The Buffalo Bills will reportedly name their starting quarterback ten days prior to the regular season opener against the New England Patriots, and the Bills have stated that they are going to pick the quarterback who will give them the best chance to win now. That’s certainly good news for Kevin Kolb, who is making backup money but is a whole lot more seasoned than E.J Manuel, who is rawer than most rookie quarterbacks. Kolb missed most of the 2012 season due to the beatings he took behind a poor offensive line, but was able to win games for the Arizona Cardinals at the beginning of the season and looked significantly better than in years past.
Buffalo Bills quarterback Kevin Kolb (4) passes the ball during training camp at St. John Fisher College. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Hoffman-USA TODAY Sports
The quarterback competition between Manuel and Kolb is even, and the Bills seem to have more confidence in Manuel’s ability to contribute immediately than most people. According to the Bills official site. Kevin Kolb received a little bit more reps than Manuel did, and I find that interesting considering a rookie like Manuel would seem to need more reps. It’s just one practice and things could change, though, but I also can’t help but feel that Kolb truly does give the Bills the better chance to win “now”. The fact that Kolb had slightly more first-team reps than Manuel isn’t a big deal due to his being an even competition, but it is an interesting observation.
T.J. Graham is locked in a position battle for the Buffalo Bills No. 2 wide receiver gig opposite of Stevie Johnson, and his main source of competition is USC Trojans rookie Robert Woods. This also looks to be an even competition, and it’s going to decide who gets the brunt of the playing time in two-wide sets. When the Bills use three wide receivers, I fully expect Woods to kick inside as the slot receiver and Graham to either remain or move into the lineup on the outside of the formation.
According to WGR 550, T.J. Graham received first-team reps for the Bills at receiver, and that’s not a surprise to me. Graham has more momentum than Woods coming into training camp after strong performances at OTAs and minicamp, and he was reportedly very impressive once again.