After what I consider a very successful draft, Doug Marrone and Nathaniel Hackett have some decisions to make. Every one is making Kevin Kolb’s freak knee injury out to be a major reason as to why this is now a very one-sided race for the starting quarterback position for the Bills, but I disagree.
Doug Marrone made a very bold move to draft EJ Manuel in the first round when all other QBs were falling and he wasn’t even viewed as the top prospect. This is a move I am happy with. As a young head coach coming to a team who hasn’t had a shot-caller worth keeping since Jim Kelly, something needed to be done at this position and it had to be done fast.
He met and did his research on all the top prospects at the position. After the draft, he made it known that EJ was the man he wanted all along and he didn’t care it he “over-paid” for him. This makes me think that he knew what QB had the most talent and could fit with his offense right away.
Kevin Kolb was picked up extremely cheap, with an incentive heavy contract. This means that he was the best option in the FA market for us but we didn’t want to pay him like a starter. Personally, I feel like Kolb has never gotten a great opportunity to showcase himself in the NFL. He went from Philly and getting injured after playing well to Arizona where they had no one blocking for him. I feel like given the right opportunity and the right coaching staff, he could be a viable starter in the NFL, but not on the Bills and not right now.
EJ has the physical attributes and, from what people say, the maturity to play in the NFL right away. His passes were crisp and he didn’t make silly errors in his first preseason game. Regardless of how hard Kolb tries to come back, it would take a Pro Bowl preseason showing from Kolb and a collapse from EJ to shake this up. EJ should be the starter on day one and I think Marrone and Hackett have felt this way from way before the Kolb injury… Oh, and Tuel looked very nice against Indy’s scrubs, but barring a reoccurring knee injury moving forward he is going to be the Gail Gilbert of the 2013 Buffalo Bills.