The Bills brain trust have made a major decision that will impact the Bills in 2005 and beyond. The Drew Bledsoe era is over in Buffalo and the reigns are being turned over to J.P. Losman, now the question remains, is it the right move at the right time?
There is little question that Losman is the future, especially after the team gave up 1st, 2nd, and 5th round picks to move back into the first round to select Losman last year. It appears this is the right move for the long term success of the franchise. The sooner Losman starts, the sooner he will gain experience that will be invaluable down the line.
He will most certainly experience growing pains like almost every first year starter does. Those growing pains may make the team actually take a step back this year costing them a playoff berth for a sixth straight season. When the season ended, Tom Donahoe said no moves would be made that would cause the team to take a step back in 2005. How does this move bring the team forward this coming year?
If the team was rebuilding, this is a real no brainer decision but patience has run out, the team has not made the playoffs in Donahoe's first four seasons and anything short of a playoff berth in 2005 would be considered a complete failure. Bledsoe had many shortcomings, no doubt but he may have represented the team's best shot at making the playoffs now, while Losman represents the best chance at being successful for years to come.
That brings an important question to Bills fans are you willing to take a step back and find a little bit more patience for more long term success? Normally I would say yes but my patience has pretty much run out.
Losman won't have to do it alone, the team has a great defense and he has Eric Moulds, Lee Evans, and Willis McGahee to lean on. The playoffs are not out of the question but the road just got a bit harder.
The other consideration is, how will the players react? To a man the players think they are on the verge of something special, do they still think that now that the popular veteran is gone?
Tom Donahoe is definitely on the hot seat here, I better not hear him say once this coming year that we have to patient because Losman is young. He can't have it both ways, he can't say the team won't take a step back and then say they have to experience the growing pains of a young quarterback. Donahoe also better be right about Losman. We all know that the draft is a crapshoot. If Losman has longterm success, Donahoe will ultimately be successful in Buffalo. If he fails, the team will wallow in mediocrity at best for the next few seasons and Donahoe will be out of a job.
I do think Losman will be successful and I have a lot of confidence in the coaching staff to put him in position to succeed in the long run. It is the short term I'm worried about now because I'm tired of waiting for next year.