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Edwards is confident he can win job back

Trent Edwards says he's confident he can re-establish himself as a starting quarterback under the Buffalo Bills' new regime.

"I've always been a confident player, regardless if someone doesn't want me to play or not," Edwards said Tuesday after his conditioning workout at the Buffalo Bills Fieldhouse. "If the media doesn't like me, if a coach doesn't like me, I'm still a confident player. That's not going to change anything about me. People can criticize me. There's obviously doubters out there. It's my opportunity, my chance right now, to change those into believers. That's my attitude. That's not going to waver, regardless if I'm sitting on the sideline or whether I'm playing."

Edwards lost his job as the Bills' starter after the ninth game last season and faces an uncertain future. New Bills coach Chan Gailey has stated it will be an open competition for the starting job among the three incumbents -- if the QB roster doesn't change. The Bills will have to add another quarterback somehow -- either via the draft, a trade or signing a free-agent castoff.

"That's part of the territory," Edwards said of the uncertainty. "I wouldn't expect them to name anyone right now. There's no reason. They have no allegiance to anyone here. I wasn't drafted by this staff. So I have a clean slate just like anyone they would bring in here."

Edwards acknowledged last season was frustrating for him. He suffered a concussion -- his second in two seasons -- in the sixth game, against the Jets. He returned after a two-game absence to start at Tennessee. But he was pulled late in that lopsided defeat and backed up Ryan Fitzpatrick the rest of the season. Edwards made a brief relief appearance in the 14th game, against New England, but left due to a sprained ankle. He had not spoken to the media since Nov. 14.

"It was a roller coaster ride for me," he said. "I had to take the last few months and kind of process what I went through, the highs and lows. Obviously there were more lows than I wanted. It was very frustrating for me. Last year at this time you're the starter, you put in a lot of work and you put in everything you feel like you need to and then guys get dinged up, coaches get fired, you don't play the way you want to and you don't win games. So it's tough when you put in all that work and you have nothing to show for it. But . . . . there's not anything last year that should prevent me from being a good player this year."

Asked what he needs to do better, Edwards said: "I think first and foremost I needed to stay healthy. I think I took some hits I probably should have tried to avoid. There were some games that didn't go the way we needed to. The ball didn't bounce our way. There were plays left out on the field. It's tough. Football's a team sport. Obviously the quarterback's the one they're going to look at to put the blame on. Obviously I was that person that took a lot of the blame last year and rightfully so. I can definitely take that."

He said he was impressed with Gailey and looks forward to the fact the head coach also will be the play-caller this year.

"I don't want to talk negatively about last year's staff," Edwards said, "but the hard part for me as a quarterback, you want to have one person to listen to and one voice, and I feel like the last couple years you would say one thing to one guy and he would say it to another guy and what you're looking for would kind of get lost in the process. I feel like here with the situation we're in, if you like something offensively you're telling it to the head coach. You're telling it to the offensive coordinator. They're the same person and he's probably going to get that done for you."

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Running back Marshawn Lynch was among a handful of players who were not in attendance at the voluntary workout Tuesday. There were about 50 players -- most of the current roster -- seen by reporters. Aaron Schobel, as expected, was not in attendance. Nevertheless, given the fact Lynch lost his starting job to Fred Jackson last season and has gone through a couple of rough seasons off the field in Buffalo, his absence was noteworthy.
Asked about Lynch, Gailey said, "Our general manager, Buddy Nix, has talked to him but I have not talked to him."

Did Gailey know if Lynch was planning to come in? "I don't know anything about that," he said.

e-mail: mgaughan@buffnews.com

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