QB Kevin Kolb, Buffalo Bills
HT: 6-3, WT: 230, Born: 8-24-1984, College: Houston, Drafted: Round 2
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When Kevin Kolb first arrived in Buffalo, he had to feel pretty good that he had the inside track on the starting job. Tarvaris Jackson has never really done much since leaving Minnesota and Aaron Corp is only a 'threat' to the starter if he carries a lead pipe. Enter rookie EJ Manuel, who as the mid-1st round pick of the Bills figures to have a leg up in the competition. While perhaps the wiser move would be to leave the very raw Manuel on the bench, the Bills and head coach Doug Marrone may feel pressure to stick the rookie into the starter's seat. If Kolb does manage to fend off the other quarterbacks, he could be a decent fit in this offense. The high-tempo rhythm that Marrone wants to establish could fit for Lob's strengths and he'd do much better behind a reasonably solid offensive line than he did behind the Arizona Cardinal's. That isn't to say expectations should be high for him—he's yet to show us anything to warrant that. Merely that his numbers would go up with the increase in quality of the overall unit around him.
Latest NewsBills | EJ Manuel likes new offense (Mon May 20, 01:14 PM) - Buffalo Bills QB EJ Manuel said it has been easy to pick up the team's offense, which he said is less complicated than the system he learned at Florida State. 'The funny thing is it's easier to learn than the offense I had at Florida State,' he said. 'It's a true West Coast-type progression offense. That's really what I wanted when I was coming through the pre-draft process. I wanted something that I could just go in and say 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, check it down and run it. That's it, it's that simple. I love it.' Manuel has spent extensive time working with offensive coordinator Nathaniel Hackett. Our View: Manuel fits the design of the Marrone offense perfectly. It's an aggressive design featuring downfield passing and some option plays for an athletic quarterback. Manuel is competing with Kevin Kolb to be the team's starter this year.
link to story Bills | Tarvaris Jackson first up in QB rotation (Mon May 13, 04:22 PM) - Buffalo Bills QB Tarvaris Jackson received the first snaps during organized team activities Monday, May 13. He was followed by QB Kevin Kolb and EJ Manuel. Our View: Don't read too much into this. New Bills head coach Doug Marrone said we should expect the rotation to change daily. We'll be surprised if Jackson ends up the starter at the beginning of the regular season. Rookie E.J. Manuel is considered the favorite to win that job.
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|1||New England Patriots|
|3||at New York Jets|
|5||at Cleveland Browns|
|7||at Miami Dolphins|
|8||at New Orleans Saints|
|9||Kansas City Chiefs|
|10||at Pittsburgh Steelers|
|11||New York Jets|
|14||at Tampa Bay Buccaneers|
|15||at Jacksonville Jaguars|
|17||at New England Patriots|
2012 Game Summaries
Week 1 - Kolb came in with 8:18 to play and a chance to be a hero. He not only did that, but he probably earned the starting job next week regardless of the status of Skelton’s ankle. Kolb was decisive and in rhythm as he led the Cardinals 68 yards in 4 minutes on an array of impressive throws. His timing on a 23 yard slant to Fitzgerald was impeccable but not as impressive as his accuracy on the touchdown pass to Roberts. He had to put good zip on the ball with Roberts running an out under tight coverage, and the ball was thrown exactly where it had to be. This was the Kevin Kolb Arizona thought they were getting two years ago.
Week 2 - Kolb had excellent pocket protection all day, though he often seemed to scramble before he needed to. He led his team to the win, but neither his numbers or his play were particularly inspiring. Especially worrisome is his lack of effectiveness with his wide receivers. He frequently targeted TE Todd Heap, until Heap was injured late in the game. Kolb’s first deep attempt was to Fitzgerald, but he overthrew; another deep throw was ahead of Heap, that could have been a touchdown. And not much else went far downfield. Kolb’s TD pass was a quick dart near the goalline to Roberts, and he ran one in on a QB sneak – from the 6 yard line. The fact that he’s not afraid to make things happen under pressure is good for his team, but usually not productive for his stat line.
Week 3 - Kevin Kolb had an efficient day against his former team, at least for one day outperforming the man who replaced him in Philadelphia. He started the day off strong, completing his first 3 passes as he led Cardinals to a field goal. The Cardinals plan for Kolb was conservative, as their passing plays were short by design. The majority of Kolb’s 222 passing yards came on yards after the catch. This plan helped negate a strong pass rush by the Eagles’ defense that harassed Kolb at times. Kolb also benefited from a lucky bounce on his first TD pass of the day, as his pass to Michael Floyd easily could have been intercepted. Demeco Ryans and Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie of the Eagles both had a shot at the interception but failed to come up with it. Unlike his Eagle counterpart, Kolb made his deep attempt count, finding a wide-open Larry Fitzgerald for a 37-yard TD pass. With a 24 point lead to begin the 2nd half, Kolb turned into a game manager, attempting only 5 passes on 8 pass plays in the half. He added 16 rushing yards, most of them coming on a 14 yard scramble.
Week 4 - Outside of two terrible interceptions thrown to Sean Smith, Kevin Kolb did everything that the Cardinals could have asked of him in this game. Based on his general play, Kolb is not being limited by the Cardinals coaching staff because of his own ability but more because of the team's porous offensive line. The Dolphins finished the game with eight sacks and were able to consistently get pressure on Kolb unless he let the ball go quickly. The Cardinals were willing to let Kolb do that and based most of their offense around his short throws. Kolb was linking well with Larry Fitzgerald while doing enough with the team's other receivers to prevent the defense from focusing solely on him. The Cardinals were relatively conservative on offense until Kolb led a two minute drill well at the end of the second quarter. That is, well up until he made a terrible decision and throw to Sean Smith for an interception. Kolb did the one thing he hadn't done all game and zoned in on Fitzgerald. Kolb had to repeatedly use his athleticism to escape pressure that would have added numbers to the team's eight given up sacks. On 3rd and Eight, Kolb escaped to his right as pressure pushed his offensive line backwards. Running to his right he threw across his body to Larry Fitzgerald for the first down. Kolb went straight back to Fitzgerald on a quick slant pass for another first down. Just as he was getting up a head of steam, he was sacked on two plays in a row to start the fourth quarter. The Cardinals opened the following drive with a max protection formation that allowed Kolb to throw a dart to Rob Housler down the seam for 33 yards. He followed up that pass with a perfect deep throw down the right side of the field for a touchdown to a wide open Andre Roberts. The stutter-start approach continued however as Kolb again threw a terrible interception to Sean Smith in the endzone on a rollout. The Cardinals rolled the pocket to avoid any sacks or turnovers and give Kolb an easy read. Kolb was supposed to either throw it to an open Fitzgerald, or throw the ball away. Instead he threw it to Smith who had knocked Fitzgerald out of bounds. It's a play a rookie would be berated for making, never mind a veteran. Kolb did throw three touchdown passes. Two went to Andre Roberts. Both passes were relatively wide open, but good throws at critical points. His other touchdown was a well run screen pass at the goalline to Larry Fitzgerald.
Week 5 - An ineffective running game led to Kolb throwing 50 passes in this game, and he was also sacked 9 times. Kolb himself was hit-and-miss, at times looking very sharp. But as he was often facing intense pressure, which gave him a bit of an itchy trigger finger, which led to many passes being off target. The silver lining is that he was bold with his throws – his willingness to throw into coverage shows that he trusts his talented wideouts, who usually come through for him. Kolb’s Achilles heel, however, was his lack of accuracy on deep passes. In the first half, long passes to Roberts and Fitzgerald easily could have been scoring plays, but the ball was just a bit off target. The end result was a game in which Kolb didn’t look terrible, but he couldn’t string a drive together, either. And the mounting pressure from the defense was clearly a contributing factor, causing errant and hurried throws. One example of this is the choice to rush the throw to Fitzgerald on 4th & goal, though he was only at the 5 yard line, with no chance of getting into the end zone. Late in the game, Kolb found TE Rob Housler for a few decent gains, so with three strong receiving options there is much potential going forward – but not if the offensive line can’t protect him.
Week 6 - Kolb and the Arizona passing offense really struggled to get things going on Sunday, going one for his first four and getting sacked twice, including a safety. Going play action on his first throw, Kolb looked frantic, rushing to get the ball out and missed a completely uncovered Jeff King over the middle. It feels like Kolb makes decisions pre-snap and then doesn’t react to the play, but instead works off his pre-snap decision. In the midst of the early struggles, however, Kolb had one of his nicer throws of the game. On 3rd down, Kolb hit Michael Floyd on a pretty touch pass. With the entire Bills’ defensive line standing, confusion ensued for Arizona’s offensive line and Marcell Dareus was left unblocked right up the middle and into Kolb’s face. Kolb stood to the pressure and laid a perfect pass out for Floyd. Unfortunately for the Cards, old Kolb promptly returned three plays later as he held on to the ball for entirely too long and took a sack. Coincidentally (or not), the Cardinal offense finally got going as Larry Fitzgerald caught his first pass on the 5th drive. With a collapsing pocket, Kolb stepped up and delivered a strike to Fitzgerald for a 16-yard gain on 3rd down. Kolb would again go back to Fitzgerald in the red zone, finding him on a crosser for the nine-yard TD. Unexpectedly, it was Kolb’s scrambling that helped Arizona on their next scoring drive. After a nice throw on 3rd down to TE Rob Housler off his back foot for a first down and another conversion after an eight-yard pass to Fitzgerald, the Cardinals found themselves facing a 1st and 20 after a holding call. Kolb was able to get outside the pocket and get 15 of the 20 yards with his feet, but even more importantly get back into FG range after the penalty had knocked them out. A bad drop from Andre Roberts stalled the drive, but Arizona retook the lead on a FG. The next drive Kolb was able to scramble for another 30 yards (a run of 18 and another of 12). While the Cardinals were forced to punt, it did flip the field position in Arizona’s favor. After a nice play action pass to Roberts for 16 yards, bad pre-snap Kolb returned. From the snap Kolb stared King down as he sat in the middle of the field. Able to read Kolb’s eye from the snap, Buffalo safety Jairus Byrd attacked the pass, stepping in front of King for the INT. It was a horrible throw by Kolb, who never looked off the safety and allowed Byrd to work from opposite side of the field, well behind the play all the way down to the short route. Arizona managed to get the ball back and Kolb’s first play showed no after-affects of the poor INT. Kolb hit Fitzgerald on a nice back shoulder throw for 15 yards. Kolb wiped away a 1st and 20 with his next play, a 22-yard scramble where he almost instantly took off after the snap (seeing the defense was in man coverage). Kolb wouldn’t be able to finish the game, however, as injury took him from the game the very next play. Statistically Kolb struggled throwing the ball, but it is never easy to get into a rhythm when faced with constant pressure (Kolb was sacked five times and hurried many others).