Will Matthews Be The Backup? Tom Donahoe was very honest in saying that he wants Shane Matthews to return to the Bills as the backup to J.P. Losman. Mike Mularkey also said that Matthews was in the mix. Matthews came out of semi-retirement at the end of training camp to sign with the Bills when Losman and Travis Brown were injured. He had said this was his last go around and planned to retire after the season. Donahoe said the team has talked to Matthews about returning as the backup and are waiting for him to decide what he wants to do. He called Matthews the ideal backup.
Bledsoe Shocked By Decision: In a conference call with the Western New York media he called it a privilege and an honor to be part of the Bills organization and praised the fan loyalty and the national following of the team and said he will be a fan if the team ever wins a Super Bowl. He was a class act all the way in expressing his gratitude to Ralph Wilson, calling him a unique owner in sports for putting loyalty ahead of making money by moving the team. He called it a sad day that he did not bring a world championship to Buffalo. He is excited about what the future holds for him wherever he ends up. He was excited at the opportunities ahead of the team after the strong finish last year which was the most disappointing part since he was here for the rebuilding process and won't be a part of the team going forward. He said he was shocked by the team's decision and thought it wasn't fair but he understands that the game is a business. He was beside himself when Mike Mularkey told him the direction the team was going in and was very angry, now he's ready to move on to his next challenge. He said he completely disagrees with their decision and point of view. He feels J.P. Losman will have the benefit of the strong defense and a healthy Willis McGahee. He expects the Bills to develop a different offense for Losman that allows him to use his feet more. It will be a big challenge for Losman and the team. He said while he was pretty pissed off early this week and didn't see this coming, he did commend the team for the classy way they handled it, allowing him the opportunity to move on since he won't accept a backup role. He went out of his way at the end of the conference call to ask the reporters to convey how great he feels the fans are.
Offense Needs Consistency: Tom Donahoe said that the team needs to find ways to get J.P. Losman onto the field and if he wasn't hurt last year, he may have played more last season. He feels Bledsoe brought respectability and credibility back to the Bills and they owe him a debt of gratitude as he helped them out of a black hole. Donahoe hopes he is successful in the future and he learned a lot from him. He knew Bledsoe would not have been happy staying as a backup and that led to his release. He said the failures on offense were not just Bledsoe, it was consistency and they need to get better everywhere on that side of the ball. He did talk to some teams involving a trade but there wasn't enough interest in a deal. He feels Bledsoe played well this past season and wouldn't criticize his former quarterback. He thinks they are going forward and can do more varied things with Losman at the controls.
Bledsoe Released As Team Moves Forward: Mike Mularkey opened the press conference today and talked about the evaluation that the team went through in arriving at the decision to go with J.P. Losman at quarterback. He confirmed that Losman is the starting quarterback for 2005. He called this past year a good, but not super year and made clear the intention to release Drew Bledsoe on Tuesday when the team is allowed to. He said he couldn't say enough of what Bledsoe has done for the organization and called it a tough decision but one that had to be made to go forward. Mularkey feels Losman has a strong arm and Tom Clements and Sam Wyche will develop him. He feels the move is the best thing for both players. The ideal thing would have been to keep Bledsoe as a backup but Drew did not feel that way since he thinks he's still a starter in this league. He doesn't feel the move is a risk and the team has a lot of confidence in Losman. The coach stands by the fact that Bledsoe gave the team their best chance to win last year and not making the playoffs was because of an inconsistency by the entire offense. He did confirm that the team is looking at an experienced backup and Shane Matthews is a possibility to fill the role. He doesn't expect the move to be a huge distraction in the locker room. The team will see as time goes that this is the best move for the team to move forward that is one of the reasons the move is being made so early. Bledsoe conveyed disappointment to his former coach at the team's decision to move in this direction.
Press Conference 1pm: The Bills have called a 1pm press conference to announce the release of Drew Bledsoe. We will have complete coverage late this afternoon right here at Bills Daily.
Will Move To Losman Hurt In 2005? There is little doubt that the move to J.P. Losman is the right move for the long term, but what about the short term? There is a good possibility the move will hurt the Bills playoff chances in 2005 despite Tom Donahoe's assertion that any moves will not be made to take a step back. We analyze the move in a new article and let us know what you think by taking the new poll on the homepage. Complete Story
Tuesday February 15, 2005
Bledsoe Release Tomorrow? Jay Glazer is reporting for Foxsports.com that the Bills will indeed release Drew Bledsoe. They may announce it as early as tomorrow although he can't be officially released until Feb. 22nd. Stay tuned right here for the latest on this story.
NFL Europe Allocations: The NFL Europe draft was held yesterday and five of the six players allocated by the Bills have found teams. Only K Owen Pochman has yet to be assigned to a team. Training camp opens March 2nd and the NFL Europe season begins June 11th. Bills NFL Europe Players
Monday February 14, 2005
Bills Contribute In Pro Bowl Win: The Bills had some contributions yesterday's Pro Bowl 38-27 win for the AFC in Hawaii. Takeo Spikes and Nate Clements each picked off a pass. Clements also fumbled his only punt return after a 7 yard gain but the NFC couldn't capitalize as David Akers missed a field goal. Spikes also had five tackles and Clements added three. Terrence McGee averaged 25.7 yards on five kickoff returns and chipped in with a tackle at defensive back, he saw some time there late in the game. Sam Adams didn't have any stats but he did push the pocket and got pressure on the quarterback on a few plays.
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