The Buffalo Bills say they will start they're number one draft pick at quarterback this Sunday
against the New England Patriots. E.J. Manuel was the first QB taken in the 2013 NFL draft. He has performed so well during the pre-season, that following just the second pre-season game, a Buffalo newspaper called for Manual to start. The second quarterback taken in this year's draft, who is also African-American, will also start this Sunday. Geno Smith didn't have as good a pre-season as Manuel, but it was good enough to beat out veteran Mark Sanchez. The number of black quarterbacks set to start at the position this season has got to be a record for any year. Not only are Manuel and Smith starting, but Josh Freeman, Robert Griffin III, Russell Wilson, Cam Newton, Michael Vick, Colin Kaepernick, and Terrelle
Pryor are also due to start. That's 9 starters. About a third of all teams. This is both an encouraging and a curious development. Based on the performances of Wilson, Kaepernick and RG III last year, are NFL teams expecting similar results from this new crop of black QB's because of the teams assume the new guys will also be able to run the read option? Even though this should be good news, the flip side is black QB's have a higher standard. Not only are they expected to be able to throw the football, but every one of these guys is a threat to run. Meanwhile, guys like Matt Ryan, Matt Schaub, Matt Stafford, and Sam Bradford, for example, can be as one-dimensional as they like. And at the same time black QB's are getting a shot, black coaches are getting shot down. Don't forget, that out of the 8 head coaching vacancies in the NFL this off season, not one went to a black man. So even though the NFL might be setting a record for the number of black QB's to start a season, don't expect to see Manuel, Pryor, or Smith even next week if they don't do well on Sunday. Unlike Tim Tebow or Alex Smith, these guys won't get a second, third and four chance to make a first impression.