H-Files TBT: Drew Bledsoe and the Quarterback Carousel of the Buffalo Bills
By Henry Bowers
Following a brutal blow to the liver, the career of the New England Patriots starting quarterback Drew Bledsoe was in jeopardy.
For the rest of the 2001-2002 season, Bledsoe was forced to watch from the sidelines as his team went on to win the Super Bowl against the Saint Louis Rams. The quarterback that lead the Patriots there and Bledsoe’s backup: a guy by the name of Tom Brady. With Brady pushing Bledsoe out of the job, it was time for the veteran QB to find a new home, and it would be the Buffalo Bills who would call upon the beat up Bledsoe for the 2002-2003 and the next 3 seasons after that.
During his time in New England and the years following as a Bill, Drew Bledsoe was recognized throughout the league as one of the most potent passers. In his time in Buffalo, he led one of the most proficient passing offenses in the NFL. His efforts, however, could not help make a difference for a team that will seemingly just be mediocre for the rest of eternity. They were still the same 8-8 team that they are every year.
Since Bledsoe’s time in Buffalo, the Bills have had a plethora of quarterbacks come and go, many of whom have not been too successful. In fact, some could argue that Bledsoe was the last good quarterback to ever put on a Bills jersey. When Bledsoe’s time in Buffalo came to an end, the keys to the offense were handed to J. P. Losman, who only played one full season under center and parts of three other seasons. He shared the role with Kelly Holcomb in his first year, and in his third and fourth years, he was gradually pushed out of the starting spot by Trent Edwards. Edwards, however, would not do so hot either, as shortly after earning the starting spot he would be displaced by Ryan Fitzpatrick. Fitzpatrick would last four seasons as the Bills primary starter until in 2013 the Bills would use their first overall pick of the draft on E. J. Manuel. Manuel was awful, as his rookie season would be the only one in which he was the starter. The following year it was veteran journeyman Kyle Orton who would take over. When 2015 rolled around, the Tyrod Taylor era began, and that is where we are today. While Taylor sometimes does not receive a lot of love from Bills Mafia, one has to realize that he is the best quarterback since Drew Bledsoe.
From Drew Bledsoe to Tyrod Taylor the Bills’ long list of quarterbacks in those 15 years is as impressive as it is depressing. Hopefully, the next 15 years can spell a different story for Buffalo Bills and their fans.