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Before I start the QB debate up again, I thought I’d touch on a few points about this team.
1. This team is not a playoff team. The defense could be in the playoffs as could the special teams, but this offense has no place in the playoffs. However if they win the rest of their games, they still have a decent shot at a wild card.
2. No. Coach contracts are not binding. Jauron could be fired tomorrow with no penalty. I doubt that the Bills will do it, but Jauron has no job security regardless of whether there was a contract extension.
3.Last night the Bills showed what it would be like if they had an effective offensive line. Clearly they have the runningback talent and need not worry there. But don’t get excited about the line being good again, the Browns have a horrible defense. The Bills line will look good against Kansas City too, but will suck again when they face better teams. This is still a concern area.
4. Bobby April has what it takes to be a head coach. The Bills team needs a fire lit under it and if they were to make a mid-season move to fire Jauron (which they won’t), April would be the ideal guy to promote as interim and hopefully as the permanent coach (Marv was a Special teams guy first too, Special Teams is tough to coach because you are constantly getting your personnel jerked around). One way to smooth this transition would be to move Jauron into a director of Pro Personnel position. I think Jauron has done a great job finding talented players and is a benefit to the organization, but not at head coach.
5. The much maligned 2008 draft class is starting to show signs of life. Fans should give these young players a bit more than half a season before they call them busts.
6. Marshawn Lynch is clearly talented but needs to stick to the play more. He contributed to the missed field goal on the last play prior to the kick by trying to roll it out to the left side. He didn’t get any additional yards, but did cause the ball to be positioned on the far left hash (most likely spot to kick wide right from). Had he stuck to the play it would have been an easier kick for Lindell. The play call was up the middle for a reason.
7. I don’t think you can blame the coaches for bad play calling when there are wide open receivers that the QB didn’t try to throw to. Lee Evans was wide open most of the day but never even had a ball thrown to him. The coaches on this team call effective plays pretty often but the team fails to execute. So it really comes back to the coaches failing to get the team prepared for the game.
And so it comes down to the Quarterback. Once again. Trent Edwards has stunk pretty bad for most of the season, putting up small yards and few TDs even when he was playing his best. People seem to be determined to make every excuse for the kid, but the bottom line is that Edwards is Trent Dilfer good, or maybe Chad Pennington good. Not Tom Brady, Joe Montana or any of the other rediculous comparisons that have been drawn. Hand picking the stats of 3 or 4 great Quarterbacks and assuming Edwards will be good because his first 16 games were similar is actually pretty rediculous. One need only look at Cleveland’s Derek Anderson to know that 1 season does not make a career no matter how good your stats are. There are a great many more failed quarterbacks who had similar first year stats than successful ones. All that aside, Edwards stats aren’t even that good.
Could all of you folks out there who think Trent Edwards is the second coming of Montana please explain why? Even when he was playing his best, his numbers were average. His only impressive stat is completion percentage, which really doesn’t matter that much if most of the passes are so short that they are followed by a punt. Here are Trent’s career numbers with some notable extras:
Trent Edwards Career: 331 for 540 (61.3%), 3623 yards, 10.945 yards per completion, 6.7 yards per attempt, TDs 15 INTs 18 Sack 32, Rating 76.5
In 20 Starts (and a some assorted other playing time) Edwards has 2 games with more than one TD (miami 2007 he had 4, and Giants 2007 he had 2, which means in his other 18 games he had 9 TD passes, or half a TD per game).
Trent Edwards has never thrown for 300 yards in a contest.
Edwards has thrown for less than 200 yards 12 times. Or 60% of the time.
Edwards has thrown more INTs than TDs in 9 games (nearly half)
Edwards has had a QB rating below 60 in 6 games.
Edwards had ALL DAY to throw against the Browns and still sucked it up.
Edwards worst performances have been against division opponents (particularly the pats) and in cold weather. He has not had a good performance yet in cold weather.
To add fuel to the fire, Here are JP Losman’s career numbers:
510 for 858 (59.4%) 5847 yards, 11.46 yards per completion, 6.82 yards per attempt, TDs 32 INT 30, Sack 93, Rating 77.9
In other words, Losman is better in every category except completion percentage (where he is actually very close) and sacks which are as much a reflection of the miserable offensive line the first couple years of Losman’s career than anything.
Losman had a 101.3 QB rating in his only appearance this season (most of the arizona game) despite how he “looked in the pocket”. San Diego and Jacksonville were the only two games where Edwards broke 100 QB rating.
Losman has had 7 Multi TD games and broke 300 yards in 2 games. He has also thrown for under 200 yards 22 times out of 32.
I don’t know that Losman is the answer, but if the problem with Losman was that he struggled with his short passes, that’s a lot easier to fix than Edwards inability to throw beyond 10 yards. Yes he has pulled it off on a few rare occasions, but you will never see that beautiful rainbow shaped arc to Evans from Edwards. He can’t even find him. At least you knew Losman would hit the number 1 receiver. The biggest difference between these two QBs is that when the pass rush gets in their face, Edwards tries to hold his ground while Losman starts running (sometimes with disastrous consequences). What is missing in Losman’s game is teachable and can come with time, there is no reason to think Edwards will magically get arm strength and accuracy beyond 10 yards.
The other “big” difference is that fans seem to think Edwards has (had?) great pocket presence, or the intangible aspect of football. It looked that way at first but it would be hard to say that about him after the last 4 weeks. He has looked confused even when he has tons of time. He misses open receivers, doesn’t go through his progressions. Maybe its because of the concussion, but more likely it is merely because he is inexperienced and, at this point, not very good. Edwards may look more in control in the pocket, but the bottom line is this, give Losman 50 plays and Edwards 50 plays and Losman will gain more yards and throw more TDs.
More likely, the answer lies in the draft, or in free agency, this crop of QB’s has a long way to go. A few wins against weak teams is nothing to be excited about.
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