True QB competition at Bills camp
We have no idea if the Bills have anything that will resemble a franchise quarterback on the roster. But at least for this summer at St. John Fisher, I believe we have something we haven't truly seen with the team in decades. We will have a legitimate QB competition. Oh sure, we all needed storylines in the past 20 years, but if we were being honest, what passed for a competition did not exactly rise to the level of Young vs Montana.
Give Tyrod Taylor credit for walking into Fisher 4 years ago and winning a battle with EJ Manuel and Matt Cassell. Tyrod came into the situation 3rd and truly earned the job. But when you look back on that time, Taylor was by far the best option. EJ had already started and failed and Cassell had lost whatever he briefly had for the Patriots. Think back to when Manuel ended up as a starter as a rookie, but that was only after Kevin Kolb had a concussion that ended his career. Back when the Bills drafted JP Losman, he had no shot to unseat Drew Bledsoe as a rookie and then he was hurt in camp anyway. After Bledsoe left, Losman "competed" with players like Kelly Holcomb, Craig Nall and Gibran Hamdan. Trend Edwards took over when Losman was hurt during the season, but he lost his starting job to concussions also.
If you are betting at the moment, put your money on AJ McCarron to be the starter week number 1. While Brandon Beane says top pick Josh Allen will get a chance to compete for the starting job, I think he would have to dominate in camp and in the preseason for Sean McDermott to put the season in his hands from the beginning. McCarron comes to this team knowing that this is his shot to prove he can be a starter. Even if he can keep Allen on the bench for a good portion of 2018, he has a chance to prove to the rest of the NFL that he is a viable option. (think Case Keenum).
When I say legitimate compettion I am talking about having a player in Allen who everyone knows will eventually be the starter, but will not be handed the job. You have a quarterback that I think will look very good in a training camp setting, where they rarely wear pads and no one can touch the guy wearing red. Allen has a spectacular arm, so fans who have every right to doubt him now, might be swayed by the skills that got him drafted this high in the first place. Nate Peterman will have trouble getting the snaps to prove he has moved past the disaterous beginning of his pro career. But keep in mind he is a player the Bills drafted and that usually buys a player a little more time.
Think of the massive change in the quarterback position if Allen looks good, but doesn't start because McCarron is just better at the moment. Then we won't be talking about the Bills just starting the least flawed of the three guys in camp, but actually talking about the QB's being a possible strength instead of an almost weekly mismatch. Of course it is Buffalo and the chance that McCarron is nothing more than a backup and Allen gets forced to start before he is ready is always a possibility. But since we have three months before the players report to Fisher, you can hold out hope that things might be different.