Heading into Buffalo Bills training camp, fans are eager to watch their two new quarterbacks in action for the first time. The starting position is up in the air at this point and it’s anyone’s game. For the first time in a while, Buffalo could have a legitimate quarterback competition — something coaches and fans alike appreciate.
The Bills went out and got themselves former Arizona Cardinals quarterback Kevin Kolb and right now it looks like he’s going into camp as the number one quarterback on the depth chart. In Arizona, Kolb had one of the worst lines in the NFL and failed to bring any form of excitement or winning atmosphere to the club.
In Buffalo, the line isn’t exactly top-notch either so it will be interesting to watch how Kolb handles himself.
The player that will have the majority of eyes on him during the next few weeks will be rookie quarterback E.J. Manuel, whom the Bills reached at with the 16th overall pick in this year’s draft. Coming out of Florida State, Manuel was projected to be anywhere from a late first round to a second round pick.
At Florida State, Manuel was a very efficient passer as he finished his career with a 66.9 completion percentage and overall rating of 150.4 — of course a different scale than NFL terms.
His senior season he also ran the ball a bit more than previous years, finishing with 310 yards rushing. That’s not a large number by any means, but the fact that he has experience tucking the ball and running when he needs to will give the Bills a different aspect under center.
During camp, Manuel will face the pressures of being a quarterback whom was — again — reached on by a team desperate at the position. While fans weren’t exactly thrilled with the pick, they have to believe that Manuel is eventually going to replace Kolb as the starter unless the former Cardinal shows a tremendous change in the way he plays.
Manuel’s ability to grasp the offense and form a chemistry with his teammates will be far more important than anything else right away. Buffalo has a fantastic back field featuring C.J. Spiller and Fred Jackson, and when they are healthy they can be the best back field there is in the league.
Getting to know his running backs’ and receivers’ tendencies will be what fans should look for right away. There’s no doubt Manuel has potential to be a good quarterback, but adjusting to the NFL game and playing behind a line that has yet to be completely fixed will be a whole different ball game.
I am excited for the Bills and Manuel, and I think he comes into a good situation with some definite weapons surrounding him. The Bills’ offense could be a lot better if everyone stays healthy and if Manuel can prove he was worth the pick. Camp will be just the beginning of that process.