I've officially changed my tune when it comes to the QB competition at OBD. I was of the opinion that you should start Kolb and let the rookie learn for a while and then throw him in there at some point during the season. The more and more I think about it the more I think he should just get the nod and the kid should start.
First off, regarding both Kolb and Jackson, I think vast majority of fans can agree that neither of them are the answer to our QB drought in Buffalo. Jackson certainly isn't. Kolb is on his 3rd franchise and whether we think the guy hasn't had a legitimate shot because of injury or circumstance NFL coaches don't let potential franchise QBs get away. Both Andy Reid and Ken Whisenhunt let this guy walk for a reason and both of those guys have been around pro-bowl and/or SB winning QBs. It just wouldn't happen. So neither of these guys are our solution.
So where are we at then? Well we have a 1st round QB in Buffalo that needs to be groomed because he's not ready for the NFL. I'll buy that argument and i'll agree. I won't buy the argument that he shouldn't start right away anymore and it has nothing to do with past QBs that have had success in the NFL.
One of the most common arguments I read for not starting Manuel is that they worry about ruining his confidence early because he won't be ready. My issue with this stance is that Manuel will fail in the NFL on certain levels. He will throw costly interceptions that lose games. He will miss game winning throws that he should make in the NFL. These things will happen, it happens to all of them and it will happen to him. If he doesn't have the gumption to bounce back from adversity then he's not going to be successful in the NFL anyways. Failure in the NFL is guaranteed for every player in some shape or form. He needs to develop his mental toughness to these things as well as fine tuning his physical skills as they both translate to the NFL.
Going forward I will be on the start Manuel week 1 camp because I think that's the best path to future success, both mentally and physically. The more reps he gets with guys flying around him and defenses trying to fool him the better. The more failures he has earlier and then bounces back from the better. The NFL is all about highs and lows, no matter when he starts he's going to have to manage that. It doesn't matter if he starts week 1, week 8 or 2014 he still will have to go through that learning process.
I know there are good arguments to let him sit and I'll certainly listen. I won't listen at all to the not play him until 2014 as I think that is simply wrong even if one example in Kaepernick has turned out well. I won't listen to the Hackett arguments in that letting a QB sit and learn is better for him. I think no matter what now is the time to develop a report with the young WR's, learn the NFL while playing it and learn how to be mentally prepared week in and week out. I think the best way to do that is to have him start immediately and let him take this franchise by the horns and see what he can do with it. For me, Kolb and/or Jackson simply don't cut it and are not our future. Manuel one way or another is our future. I feel the best way for him to learn is to go out and do it. Go out and fail then go out and win. It's going to happen regardless, the sooner the process gets started the better.