There it is, right in the Football Dictionary. Dick Jauron’s even-keel face under the term, “Conservative Coaching.”
From Jim Miller and Shane Matthews 3-yard dink ‘n dunks on Chicago’s 13-3 team to the current fabric of the Buffalo Bills’ roster, Jauron isn’t one to take chances.
Add another example to that definition in the dictionary.
The Bills’ head coach has opted to hold Trent Edwards out of Buffalo’s game at Indianapolis Sunday, even though the No. 1 offensive unit is expected to play for at least a half.
Instead, Edwards will travel with the team to Indy and be a spectator to let the bruise on his thigh heal. He hopes to get back for the team’s final exhibition contest against Detroit.
“It’s making minimal progress day to day, but it’s progressing which is a positive, but still it’s not where it needs to be right now,” said Edwards. “But I feel we’re going in the right direction. I feel that the training staff has been doing the right thing with me and I can’t complain about that.”
By default, J.P. Losman will get his biggest microscopic look on Sunday as the team’s starting quarterback. In two preseason games, Losman is 11-of-14 for 92 yards with one touchdowns. In his four total drives in the two games, Edwards is 10-of-16 for 122 yards and two touchdowns.
While it’s clearly not a quarterback competition in Buffalo, Losman sure wouldn’t hurt himself to play well against the Colts.
“J.P. will get a really good look and a long look on that night and it’s really good for him to play and then hopefully coming back the next week Trent will be completely healthy,” said Jauron. “The leg feels a lot better, he feels a lot better about it, but it just makes sense not to do anything here so we’ll let it rest and heal.”
For now, the contusion is nothing more than a speed bumb – an abrupt, frustrating speed bump. Edwards would love nothing more than to build upon the momentum he mounted last week in Toronto. But for now, he must bide his time and ensure his leg is ready to go when the games count.
“I can’t do anything about it,” he said. “What’s frustrating is there are valuable reps out there for me to take advantage of, but it’s out of my control. So I need to be able to take it all in and try to get better the best way I can without getting the reps and be back Thursday for the Lions game.”
Edwards injured his thigh this week at practice while handing the ball off to Marshawn Lynch and Lynch’s knee banged into his leg.
Buffalo cannot risk one sack to Edwards. If his bruise were to deepen and immobilize Edwards, the Bills’ offense would suffer a colossal setback. The groundwork of Turk Schonert’s system seems to have sunk into Edwards.
He’s hitting receivers in-stride and on time with more regularity. As he said, a handful of game repetitions would further increase his comfort level heading into the regular season. But Jauron – often criticized for his over-conservative, steady hand coaching – is on the ball with this one.
Why force-feed affirmation?
Give Edwards’ leg another week to recoil and see if he can get a few series against the Lions. Too much could go haywire with Edwards on the field for an entire half Sunday. Jauron is wise to keep the big picture in mind. And hey, it’s a good test for Losman, who hasn’t faced a No. 1 defense yet this season.