Bills going with Losman

MIKE KOREEN -- Toronto Sun

, Last Updated: 8:05 AM ET

ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. -- The starting quarterback for the Buffalo Bills might have a slightly better chance of achieving success than the coach of Kenya's figure skating team.

Nevertheless, only 32 such jobs exist in the NFL and J.P. Losman wasn't about to complain about being named the winner of a battle of the non-titans yesterday.

A tentative and inconsistent slinger in his first year as a starter -- minus training camp competition -- last season, Losman received a much-desired pat on the back from new coach Dick Jauron after beating out free agent Craig Nall and journeyman Kelly Holcomb for the opening day job.

While Nall and Holcomb never will be mistaken for Joe Montana and Dan Marino, Losman did earn the job, showing marked improvement from his forgettable 2005 season in the first three pre-season games.

"Of course it's different. It's way different (than last season)," said Losman, who has been taking the majority of reps the past two weeks and was a virtual lock for the job.

"I'm not saying I prepared any harder than I did last year because I don't think that's the case. I think I'm just a year older and a year more mature and able to understand and deal with certain situations. My studying habits are better, everything is just better.

"Plus the whole competition thing, it teaches you how to play under pressure. You're only going to get so many reps and this is what you have to do, or else you've got two other guys who are ready.

"It was a good time."

The good times may not roll, however.

The Bills, who are expected to struggle badly, are 0-3 in pre-season play heading into the exhibition finale tomorrow in Detroit against the Lions. Buffalo opens the season with tough road games against the New England Patriots and Miami Dolphins.

If the Bills plan to do anything other than lose, Losman will have to continue to make positive strides.

His best game of the pre-season came last week when he was 15-for-22 for 184 yards with one touchdown (a 54-yard strike to Peerless Price) and an interception against the Cleveland Browns.

"I think the whole (competition) process was really a positive one, certainly a positive one for J.P.," Jauron said. "I thought he performed well. He takes coaching well. He's trying. He's really trying and working at it."

Last season, Holcomb was benched in favour of Holcomb after four disappointing games before eventually regaining the job after an injury to the latter quarterback.

FALTERED

This season, a hamstring injury kept ex-Green Bay Packer backup Nall out for much of training camp.

Meanwhile, Holcomb faltered and Losman stepped things up.

But the next step, the Bills' first playoff appearance since 2000, is way, way up.

"I've been named this guy before, so it's no time to slack or get comfortable," Losman said.

"It's time to really get to work."


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