|Bills QB Edwards attracting attention by keeping Bills in hunt|
|Written by Admin|
|Wednesday, 12 December 2007 00:05|
For someone such as Edwards, who waited until near the end of the third round of the NFL draft before being selected 92nd overall, and who watched five quarterbacks get taken ahead of him, he's suddenly in big demand.
The only one surprised by the fuss might be Edwards himself.
``Oh, you want to talk to me?'' he said, stopping in mid-step as he was preparing to leave the Bills media relations office.
The unassuming Edwards has won five of six starts, including four in a row, to keep the Bills (7-6) in playoff contention heading into a key showdown at Cleveland (8-5) on Sunday.
Not that Edwards wanted to hear about the roll he's on.
``You're only asking that question because we've won,'' he said. ``But there's still a lot of things to kind of fix. We could be sitting here and talking about certain things we could be improving on.''
There's no question Edwards hasn't been anywhere near perfect, which is why the only place he was eager to get to was coordinator Steve Fairchild's office to watch game tape.
And yet, Edwards is gradually knocking down the perceptions that dogged him at draft time, when critics noted he wasn't a winner during his four-year stint at Stanford. Edwards has proven himself more in the two games since reclaiming the Bills starting job for what appears to be for good ahead of veteran J.P. Losman.
In a 17-16 win at Washington two weeks ago, Edwards didn't find the end zone, but completed a clutch 30-yard pass to Josh Reed over the middle with 27 seconds remaining to set up Rian Lindell's 36-yard field goal. It marked Edwards' first fourth-quarter comeback victory.
Then there was last weekend's 38-17 win over Miami, in which Edwards threw four touchdown passes, including a perfectly placed 70-yarder to Lee Evans. The four TDs were three more than he had in his first five appearances this season, and were the most in one game by an NFL rookie since Chicago's Cade McNown had that many in 1999.
So much for Edwards' inability to finish drives or go deep.
``The funny thing is, I don't even think about that, the criticism,'' Edwards said. ``The only criticism I'll ever consider is from my parents - what they think about me - and the coaching staff.''
He's good in coach Dick Jauron's book.
``He's tough. He handles the information. He gets us in and out of the huddle,'' Jauron said. ``He's just doing a terrific job, and he doesn't have a lot of experience.''
Even Evans, who has backed Losman, has gained confidence in Edwards.
``It was a big step for him in his young career,'' Evans said, referring to Edwards' play in the final minutes against Washington. ``I think it did a lot for his confidence. I think it did a lot for the confidence of his teammates, coaches and everybody around him.''
Edwards shrugged off praise, deflecting the credit to his teammates. He also overlooked the four touchdowns against Miami by noting he completed only 11 of 23 passes.
The attention he's drawing isn't a big deal either.
``I've never listened to a Jim Rome radio station, so I really don't know the magnitude of being on that,'' he said. ``Maybe I'm just naive to the situation. But that's easier on me.''
It's a blissful ignorance.
``I don't read the program before the game. I don't read the newspaper,'' Edwards said. ``I kind of live in a naive world that allows me to continue to be motivated and continue to internally get ready for each game.''