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Bills coaching switch finally gives Tarvaris Jackson a chance

By Tim Graham

Tarvaris Jackson not only couldn't get on the field for the Buffalo Bills last year, but he couldn't get the team to issue him a uniform on game days.

New coach Doug Marrone, however, wants Jackson to compete with Ryan Fitzpatrick for Buffalo's starting quarterback job.

The Bills re-signed Jackson today, and Marrone delivered his first insightful comment about how he intends to approach the Bills' most important position.

"I spoke with Ryan and Tarvaris and told them we will have an open competition at the quarterback position, similar to what we will do at all positions on our team heading into our offseason work," Marrone said in a statement distributed by the team. "I believe that our players will embrace this challenge. We are looking forward to working with our players as we prepare for the 2013 season."

The Bills also are expected to draft a quarterback within the first two rounds in April. They signed also free-agent Aaron Corp on Thursday.

Terms of Jackson's contract weren't disclosed.

Jackson, a healthy scratch for all 16 games last year, was acquired in a trade with the Seattle Seahawks prior to the final preseason game because the Bills wanted to dump Vince Young.

Jackson played in that exhibition game against the Detroit Lions, replacing Tyler Thigpen with 6:34 to play. Jackson attempted one pass, an interception, and Thigpen finished the game. Jackson didn't play another down for the Bills in 2012.

Former Bills coach Chan Gailey often explained -- with exasperation -- that circumstances prevented Jackson from getting enough meaningful practice reps to adequately learn the offense. Jackson instead ran the scout team in practices.

tagged

Chan Gailey | Doug Marrone | Ryan Fitzpatrick | Tarvaris Jackson | Tyler Thigpen | Vince Young
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About Press Coverage

Tim Graham

Tim Graham

Tim Graham returned to The Buffalo News in 2011 after covering the NFL for three years at ESPN and for one year at the Palm Beach Post. Before that, the Cleveland native spent seven seasons on the Buffalo Sabres beat for The News and was president of the Boxing Writers Association of America.

@ByTimGraham | [email protected]


Mark Gaughan

Mark Gaughan

Buffalo native Mark Gaughan started working at The News in 1980 and has been covering the Bills exclusively since 1992. He is a former president of the Pro Football Writers of America, and he is a member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame selection committee.

@gggaughan | [email protected]


Jay Skurski

Jay Skurski

Jay Skurski joined The News in January 2009. The Lewiston native attended St. Francis High School before graduating from the University of South Florida. He writes a weekly Fantasy column in addition to his beat writing duties.

@JaySkurski | [email protected]

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