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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.”