Owner looks forward to seeing if Losman can make right decisions

Discussion in 'NFL Zone' started by dmq, Jan 25, 2005.

  1. dmq

    dmq If I'm so pretty, why am I available?

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    Owner looks forward to seeing if Losman can make right decisions

    Leo Roth
    Staff writer

    (January 25, 2005) — Watching the Pittsburgh Steelers advance to the brink of the Super Bowl with rookie quarterback Ben Roethlisberger was encouraging to see for Buffalo Bills owner Ralph Wilson.

    His team currently is pondering a switch in 2005 from veteran Drew Bledsoe to last year's first-round pick, J.P. Losman. Wilson made it clear on Monday that he's eager to see Losman play.

    "J.P., we've got a lot of faith in him," Wilson said by phone. "We think he's going to be a good quarterback, now time will tell."

    Only a short amount of time will tell what direction the Bills are headed at quarterback.

    "I don't know what we're going to do on the quarterback. That will sort itself out in the next few weeks," said Wilson, echoing comments made last week by president and general manager Tom Donahoe.

    If the Bills decide to hand the starting job to Losman, they would like Bledsoe back as his backup (they'd have to find one regardless) but not at his scheduled base salary of $3.3 million with a salary cap number that is double that. Bledsoe is due a $1.05 million roster bonus in March and it's believed the Bills have asked him to take a pay cut, or they could release him outright.

    Is Bledsoe receptive to a pay cut after renegotiating his deal just last year? Would he accept a backup role?

    "I can't guess today what people are going to do," Wilson said. "Drew's had a tremendous career. We'll see."

    The Bills are 23-25 with Bledsoe as their starter and it appears the team's top brass is moving toward the conclusion that it is time to turn to a younger quarterback who has far more upside. And they would rather make the decision soon so Losman can have seven months concentrating on the job and not a competition next summer with Bledsoe that would distract the team.

    Despite having the NFL's No. 2-ranked defense that led the league in takeaways and playing great special teams, Buffalo still finished 9-7 and out of the playoffs with Bledsoe.

    Losman, obtained in last year's draft after a trade with Dallas, represents Buffalo's first-round pick this year.

    "He's got a great arm, he's mobile, but will he make the right decisions?" Wilson said. "We've had a couple guys with great arms in the past, but along with that is his decision-making.

    "Our people ... they've seen J.P. in college and they like him very much. He's got everything, but there's a learning curve. He won't set the world on fire right away. Every QB goes through it — except Roethlisberger."

    But if it could happen to Roethlisberger, who was 14-0 before Sunday's 41-27 loss to New England, why not Losman?

    Wilson also said he was extremely pleased with the job coach Mike Mularkey did in his first season and said extending Donahoe's contract this off-season will not "be a major problem.

    "Anything can happen in this game, but all things being equal, we can have a better team and have a good chance to make the playoffs," Wilson added.

  2. Nors

    Nors Benched

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    For Bledsoe

    Retire VT and lets go with a QB trio of

    Orlovski - draft

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