Dolphins QB Losman itching to start against Bills
ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. (AP)
''It would be funny if I got a bunch of boos. And I'd probably laugh it off,'' Losman said during a conference call. ''If they cheered, I'd probably laugh it off, too.''
One thing he's certain of is how passionate Bills fans are.
''If they don't like the way things are going, they're going to let you know,'' he said. ''They're not shy, let's put it that way.''
Losman heard both - and sometimes in the same game - during a mercurial five-year tenure in Buffalo.
It was a career that began with great promise in 2004, when the Bills traded back into the first round to draft the strong-armed Tulane product. And it ended with a thud after a dreadful 2008 season in which Losman was not re-signed after losing his job to Trent Edwards.
Sunday marks Losman's first game back in Buffalo since he was released, though it's uncertain whether he'll start.
Matt Moore returned to practice Thursday since sustaining a concussion and a neck injury in a 26-10 loss to Philadelphia last weekend. Interim coach Todd Bowles said he'll wait until gametime to name his starter.
That leaves Losman anxiously waiting to see if he'll get his first start nearly three years to the day of his last one. It was a forgettable outing, in which he threw three interceptions and lost a fumble that was returned for the decisive touchdown in a 31-27 loss to the Jets on Dec. 14, 2008.
''I've been envisioning this for a long time - ever since I left Buffalo - to get a chance to play your old team,'' Losman said. ''Beginning of the season, I was in school, throwing with my uncle at a local college. ... And here you are with a chance to start on a Sunday against your former team.''
He's spent the past three years bouncing around the NFL and also spent the 2009 season with the UFL Las Vegas Locomotives. Losman signed with Miami in October after the team lost Chad Henne and Sage Rosenfels.
''Second chances are hard to come by in this league, and I've been waiting for it for quite some time,'' Losman said. ''If I do get this opportunity, it's going to be exciting. It's going to be fun.''
Fun and exciting is not be the way Losman's career in Buffalo was always measured.
His rookie season was wiped out after he broke his leg in training camp. A year later, he was awarded the starting job after the Bills released Drew Bledsoe. Losman proved unready and eventually split starts with journeyman Kelly Holcomb.
Losman's best season came in 2006, when he had 3,051 yards passing, 19 touchdowns and 14 interceptions in leading Buffalo to a 7-9 finish.
His inconsistencies returned in 2007, in which he split time with Edwards, a rookie third-round pick, before eventually losing the No. 1 job for good at the end of the season.
Not all of the blame belongs on Losman. His troubles were compounded by an unsettled organization. During his five seasons in Buffalo, the team went through four offensive coordinators, two coaches and three general managers.
''From that standpoint, it was something that for a young quarterback is tough to work through,'' Losman said. ''Of course there's things I look back on physically that I wish I could've done better. But it was only going to take time. That's all it was. It wasn't a lack of smarts. It wasn't a lack of effort. You know, it's just the way it went.''
Veteran linebacker Chris Kelsay is one of only 15 players left who played with Losman in Buffalo. And he's more concerned about ending the team's six-game losing streak than facing a former teammate.
''That's good for him. I mean, I don't really think much of it,'' Kelsay said. ''I'm looking at what we can do and an opportunity to win a football game.''
Losman holds no grudges, while noting he was rooting for the Bills when they got off to a 5-2 start this season.
''Trust me, I was very happy for Buffalo and I was very happy for the city of Buffalo to be excited,'' he said. Losman still owns a home in Buffalo and, last summer, married a woman who is from nearby Rochester.
''I still have a lot of love for Buffalo,'' Losman said. ''The fans were great to me. And I want nothing but the best for that city.''
Except this Sunday, of course.
NOTES: Bills rookie CB Aaron Williams practiced fully on Thursday, and is expected to return after missing last weekend's game at San Diego with a calf injury. ... PK Dave Rayner worked on a limited basis, but says he is fine after hurting his pelvis at San Diego.