Quarterback play has been a problem in Buffalo since Jim Kelly's retirement in 1996, as nine different players have led the team in passing over the past 13 seasons. The number could rise to 10 this season, as head coach Chan Gailey already has made one QB switch, and another may be coming before the season is done.
Opening-day starter Trent Edwards was benched following Week Two, and he may have thrown his last pass in a Buffalo uniform. According to a team insider, the 26-year-old hasn't grown as a player, with coaches seeing little improvement from when he was a third-round draft choice in 2007 to today. His stats in the first two games were poor, though to be fair he has been surrounded by a below-average receiving corps, patchwork offensive line and disappointing run game.
Ryan Fitzpatrick has been pegged to start, and the Bills' coaches know what to expect out of him. Fitzpatrick is more mobile than Edwards and is one of the smartest players in the league, but his passing skills are limited. In eight games as the starter in 2009, Fitzpatrick led the Bills to four wins, but only once threw more than one TD pass in a game.
Third-stringer Brian Brohm may wind up seeing most of the snaps the remainder of the season. A second-round choice of the Packers in 2008, Brohm is the youngest and may have the best arm of the three players. Bills coaches seem to like him, but there has to be some concern that he has done nothing to elevate himself over his average competition. The team entered training camp with an open competition for the starter's job, and neither Edwards, Fitzpatrick nor Brohm played well enough to alter the depth chart. Edwards received his chance in Weeks One and Two, Fitzpatrick is the current starter, but Brohm may wind up being the man before too long.
"The margin of difference between all of them was not that big and nobody did anything to change that margin in training camp. All of them did a pretty good job when they played," Gailey said of his QBs. "If it would have been a huge difference in the two, it might have made a difference, but in my mind and in our mind there wasn't."