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Thread: Losman named Bills starter
Losman named Bills starterLosman named Bills starter
Posted: Tuesday August 29, 2006 2:28PM; Updated: Tuesday August 29, 2006 5:51PM
ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. (AP) -- Quarterback J.P. Losman has been named the Buffalo Bills opening-day starter once before. The true test is showing he's capable of keeping the job this time around.
"Of course it's different. It's way different," Losman said Tuesday, shortly after coach Dick Jauron officially awarded him the No. 1 job. "They've named this guy before, so it's no time to slack or get comfortable. It's time to really get to work."
Losman reclaimed the job he lost to journeyman Kelly Holcomb last year, emerging from an offseason-long three-way competition that also included free-agent addition Craig Nall.
Jauron's announcement following practice was a slight surprise only because of its timing. Losman had two weeks ago been labeled the front-runner, but the coach had said as recently as Monday that he was going to wait until the weekend before naming a starter.
The change of heart came after Jauron and his staff were in agreement on Losman, leaving no point delaying the decision with Buffalo preparing for its preseason finale at Detroit on Thursday and with the regular-season opener on Sept. 10 at New England.
"I just thought it was the right time. ... It gets him used to hearing it and getting the team used to hearing it. There it is," Jauron said. "I told him he should feel good about it, he earned it."
Losman earning the role was key after the second of Buffalo's two 204 draft picks was awarded the starting job in February 2005 by former head coach Mike Mularkey. The move led to the team releasing former starter Drew Bledsoe.
Losman struggled as a first-time starter, benched in favor of Holcomb after a 1-3 start. Losman finished 2-7 in games he had a majority of playing time, while Holcomb went 3-4 and finished with a higher completion percentage (67 percent to Losman's 50) and quarterback rating (85.6 to 64.9), and had 10 touchdowns to Losman's eight.
Both threw eight interceptions.
Jauron threw open the job when he took over in January, and the team added Nall to the mix when they signed the four-year veteran in March. Nall, however, dropped out of the competition when he missed two weeks of training camp with a hamstring injury.
While Holcomb struggled with his accuracy, Losman gradually progressed, displaying a stronger arm and possessing a better grasp of the multidimensional offense being introduced by first-year coordinator Steve Fairchild.
In three preseason games, including two starts, Losman went 37-of-57 for 462 yards passing with two touchdowns and two interceptions for a respectable 87.0 quarterback rating. He was particularly efficient in a 20-17 loss to Cleveland last weekend, going 15-of-22 for 184 yards passing with a touchdown and an interception.
He looked particularly sharp on the touchdown pass, a 54-yarder to Peerless Price, when Losman avoided the rush, stepped into the pocket and hit the receiver in stride.
Losman has the support of his teammates and team owner Ralph Wilson, who earlier in the day noted Losman's improvement.
"He's got a great arm and he improved last week from the week before. And I hope he'll continue his improvement," Wilson told The Associated Press.
Wilson added he was unhappy with how the previous coaching staff put too much pressure on Losman by naming him the starter without a competition last year and then stunted his development by pulling him.
Receiver Lee Evans was pleased the quarterback position was settled.
"He's the set starter and I'm glad to hear it," Evans said. "I think this sets a little bit of direction for the offense. And I think it's the best thing for us."
Losman said he's matured, having learned from the competition and his struggles last year.
"It's something that you can't teach," Losman said. "I know what it's like to be at the highest of highs and lowest of lows. ... I've lived it already and I'm ready to move forward."
Not exceptionally surprising. Even if they weren't forced into this from a monetary standpoint, Holcomb and Nall aren't exactly amazing competition.
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-08-30-2006 #2bigredman Guest
Re: Losman named Bills starter
I just can't figure the Bills out. They have a hell of a running back, but I just don't know about the supporting cast to get him down the field to score. Fantasy league players...avoid Bill's players!
-09-04-2006 #4Drew4EverRams Guest
Re: Losman named Bills starter
bills-had kelly now have losman
`phins had marino now have culpepper
broncos had elway now have plummer
40 whiners had montana & young now have smith
cowgirls had aikmen now have bledsoe
how times have changed!!!