2014 DRAFT GUIDE
Bills QB competition based on who can win now

By JOHN WAWROW - AP sports Writer
    2013-07-28 11:41

PITTSFORD, N.Y. (AP) - Rookie first-round draft pick EJ Manuel has the raw potential. Veteran free-agent addition Kevin Kolb has the benefit of six seasons of NFL experience.

None of that will factor into Buffalo Bills coach Doug Marrone's approach in determining which quarterback will win the starting job over the next six weeks.

``What I look at is it's really which players can we put on the field to win now,'' Marrone said, after being asked if the Manuel has the edge because he's regarded as the team's future. ``A lot of people talk about the future. And really the future for us as coaches and as a team is now.''

Without preconceptions, Marrone will base his decision on what happens on the field in an offseason-long competition set to resume Sunday night, when the Bills open training camp with their first practice in suburban Rochester.

The plan is to have Manuel and Kolb evenly split practice time for the indefinite future before Marrone said it will become apparent to him and the entire team which one has earned the job.

``You can't succumb to speculation of down the road this person will be a better player,'' said Marrone, the first-time head coach who replaced Chan Gailey in January. ``I'm looking for who is the best player now.''

Manuel has been excited for the opportunity ever since the Bills selected him with the 16th pick, making the Florida State product the only quarterback chosen in the first round of the draft in April.

``I think it's a huge opportunity,'' Manuel said. ``Obviously, I want to come out and make everybody happy, all the people in the front office.''

At 6-foot-4 and 237 pounds, Manuel has the size and showed off his arm-strength during spring practices. And yet, the Florida State product still has much to improve after Marrone noted that Manuel lacked ``polish.''

Upon arriving at camp Friday, Manuel said he's not taken a day off since the Bills last practice on June 13. He's worked on his footwork and mechanics, while also poring over the playbook to become comfortable with the up-tempo style of offense Marrone is introducing.

``I think I made a lot of progress,'' said Manuel, who went 25-6 as a college starter. ``So I'm looking forward to seeing how I go out there and do.''

Manuel has already moved up the depth chart after the Bills cut veteran Tarvaris Jackson early last month.

Center Eric Wood liked what he saw from Manuel during spring minicamps.

``He's got some leadership skills, he's got a great arm, athletic: A lot of things you look for in a quarterback,'' Wood said. ``Now comes time to make some plays when the pads are on.''

For Kolb, competing for a starting job has become a familiar offseason exercise in his latest attempt to kick start a career hampered by injuries.

``I could probably just pull out a tape recorder from the last three years and hit play. It's nothing new,'' Kolb said. ``It's always been a competition. I've always had something to prove. And there's no better way to go about it.''

Staying healthy has been a key issue for Kolb, who has 28 touchdowns, 25 interceptions and a 9-12 record as a starter in 34 games split between Philadelphia and Arizona.

Selected by the Eagles in the second round of the 2007 draft, Kolb was supposed to be Donovan McNabb's successor. Kolb barely got the chance. He was injured in the 2009 opener and eventually lost the starting job to Michael Vick.

Kolb got a chance for a fresh start in 2011, when he was traded to the Cardinals and signed a five-year, $63 million contract. He went 5-6 as a starter in Arizona, with injuries ending both his seasons.

Kolb respects Marrone's approach to the competition.

``Everywhere I've been, whenever the starter is named, most of the team feels the same way,'' Kolb said. ``So hopefully there's a drastic separation, and we can move forward and there's no question about who it should be. Of course, I'm here to compete, and hopefully that's me.''

---

Online: http://pro32.ap.org/poll and http://twitter.com/AP-NFL

Fantasy Football Player Notes RSS FeedPLAYER NOTES

Tony RomoJul 27 10:59a

Dallas Cowboys QB Tony Romo (back) will sit out practice Friday, July 25 as part of a preplanned day off, according to Jason Garrett. Romo is scheduled to take [ More ]

Brian TymsJul 27 10:12a

The New England Patriots signed WR Brian Tyms (Browns) Sunday, July 27. Terms of the contract were not disclosed.

Geno SmithJul 27 10:05a

New York Jets QB Geno Smith received 16 snaps with the first-team offense during practice Saturday, July 26, while QB Michael Vick received three snaps. Smith has received 42 [ More ]

Davin MeggettJul 27 09:02a

The Indianapolis Colts re-signed RB Davin Meggett (Redskins) Sunday, July 27. Terms of the contract were not disclosed.

J.T. ThomasJul 27 01:12a

Jacksonville Jaguars TE D.J. Tialavea (quadriceps) and LB J.T. Thomas (hamstring) left practice early Saturday, July 26, because of injuries. Thomas was carted off the field after suffering his injury.

Darius JohnsonJul 27 01:02a

Free-agent WR Darius Johnson (Falcons) was arrested in May by the Atlanta Police Department for driving under the influence, expired or no driver's license on person, failure to have [ More ]

Willie YoungJul 27 12:32a

Chicago Bears DE Willie Young (quadriceps) left practice early Saturday, July 26, because of a sore quadriceps, according to head coach Marc Trestman.

Quentin GrovesJul 27 12:12a

The Houston Texans will sign free-agent LB Quentin Groves (Browns).

Lawrence SidburyJul 27 12:12a

Updating a previous report, the Houston Texans have signed free-agent LB Lawrence Sidbury (Colts). Terms of the contract were not disclosed.

Andre JohnsonJul 27 12:02a

Houston Texans WR Andre Johnson said he will be moved around to different spots in head coach Bill O'Brien's offensive system.

Brian HoyerJul 27 12:02a

Cleveland Browns QB Brian Hoyer (knee) said he will wear a brace on his surgically repaired knee during the entire season. He said he does not believe it will affect his play much.

Cam ThomasJul 26 11:42p

Pittsburgh Steelers DEs Cam Thomas, Brian Arnfelt and Stephon Tuitt all received snaps at left defensive end with the first-team defense during practice Saturday, July 26.

Ben GardnerJul 26 11:12p

Dallas Cowboys DE Ben Gardner (shoulder) suffered a shoulder injury during practice Saturday, July 26, and is scheduled to undergo an MRI.

Mike NealJul 26 11:02p

Green Bay Packers LB Mike Neal (abdomen) and Nick Perry (foot, knee) is close to coming off the Physically Unable to Perform list and participating in practice, according to head coach Mike McCarthy.

Lawrence SidburyJul 26 10:22p

The Houston Texans are expected to sign free-agent LB Lawrence Sidbury (Colts), according to a source.

Tim FuggerJul 26 10:12p

New York Jets WR Quincy Enunwa (hip) and LB Tim Fugger (ankle) did not participate in practice Saturday, July 26.

K. ThompkinsJul 26 10:02p

New England Patriots WR Kenbrell Thompkins (undisclosed) was not able to finish practice Saturday, July 26, after he slid on the ground during the later portions of practice. The [ More ]

Tommy KellyJul 26 10:02p

New England Patriots DT Tommy Kelly (knee) participated in some of the team's walkthrough Saturday, July 26, and has been activated from the Physically Unable to Perform list.

Vince WilforkJul 26 10:02p

New England Patriots DT Vince Wilfork (Achilles') said his surgically repaired Achilles' tendon responded well during one-on-one rush drills during practice Saturday, July 26.

Tyler GaffneyJul 26 09:02p

Carolina Panthers RB Tyler Gaffney (knee) will miss the entire 2014 season because of a torn lateral meniscus in his knee.

Jimmy StatenJul 26 08:32p

Seattle Seahawks OG Nate Isles (hand) suffered a left hand injury during practice Saturday, July 26, while DT Jimmy Staten suffered a leg injury.

Phillip TannerJul 26 07:32p

Free-agent RB William Powell (Eagles), RB Orwin Smith (Packers) and Phillip Tanner (Cowboys) worked out for the Seattle Seahawks Saturday, July 26.

Rokevious WatkinsJul 26 06:52p

The Kansas City Chiefs waived OG Rokevious Watkins (back) with the non-football injury designation.

Alex OkaforJul 26 06:32p

Arizona Cardinals OLB Alex Okafor is filling in for OLB John Abraham (personal) as the starting weakside linebacker.

Mark AsperJul 26 06:12p

The Buffalo Bills released OG Mark Asper.

Tony MoeakiJul 26 06:12p

Buffalo Bills TE Tony Moeaki (hamstring) will be out a significant amount of time with a hamstring injury. TE Chris Gragg (dehydration) is expected back by next week.

Aaron RossJul 26 06:12p

Baltimore Ravens CB Aaron Ross (Achilles') was placed on Injured Reserve with a torn Achilles'.

Dominique JonesJul 26 06:02p

The Buffalo Bills signed free-agent TE Dominique Jones (Chiefs) to an undisclosed deal.

B. RoethlisbergerJul 26 05:42p

Pittsburgh Steelers QB Ben Roethlisberger concentrated on strengthening his throwing arm in the offseason and said it is the strongest it has been in his career. He also worked [ More ]

Bobby RaineyJul 26 05:42p

Tampa Bay Buccaneers RB Mike James is working with the second-team offense Saturday, July 26. It's still early, and Bobby Rainey could still figure into the mix at the [ More ]

Sean McGrathJul 26 04:32p

Kansas City Chiefs TE Sean McGrath has decided to retire, according to head coach Andy Reid.

Devon StillJul 26 03:52p

Cincinnati Bengals DT Devon Still (back) has been cleared to practice. Still was listed on the physically unable to perform list at the start of training camp.

RSS Feeds

NFL News:
 
Player Notes:
 
Forum Posts:
 

© 2014 RealTime Fantasy Sports, Inc.
Email Us  ·  Call Us 636.447.1170  ·  Lost Password
Advertising represented by USA Today Sports Media Group