Kelly says this year is do or die for Losman
The Bills have been searching for a worthy successor for Hall of Fame quarterback Jim Kelly since his retirement after the 1997 season. While he likes the strides Losman has made over the past year, Kelly believes this season will determine whether Losman is for real.
"This year is going to be a big year for him. I think it's going to define whether he's going to be here or not," Kelly said during his visit to practice Friday morning. "He's had a couple of years that he did all right and came on at the end of last year. But this is his year to show whether he's going to be the quarterback of the future or a guy that's just going to be here and is going to move on to another team next year. He realizes that, not just from the standpoint of being a leader on this football team but his contract. I hope he does well. "He's a good kid and he works hard."
Kelly does believe Losman has good physical tools and is surrounded with enough talent to succeed.
Back in the saddle
Looks like Losman's back trouble was no big deal after all. The Buffalo Bills' starting quarterback participated fully during Friday's practices, showing no ill effects from the strained lower back that kept him on the sidelines during the first day of training camp. After a slow start, Losman got into a groove and fired passes with plenty of zip and accuracy. "I felt that it was really close [Thursday], but actually thinking about it I'm glad we took a day off just because there was no pain out there today," Losman said after the morning session at St. John Fisher College. "I was excited. I probably had a few butterflies that everyone had [Thursday]. But today was my day to get them out. As practice went on I felt a little more comfortable."
The defense clearly got the better of the offense during the morning practice as several defenders got their hands on balls in pass coverage. Linebacker Keith Ellison got his third interception in as many practices when he grabbed a Losman pass that bounced off Josh Reed's hands near the sideline.
The offense bounced back in the afternoon passing drills. Losman delivered a couple of strikes to Roscoe Parrish and Lee Evans on deep balls. Reed made a dazzling one-handed catch and got both feet down before going out of bounds. He also ran under a beautiful pass from Losman and making the catch in the end zone over Terrence McGee's outstretched hands.
Sam Aiken took rookie cornerback Riley Swanson to school as Swanson bit on a double move and Aiken ran by him to catch a long pass from quarterback Trent Edwards.
A hot ticket
Tickets for night practices next Tuesday and Monday, Aug. 6 have sold out. There are very limited tickets for the Aug. 8 and 13 evening workouts. The tickets are available at www.buffalobills.com,www.ticketmaster.com and Western and Central New York Ticketmaster locations. Tickets for the Verizon Wireless-sponsored night practices on Aug. 2 and Aug. 15 will only be available at the following Rochesterarea Verizon stores: 3120 W. Ridge Road, Rochester; 3005 Monroe Ave., Rochester and Eastview Mall in Victor.
All night practices are from 7 through 9:05 p.m. Tickets are free and you must have one to be admitted. Shuttle service for fans begins at 5. The Bills will host a full team autograph session after the Aug. 2, 8 and 15 practices.
From Buffalo take the Thruway to Exit 47. Take Route 490 East for 25 miles to Exit 25 (Fairport Road - 31F). Turn right or left and follow signs to fan parking. Shuttle buses take fans from the nearby lots to the practice fields. The lots are at Pittsford-Mendon High School this week. Starting Monday the closest lot will be at East Rochester High School, south of the campus on Fairport Road.
There are two practices today - 8:30 to 10:20 a.m. and 2:15 to 4:05 p.m. Sunday's walk-through workout is closed to the public. The team will practice from 11 a.m. to 1:05 p.m. Monday.
On the Web
Check out the Bills daily blog at buffalonews.com. To post your comments, go to buffalonews.typepad.com/billboard
Quote of the Day
"When you put J.P. in there it makes a difference and having Marshawn [Lynch] is a good thing. We've got a long way to go, but it's good having all our guys here so we can do what we need to do to get better." - Offensive coordinator Steve Fairchild.
- Compiled by Allen Wilson