“The only difference that I see is you are exactly the same as you used to be” -The Wallflowers
The Bills are 4-1 heading into the bye. The last time they were in such good shape at this juncture of the season was 1999, and Doug Flutie was our quarterback. Thank God we don’t have Doug Flutie anymore, but we are also dealing with this:
Oh I know that look. That was me back in July, when I looked something like this for a good week or so. Mine concussion was considered mild, and within a week I was feeling better. It did make for an interesting Fourth of July, however, as fireworks and an aversion to loud noises do not mix well.
For all or sakes, I hope Trent suffered a similar injury. The bye week will help him sort things out, and even watching a practice will tell him if he’s ready to go again. I went to a pickup game when concussed and couldn’t keep track of anything out there, let alone get myself up to game speed. This type of injury is completely within the player and only he can say if he’s really ready to go.
What I do know is that this team isn’t going to get very far with J.P. Losman as its quarterback. Sure, that seems pretty obvious to most people. Even if you “watched” the game on CBS with Steve Christie making game winning field goals while the radio feed played you knew he was awful out there. Take away that bomb to Evans and his numbers (Passing: 14/20/133, Rush TD, 3 fumbles) are downright disgusting. Add in the Evans score and you have JaMarcus Russell in Week Three.
It’s easy to just say J.P. is terrible and move on, but there is more to it than that. It is clear as day that the coaching staff has zero confidence in Losman, you can see that much from the play calling. We will never know what would have happened with Trent in there, but aside from the one deep throw the offense was completely castrated. It’s no excuse for the defense to be a disaster like that, but how inspired would you be if your offense broke out the kinder toys on your four plays into the game? Don’t forget the four turnovers that all dropped the Cardinals in Bills territory, that didn’t help the defensive effort, either.
Confidence is everything. We all see that Edwards has it, and he receives constant praise because of it. J.P. Losman simply doesn’t have confidence in his abilities anymore. He never had much to start with, and being thrown under the bus for a rookie killed anything he gained over the course of his career. A team under his command suddenly made all the little mistakes we thought this squad was beyond, and offensive miscues cost this team the game.
I’m not saying that Jaruon and company are to blame for all this, nor am I claiming they made the wrong decision in benching Losman. However, as a fan you have to realize that when the Bills made the move to Edwards they made a distinct decision about the emotional and psychological state of the team and its players. I wrote this back in January:
That doesn’t mean I’m not happy with the decision to start Trent Edwards. J.P had his chance (late) this year to make a statement and simply didn’t. Jacksonville was his last shot for me, and he was just awful in the clutch. He lost the job himself, I will admit that, but my point is that how he was handled by ownership and coaching staff certainly didn’t help his confidence and at the very least his concentration.
When they benched J.P. that last time, they lost any chance of him ever succeeding here in Buffalo. They said Edwards was going to be the guy, and within nine months a third round quarterback usurped control of a franchise from you. Try heading to work after that meeting. This is by no means an excuse for Losman, but you can’t expect to bench a quarterback and expect those shaky feet and missed reads to disappear.
I do think they understood what the effects of the move would be, and we are seeing them now. When Trent Edwards is hurt this team will be vulnerable, no matter who the backup is. This means that J.P Losman is going to play like a below average quarterback until Trent Edwards is healthy enough to play. The Bills can still win football games, but they will be games won despite their quarterback play rather than because of it.
You can argue that at least two of the Bills’ first four wins were because of Edwards’ playmaking in the fourth quarter (Jacksonville and Oakland). If he is out for any extended amount of time, this team needs to get better at on all fronts. Fast.
Seven days symptom free was my timetable for return. Trent has 13 days to hit his.