Bills Training Camp: Quarterback Battle One to Watch

Sydney HunteContributor IIAugust 13, 2010

ORCHARD PARK, NY - OCTOBER 11: Trent Edwards #5 of the Buffalo Bills looks downfield for an open receiver during their NFL game against the Cleveland Browns at Ralph Wilson Stadium on October 11, 2009 in Orchard Park, New York. The Browns defeated the Bills 6-3. (Photo by Rick Stewart/Getty Images)
Rick Stewart/Getty Images

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I won't spend too much time focusing on all the quarterbacks who have come and gone since the legendary No. 12 played under center during the Bills' glory years, so let's talk about the present: The Bills quarterback situation is a mess.

Many fans have pointed to the Week 5 game against the Cardinals in the 2008 season as the point where Trent Edwards' career started to go downhill.

He did come back with a strong Week 7 performance against San Diego, but he has never been the same after that.

The nickname "Captain Checkdown" began to enter the WNY sports vocabulary in the 2008 and 2009 season given his propensity to complete shorter, single-yard passes instead of deeper shots downfield.

Needless to say, the love affair with Edwards dissolved and fans were seeking change at the position.

Enter Ryan Fitzpatrick, a Harvard graduate who showed flashes as a backup to the often-injured Edwards in 2009. But the flashes were just that...flashes...and fans began to clamor for change at the position once more.

That's when Brian Brohm came into the picture. Signed off of the Packers practice squad last November, he took the reins in a 31-3 blowout loss to Atlanta in Week 16 last year in relief of the injured Fitzpatrick.

So who has the upper hand right now? It's hard to tell.

Edwards has been practicing with the first team offense during the opening portion of camp, but Chan Gailey has refused to officially announce the Week 1 starter.

Levi Brown, a late-round pickup, may be destined for the practice squad.

One thing is clear. The patience of Bills fans, waiting for the team's first playoff appearance in 10 years, is running thin with the "Big 3" competitors for the position, with many looking to the 2011 draft and a possible shot at highly touted Washington quarterback Jake Locker as the next "quarterback of the future".

There's always the possibility that Gailey, himself a former quarterback, will be able to "fix" what's wrong with Edwards (or Fitzpatrick) and set him back on the right path.

Or (unlikely) he could go off the board and name Brohm as the starter to shake things up.

The way the quarterback battle shapes up will have an impact on this team immediately...and possibly for years to come.