Holcomb Being A Good Soldier

J.P. Losman has earned the starting job, wresting it away from long time backup Kelly Holcomb during the Buffalo Bills' preseason. Holcomb can be non-too-pleased with the demotion, but isn't picking a fight. Instead, he's done well enough to be the No. 2 QB, something that was in jeopardy just a few short weeks ago.

It's a bitter consolation prize for Kelly Holcomb but he has nobody to blame but himself.

Holcomb, who turned in a subpar training camp trying to pick up Buffalo's new offense under coordinator Steve Fairchild, was named the Bills' backup quarterback on Thursday, beating out young free agent Craig Nall for the right to be JP Losman's main insurance policy.

Holcomb, who was 9 of 13 for 125 yards, no touchdowns and one interception during the preseason, didn't even play in one game. But he was able to salvage his summer with a good showing in Buffalo's final practice game. He went 4 of 4 for 81 yards against Detroit and led the offense on one long drive to a field goal.

Holcomb struggled the first three weeks of camp, however, throwing numerous interceptions during practice and one against the Panthers that was returned for a touchdown.

"I'm not going to sit here and worry about that. I think we all just want to win games," Holcomb said. "It obviously didn't go the way you planned it to, but hey, that's life."

New England Patriots QB Tom Brady shakes hands with Buffalo Bills QB Kelly Holcomb, Oct. 30, 2005. The Patriots won 21-16. (Getty Photo)

Nall, a career backup in Green Bay, missed 16 days of practice during camp with a hamstring pull but he came on strong. In three game appearances, he went 20 of 34 for 308 yards, with two touchdowns and two interceptions for a healthy 83.9 rating. He hit Andre Davis for a 70-yard touchdown against the Lions.

In the end, coach Dick Jauron favored Holcomb's experience when choosing the primary backup for Losman, particularly with the Bills opening up with two road games, at New England and at Miami.

Holcomb has 21 career starts in 10 pro seasons; Nall has none.

"The last two exhibition games he played, he looked like Kelly Holcomb," Jauron said. "He looked confident and he handled the team. And the team has confidence in him."


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