Think OTA’s and voluntary minicamps aren’t important? You’re not a Bills quarterback. Ryan Fitzpatrick, Trent Edwards and Brian Brohm are still competing for the starting job under center (which, in Buffalo, is also a competition for “first position to get sacked”). Head coach Chan Gailey said today that the team will enter training camp with the No. 1 and No. 2 quarterbacks decided.
To cover his bases, Gailey said it would still be an “open competition” in training camp, just with a predetermined pecking order. (“Because if it happens that way, then you’ve got a leg up, Gailey said. “If you try to get everybody equal shots from the first day of camp then you probably get nobody ready, rather than getting three ready”.)
So who will it be? Let’s throw Brohm out of the equation – he’s not ready. The Bills managed just three points and 11 first downs in his lone start last season.
Both Edwards and Fitzpatrick struggle to stretch the field and maintain mechanics, especially behind a bad offensive line. While Fitzpatrick is clearly a backup, there’s a tendency to think that the 26-year-old Edwards can still develop into a quality passer. But injuries have been a problem, plus Edwards has never shown he can consistently attack a defense from the pocket.
Fitzpatrick is frantic in the pocket, but with Buffalo’s horrendous offensive line, franticness could be a plus. After all, the pressure the quarterbacks perceives will almost always be there. Fitzpatrick has iffy mechanics but the grittiness to flee a pass-rush and at least keep plays alive. Of course, Edwards, when healthy, has some escape-ability as well.
Choosing between these two quarterbacks feels a bit like being five years old and choosing between spinach and squash. Given that neither is a great fit, the Bills might as well go with the younger player (Edwards) just in case there is a miracle story waiting to be written.
For more NFL news, rumors and analysis, follow us on Twitter: http://twitter.com/CBSSportsNFL