071021 bills/QB edwards

071021 bills/QB edwards- sports Dan cappellazzo/STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER Orchard Park, N.Y. - Buffalo Bills quarterback Trent Edwards looks down field in 4th quarter action against the Baltimore Ravens at Ralph Wilson Stadium as the Bills defeat the Baltimore Ravens 19-14.

Now that Trent Edwards has earned the Bills confidence to be their full-time starter, the rookie quarterback refused Wednesday to get caught up in the sudden raised expectations that come with the job.

In Buffalo, that means answering questions of whether he can become the long-awaited player, after a long string of quarterback disappointments, to finally fill a position that’s been unsettled since Hall of Famer Jim Kelly retired following the 1996 season.

Edwards didn’t bite, instead turning the question on its ear as the Bills (2-4) prepare to travel to play the New York Jets (1-6) on Sunday.

“I know you guys need to come up with these stories about getting quotes from guys that think they’re the next Jim Kelly. And I don’t think I’m anywhere near that,” Edwards said. “Honestly, all I’ve been thinking about is the Jets game.”

The game will mark Edwards’ fourth consecutive start, and first since coach Dick Jauron awarded him the job full-time job this week ahead of J.P. Losman, who has been relegated to the bench despite fully recovering from a sprained knee injury.

Edwards was both excited and anxious, and also well aware the job can just as easily be taken away from him.

“There’s still a lot to prove,” he said.

Edwards has proven much so far. Besides winning two of three starts since Losman was hurt in Week 3, Edwards has provided some consistency to a still sputtering offense.

Despite four interceptions, he’s engineered four of Buffalo’s five touchdown drives, helped the Bills win the time-of-possession battle in each of his three starts and is coming off a 19-14 win against Baltimore. The 19 points marked a season-high for the Bills offense and came against an opponent that had allowed 10 points in its previous two games combined.

“Trent has gotten better every week,” coach Jauron said. “But it’s the wins. And every week it seems like we’re getting a little better.”

Jauron also acknowledged the decision to continue with Edwards can be perceived as unfair to Losman.

“But nobody said anything is fair in life or in sport,” Jauron said. “He got hurt maybe at the wrong time for him. He certainly wasn’t the reason we lost those games. But he was one of the players on the field at that time.”

The benching represents the latest setback in what’s been an up-and-down career for Losman, the second of Buffalo’s two 2004 first-round draft picks. He lost the starting job twice in 2005 to journeyman Kelly Holcomb before finally beginning to show signs of his potential last season, when he took every snap and helped the Bills to a 7-9 finish.

Losman bit his lip when discussing his relegation.

“I have to be careful with my choice of words,” Losman said, when asked if he got “a raw deal.” “All I can say is, right now, it’s just a tough situation. ... I’m just going to ride this thing out and see how it plays. When my number’s called, I’ll be ready to go in there.”

Signed through 2008, Losman acknowledged the Bills decision to go with Edwards leaves him re-evaluating his future in Buffalo.

And that includes questioning his decision to buy an expensive home in a fashionable midtown neighborhood a few years ago.

“Whoops,” he said.

Bills players were guarded in their responses, in part growing tired of answering questions about the revolving door at quarterback.

“Trent’s playing pretty good right now, maybe they don’t want to switch it up,” said receiver Lee Evans, who has backed Losman. “Whatever it may be, that’s who we’re with and that’s who we’re going to go with. ... It’s a lot of factors that could be, would be, should be involved. But you never know what the deciding factor is.”

Jauron expressed hope that Edwards will finally be the one to secure the job on a long-term basis.

“That’s what every franchise wants, you want one guy who leads your team. Right now we’re hoping,” Jauron said. “Since we’ve been around him, we see he does have the skills. But he has to show it on the field consistently over time.”

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