Quarterback Trent Edwards candidly admits that he didn't always take the preseason seriously. A former third-round pick of the Bills in 2007, Edwards didn't have to. His roster spot was usually secure.
This year, however, was much different for Edwards. At the start of Training Camp, Edwards was the fourth quarterback on the depth chart behind a franchise quarterback, a veteran backup entrenched in the system and a third-round pick. He was out of football in 2011. He was playing in a new offense. The coaches had spent the spring tinkering with his mechanics. Edwards' practice reps were few and far between.
It seemed as if Edwards' release by the team was inevitable. Well, the phone call that Edwards dreaded never came. In fact, when general manager Howie Roseman contacted Edwards shortly after noon on Friday it was to let him know that he won the No. 3 quarterback job.
"I always kept my head up and I always believed in my ability to play the position," said Edwards, who thought his chance of making the roster was 50/50.
The entire offseason Edwards never let his lack of reps affect his mindset. He tried to bring a winning attitude and be someone coaches and teammates could trust. One of those teammates was fellow quarterback Nick Foles, the team's third-round pick this year.
"He showed the player he is. He is an extremely talented player. He has always supported and helped me," said Foles, who has known Edwards for years. "I watched him put on a clinic (Thursday night). It was beautiful. He was making plays and guys were rallying behind him. He showed his toughness and arm strength. It was fun watching him do so well."
Edwards got his opportunity when Mike Kafka suffered a dislocated non-throwing hand. In the preseason, Edwards was 54-of-80 for 489 yards with four touchdowns against no interceptions for a 100.5 passer rating. Only three quarterbacks threw more touchdown passes in the preseason than Edwards and one of them was Foles.
Even with the time invested in Kafka, a former fourth-round pick of the team, Edwards' performance was simply too good to ignore.
"We talked about at the beginning of Training Camp, and really at the beginning of our first mini-camp, we talked about competition," Roseman said. "It doesn't matter where you come from, we're going to let our eyes dictate the roster decisions. That was a great example of that there. Trent came in; he was the fourth quarterback. He wasn't getting a lot of reps in mini-camps, and he continued to preserve; continued to learn the offense. He didn't complain about anything; in fact he was the consummate professional and teammate. And when he got his opportunities he continued to perform."
The entire preseason Edwards strongly insisted that he did not want to use the game time to "audition" for other teams. His goal of a spot on the roster was achieved on Friday. A big reason was Edwards' new-found serious approach to the preseason.
"From day one in the league, I needed to have that approach and now I know it and maybe the other guys will see that too," Edwards said.
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