The best way to start off this rant is with the vaunted "link dump". After Bills QB J.P. Losman "pointed the finger of blame" and "didn't own up to his mistakes" and "called out the media" over the past two days, heaven knows that there are plenty of links to dump. We all know the situation - J.P., after the loss to Pittsburgh, pleaded for a more aggressive passing attack, deflected questions aimed at judging his willingness to accept blame and called out the media for their angles on these stories. The result? I've got six articles dealing with the situation; believe me, there are many, many more.
- Bucky Gleason, The Buffalo News: "By the time (Losman) was finished back-pedaling during 10 minutes of questions and oft-rambling answers, he was prepared to blame himself for everything but the economy."
- Sal Maiorana, Rochester Democrat and Chronicle: "He also pinned some of Buffalo's problems on penalties, some pass protection issues, and the fact that the Bills had now played two games against staunch defenses. But when asked whether he was concerned about his own inaccuracy with his passing, or his play in general, he said he wasn't."
- Dennis Williams, WIVB-TV: "The most popular player for fans of a struggling NFL football team is the back-up quarterback. If that's true, then Trent Edwards should run for County Executive, because his popularity is sky-rocketing."
- John Wawrow, Associated Press: "Coach Dick Jauron wasn't kidding when, before the season started, he expressed concern the offense needed more time. What he didn't expect this early was fielding questions of whether to pull Losman. So far, Jauron said he doesn't have a timetable but also declined to say he hasn't ruled out a move."
- Chuck Pollock, Olean Times Herald: "Losman is a product of former President/General Manager Tom Donahoe's 'genius.' And if the current administration was sold on him, why did it select Edwards, who had a fantastic pre-season, in this year's third round? Clearly, Losman's feeling the heat. When Jauron was asked if he would consider a quarterback switch in games to come, he said, "I certainly wouldn't put a number on it." But I will. Forget next week's game at undefeated New England. But if Losman struggles two weeks from now at 'The Ralph' against the currently-winless Jets, Trent, it's time to warm up."
- Jerry Sullivan, The Buffalo News: "Losman reached into the goody grab bag of excuses and pulled out: Penalties. Pass protection. Great defenses. Oh, and coaching. By "those plays," he was referring to aggressive pass plays down the field. He feels Steve Fairchild, his offensive coordinator, has been too conservative. Losman, borrowing a page from the Eric Moulds/Andre Reed handbook, pointed the finger directly at the play-calling."
Clearly, Losman deserves some of this criticism. As a team leader, J.P. needs to learn when to speak his mind and when to keep his mouth shut. He chose incorrectly in this situation. But here's the facts: Dick Jauron doesn't believe Losman was attacking either himself or Steve Fairchild. His deflections of "are you to blame?" questions were answered with team-centric responses; clearly, Losman is attempting to keep his unit together, not place the blame on them or anyone else. The biggest fact - he's right. The play calling has sucked, and it needs to change fast.
What's ridiculous about the circus surrounding Losman right now is not his quotes, but the apparent "ticking clock" that is counting down the end of Losman's tenure with the Bills. It's the media literally creating a quarterback controversy when, in reality, there isn't one.
Mark this down, Bills fans: Trent Edwards is a rookie third round pick that is not close to being ready to lead an NFL team, much less the vastly inexperienced Bills. This is a problem with Bills fans and especially the media covering the Bills. If there are any struggles whatsoever on this team, the immediate response is "change is needed". Quick fixes have hindered the progress of this franchise for a decade now - I promise you, a "quick fix" swap at quarterback will cause yet another setback. Dick Jauron knows this - and it's why J.P. Losman will play all 16 games this season. This team has played two games. Two. Losman has 14 games to prove he can take this team to the playoffs next year. If you want to talk quarterback controversy next off-season and the Bills have just finished 3-13, I'll join you then. For now, Losman is our quarterback, and hasty generalizations about Trent Edwards' ability to lead this offense are a waste of time.
Yes, the offense has struggled. Yes, Losman was in the wrong with his comments, even if he was speaking the truth. Temper your expectations, everyone - this team has always been young, and there is still a very good chance the explosive offense we were promised will emerge over the next four months. Why were the Bills so much fun to watch the second half of last season? Because nobody expected them to do a damn thing! Tempered expectations made Losman's growth in the second half of last season unexpected, and thus fun. This team is not, nor was it ever, a 2007 playoff team. If you watch the next fourteen games with that understanding in the back of your mind, this team is going to be very fun to watch. Because they're going to get better - and when they do, we'll be talking playoff push in 2008. Bank on it. This is Losman's team - it's time for him to sink or swim. The false quarterback controversy speak will only decrease his chances of succeeding. Therefore, they need to stop.
But I'm not naive. I know they won't. The media is, in a word, ridiculous. They see an angle to rip this ballclub apart, where any sane Bills fan sees promise. Don't listen to them. Don't form your opinions on what's been said in the past. Rally behind our quarterback - supporting him may just give him the confidence needed to win some games this season.
Rant over. Enjoy your Tuesday.