Where Does J.P. Losman Fit Into the Seahawks Quarterback Situation?

Paul TaylorCorrespondent IJune 24, 2010

ORCHARD PARK, NY - 2008:  J.P. Losman of the Buffalo Bills poses for his 2008 NFL headshot at photo day in Orchard Park, New York.  (Photo by Getty Images)
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A lot of people assume that Matt Hasselbeck's days as the starting quarterback in Seattle are numbered. Hence the decision to bring Charlie Whitehurst in to compete for the top job behind center.

However, it’s the addition of J.P. Losman to the Seahawks roster that makes for an intriguing move by Pete Carroll. He wasn’t kidding when he said he would bring players in to challenge Hasselbeck. At the current mini-camp, there have been various comments about how good Losman has looked.

Of course, it’s easy to look the part when you aren’t facing a real pass-rush. I t does raise the question of whether Losman has any chance of becoming Seattle’s quarterback sometime in the near future.

As always, when considering any subject along these lines, it makes sense to look to the past for the person in question. Losman’s journey began at Venice High School, where he earned Parade All-American honours before accepting a scholarship to attend UCLA. 

However, he didn’t make the most auspicious beginning after demanding to be named the starting quarterback. Not surprisingly, UCLA declined this ‘offer’ and Losman transferred to Tulane University.

Due to NCAA transfer rules, Losman was forced to sit out the 1999 season and matters didn’t improve much the following two seasons as he had to settle for being the backup quarterback behind Patrick Ramsey.

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In 2002, he finally got his chance to be the regular starter and led Tulane to an 8-5 record, including a season-ending victory in the inaugural Hawaii Bowl. 

The following year, the team slumped to a 5-7 record due to a multitude of injuries, especially on defense.  Losman went on to finish his college career with decent figures, completing 58-percent of his passes for just-under 7,000 yards, together with a 60-27 touchdown-interception ratio.

As the UCLA episode showed, Losman did not lack for self-confidence. He soon got the opportunity to prove himself, becoming one of four quarterbacks selected in the first round of the 2004 NFL draft. 

The other three were Eli Manning, Philip Rivers and Ben Roethlisberger.  To say that he has had the least successful career of the four thus far would be considered an understatement.

Initially, the situation wasn’t made any easier for Losman with the pressure of being the first quarterback to be selected by the Buffalo Bills in the first round since Jim Kelly.  The early signs weren’t promising after he broke his leg in training camp, limiting him to three brief appearances during his rookie season.

The 2005 campaign began with his first professional start and also resulted in an opening day win.  After this, however, Losman was forced to split playing time with Kelly Holcomb due to his inconsistent play. The Bills suffered yet another losing season.

The following year turned out to be Losman’s most successful to date, at least from a statistical standpoint.  He threw for over 3,000 yards and 19 touchdowns while setting a club record of 62.5 percent for completion percentage in a full 16-game season.

Despite only finishing 7-9, it looked like this would prove to be a launching pad for Losman to take the next step in his professional career, especially with an offense including the likes of Marshawn Lynch, Lee Evans and Jason Peters. However, to this point the 2006 season has proved to be the pinnacle of Losman’s NFL career.

In 2007, he suffered another early season injury, resulting in a head-to-head battle with Trent Edwards for the starting spot, which Losman ultimately lost. Once his contract expired at the end of the 2008 season, the Bills showed what they thought of Losman as they made no attempt to resign him. His 10-23 starting record was undoubtedly a major contributing factor in their decision.

Since leaving the Bills, Losman has won the inaugural UFL championship with the Las Vegas Locomotives and spent the latter part of 2009 with the Oakland Raiders, getting on the field for just one play; an incompletion.

At 6'3" and 212 pounds, Losman definitely has the physical attributes to succeed, also showing surprising mobility with a career average of 4.7 yards per carry. However, he is known for his issues with turnovers and a lack of presence in the pocket; major problems for anyone wishing to compete at the very top level.

Ultimately, Losman will more than likely just provide experienced depth for the Seahawks as they look for Hasselbeck’s long-term replacement. No doubt, he is one of, if not the, best third-string quarterbacks in the NFL, which perhaps best sums up a career that has promised much, but delivered little.