Trent Edwards on the hot seat
It was the 2007 NFL Draft and the Bills had just used their first two picks on Marshawn Lynch and Paul Posluszny. Next up was the Bills 92nd pick in the draft (3rd round) and Marv Levy the Bills GM at the time remembered having a conversation with the late Bill Walsh. Walsh had told Levy that Stanford quarterback Trent Edwards was a sure fire NFL player with great skills who had struggled in college due to the Cardinals being such a terrible a team.
Edwards was being touted as the 3rd best quarterback in the draft behind JaMarcus Russell and Brady Quinn. Edwards was projected to go in the 2nd round, but was picked ahead of John Beck, Drew Stanton, and Kevin Kolb. The knock on Edwards was that he took such a beating in college that injuries were a big concern, along with a perceived lack of arm strength. Levy took what Walsh said to heart, and of course he would considering Walsh knew a thing or two about quarterbacks (Montana and Young). The Bills used the 92nd pick on Edwards even though JP Losman had come off his best year (ehh if you call 19td’s good). Losman of course lost his job the falling season and Edwards took over.
Fast forward to training camp 2009 and Edwards is in the same position he was coming out of college. Edwards had played his first 2 years in the NFL with subpar offensive talent around him. But unlike college, Edwards finally has a supporting cast around him. Enter Terrell Owens and that completely changes the dynamic of the offense and also puts added pressure on Edwards. There’s no more excuses that the bills don’t have a legit number 2 receiving option. On top of the pressure of having more weapons at his disposal, Edwards now has to battle the number 3. As in year 3 being when most coaches expect the quarterback to come into his own as a pro.
Edwards career numbers are as followed: 18tds and 18int’s, along with a 61% completion rate and a quarterback rating of 79.1%. Edwards starting record in the NFL is 12-10. Average numbers all the way around for the Stanford product. Edwards isn’t just fighting his quarterback numbers but also his injury stigma. Going back to college, Edwards has missed a portion of the regular seasons an eye popping 5 out of the 6 years due to injuries. I’m not ready to call him Rob Johnson yet, but he’s on par with Jim McMahon with the injury bug. Edwards only has 1 year left on his contract after this season, and if he wants to get a fat Matt Cassel type deal, he’s going to have to stay healthy and put up better then average numbers.
Everything is in place for Edwards, he’s been in the same system for the last 3 years and finally has play makers at the wide reciever position spot. Edwards is going to hit the high completion percentage that he has always done since being named the starter in 2007, but I’m looking for Edwards to get his yards per completion up. The Bills were dead last in the NFL in attempting passes of 40 yards or more. Adding T.O. to the mix should make that number go up, along with single coverage Evans should be getting because of Owens. To take a famous speech from crook John Rigas and remix it, “Edwards now has the tools to finish the job.” The question is if the carpenter has enough experience to get it done.
“McFaddens Hall of Fame, be there”