ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. (AP) -Having spent the past month answering questions about how much he still has to prove, Buffalo Bills quarterback Trent Edwards is eager to finally get an opportunity to show what he can do on the field.
I'll say this, the offense has a lot to prove and that, in particular, starts at the quarterback position,'' Edwards said.There's a lot of expectations, a lot of work that has gone into this season, and it will all show on Sunday.''
Ready or not, Edwards will lead the Bills' young and still relatively untested offense in the regular-season Sunday against visiting Seattle.
For Edwards, he enters his first season as Buffalo's starter since winning the job ahead of J.P. Losman midway through last year. The opener is a chance for the 2007 third-round draft pick out of Stanford to deliver on the promise the Bills showed in him after an up-and-down rookie season in which he went 5-5 in 10 appearances and threw more interceptions (eight) than touchdown passes (seven).
I know I have a lot to prove,'' Edwards said.But I'm sure if you ask that question to any other offensive player, they'd say the exact same thing.''
He's not that far off, because the Bills' offense as a whole - headed by a first-time coordinator, Turk Schonert, and minus its star left tackle, holdout Jason Peters - has plenty to prove if it intends to show it's capable of transforming itself into a consistently effective unit.
Buffalo is coming off a dreadful year in which it finished 30th in the NFL in yards gained, had nine games in which it produced fewer than 250 yards offense and scored a mere 20 touchdowns (not including returns), the fewest during a 16-game season in franchise history.
I'm hopeful we're ready,'' Schonert said.I've got a lot of confidence in them going into the game. ... they've got a look in their eye that they want to get something done this year.''
Just don't remind Schonert about his lack of experience at coordinator after he took over following Steve Fairchild's departure last offseason.
I think everybody who's ever been a coordinator has been a first-time guy, right?'' said Schonert, a former NFL backup who has spent 13 years as an NFL assistant, including the previous two as the Bills quarterbacks coach.There's been a lot of success by people who have been coordinators the first time, head coaches the first time. I'm going to go out and do what I do.''
Schonert has proven effective as a play-caller this preseason, mixing in a balanced attack of run and pass plays as well as a hurry-up attack that have kept defenses honest.
He's worked the tight end into pass situations more often - Robert Royal scored twice in a 24-21 win over Pittsburgh. And Schonert's also shown a commitment to sticking with the run. In a 20-7 win at Indianapolis, the Bills' starters were limited to 11 yards on their first seven rush attempts, but kept pounding away to gain 51 yards and a touchdown on their final 12 attempts to finish the first half.
Receiver Lee Evans is excited in what he's seen out of Schonert.
Just by going through practice, the way he installs and calls plays, you can tell he knows the game,'' Evans said.I think that some of the things we have going in offensively are very promising.''
Peters' absence is another story. The player has not reported to the team because he wants to renegotiate the final three years left on his contract.
The Bills have adjusted by switching right tackle Langston Walker to play the left side, and promoted backup Kirk Chambers to play right tackle.
``It is what it is and we move on,'' Schonert said.
Schonert has more to say about the progress Edwards has made.
He's made a ton of progress,'' Schonert said.He's taken control of this offense. This is his offense. He's determined.''