Off the Record (OTR)

OTR Exclusive: Mark Kelso talks Buffalo Bills

MarkKelsoOTR had a great talk recently with former Buffalo Bills safety Mark Kelso. Kelso is also the color commentator for the radio broadcasts and a wealth of information. I could honestly sit and talk with him forever, it was great. In this segment, we’ll talk about the current state of the Buffalo Bills and any possibilities for them in this upcoming draft. So, let’s chat with Mark:

Micah: I wanted to talk a bit about the Buffalo Bills and get your take. As someone who follows the Eagles closely, I know exactly what you just got in Kevin Kolb. And then G.M. Buddy Nix came out and said that taking a quarterback at the No. 8 slot would not be a reach. Is he just talking or is he really thinking about a Geno Smith or Matt Barkley or Ryan Nassib there? What do you think they are looking to do at the quarterback spot?

Kelso: Well, here’s what I’ll say about Kevin Kolb. I like Kevin Kolb. I think he has a good skill set and with an outstanding running game, he can manage the game until a highly drafted quarterback is ready to take the helm. Now, that might be at the end of year one, but I think the Bills will draft a quarterback in the first two rounds this year. I think they brought Kevin Kolb in as insurance to say that ‘we know that this guy can manage the game.’ He’s a good leader, he can command respect from the offensive personnel, and with a really strong running game – and the Bills have the best running back tandem in the NFL without question if those two guys are healthy.

And they need to fix the offensive line because they kind of blew that up a little bit. Although Colin Brown has a real upside; I really like him. The question is, I wasn’t really anticipating him getting the start. But, with that strong running game and you have Lee Smith who is an outstanding blocking tight end, I think, Kevin Kolb can be successful in this offense if they’re giving up less than 20 points a game. If they’re giving up more and you’re expecting Kevin Kolb to do those things, he has his limitations. But, I think he’s a good fit for the Bills. And Tarvaris Jackson too I think has a lot of athletic ability, but I haven’t really seen him. But, I think Kevin can do the job.

But, I honestly think – my honest opinion – is that he’s an insurance policy until they can get the quarterback that they’re probably going to take in the first two rounds up to speed and feel comfortable with that person taking the helm. Now, that being said, a backup quarterback is extremely valuable in this league. That guy is probably going to have to win you three games a year to be successful. And you know that all too well in Philadelphia because your quarterback is always going to get hurt for a few games, and if you have a guy that can win three or four games a year for you? That’s a heck of an asset to have.

Micah: Yeah, of all the talk in Philadelphia is that the Eagles were going to cut Michael Vick and move on. And then they re-signed him. We all thought they were going to cut him and he was going to sign with Buffalo.

Kelso: Look, I have a tremendous amount of respect for Michael Vick and his athletic ability, but I don’t think he would have been a good fit for Buffalo. I mean this year…I don’t think he would have been a good fit at all.

Micah: My initial thought was that maybe Buffalo would be trying to sell tickets if they did that, but…

Kelso: Nah, he wouldn’t sell tickets here.

We’ll be posting more from Mark Kelso shortly, so stay tuned. He also talks about concussions, the Guardian Cap, Super Bowl XXV and much more.


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About Mark

Mark Alan Kelso is a former NFL player who was selected by the Philadelphia Eagles in the tenth round of the 1985 NFL Draft. Kelso played in eight NFL seasons and his entire career with the Buffalo Bills from 1986-1993. His peak performance as a pro came during the 1988 season when he had intercepted 7 passes for 180 yards and one touchdown. Kelso appeared in four consecutive Super Bowl appearances for the Bills from 1990 to 1993. He was well known for wearing a “pro cap” on his helmet which was used to reduce the risk of concussions. He finished his career with 30 interceptions, 8 fumble recoveries, and two defensive touchdowns.

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