The new-look Buffalo Bills concluded their 10 Organized Team Activities (which are voluntary) and thanks to BuffaloBills.com’s Lead Journalist Chris Brown, fans were able to stay up-to-date with the various happenings during the two weeks of practices.
Throughout the next week or so, BillsMafia.com will be taking a look at some of the things that stood out during the OTA’s which will hopefully give fans some ideas of personnel groupings, emerging players and scheme installation for July 26, when training camp rolls around.
When the Buffalo Bills selected Florida State quarterback E.J. Manuel with the No. 16 overall pick in the 2013 NFL draft, the majority of fans believed he would be seeing immediate first-team reps and essentially locked himself into the starting job when the Bills take on the New England Patriots week one.
However, as new head coach Doug Marrone has stated on numerous occasions, there will be competition at every position across the roster, and he stayed true to this, giving the initial first-team reps to the longest-tenured of all the Buffalo Bills quarterbacks on the roster; Tarvaris Jackson.
Kevin Kolb, who was acquired as a free agent in the offseason primarily saw snaps with the second-team offense, but worked his way into some snaps with the ones as well.
The only constant was E.J. Manuel seeing third team reps.
While Manuel created a bit of a stir proclaiming that the Bills’ offense was easier to learn than the one he operated with the Seminoles, the coaching staff obviously felt differently.
Manuel may have the confidence of the fans, but regardless of draft status, the coaching staff is going to think long and hard about trotting out a starting quarterback to kick off the 2013 season.
If Kevin Kolb or Tarvaris Jackson are legitimately better in the eyes of the coaching staff than Manuel, then they should have no reservations about starting them while E.J. develops and learns the nuances of a pro offense.
Each quarterback had their share of big plays, which will make the competition even more exciting to keep an eye on. Manuel seemed to have already developed a rapport with undrafted free agent wide receiver Da’Rick Rogers, as BuffaloBills.com noted the two have connected on several deep touchdowns of 70 and 80 yards.
On the other hand, Kolb has been consistently been finding second-year receivers T.J. Graham and Kevin Elliott, as both have been earning high praise from the coaching staff.
Keep in mind that Offseason Training Activities are simply a preparation for the real competition: training camp. The coaching staff wants to play around with different players, deciding how to develop a plan to install schemes on both sides of the ball come July 26.
Stay tuned for our next OTA Observation post, which will be covering the various rotations along the front seven!