed. And there's no urgency to find a starter either, in spite of what fans think.

#3 Dibs

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Posted 24 December 2013 - 09:20 AM

View Postdave mcbride, on 24 December 2013 - 09:17 AM, said:

As far as I could tell, he made all of the right calls and reads against Miami. He wasn't late getting to the line, and he seemed to act decisively even if the throws were inaccurate. he was elusive enough too.He obviously has limitations, but if you're looking for a guy who come in in a pinch and effectively manage games while leading the team 17-24 points with only one or two turnovers, he fits the bill. He seems to have a reasonably strong arm too. Contra Jerry Sullivan, I'm fine with him as a long term backup. Is he any worse than what passes for backup qbs across the league? Is Matt Moore any better than him? I suppose a few are better (Matt Cassell, Kirk Cousins), but he's hardly a bottom tier backup. Also, smart guys like him tend to get slightly better over time, and I like the fact that he slings it. What you want from a backup qb is a guy who gives you a chance to play .500 ball while the starter is down, and he did that this season. One of the two losses was in OT against a playoff team, and in fact every team he played has a winning record (Miami, NO, and the Bengals).

I very much agree with that assessment.
We also have him under contract for next season, and at a very very cheap rate.

#4 2003Contenders

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Posted 24 December 2013 - 09:28 AM

Lewis appears to be smart and decisive. He has a live arm and has shown flashes. What he lacks -- which is what most career backups lack -- is the ability to CONSISTENTLY make plays. Weeks ago I was advocating bringing in a veteran QB in the off-season to help fortify the position, while we wait to see if E.J. can evolve into being "THE" guy. Although Lewis hasn't been in the league that long, I believe he can fill that backup role. I would like to see the Bills lock him up for a few years.

#5 dave mcbride

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Posted 24 December 2013 - 09:30 AM

View Post2003Contenders, on 24 December 2013 - 09:28 AM, said:

Lewis appears to be smart and decisive. He has a live arm and has shown flashes. What he lacks -- which is what most career backups lack -- is the ability to CONSISTENTLY make plays. Weeks ago I was advocating bringing in a veteran QB in the off-season to help fortify the position, while we wait to see if E.J. can evolve into being "THE" guy. Although Lewis hasn't been in the league that long, I believe he can fill that backup role. I would like to see the Bills lock him up for a few years.
Agreed. While he is not a veteran, he plays like the proverbial veteran backup -- the guy with limitations who knows the offense better than the more physically gifted starter. More to the point, he IS a veteran in the Bills system now, and you can't really say that about any other veteran backup free agent-to-be.

Edited by dave mcbride, 24 December 2013 - 09:31 AM.


#6 PolishDave

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Posted 24 December 2013 - 09:33 AM

@dave mcbride

I agree with your assessment of Thad Lewis.   I thought he played an incredible game with one major exception - accuracy.  If he was an accurate thrower, those field goals would have been touchdowns.  The fins would have been even more embarrassed than they already were.

One thing that got overlooked in that game were his audibles.  I recall a couple of audibles where the play that Thad checked to ended up going for first downs.   That really impressed me.  That tells me that he knows how this offense is supposed to work and he is able to read the defense accurately.   Both huge assets for a QB. If only he was more accurate.

Accuracy aside, he has shown other faults in other games with the fumbles.   I doubt he will ever be a superstar.   But yes, he feels like a solid Alex Van Pelt to me.  Its hard not to cheer for a guy who is obviously giving you everything he has got.   Glad to have him on the team.   But we need better starting QB play than that if you expect the Bills to be a contender.

Edited by PolishDave, 24 December 2013 - 09:39 AM.


#7 nuklz2594

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Posted 24 December 2013 - 09:33 AM

lewis is a gamer.  would be nice to keep him and draft a qb.  i like lsu qb mettensomething  or georgia qb.  both have knee injuries but upside could be huge. be nice in like say 3rd round

#8 Mister Defense

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Posted 24 December 2013 - 09:40 AM

The guy has had FIVE NFL starts and looks much better than many star quarterbacks when they were in the same place in their careers.  I agree with the OP, but also feel that Lewis has more upside.  Once he got going yesterday I expected him to make the tough throw, the one into coverage and the third down throw to extend the drive. (How often in the last few years did the Bills QB actually make the third down throw as consistently?) More often than not he did--and with a receiver corps that was all but missing.

Sign the guy. Now.  Long term.

With this defense becoming one of the best in the league we want as few needs as possible heading into the off season so they can take the next step..

#9 Just in Atlanta

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Posted 24 December 2013 - 09:43 AM

View PostThe Big Cat, on 24 December 2013 - 09:20 AM, said:

Agreed. And there's no urgency to find a starter either, in spite of what fans think.
Two options are better than one option. Our first option is a 50-50 at best. If you want to improve the chances of the Bills not going to 15 straight, I'd say it was a colossal urgency. Or maybe my math is wrong.

Draft a QB already, Bills.

#10 The Big Cat

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Posted 24 December 2013 - 09:45 AM

View PostJust in Atlanta, on 24 December 2013 - 09:43 AM, said:


Two options are better than one option. Our first option is a 50-50 at best. If you want to improve the chances of the Bills not going to 15 straight, I'd say it was a colossal urgency. Or maybe my math is wrong.

Draft a QB already, Bills.

They drafted one last year, don't hold your breath for one in rounds one or two, it just ain't happening.

After that, you're drafting Thad's replacement, and the consensus here seems to be that that would be a wasted pick, and I concur.


#11 dave mcbride

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Posted 24 December 2013 - 09:46 AM

View PostJust in Atlanta, on 24 December 2013 - 09:43 AM, said:


Two options are better than one option. Our first option is a 50-50 at best. If you want to improve the chances of the Bills not going to 15 straight, I'd say it was a colossal urgency. Or maybe my math is wrong.

Draft a QB already, Bills.
I'm not saying don't take a qb. I'm just saying that he looks like a good long term backup (2nd string, never first string and never 3rd string). If a guy they really like is there in the third, they should take him and make him the third stringer (with the potential to be more, of course).

Edited by dave mcbride, 24 December 2013 - 09:47 AM.


#12 TPS

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Posted 24 December 2013 - 09:46 AM

It's Christmas, Jerry's back to his old grinch self...

#13 jaybee

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Posted 24 December 2013 - 10:23 AM

View Postdave mcbride, on 24 December 2013 - 09:17 AM, said:

As far as I could tell, he made all of the right calls and reads against Miami. He wasn't late getting to the line, and he seemed to act decisively even if the throws were inaccurate. he was elusive enough too.He obviously has limitations, but if you're looking for a guy who can come in in a pinch and effectively manage games while leading the team 17-24 points with only one or two turnovers, he fits the bill. He seems to have a reasonably strong arm too. Contra Jerry Sullivan, I'm fine with him as a long term backup. Is he any worse than what passes for backup qbs across the league? Is Matt Moore any better than him? I suppose a few are better (Matt Cassell, Kyle Orton, maybe Kirk Cousins), but he's hardly a bottom tier backup. Also, smart guys like him tend to get slightly better over time, and I like the fact that he slings it. What you want from a backup qb is a guy who gives you a chance to play .500 ball while the starter is down, and he did that this season. One of the two losses was in OT against a playoff team, and in fact every team he played has a winning record (Miami, NO, and the Bengals).

I'm on board with all of this.  The kid hasn't had a lot of starts either.  I dont think we've seen his full potential yet. He gives us the option of filling other needs on the roster IMO.

#14 GOBILLS78

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Posted 24 December 2013 - 10:34 AM

In typical Sullivan fashion, he contradicts himself and offers no solutions. In one breath calls Lewis "serviceable" and "decent" before calling him "marginal" and saying the Bills need someone more reliable.

I'm sorry, but if your backup quarterback is serviceable and decent, you're in pretty good shape. Who should they go after then, Jerry? I'll take Lewis over Skelton, Carr, Moore, Cassel and most others. I still don't think Lewis has reached his ceiling, either. Yes, he needs to limit turnovers -- like any quarterback -- but he seems to go through his reads and makes pretty good decisions on where to go with the ball. Accuracy is an issue -- he and E.J. might as well hang a tire from the tree in the backyard and stay there all spring. Still, Lewis is a fine backup option, in my opinion.

Edited by GOBILLS78, 24 December 2013 - 10:36 AM.


#15 JR in Pittsburgh

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Posted 24 December 2013 - 10:47 AM

I think Lewis is back-up material, though his upside is pretty limited. My hope is that Tuel gets good enough to beat him out, because I think Tuel has the far greater upside.

By the way, I thought Lewis was very average against Miami. He had 1 great throw (the one to Lee Smith), and maybe 1-2 good other ones on slants/crosses (the bomb to Woods was underthrown and a good play by Woods to adjust).  Then when we got the lead, he wasn't asked to do anything.

It killed me to see him miss on two potential TD's (overthrow to wide open Hogan, and simple out to Chandler).

#16 Hazed and Amuzed

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Posted 24 December 2013 - 10:49 AM

Both of Whaleys trades have really worked out for us. Very happy with this front office so far. Good draft, good FA pickups and a couple of nice trades.

#17 The Big Cat

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Posted 24 December 2013 - 10:53 AM

View Postdave mcbride, on 24 December 2013 - 09:46 AM, said:


I'm not saying don't take a qb. I'm just saying that he looks like a good long term backup (2nd string, never first string and never 3rd string). If a guy they really like is there in the third, they should take him and make him the third stringer (with the potential to be more, of course).

See I think it'd b foolish to spend a day 2 pick on a project when they can find an immediate contributor on the line, as a receiver, tight end or linebacker.

Shoot, by round three they might be RB shopping too.

#18 BADOLBEELZ

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Posted 24 December 2013 - 11:49 AM

View Postdave mcbride, on 24 December 2013 - 09:17 AM, said:

As far as I could tell, he made all of the right calls and reads against Miami. He wasn't late getting to the line, and he seemed to act decisively even if the throws were inaccurate. he was elusive enough too.He obviously has limitations, but if you're looking for a guy who can come in in a pinch and effectively manage games while leading the team 17-24 points with only one or two turnovers, he fits the bill. He seems to have a reasonably strong arm too. Contra Jerry Sullivan, I'm fine with him as a long term backup. Is he any worse than what passes for backup qbs across the league? Is Matt Moore any better than him? I suppose a few are better (Matt Cassell, Kyle Orton, maybe Kirk Cousins), but he's hardly a bottom tier backup. Also, smart guys like him tend to get slightly better over time, and I like the fact that he slings it. What you want from a backup qb is a guy who gives you a chance to play .500 ball while the starter is down, and he did that this season. One of the two losses was in OT against a playoff team, and in fact every team he played has a winning record (Miami, NO, and the Bengals).



Thad is a lot like EJ.........except just as inaccurate in an uncorrectable way......while with EJ it's just a matter of getting all of the snaps in the spring and summer without having to compete against another highly regarded prospect. :thumbsup:

#19 JR in Pittsburgh

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Posted 24 December 2013 - 11:51 AM

View PostBADOLBEELZ, on 24 December 2013 - 11:49 AM, said:

Thad is a lot like EJ.........except just as inaccurate in an uncorrectable way......while with EJ it's just a matter of getting all of the snaps in the spring and summer without having to compete against another highly regarded prospect. :thumbsup:

+1.  What we have seen from Thad is as good as it gets.

By the way, if I am the Bills, I will spend some money on a veteran FA back-up. Until he proves otherwise, EJ is injury prone.

#20 Sumin

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Posted 24 December 2013 - 11:58 AM

In my opinion, Thad Lewis is an average backup with some upside. I would like for the Bills to pursue signing a veteran QB this offseason- one without recurring injury concerns like Kevin Kolb. If someone like Matt Schaub hits the market, I would prefer to have him as a backup option and competing with EJ.

Otherwise, we're rolling with Manuel, Lewis, and Tuel, and that's unacceptable imo