I think the most intriguing story going into training camp is Kevin Kolb.
I keep thinking about the team he just left, the Arizona Cardinals and their recent Quarterback history. This is probably going to get me some hate mail, but here is a scenario I think could play out that I’m absolutely OK with.
First, you know that I am not enamored with the EJ pick. It was a reach at #16 and this was not a good QB class. To be fair I have to also admit that Kevin Kolb has struggled in his career and is injury prone. But he also has had some moments. Let’s not forget that Andy Ried who has coached some pretty good QBs in his day was pretty high on Kolb. Kolb was the first QB to throw for back to back 300 yard games in is first two NFL starts. He also was named NFC player of the week twice.
Kolb is only 28 and has all the physical tools to play the position. I think Bills fans would be OK if a healthy Kolb wins the starting job in training camp. In this fantasy of mine, he plays more like a 300 yard passer and offensive player of the week, and less like an injury prone journeyman. He stays healthy and produces a solid 3500+ yard, 20+ touchdown season making steady progress throughout the year because with CJ Spillar, he has one of the best running games in the AFC. Along the way he shows the skills and talent that once had Andy Reid so impressed and he entrenches himself as the starter for the Bills.
Since he has a two-year contract the Bills don’t rush to extend him at the conclusion of the first winning streak, and Kolb makes steady improvement the whole time. After year two in Buffalo our now 30 year old QB is in the prime of his career, and we have a young second stringer who is on the trading block. The Bills parlay EJ Manuel into some 2015 or 2016 draft picks and the Bills have their starting QB for the next five or six seasons.
I think Kolb might have a lot of upside and he knows that Buffalo is the last stop. He flames out this time and he’s probably heading back to his hometown in Texas for good. If this dream sequence of mine sounds familiar it’s because something similar happened a few years back in Arizona. A supposedly washed up and broken Kurt Warner was on his last leg and was hoping to latch on with the Cardinals. Arizona had just drafted Matt Lienart with the #10 pick however everybody knew that while Lienart was the Heisman Trophy winner, he had some flaws that he might not overcome. Sound familiar?
Warner resurrected his career because Lienart couldn’t get it done. With Warner pulling the trigger the Cardinals made the playoffs two years in a row including a Super Bowl appearance. Before everybody accuses me of NFL blasphemy, I know that Kolb has nowhere near the resume of Kurt Warner. I get that. Yet, I can’t help but think that Kolb has a lot of ability, and if he can stay healthy could put up some pretty good numbers and resurrect his otherwise dead career right here in Western New York. That sounds like a pretty good scenario to me. I think Kolb has a chance to realize some of his potential and Buffalo might have stumbled into their QB fix.
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