Buffalo Bills head coach Doug Marrone has a pretty good idea of when he'd like to name a starting quarterback - and he let reporters in on the secret following Sunday night's opening training camp practice at St. John Fisher College. WGR 550's Howard Simon tweeted the news earlier:
"You like to sit there as a coach and say you’d like that decision to come out in front of you," Marrone said (via WGR 550), "but again, really if you could get 10 to 12 days prior to that first game, that’s when you’re going to get pressed for time and have to make a decision on a quarterback. Because that’s when you’re going to start preparing - 10 days out for that first game."
The Bills host the New England Patriots in Week 1 on September 8. Marrone's timeline puts the decision on a starter between August 27-29; the Bills' pre-season finale against the Detroit Lions is on August 29. It's conceivable, then, that Marrone will have named his starting quarterback prior to that final pre-season game.
Marrone told reporters prior to the start of training camp that Kevin Kolb and EJ Manuel would split reps throughout camp in an effort to level the playing field as much as possible. On Sunday night, Kolb ran with the ones for the evening, relegating Manuel largely to second-team duty (though he did see snaps with the ones). Kolb was also the recipient of a few more plays per set, according Simon. It will be curious to see if Manuel and Kolb flip roles in subsequent practices.
"We're going to keep pushing forward, but again we have a young quarterback in EJ and we're bringing him along," Marrone said Sunday. "At the same time, we have a lot of time before we get to the preseason games to get that thing to 50-50."
Either way, it's looking like Marrone wants to name a starting quarterback in roughly one month (between 30-32 days from now). Is that enough time for the rookie to usurp the veteran, do you think?