Is It Trent’s Fault Or The Team He’s On???

By PFC Bills Writer David Marciano

Over the last few weeks there has been some serious Trent Edwards bashing, from the media, and the fans and so it got me thinking. Could the Buffalo Bills front office get it wrong this many times in a row? Could we be in a decade and a half long slump with selecting QB’s?  There have been 4 General Managers since the glory days of the early 1990 teams. There have been some great football minds that have taken the oath of Bills GM.  John Butler took over for Bill Polian in 1994.  To his credit he drafted Todd Collins a gun slinger from Michigan.  He also brought in Doug Flutie, and Rob Johnson.  And as good as a football guy as he was he went 0 for 3 with the quarterbacks he brought in.  Then there was Tom Donahoe.  He went on to bring in Drew Bledsoe who had a few decent years, but only lasted 3 years in Buffalo.  Tom Donahoe then drafted JP Losman with the 22nd overall pick in the 2004 NFL Draft.  He also brought in Kelly Holcomb a conservative clock manager as a backup.  He went 0 for 3.

After the Tom Donahoe era ended with yet again no playoff appearances the Bills turned to a familiar face in Marv Levy.  This has to work, doesn’t it?  Four Superbowl appearances and playoffs just about every year. A guy who knows the game, and has an eye for talent.  Marv Levy ended up drafting Trent Edwards in the 3rd. round in the 2007 NFL Draft.  Marv Levy received a call from Bill Walsh telling him that he picked a winner in Edwards.  Come on Bill Walsh, he has to know what he’s talking about, right? Well the jury is still out on Trent Edwards.  I for one will wait until the regular season before I give my opinion on Trent Edwards.  This is a make or break season for any young Quarterback.  This will be his 3rd. season at the helm.  After 3 seasons you can usually get a picture of what you have in Trent Edwards.  So is it possible for an organization that has brought in 4 different decision makers, to get it wrong this many times?  I don’t know the answer to that. Then I said to myself let me take a look at the so called busts over the past 20 years or so. What I found was pretty interesting.

A lot of the QB that have been presumed busts were taking over horrible teams and the so called non-busts were taking over already pretty good teams. So I wonder if Trent or any of the other busts were on better teams would they not be a bust.

Rick Mirer took over a 2-14 team, Ryan Leaf a 4-12 team, Joey Harrington a 2-14 team, Heath Schuler a 4-12 team, Akili Smith a 3-13 team, and David Carr an expansion team. Then I looked at some Quarterbacks who are considered by many as the finest in the league.

Tom Brady took over an 11-5 team a playoff team already, Big Ben Roethlisberger took over a team with a monster defense.  His sole responsibility is not to make mistakes. Aaron Rodgers took over a 13-3 team, an already solid all around team.  Joe Flacco took over a team with a dominating defense, who had won a Superbowl with journeymen Trent Dilfer as their QB. Tony Romo took over a good team, as well as Philip Rivers. Eli Manning had the defense in place when he took over.

There are exceptions to both of these rules like Peyton Manning who took a 2-14 team to glory and vice versa, but it still leaves me wondering hypothetically of course, What if Edwards went to Green Bay and the Bills had Aaron Rodgers? Would the fans hate Rodgers? Would he fail in the Bills system like everyone else has? Would Edwards take off in a good system? Would he flourish with a real coaching staff that knows how to get the most out of their players? Perhaps.

Or could the Bills just stink at picking QB’s? Or are the Bills going to keep struggling to find a QB until we put a better team, and or coaching staff around him? I’m a firm believer it’s all about the system a QB is in, or finding a system that fits your QB. JP Losman was a terrible QB, no arguing that, but why on earth would the Bills coaching staff keep him in the pocket trying to make quick reads? When he should of been on the run rolling out most of the time? I’ll tell you why because the Bills coaching staff and system stink, and until they fix that, the Bills will not find their franchise QB they are desperately seeking.

I just think if Trent Edwards was in a more favorable system he would be a good NFL Quarterback.  He is in a system that has no creativity, no emotion, and no aggressiveness.  They just don’t run the same plays other teams run, and when they do they have no idea how to run it.  Let’s use the Miami Dolphins as an example.  On paper I truly do not believe they have more talent than the Buffalo Bills, I whole heartedly believe this, but the big difference between the teams is coaching, system, and attitude.  There coaching staff had the aggressiveness and belief in themselves to pull out the Wildcat offense against the Patriots and upset them last year.  They know as a staff that their talent level isn’t on par with the best teams so they put their players in a position to win.  They put Chad Pennington is a good position.  They took the pressure off of him by installing the Wildcat.  We all know Chad isn’t very mobile in the pocket, but by adding this Wildcat is stopped teams from blitzing him so much.  That’s just great coaching.  The Bills do not get this.

They do not put Edwards in a position to succeed.  The Bills have a brand new offense line, and will probably be blitzed all the time.  So the coaching staff needs to figure out how to stop the blitz.  What should they do you say?  How about learn how to throw screen passes to their Backs.  I mean a real screen pass, where there are actually blockers out in front.  Not just dump offs to the Running Backs to save you from getting sacked.  We all know that this staff in incapable of making adjustments and putting Edwards in a position to excel.  So, is it Edwards fault or the team he is on?  I have to say at this point it is the team and system he is in, and this may be the case for a lot of so called busts throughout the years.