And Yoda Too!
again my faithful followers, it is the amazing Roscoe here
again to give you the best sports information in the free
world. It took nine games, but the Bills finally have some
idea who their best quarterback is after J.P. Losman came
off the bench to spark a 14-3 victory. A second quarter
injury to Kelly Holcomb opened the door for Losman to prove
he deserves the starting spot for the remainder of the season.
The only thing stopping him now is Mike Mularkey and the
rest of the Bills’ coaches.
weeks ago, the Bills were 1-3 and the season was sinking
fast. The Bills turned to Holcomb, hoping he could help
salvage the year. The problem is Kelly Holcomb is a backup
quarterback. He provides insurance when your starter gets
hurt. He is capable of keeping the team afloat if needed
for three or four games, but he can’t be counted on to lead
a team to victory with any regularity. There is a reason
a player is in the league ten years and only makes ten starts.
It is because he isn’t good enough to be the regular starter.
Still, there was a valid argument that he might have been
the best quarterback on the roster and therefore was pushed
into the starting lineup. He did exactly what a backup is
supposed to do—the team went 2-2 and now it is time to go
back to the bench.
Doll” Holcomb has always been injury prone. Last season,
a leg injury ended his season after two starts. The year
before, a shoulder injury kept him out for 6 months. There
is a rumor he missed a game three years ago because of a
chafed vagina, but that has not been substantiated. The
point is the guy gets hurt more than Jaromir Jagr and Losman
needed to be ready to come back at any time. He needed to
channel his enthusiasm and anger when he got back on the
field, and he did just that on Sunday.
looked different, felt different. It was as though he finally
grasped the fact that he was an NFL quarterback and belonged
on the same field as the rest of the NFL. He seemed calm,
and appeared to “play” for the first time instead of working.
Sometimes younger players tend to forget that it is still
just a game. They are getting paid, the pressure is immense
and somewhere they lose focus on the sport, and then lose
confidence in their abilities. Losman apparently took some
advice from his neighbor (only described as a Buffalonian)
who told him to “do, not to try”—some sort
of Yoda philosophy. I don’t know about all this Star Wars
stuff, but it worked against Kansas City on Sunday. I wonder
if Lindy Ruff would be interested in getting “the neighbor”
to talk to Marty Biron.
the change in Losman on Sunday, one constant remains, the
Bills’ lackluster coaching and play calling. Lost in the
hoopla might have been the single dumbest play call in the
history of the NFL—and it wasn’t the fourth down fake QB
sneak play. I actually can understand the thought process
there, but the execution was horrible. The situation was
third and ten, who cares what the score was or where they
were on the field, all you need to know is it was third
and ten. This would be a pass play 95% of the time, every
once in a while a team may try a draw or delay run hoping
to catch the other team off guard—the defense rushes hard
to the quarterback and leaves an opening for a runner to
attack. Regardless, the Chiefs were set up for the Bills
to pass and the Bills were set up in a pass formation.
Bills ran a play that appeared to be a flea-flicker type
gadget play. The premise was to pitch the ball to McGahee,
who then pitches it back to the quarterback. Then Holcomb
throws a long pass to a guy who snuck behind the defense.
The trick is to make the other team think you are running
and really it is a pass. The idea has been around forever,
and it does have its place and time. Third and ten is not
the right place and time. In fact, it is probably the worst
time, other than the last play of a game or half. Usually
that play is best on first and ten, or second and three,
when the defense is looking run. But this gets even better.
Kansas City didn’t even look at McGahee; they were all-out
rushing the quarterback, figuring the Bills were going to
pass. So when McGahee turned to pitch it back he couldn’t,
because the Chiefs defenders were on top of the quarterback.
So McGahee kept the ball, getting a short gain. Now that
alone would rank it as a bad play call, but I began thinking
and it hit me—the Bills are so tricky, they actually may
have been faking the flea flicker. They weren’t calling
a flea flicker; they were calling the “fake” flea flicker.
So it was a play that had three different fakes. First was
that the Bills were running on an obvious pass play. Secondly,
they faked a pass when McGahee looked to pitch, and finally,
they actually ran. Seems hard to believe that one didn’t
work. I actually believe that, in the Bills’ playbook, when
a player needs to turn left, they have him make three right
turns to get in the same spot. Maybe Losman’s Yoda-like
neighbor can talk to Coach Mularkey. First he would tell
him to leave Losman in for the rest of the year, then maybe
he can give him the most famous Yoda quote of them all:
“Just coach; don’t try to pull a rabbit out of your helmet.”