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Bills have split loyalties in race for White House

With the presidential election just four days away, many people are still undecided on whom they will vote for.

Buffalo Bills quarterback Trent Edwards is not one of them.

"I'll be voting for Barack [Obama]," Edwards said in a conference call with the New York Jets media this week. "The reason is I think that a change needs to be made and that's the biggest change out of the two candidates. Besides that, I haven't really been following it too closely in terms of their issues, their policies and what they differ on. I just feel like [Obama] is the most different from the one we have in power right now. Hopefully, he'll get elected."

Edwards said there is no clear front-runner in the Bills' locker room.

"I think it's kind of divided, actually," he said.

"We have a lot of different guys from a lot of different areas of the country who went to a lot of different schools with a lot of different views on politics and religion."

Edwards majored in political science at Stanford. He's one of several Bills with a similar educational background.

Backup quarterback J.P. Losman and defensive end Copeland Bryan also studied political science at Tulane and Arizona, respectively. Right guard Brad Butler was a government major at Virginia, while offensive tackle Kirk Chambers graduated Stanford with a degree in public policy.

"I've followed the race since the primaries, especially the Republican side, and it's been interesting to see how things have unfolded," Chambers said. "I'd like to be more active in searching things out, but I'm pretty conservative so I've always known that I would vote for the conservative candidate."

Chambers added that it's healthy that the locker room has players with different political views.

"It's like a family," he said. "I've got members of my family who are a little more to the left while I lean more to the right. It just makes for a good conversation in the locker room."

Edwards was pressed further by the New York media about why he prefers the Democratic candidate over Republican John McCain.

"This is going to sound really shallow but I'll just say this, that I feel like he presents himself a lot better in the media and he handles himself well in interviews," Edwards said.

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It's not the New York Sack Exchange of the 1980s, but the Jets' pass rush is on a similar pace as the Mark Gastineau-led attacks.

Through seven games the Jets are third in the NFL with 24 sacks. The team record of 66 sacks is probably safe, but the Jets are on pace for 55, which would their highest total in club history. The Jets had just 29 sacks last season, 25th in the league.

Left defensive end Shaun Ellis leads the charge with six sacks. Weakside linebacker Bryan Thomas has 4 1/2 and strong-side 'backer Calvin Pace, acquired in free agency from Arizona, has 3 1/2 . Eleven different players have been involved in sacks.

"They bring guys from different areas," Bills right tackle Langston Walker said, "so there are times when you don't always know who is coming and from where."

The Bills have given up 18 sacks this season, so protecting Edwards will be Priority One on Sunday.

"The thing they've done a lot is that they've pressured a lot of these young quarterbacks that they've faced," Edwards said. "They bring a lot of secondary pressure, they bring a lot of linebacker pressure and we're going to need to be able to block that and have a lot of plays that have the answer to those pressures.

"I've noticed a lot of different blitz schemes, a lot more than the Dolphins did, it's a 3-4 defense, but they do a lot more defensively, so we're going to need to be ready for that and get the ball out of my hands."

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Edwards was added to the injury report because of swelling in his foot. He did practice Thursday and is expected to start on Sunday.

Wide receiver Josh Reed (Achilles and knee) defensive end Aaron Schobel (foot) and Butler (knee) may not be as fortunate. Neither has practiced this week and they are unlikely to play against the New York Jets.

e-mail: awilson@buffnews.com

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