After the first preseason game, a lot of people were pretty dismissive of any talk of Tuel overtaking Kolb for the #2 spot. I was in the camp that it could (and should) happen if Tuel continued to play well and if Kolb played poorly in his opportunities. I based my reasoning on the fact that the Bills offense was simplified for the QB (part of the reason why it made sense to start EJ as a rookie). In fact, when I reminded people about EJ's own comments about Florida St's offense being simpler than the Bills, people laughed and said those comments were pretty much proven false by now. However, everything the Bills have been doing based on roster decisions (like drafting EJ in the first round) as well as hiring Marrone in the first place suggested that the Bills would be running an offense that was simpler for the quarterbacks. Marrone's system is easier for the QB to play because, unlike traditional pro offenses, the QB doesn't have to make as many decisions split second post snap decisions as far as figuring out the coverage and then determining the proper progression tree and then executing (which is one of the most difficult things in a lot of sports). Marrone's plays are easier for the QB. The biggest reason Marrone can call such plays is because he is banking on the defense not being able to play quite as complicated defenses or be as aggressive. He reduces the complexity and aggressiveness based on the effectiveness of the read option and the tempo of the offense. The threat of the read option is more key than the tempo, but both are necessary and the Bills have gone all in on this strategy. Chris Brown (not the Bills.com guy) wrote a GREAT article about this the other day (http://www.grantland.com/blog/the-triangle/post/_/id/71569/packaged-plays-and-the-newest-form-of-option-football). Do yourself a favor and read that article and, if you are a big football fan, everything at smartfootball.com.
So that brings me to Tuel vs Kolb. Although Kolb has a lot more experience, he is not heavily experienced in this system. So Tuel is not at quite the disadvantage that some would suggest. Moreover, as a pure passer, Tuel has looked more accurate. And although Kolb is not a statue, Tuel appears to me to have more mobility. Tuel has looked like the better QB so far even if it as against guys that won't be on NFL teams this year. Long term, however, Kolb doesn't figure much into the Bills plan. If Tuel has shown enough to be groomed as a long term backup for the Bills, why not let him get some valuable regular season experience until EJ is ready to take over? It could pay off dividends if Tuel is needed again. We all would love the Bills to be contenders this year, but we also have to consider this a rebuilding year and part of a rebuilding year is getting experience for your younger players, including a backup QB. I would love to see Marrone and company have the guts to start Tuel over Kolb if Tuel practices well and plays well in these last 2 games and if Kolb continues to struggle. A lot of people are just stubborn in their thoughts and too old school that they will just dismiss this but that is the same backwards thinking that has prevented the NFL from running these kinds forward thinking offenses for many years.