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EJ Manuel third QB in line at Buffalo Bills OTAs

For now, the Buffalo Bills' starting quarterback competition appears to be a two-man race. Tarvaris Jackson and Kevin Kolb evenly split time as the first quarterback through their rotation at Thursday's organized team activity, the team's eighth of the offseason, according to Chris Brown of the team's official website.

Rookie EJ Manuel figures to be a bigger factor in training camp, but for him this offseason is about learning. The Bills' coaching staff has been working on Manuel's footwork and fundamentals. Meanwhile, Kolb and Jackson each are competing to provide the best veteran option to hold down the fort until Manuel is ready.

"I approach the competition like I'm competing against the playbook, I'm competing against that defense, I'm not competing against the other guys in the red jersey," Kolb told the Bills' official website.

There is an assumption that Manuel will play sooner than later because he was the No. 16 overall pick in the 2013 NFL Draft, but he's also a quarterback who will need refinement at the pro level -- something even his biggest supporters admit. We expect either Kolb or Jackson to be the Bills' starter in Week 1, with the winner prevailing in training camp.

We also expect Manuel to be starting by late in the 2013 season -- barring a surprise winning record under new coach Doug Marrone.

Follow Gregg Rosenthal on Twitter @greggrosenthal.

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