AFC East: Bills QBs Have A Lot To Prove

Notes from around the AFC East. The Buffalo Bills quarterback situation has been muddled as long as fans can remember. The Jim Kelly era was the last era of stability. Kelly Holcomb, a former backup to Peyton Manning, has been unable to lock down the job. J.P. Losman hasn't shown he has what it takes, and newcomer Craig Nall, Brett Favre's backup, has been unimpressive in camp.


Buffalo's three-ring quarterback competition continues to heat up.

All three contenders -- J.P. Losman, Kelly Holcomb and Craig Nall -- have had their share of good and bad moments during the first two organized team activities.

There is another voluntary organized training activity next week followed by a mandatory three-day camp June 12-14 before the Bills break for the summer and reconvene at St. John Fisher College in Rochester, N.Y., at the end of July.

At this point, coach Dick Jauron said he's still a long ways from picking a starter.

"We recognized what these are and what they aren't," he said of the off-season practices in shorts. "It's not contact football and that's the game we play. So they are learning and it's a process. They've all done well at times; they've all looked bad at times. It's the nature of the thing. The competition will keep going and we'll start camp and we'll see where it goes. That's where things will really be decided."

In training camp, the quarterbacks still wear red jerseys and can't be hit in practice. But everybody else is in pads and the speed and pass rush pressure will be more closely simulated to the real thing. Then, of course, there are four preseason games where each quarterback will get his fair share of time with the first-unit players.

Nall, a young free agent from Green Bay where he was Brett Favre's backup for four seasons, has made his share of good throws along with more than his share of interceptions so far. He has struggled with his accuracy and reads.

"There are certain things I'm comfortable with, it's just that we're adding stuff each day and I've got to kind of be on top of it," Nall said.

"I don't think its time to fret. It's still early. We're still in OTAs. When training camp comes around, if I'm still at the same spot that I am right now, then it's time to panic. I've just got to take each day as it comes and try to get better at something."


--The issue of off-season practices remains a hot button with the player's union. Teams would like all sessions mandatory. "I'm not a big advocate of a whole month of voluntary/mandatory camps this time of year, but I do understand the importance of it," said Bills safety Troy Vincent, president of the player's association who was in attendance this week. "To each his own. It's voluntary. ... But this is what we talked about in the CBA extension. It will still be addressed. You have coaches and players that with all the OTAs, there is no longer an off-season. Coaches want rest, too. How many camps do you need? We have passing camps, running camps, fumbling camps ... start naming them. We all need rest and time away from the game and when you do come back, you're here and totally committed to the season."

--The Bills have selected Sunday, Oct. 1 as the game for Andre Reed's Wall of Fame induction at Ralph Wilson Stadium. The Bills host the Minnesota Vikings that day. Reed was recently voted the 23rd member of the Wall. He's the team's career leader in receptions, yards and TDs.

--The Bills have signed well-traveled DB LaShaun Ward, who can also return kicks and punts. He spent the majority of the 2003 season with Kansas City on the Chiefs practice squad and 2004 on Oakland's practice squad.

--LB London Fletcher, always a snappy dresser, is celebrating one year in business for his retail fashion store in Shaker Heights, Ohio, a high-end suburb of Cleveland. The store specializes in hip-hop clothing for men and women.

--Former Bills LB Mark Maddox recently competed in the U.S. Open bowling championship of the United States Bowling Congress. Maddox, 38, appeared in three Super Bowls for Buffalo.

Related: Bills Report | Jets Confidential | Dolphin Digest | Patriots Insider


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