Off the Snap: Will Kevin Kolb hold off EJ Manuel in Buffalo?
Catching you up on the latest must-read news and analysis from around the web….
• Teams usually do not draft quarterbacks in Round 1 with the plan to hide them on the bench. So, E.J. Manuel ought to see a starting shot with the Buffalo Bills in the very near future.
Just not in Week 1. That’s what ESPN’s John Clayton predicted, at least, for the Bills’ early season plans. Clayton believes that Buffalo will hand Kevin Kolb the No. 1 QB spot to begin the 2013 season, with Manuel being brought along slowly (and serving as Kolb’s backup).
Kolb has 21 career starts under his belt, though he holds just a 9-12 record in those games. But Manuel finished his career at Florida State looking like a quarterback who would need some time to adjust his game to the NFL level; he threw for 3,397 yards with 23 touchdowns and 10 interceptions in his final Seminoles season, but struggled throughout his college career with consistency.
Despite that, Buffalo’s new coaching staff, led by Doug Marrone, pulled off a Round 1 surprise at the draft by nabbing Manuel at No. 16. The Bills traded down from No. 8 before that pick, but it still seemed pretty clear that Marrone had big plans for Manuel.
If nothing else, the Bills’ QB derby will be one of the most intriguing to watch come training camp and the preseason. While Kolb has the leg up for now, Manuel cannot be far behind.
• Second-year Colts receiver Lavon Brazill was suspended Monday for the first four games of the 2013 regular season, for violating the league’s substance abuse policy. That’s unfortunate news for the Colts, but it may be far worse for Brazill.
Not only do the Colts want to find a reliable No. 4 receiver for this year, but also they’d love to start planning for the future at that position with Reggie Wayne aging and Darius Heyward-Bey on just a one-year deal. Brazill’s suspension now opens the door for ex-49ers practice squadder Nathan Palmer and former Stanford wideout Griff Whalen. By the time Brazill’s eligible to play again, he may not have a spot.
• The Redskins do not have a ton of depth at the safety positions, which is why the franchise doubled down there in the draft and took both Fresno State’s Phillip Thomas and Georgia’s Bacarri Rambo.
Not surprisingly, Washington defensive coordinator Jim Haslett says that at least one of those two rookies probably will start on his defense this season.
“I think one of them,” Haslett told CSNWashington.com “Yeah, I really do think one of them will be on the grass. I’m not sure which one, but one of them I think is going to have to …”
• Despite some opinions to the contrary, the NFL’s sudden infatuation with the option does not appear ready to die down anytime soon. Mike Tanier explains exactly why that is over at Sports on Earth, with an in-depth look at which teams utilized the option during the 2012 season.
• Paul Kruger made one of the key moves of this offseason, jumping from the defending Super Bowl champion Ravens to the division rival Browns. He’s now been joined in Cleveland by his younger brother, Dave, who signed with the Browns as an undrafted free agent.
And another of the Kruger clan, Joe, was a seventh-round pick by Philadelphia during his year’s draft. Add it all up and the Kruger family could be just the 10th in NFL history with three brothers playing in the league at the same time.