Current Bills Players

J.P. = Just Problems?

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What is it with the initials J.P.? The Bills currently have two players with those initials on their roster, and in many ways, both are “Just Problems”.

The obvious problem is Jason Peters. Peters managed to go for the entirety of training camp without reporting, but, perhaps even worse, not communicating with the Bills. (At least, according to all public reports.) I really think there must be more to the story than we know, because how can any intelligent negotiator think that this is a good strategy? Peters is under contract (for three more years!) and has, in my opinion, tossed any leverage he had right out the window by not showing that he is committed to the Buffalo Bills team and organization.

Bad move #1 by J.P.

Now there is another Bills player who is more commonly known by the initials, J.P. That of course is our beloved (now backup) quarterback, Jonathan Paul Losman. Losman decided to speak to the press following Tuesday night’s practice this week, which may have been a mistake. He had been publicly silent since after the Jacksonville game last season (his last as a starter) and apparently, judging by his comments Tuesday night, that was a wise move.

The full-bearded QB was pretty forthright in his comments, for which he should be commended, but unfortunately, those comments revealed the real problem with this J.P. – he is not (at least yet) a “professional” athlete.

What we heard from QB J.P. was that he is doing the team a favor by being here, and practicing hard. We heard that it’s “hard to get motivated” (apparently because he’s not the starter) and that he has to think “overall big picture.” It is obvious from his comments that he does not plan to be with the Bills next season. (And realistically, I don’t think the Bills plan for to be here either.)

The professional athlete would not find it difficult to be motivated. The motivation should not come from some given or earned position, but rather just to do your best, and contribute to the team. There’s no need for any other motivation. The man is being paid millions of dollars to be ever-ready to jump in and lead the team. He is still (as of now) the second quarterback on the team, which is actually a very important position, both in practice and in the game should there be an injury to Edwards.

A professional athlete is motivated by his own drive to be the best he can be. Period.

Bad move #2 by J.P.

Message to all Bills bearing the initials J.P.:
Football is a TEAM game. You are not the team, nor are you even the focus of the team. The team will go on without you. Your apparent lack of understanding may be jeopardizing any career you hoped to have in the NFL.

I really hope that the Bills do not have to rely on the QB J.P. this season for any length of time. His comments betrayed his “overall” attitude. And that’s unfortunate. I really do like the kid. I think he is also really talented. But he doesn’t get it.

I am also (mayeb, was also) a fan of our LT J.P. He is a great story, seems like a good kid, and I was rooting for him. I guess my sub-conscious deadline was the end of training camp. Now that it has passed with seemingly no effort on the part of Peters at all to honor his contract and put the pressure on the Bills to make the next (first) move… I have lost tons, or possibly all respect for him. I am afraid that might be true of the Bills, too.

I am not certain what effect the players named J.P. will have on this 2008 Bills team, but I would caution the front office to think twice in the future about drafting or signing any players bearing those initials.

They do seem to stand for, “Just Problems.”

2 replies on “J.P. = Just Problems?”

I think you added a lot to what Losman really said in his press conference. Your idea that the only thing that drives a professional athlete to succeed is the driev to play his best is totally the stuff of fairy tales. They are all human and any player who gets demoted, especially as publicly as Losman was, is going to struggle with motivation afterwards. Its actually a strong testament to his category that he is able to swallow his pride and take the backseat this season. Clearly against Indianapolis, Losman did not look like the total schmuck you guys make him out to be. You prefer Edwards, we get it.

Whoa, easy there Ben. We have never said (well, maybe Dave has…) that Losman is a “total schmuck”… just that he gets that “deer in the headlights” thing way too often. If you read what I wrote following last night’s game, I think I was fairly complimentary of Losman’s play (at least… not negative.) Trent in less than one season has shown that he has the intangible “presence” that J.P. thus far has never exhibited. There’s no denying he can throw the ball really well, and even scramble well. He just can’t make decisions as quickly or something.

Re: the “stuff of fairy tales” … totally disagree. I think that’s what separates the true professionals from those who will never really succeed (barring incredibly superior talent). Coaches tout work ethic for a reason. It’s an internal thing. I applauded (in this article) JP’s forthrightness, but it does reveal that he still (at least) has some growing up to do. And, maybe that will never really happen.

I am confident Losman can do an adequate job if we need him to this year, but I think the Bills (and he) have already decided he’s just an insurance policy this season, and after 2008, who knows? We may be completely JP-less? (Including Peters!)

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