Inside The Bills

1st team offense wants a TD

Posted by Chris Brown on August 19, 2010 – 9:02 am

Although Buffalo’s starting offense will be without Fred Jackson and Marshawn Lynch they will have more of their starting offensive linemen in the lineup tonight. They’re hoping that along with another week of work together will improve their execution enabling them to finish an offensive possession with a touchdown.

“I feel like that’s something that we need to do,” said Trent Edwards. “We need to put the ball in the end zone. We need to put points on the board.”

After their opening drive in the preseason opener stalled on a holding penalty forcing the starting offense to settle for a field goal, they never crossed midfield again. Edwards remembers all too well the offense’s inability to score touchdowns last preseason as the first unit did not score a touchdown in four preseason games (Edwards did not play in the fifth and final one last year). In fact the last time the Bills first string offense scored a touchdown in a preseason game was the last time they played the Colts on Aug. 24, 2008.

J.P. Losman stepping for an injured Edwards, led an 18-play 93-yard drive for the only offensive touchdown in the game for the Bills in a 20-7 win.

The last time an Edwards’ led first string offense scored a touchdown was the last preseason game in Toronto, on Aug. 14, 2008 when Edwards threw a pair of touchdown passes to Robert Royal in each of the first two quarters of a 24-21 win over Pittsburgh.

But that was then and this is now. Buffalo’s offense is expected to be more productive in the long run under Chan Gailey than the offenses of the past. Edwards no doubt wouldn’t mind having another performance like he did in that preseason win over Pittsburgh two years ago when he went 9-11 for 102 yards and a pair of touchdown passes.

“Our goal is to get in the end zone,” he said. “We need to clean up some things here and there. We’re watching a little bit of tape on the Colts, but it’s not necessarily a regular season game. We need to fix some things here and there, but we want to score.”


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Chan says put short passes on him

Posted by Chris Brown on August 17, 2010 – 1:29 pm

The Bills current quarterback atop the depth chart has been given a certain nickname by some fans that won’t be repeated here. But when asked about the short passes that have been thrown by Buffalo’s quarterbacks, head coach Chan Gailey said if you’re looking to point the finger you can point it at him.

Gailey was asked specifically about Trent Edwards and his decision making with respect to throwing downfield. The exact question that was asked was if he’d rather see Trent throwing downfield and make some mistakes in the preseason. Here was Gailey’s answer.

“No, I’d rather him make the right read. And I have to give him enough opportunities. If he checks it down, it’s not him, it’s me. If he throws it under four yards every time, we’re not doing the right things to get people open down the field,” said Gailey. “So I want him to make the right reads and go to the right place. And if we’re not getting people open, then we either have to get different people or we have to create better schemes to get those guys open.”

Gailey has also mentioned protection time and again as the key to creating downfield throwing opportunities as well. As the Bills head coach put it himself…

“Nobody can throw it laying on their back or running around for their life back there. So our protection has to get better.”


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Brohm to follow Trent Thurs. night

Posted by Chris Brown on August 16, 2010 – 4:37 pm

Bills head coach Chan Gailey in a conference call with Toronto media Monday confirmed that the QB rotation will be changing as expected.

After Ryan Fitzpatrick served as the second quarterback into the preseason opener last Friday night, while Brian Brohm sat out, Gailey confirmed on Thursday night when the Bills host Indianapolis in Toronto that their roles will be reversed.

“Trent will start and then we’ll put Brian Brohm in the game and then if there’s some snaps left, Levi Brown will play,” said Gailey. “Fitz (Ryan Fitzpatrick) won’t play in this one. He played last week and Brian didn’t play.”

Gailey didn’t believe that playing four QBs in one preseason game benefited any of the reserve signal callers because none of them would have enough time on the field to get in a rhythm, which in turn complicates the evaluation process of their play.


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Don’t expect to see Brohm tonight

Posted by Chris Brown on August 13, 2010 – 5:05 pm

The plan at the quarterback position for tonight’s preseason opener is Trent Edwards will start, play a quarter or so and then give way to Ryan Fitzpatrick and the second unit. After that however, the next QB in is expected to be rookie Levi Brown.

According to head coach Chan Gailey it’s no reflection on Brian Brohm’s play. It’s a matter of giving the backups enough time on the field. Gailey has chosen to play only three QBs tonight to give the backups sufficient time to get into a rhythm on offense. He believes if he tries to get Fitzpatrick and Brohm into the game as well as Brown at the end that a situation could arise where Fitz or Brohm made only get nine plays tops, hardly enough to evaluate a QB in a preseason game.

He would like to give both Fitzpatrick and Brohm more consecutive series so they can make a better case for themselves. So Brohm is not expected to play tonight, but in the next preseason game against Indy, the plan is to have Brohm come in and play after Trent Edwards and Ryan Fitzpatrick will not play.

So nothing should be read into Brohm’s absence of playing time tonight with respect to the QB competition, but the only way he takes the field is if there is an injury at the quarterback position.


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’09 preseason a lesson learned?

Posted by Chris Brown on August 12, 2010 – 10:20 am

Bills QB Trent Edwards is hoping that the struggles in the 2009 preseason for the offense is a lesson learned for those players that experienced it.

For those that don’t remember the Bills first team offense did not have a possession that resulted in an offensive touchdown for their entire five game preseason. After that humbling experience, Edwards wants them to get off to a much better start under Chan Gailey Friday night.

“I feel like last year’s preseason was horrible. I’d say that right now, that we didn’t do what we needed to do. We weren’t in rhythm,” said Edwards. “I think last year we weren’t expecting what we went through and that’s in the past. I think some guys that are here from last year have learned from that and don’t want to go through what we went through and a lot of that had to do with turning the ball over and not converting on third downs. So we’ve got to be good at that and we’ve got to protect the football. We’ve got to learn from our mistakes and just execute soundly.”

A handful of other players that experienced the lack of success last year echoed Edwards’ sentiments. Hopefully the offense can show signs of life despite the fact that they’ll be without three starters on the offensive line.


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Trent more vocal

Posted by Chris Brown on August 10, 2010 – 6:35 am

Trent Edwards looks more comfortable in his role as the starting quarterback, and his teammates are noticing.

Edwards has been more vocal with his teammates, has been more apt to approach his receivers in between series to discuss things that may have just happened or just to make sure they’re on the same page. He’s also been more encouraging of his teammates if they make a good play.

“He’s matured as the quarterback and as the quarterback you need to be a leader,” said Lee Evans. “He’s definitely a lot more vocal this year, a lot more vocal in camp and I think it just goes to show just how much more confident he is. If he plays well then usually the offense plays well.”

“You’ve got to have a good relationship with your quarterback because he’s not going to see everything and vice versa,” said Roscoe Parrish. “If you beat your guy on a route you’re not going to come to him and say, ‘Dang why didn’t you throw me the ball.’ You just let him know that you had your guy and when you watch film you talk about it. It’s all just about staying positive with one another.”

In years prior it may have proven more difficult for Edwards to assert himself knowing there were clear favorites in the locker room that preferred J.P. Losman as the starter or due to the fact that he wasn’t a proven QB. This year Edwards isn’t getting bogged down in all of that and has simply chosen to fill the role of leader and move forward. We’ll see how that helps to lift the offense as a whole in the coming days when the preseason begins Friday night, but the positive signs are on the rise.


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Here’s Fred ribbing Trent

Posted by Chris Brown on August 5, 2010 – 7:18 pm

Trent Edwards has been getting all sorts of flak from his teammates about his hair, with Justin Bieber references among other comments.

Here’s Fred and Trent’s appearance on the ESPN bus when it was here Wednesday in case you missed it.

Personally I don’t know how a player can stand all that hair up under your helmet in this heat at training camp. Just a mess of wet hair sitting on the back of your neck. No thanks, not that I have a choice of course.

Perhaps we all should vote on it, since in the video Fred is begging Trent’s mom to tell Trent to cut his hair.


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Trent on the radio

Posted by Chris Brown on August 4, 2010 – 10:43 pm

Bills quarterback Trent Edwards will be on the Buffalo radio airwaves Thursday morning.

Edwards is scheduled to be on 97 Rock with Norton in the Morning at 8:20. If you’re outside the listening area you can listen online.


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Schefter teases Edwards

Posted by Chris Brown on August 4, 2010 – 12:43 pm

Apparently ESPN’s Adam Schefter had the chance to interview Fred Jackson and Trent Edwards, and he teased Edwards about his haircut.

Adam_Schefter    At Bills camp with two of their nicest and best players — RB Fred Jackson and QB Justin Bieber. http://tweetphoto.com/36811735

Personally I don’t know how Trent deals with all that hair in this heat. Then again I can’t remember what it’s like to have that much in the first place!


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Where Schobel money could go

Posted by Chris Brown on August 2, 2010 – 2:42 pm

For now Aaron Schobel’s contract is still on the books, but once he either retires or is moved via trade, there will be a good chunk of change with which to help the team in terms of personnel.

I believe some of that money will go to some young veterans whose contracts are up after this season. Chief among them is Paul Posluszny. Others include Donte Whitner, Ashton Youboty, George Wilson, Trent Edwards, Brian Brohm and long snapper Garrison Sanborn.

Obviously, the quarterback situation will have to definitively be resolved before determining who might be re-signed long term. By no means am I saying all these guys are going to be re-signed, but those kinds of decisions will have to be made, and the money will be there to pay who they want to pay.

The point is that in rebuilding this roster a good portion of that money from the Schobel contract is likely to go into reinvesting in the young vets whose contracts are up.


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Edwards sheds light on 2009

Posted by Chris Brown on July 29, 2010 – 5:29 pm

Trent Edwards was named the top guy on the depth chart at QB Thursday, and though Edwards has always maintained an optimistic outlook, he shed some light on some of the tough times that ate away at him last season.

“I think probably got overwhelmed or stressed over too many little things that I shouldn’t be paying attention to,” Edwards said. “I feel now that it was almost good for me. I’ve grown from that. I’m a year older, a year stronger and hopefully a year better and I’m going to use that to my advantage. Just like I’m using this competition to my advantage I need to be able to not get too stressed out, not sweat the small stuff and take it one step at a time.”

Edwards sounds more confident than previous years, especially when asked if he thought it was his job from the start. This was his response.

“That was just my outlook,” said Edwards. “I was pretty confident that I would be the guy and I’m hoping to be the guy at the end of this camp, but I think if you asked Ryan, Brian or Levi they’d say the same thing that they want to be out there with the ones. I know it’s a competitive situation and I need to use that to my benefit. I feel like I feed off of that.”


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Nelson drops hint on starting QB

Posted by Chris Brown on July 29, 2010 – 1:46 pm

Bills rookie WR David Nelson is dropping hints as to who the top QB in the pecking order will be when practice gets underway shortly.

DNelson83    Yea here’s your hint. His colleges mascot is the same as the mascot of the place holding our training camp.

Knowing St. John Fisher’s mascot is the Cardinals, Nelson’s hint is a bit misleading. Louisville has a mascot that is identical in name and species, which is where Brian Brohm went. Stanford however, where Trent Edwards went has a mascot that’s a tree, but they’re athletic teams are referred to as the Cardinal, which references one of their team colors.  

So if you’re going for exactly identical in name and mascot, it’s Brohm, but we’ll confirm at practice when the players begin team work.


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Brohm not anxious about pecking order

Posted by Chris Brown on July 28, 2010 – 7:28 pm

Brian Brohm, Trent Edwards and Ryan Fitzpatrick will find out what the all important pecking order will be at the quarterback position in meetings Thursday morning. But Brohm, who was the only one of the three QBs that arrived during the allotted time for media access, is not having any anxiety about what that decision might be.

“I’m ready to go, no matter what happens in this meeting tomorrow (Thursday), wherever we are at in the pecking order, I’m ready to go,” Brohm said. “I’m just glad that the season is finally here.“It’s a competition, they have to put one guy in there first, one guy in there second, one guy in there third, but at the end of the day it’s going to be who plays best when they are out there on the field. That’s the way I am going to look at it. Whatever reps I get and the opportunities I have, I need to take advantage of to the fullest, and put my best foot forward.”Bills head coach Chan Gailey has been adamant that whatever the pecking order is that it is not set in concrete and is subject to change.


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QBs won’t be adversarial

Posted by Chris Brown on July 27, 2010 – 8:33 am

Although there will be a pecking order declared by coach Gailey in the next day or so at the quarterback position, he’s made it clear that the competition will still be open. And though the level of intensity will be fierce the three main candidates for the job have assured that it won’t become adversarial.

“All three of us understand the situation that we’re in,” said Brian Brohm. “On the field we’re competing, but at the same time we’re still going to help each other out. It’s going to be a fair competition. We’re not going to try to hold things back from each other if we see something, we bring it up in the meeting room in front of everybody and we’ll all talk about it. We’re all on the same page. I think each quarterback is on the same page with all the plays that we’re running.”

Gailey will be reminding the players, the fans and the media that even though he’ll have one of his three main QB candidates working with the first unit that the competition will still be open. That fact however, doesn’t change how the quarterbacks intend to interact with one another.

“It’s all about coming out here and working,” said Ryan Fitzpatrick. “I think whoever the starter ends up being if I work as hard as I can, if I’m the starter, I know the team is going to be better. If I work as hard as I can and Trent or Brian ends up being the starter then we’re going to be a better team because of it because I’m going to push him and he’s going to push me.”


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QB speculation well underway

Posted by Chris Brown on July 19, 2010 – 12:06 pm

With 10 days to go before training camp the outside speculation as to who will be named the Bills first string QB at the outset of camp is already ramping up.

Pro Football Weekly in their AFC Whispers section is speculating that Trent Edwards will be named the starting QB when camp opens next week. Here’s their write up on the subject word for word.

Although Bills head coach Chan Gailey hasn’t revealed his quarterback depth chart entering training camp, we hear that Trent Edwards is very likely to begin camp as the starter, followed by Brian Brohm and Ryan Fitzpatrick. After his solid offseason, Buffalo wants to give Brohm a legitimate chance to capture the job, and he could knock Edwards out of the driver’s seat if he continues to perform. Fitzpatrick doesn’t appear to be in the starting mix right now; he’s viewed as a respectable backup.

Everyone is going to have their predictions, but knowing that the quarterbacks themselves do not even have knowledge at this point as to where they stand entering training camp, until it comes from Chan Gailey’s mouth I would not put much stock in any of it.


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Fan Friday 7-9

Posted by Chris Brown on July 9, 2010 – 1:33 pm

The Countdown to Camp is on. Be sure to check the home page of Buffalobills.com daily as we answer a lot of the pressing questions fans have concerning the team and the 2010 prospects. As always questions can be sent to me at AskChris@bills.nfl.net. Let’s get to this week’s edition.

1 – Hey Chris

It seemed that Marcus Easley’s name was getting mentioned quite a bit in the voluntary camps ‘big plays’. Do you see him as someone who may be able to come in and contribute right away on offense, or is he most likely going to start out sparingly?

Thanks. Chris in Toronto Ontario

CB: Next to QB and offensive line, I think receiver is the next toughest position to master at the NFL level as a rookie. With sight adjusts, recognizing the defense while you’re running a route, knowing when you’re ‘hot’ to break off your route and help your QB, there’s a lot of learning. Add in the fact that receivers coach Stan Hixon wants all his wideouts to learn all of the receiver positions and the responsibilities are numerous.

That being said, Easley’s talent cannot be denied. He comes across as a sharp kid, has a knack for getting behind defenses and has a very strong set of hands, where he can fight and make catches in traffic and win the ball.

I do see Easley as part of the number two receiver competition in camp, and no matter how that turns out I anticipate him making contributions by midseason at the latest.

2 – What are the chances of the Bills trading Aaron to a team like the  Texans, they seem to be on the cusp of the playoffs, he’d be playing  for an ex coach (Kollar) and he’d be playing across from an all pro DE in Mario Williams? As a die hard Bills fan I think it would make sense for the player and the franchise.

Travis, Poughkeepsie NY

CB: I think if it were as easy as it sounds it might have happened already. Here’s the problem. Logically it makes perfect sense for both sides. Houston is a team pushing hard to make the playoffs and might just need that one veteran piece to get over the hump.

Buffalo has a player that wants more time during the work week to spend with his family in Texas. Houston is still an hour from Schobel’s home base in Columbus, Texas, so I’d assume he’d get some kind of driver to take him back and forth to his home if such a scenario were to happen.

But the NFL season means long days for players and leaving the office at 6 or 7 pm and getting home at 8 only to get up all the earlier the next day to drive an hour in doesn’t seem like something that would appeal to Schobel, though I could be wrong.

Schobel’s price tag is also steep, and another NFL team may not want to be on the hook for big time money and inherit a contract that still has three years on it after 2010 wondering if Schobel is going to retire.

An additional issue that makes trading Schobel difficult, if it’s even something the team is entertaining, is the uncertain labor situation. With a contract that runs through the 2013 season at big money I can’t see another team taking that contract on and provide proper compensation for what Schobel in a normal situation would be worth. His talk of retirement also devalues him.

3 – Chris: 

Bill Polian has a philosophy of not trading players early in the Spring because a star for another team will eventually go down (with a long term injury) during camp or preseason and you then have better trade leverage.  Could this be the position Buddy Nix is taking with Lynch (and maybe Schobel) since it seems neither player wants to be here?  I feel Schobel is tired of losing and realizes when the Bills are ready to contend he will be well into the down side of his career, so it would be better to play for a winner (closer to home) or retire. 

Thanks

Joe Badaszewski
Blasdell 

CB: I think with no track record to go off of since Buddy has never been in a decision making position such as he is now makes it difficult to ascertain whether that will be his approach in any kind of trade. However, he is a part of the Bill Polian personnel tree so I wouldn’t rule it out.

Basically trade leverage is at its highest at two times of the year, during the draft, when a team that may have missed on a position player they coveted is desperate or in the preseason, when a team has lost a player to a season-ending injury.

4 – Aloha Chris,

Do you think Trent Edwards will benefit from having to compete with three other QB’s for the starting gig? He’s never really had to face any competition for the job in the last two seasons, and I’m sure the coaching staff feels he still has plenty of potential but needs to prove himself as a leader. If you go back to 2006, J.P. Losman had his best season as a Bills QB in large part due to the fact that he had to win the starting spot in training camp over Kelly Holcomb and Craig Nall. 

Thanks,

Wesley, Maui HI

CB: In 2008 he competed with Losman for the starting job and got off to a great start before the concussion in Arizona derailed his season. As Buddy Nix says, “Competition makes everyone better.” So being pushed and competing with Fitz and Brohm every day in camp will hopefully make him a more consistent player than he showed last season.

And by the way, say hey to the folks at Moose McGillicuddy’s for me.

5 – Hi Chris, Why in the world would the Buffalo Bills let Josh Reed go? He was a decent slot receiver, although  he only had 27 catches last year, he still was a viable option for the quarterback. What was the thinking by the coaching staff? I will look forward to your answer.

Tony, Daytona Beach, Florida

CB: They didn’t release him. His contract was up and they chose not to extend him a contract offer. The Bills front office made the decision to see what the younger receivers could do. They signed Roscoe Parrish to an extension a year or so ago, but he’s not had an opportunity to make that investment worthwhile on offense. He’ll have that chance now. And James Hardy was a second-round pick and the Bills want to give him more of an opportunity to hopefully get a greater return on that investment.


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Posted in Inside the Bills

QB rotation

Posted by Chris Brown on June 24, 2010 – 4:00 pm

In the afternoon session the QB rotation has changed again.

In the morning practice Brian Brohm was the first QB through in 11-on-11. But in the afternoon it is Trent Edwards.


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Edwards praises young WRs

Posted by Chris Brown on June 21, 2010 – 3:45 pm

Bills QB Trent Edwards was asked if he’s seen improvement in his game through the course of OTAs with respect to the offense. While he briefly addressed his own progress, he made sure to praise the young receiving corps.

“I still have a lot to learn,” said Edwards. “There are still things I need to iron out. There are still things I need to get on the same page with some receivers. I like a lot of the young receivers we have. I think it’s the best group of young receivers we’ve had since I’ve been here. I’ve been really encouraged with those guys. Just getting on the same page with those guys. I’m happy with where my mechanics are but once you get content you’re not going to get any better. So I need to continue to improve and continue to get better.”

Players like Naaman Roosevelt, Donald Jones, Felton Huggins and Marcus Easley have all made plays in the practice setting as have James Hardy and Steve Johnson. What will be interesting to see is if those young wideouts are as successful once the pads go on in camp.

Edwards, much like Brian Brohm expressed last week, said the reps for the three quarterbacks has been nothing but fair.

“We’re splitting reps evenly,” Edwards said. “I think they have it down to every single rep we’re getting and everyone gets the same amount. You can’t say one guy got more than the other guy. When it comes down to it you’ve got to make plays when you’re out there. And when you’re not you’ve got to sit back there and learn what you need to learn.”


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Green: “Trent is ready to go”

Posted by Chris Brown on June 1, 2010 – 1:35 pm

Bills starting right tackle Cornell Green is pretty impressed with Trent Edwards approach to the 2010 season. Green believes Edwards is “ready to go” right now.

“Trent is ready man,” said Green. “He’s ready to go. He’s talking to us every day. We’re amongst him every day. We’re just trying to jell right now.”

It’s clear that Edwards is making a more concerted effort to be a leader, and is outwardly displaying a greater sense of  conviction among his teammates.

“Just his confidence man,” said Green. “He’s confident with what he wants to do. He wants to lead a team. He’s had some years in the league and he just wants to be able to get this team past that point of just being a good team and getting to the playoffs. He works with us every day. We eat breakfast together, we’re chatting with him so I’m looking forward to working with him.”

If Edwards confident nature can translate into more consistent play on the field it would be a big plus for him in the QB competition, but his outward displays of leadership amongst teammates will also help.

Edwards was the second QB through in the rotation in 7-on-7 and first in 11-0n-11 at practice Tuesday.


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Fitz is 1st man through

Posted by Chris Brown on May 26, 2010 – 1:26 pm

Bills head coach Chan Gailey said the quarterback rotation and reps has all been laid out from now until the end of June, so shifts in the rotation and rep count were to be expected. And there was a change on day 2 of OTAs.

On Wednesday, Ryan Fitzpatrick was the first quarterback through in the rotation during 7-on-7 and 11-on-11 work. During 7-on-7 Trent Edwards was the quarterback that followed Fitzpatrick in the rotation. During 11-on-11 Brian Brohm followed Fitzpatrick with Edwards after him. Rookie Levi Brown was fourth in both rotations.

More to come on the home page of Buffalobills.com this afternoon on both the written and video side in Bills Roundup.


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