Saturday night, the Buffalo Bills took on the Washington Redskins in a battle of possible backup — well, possibly third string for Washington — quarterbacks. While Robert Griffin III sat out for the Redskins, Bills rookie quarterback E.J. Manuel was held out due to having a minor procedure done on his knee.
With Manuel expected to be back by the season opener — however, missing the remaining preseason games — quarterback Kevin Kolb had a chance to take a step in the right direction against the Redskins. The starting quarterback job still has yet to be officially announced by head coach Doug Marrone, so the opportunity was there for Kolb Saturday night.
That opportunity did not last long.
After taking a hit to the back of his head by the knee of Redskins’ linebacker Brandon Jenkins, Kolb left the game. His status as of Saturday night was a possible concussion with further examination needed.
Before leaving the game, Kolb was 2-4 passing with 16 yards and an ugly 13-yard sack on his first possession. With Manuel playing well this preseason and having an outstanding camp, according to Marrone, Kolb was the likely candidate to start the season as the backup.
After Saturday night, Kolb virtually has no chance at the starting quarterback job — nor should he even if he was healthy. Regardless of injury, Manuel gives the offense a completely different dimension with his athleticism. He’s younger, and the organization reached for him in the first round of this year’s draft. Therefore, management has somewhat of an ego investment in the young man.
I firmly believe Manuel will wind up as the permanent starter this season once healthy. Kolb should never have even been considered as a legitimate quarterback after the handful of games he started for the Philadelphia Eagles. I won’t even bore you with the mediocre stat lines — not to mention the lack of a winning record in Philly.
The bottom line is that Manuel should be ‘the man’ once he returns — period. If I’m a Bills fan, I want him in the starting position leading this team. The Bills have a lot of potential with such a phenomenal back field and a playmaker like Stevie Johnson. Manuel should get the job and until he proves he doesn’t deserve to keep it, remain the starter.