WSU Football: Tuel Looks Sharp In NFL Debut


May 10, 2013; Orchard Park, NY, USA; Buffalo Bills quarterback Jeff Tuel (8) looks to throw the ball during rookie minicamp at Ralph Wilson Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Timothy T. Ludwig-USA TODAY Sports

Former Washington State quarterback Jeff Tuel appears to have made the right choice by opting to forgo applying for an additional year of college eligibility and go pro.

Tuel looked very good in his NFL debut for the Buffalo Bills Sunday afternoon in a pre-season game against a very good defensive club in the Indianapolis Colts.

Leading the Bills the entire second half, Tuel looked extremely comfortable running a hurry-up offense. He guided his team to a pair of touchdowns and a field goal.

Even on his fourth drive, which stalled at the Indy 12, might have turned out differently were it not for an official’s call leaving this writer shaking his head.

On third and two from the Colts’ 12-yard line, Tuel set up in shot gun formation waiting for a snap. Instead of a routine hike, the ball doinked off the rump of the center landing inches from the line of scrimmage. Fortunately the upback, Zach Brown, dove to fall on the ball and set up a 30-yard 3-pointer by another former WSU player, Rian Lindell.

Efficient is the best way to describe the performance by the Coug rookie. Tuel finished the game 19-23 for 212-yards and a pair of TD’s.

A controversial call by the officials allowed an incompletion by Tuel to be ruled a fumble which was run back for a Colts’ score. Despite the replay showing his arm moving forward and that the ball was a tight spiral, the guys in the striped shirts were in pre-season form and missed the call.

Over the course of his career at Washington State, Tuel ran a lot of hurry up offense. As a pro, he finally got an opportunity to show his feel for the game running that very style with superior players. He looked cool, calm and collected even when pressured.

How much of the Bills offense has Tuel picked up? Well, enough to check down to his third option several times.

Typical of the NFL pre-season, Buffalo head man Doug Marrone disdained sending out the field goal unit on 4th and 3 from the Indy 5 with 5:18 left in the game. Tuel serenely took the snap and fired a laser to Brandon Kaufman on a quick slant for an easy TD.

With the Buffalo likely starter Kevin Kolb strolling the sidelines nursing a minor injury, Tuel made the best of his chance to show he has the tools play on Sundays. He certainly didn’t look like the quarterback of a Pac-12 team that finished last season 3-9.