Bills quarterback Kevin Kolb has seen his share of competitions for the starting job in his six NFL seasons. A former second-round pick and dubbed a future starting signal caller himself, Kolb has been in EJ Manuel's shoes. He's also been the new arrival via trade, after Philadelphia shipped him to Arizona. But now in Buffalo Kolb is the elder statesman, giving him yet another perspective on the most popular position battle that will ensue at St. John Fisher later this month.
"They are all definitely different," said Kolb of the quarterback competitions he's been a part of. "This one right now we're all new to the system, so we're trying to just pick it up from our own game standpoint. Just trying to pick it up mentally, trying to pick it up physically. Making sure we're on our own P's and Q's and making sure our details are right."
While most might think that Kolb and Manuel focus on the competition itself, the quarterbacks instead put the attention on their personal game, knowing that will be the best way to have an impact on the decision that needs to be made.
"Me personally I'm not even concerned with it," he said. "I haven't even thought about it really and that's the honest truth because I have so much to address personally as a player coming into a new system. I know EJ probably does as well being a rookie. That's kind of the way I would feel most guys are approaching it right now."
Kolb acknowledges there are some competitions that he's been a part of where it's clear who the coach wants to succeed and become the starter. He doesn't get that feeling in Buffalo.
"Here we're both getting reps and we're all working at it," he said.
Where Kolb has an obvious edge is in experience having played six NFL seasons. Even the coaching staff has acknowledged as much.
"I wouldn't say it's an advantage against EJ, but it's an advantage for me personally to be able to lean back on those type of things and those type of situations," Kolb said. "You don't have stay up at night worrying about things that I did when I was a young player."
At the same time Kolb isn't going to be taking things lightly come training camp.
"Don't get me wrong it's still a competition," he said. "I want to be out there more than anything in the world playing on Sundays. I approach the competition like I'm competing against the playbook, I'm competing against that defense, I'm not competing against the other guy in the red jersey." So what about the perception that EJ Manuel is the long term answer for the franchise at the quarterback position?
"I don't buy what's being sold I guess," said Kolb. "I just listen to what they tell me to do and roll on with it. I have a lot of confidence in my abilities and this offense and hopefully what I can do in it."