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Doug Marrone upholds QB battle by giving Kevin Kolb next start

Kevin Kolb
Kevin Kolb will start Friday night's preseason game against the Minnesota Vikings in Ralph Wilson Stadium.

By Tim Graham

PITTSFORD -- Kevin Kolb's chances of winning the Buffalo Bills' quarterback job haven't evaporated quite yet.

Bills coach Doug Marrone announced tonight Kolb will start Friday night's preseason game against the Minnesota Vikings in Ralph Wilson Stadium.

The decision to start Kolb instead of rookie EJ Manuel makes sense. As I will explain later in a video report from St. John Fisher College, the move keeps the quarterback competition alive and will help both players maintain a competitive edge.

Marrone also has his reasons for giving Kolb the start.

"We were very, very happy with EJ's performance in the first game," Marrone said, "and a matter of fact, what we were looking for if Kevin was healthy, he was probably going to start the first game and EJ start this game."

The rest of the team also will get on board with whomever's named the starter because it will be viewed in the locker room as a fair competition, unlike when Chan Gailey gave all the first-team reps and preseason starts to Trent Edwards over Ryan Fitzpatrick.

"You can't call it a competition and then all of a sudden not have the quarterbacks getting those starts," Marrone said.

Marrone estimated Manuel had taken between 100 and 150 more reps than Kolb by the time Kolb returned from a funeral last week. Kolb injured his knee Aug. 3 and missed practice time before a death in his family.


Doug Marrone | EJ Manuel | Kevin Kolb
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About Press Coverage

Tim Graham

Tim Graham

Tim Graham returned to The Buffalo News in 2011 after covering the NFL for three years at ESPN and for one year at the Palm Beach Post. Before that, the Cleveland native spent seven seasons on the Buffalo Sabres beat for The News and was president of the Boxing Writers Association of America.

@ByTimGraham |

Mark Gaughan

Mark Gaughan

Buffalo native Mark Gaughan started working at The News in 1980 and has been covering the Bills exclusively since 1992. He is a former president of the Pro Football Writers of America, and he is a member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame selection committee.

@gggaughan |

Jay Skurski

Jay Skurski

Jay Skurski joined The News in January 2009. The Lewiston native attended St. Francis High School before graduating from the University of South Florida. He writes a weekly Fantasy column in addition to his beat writing duties.

@JaySkurski |