Bills have Better Luck Developing QB

J.P. Losman is in the infant stages of his career, but he's already showing signs that will be something special.

Losman played like a rabbit. Not a scared rabbit, but a rabbit, darting, diving, and twirling away from defenders to buy more time and make plays. And boy did he make plays.

Losman was impressive Saturday night, leading the Buffalo Bills over the Green Bay Packers 27-7 and giving a taste of things to come.

The Bills turned the page on pedestrian veteran Drew Bledsoe for one big reason over all others - mobility. Losman has it in spades and Bledsoe does not.

Against the Packers, Losman played a stellar first half before sitting down for the night, leading the Bills in both rushing and passing to stake his team to a 17-7 lead.

He ran five times for 36 yards and a 1-yard touchdown on a scramble around right end. He kept that opening scoring drive alive by converting a third-and-five with a seven-yard run.

He also completed 7 of 14 passes for 59 yards, including two throws to convert third downs during a 15-play, 65-yard drive to a Rian Lindell field goal. He wasn't sacked or intercepted.

During a third short scoring drive, capped by a Willis McGahee six-yard run, Losman twice eluded the Packers pass rush to avoid being sacked and wisely threw the ball out of bounds. On one play, he ran around in the backfield for maybe six or seven seconds, before hurling the ball safely out of bounds.

"I like to think I bring that dimension to the game," Losman said of his scrambling. "It's a quality Coach Mike Mularkey has seen and the fans definitely have responded to me being able to use my feet in order to help this team win."

Mularkey has given Losman the green light to run, but it comes with a caveat: do it as a last resort.

On Losman's 1-yard TD run, he had tight end Mark Campbell open in the end zone but looked him off and ran untouched to the end zone. Another time, Losman scrambled 15 yards and took a hard shot from cornerback Mike Hawkins rather than baseball slide in time.

Another time, Losman turned and whirled deep in his own end, lost sight of where he was on the field, and got nailed for a safety by Packers defensive end Kabeer Gbaja-Biamila. Fortunately for the Bills, the safety was waived off by an illegal contact penalty down field on the Packers.

"It goes to show you that he's got some talent there running the ball," Mularkey said. "I don't want to make habit of it but with a first-year quarterback, the thought process speeds up. Typically, the first instinct is to run and hopefully you have the legs to do it -- and he did. Our emphasis, especially on third down, was 'Take what they give you' and that pertains to running as well. I'd still like to get him get down, because on the two-minute drill, he could've gotten out of bounds and take a hit off. That's something that will go on until he figure it our or takes a good hit, but hopefully he's going to pay attention before that happens."

What's impressive about Losman is that he is aware that a running quarterback can have a short life span in the NFL if that's all he does. His mistake on the safety is one he isn't likely to repeat.

"I can't do that stuff in the red zone ... even in their red zone, because (a sack) could take us away from field goal range," he said. "In the middle of the field is where you can keep plays alive longer. I need to do that more and not so much in the red zone."

Mularkey jokingly told his offense that with Losman, plays are going to stay alive longer than with Bledsoe.

"Now I didn't realize they were going to last as long as they did tonight," he said. "Our offensive line was sucking air."

Veteran center Trey Teague said the line is getting more and more used to blocking for a mobile quarterback. It's important to hold their blocks to the whistle because they never know what Losman is going to do.

"You're never sure if he's going to be in the pocket," Teague said. "He's not going to give up on plays. He's not going to throw the ball away as quickly, he's going to try to make a play with his feet and hopefully throw the ball down field if he doesn't run with it."

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