Looming Large: Trent Edwards

The Bills travel to Jacksonville for the Jaguars home opener in week two. We look at a second-year impact player on Buffalo's young offense NOT named Marshawn Lynch.

After a solid rookie campaign, Trent Edwards is taking over the reigns as starting quarterback this season in Buffalo. Edwards started nine games last year for the Bills, ending the season with a 70.4 quarterback rating. In his first six starts, the team went 5-1. It looked like Edwards was the quarterback Buffalo has been searching for ever since Jim Kelly retired after a playoff loss to Jacksonville in the Jags' miracle 1996 season. Unfortunately, Edwards and the Bills finished the season with three consecutive losses. That was what Edwards was used to in college.

Trent Edwards was a huge prospect coming out of high school. He was rated the 7th best player in the country by Scout.com (#2 quarterback) and could have gone just about anywhere he wanted. He chose Stanford after the team had a 10-3 season, but he suffered numerous injuries and his team never finished with a record over .500 while he was there. Stanford's overall team talent took a major hit after Tyrone Willingham left, though. From 2003-2007 (The years Edwards was the starting quarterback) no player was drafted in the top two rounds from Stanford. Even though he never had an outstanding career or even a great single season in college, Edwards was still selected in the third round (92nd overall) of the 2007 NFL Draft by the Bills. The Trent Edwards era in Buffalo was about to begin.

After an injury to J.P. Losman opened the door for Trent Edwards, he had his best start of his rookie year. Edwards completed 22 of 28 passes for 234 yards and a touchdown against the Jets in week four. He showed some guts and poise as evidenced by his late touchdown pass on a fourth and goal to Michael Gaines that would prove to be the difference in the game. Then in week 14, Edwards had his best "fantasy football" game by throwing four touchdowns in a blowout win versus the Dolphins, but it was clear the Bills needed to help out Edwards with another receiver.

Buffalo drafted former University of Indiana wide receiver James Hardy, in the second-round of the draft and added former University of Kentucky Wildcat Steve Johnson, in the seventh-round. Edwards has a great young back in Marshawn Lynch along with Lee Evans at receiver, and the underrated Jason Peters protecting his blind side. The pieces are in place for Edwards to make his mark this season, which was something J.P. Losman could not a year ago.

When the Jaguars and Bills met last season, J.P. Losman was still the starting quarterback. The former first-round pick had three turnovers (two interceptions, one fumble) and was benched for the rest of the season in favor of Edwards.

"That's what you prepare for and that's why you were drafted to the team and why you put so many hours in during the week," said Edwards. "You watch film, you go out to the practice field and compete, and you play hard."

With a full off-season under Edwards' belt and some new weapons on offense, it will be up to him to carry the Bills to the next level as a playoff contender.

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