A View from Calico Jack’s – 12/3/2007

“Trent Edwards deserves to be this team’s quarterback,” Bruce Caulfield said – kind of growled, actually – immediately after the heart-stopping win over Washington. “Put that in your column!”

Here it is, Bruce. I sanitized your language a bit. Family column, etc.

For those of you who don’t know, Bruce is the owner of the wonderful Tracks Raw Bar & Grill at Penn Station – and, more important as it relates to this column, a Bills Backers fixture. In fact, Bruce is one of the few who were around when I started going to Name This Joint in 1991.

I happen to agree with Bruce – as well as NYCBBB co-founder Matt Soreco, who between his call on Edwards and ability to impregnate his wife had him fairly strutting around Calico Jack’s after the Skins game (to be truthful, he was just standing there. But, whatever. It gives me a chance to mention his name in this column again, and we won the last time I did that.)

Let’s not go crazy…Trent won’t make anyone forget Tom Brady anytime soon. He has played five games, more or less, and didn’t lead the team to a touchdown today.

But…while I’m not forgetting Brady…am I remembering Doug Flutie?

Again, let’s not go crazy. Trent’s game is nothing like Flutie’s. After a handful of games, I can’t even be positive what Trent’s game is. But, he’s showing an early knack for keeping us in games without doing anything spectacular. The stats aren’t necessarily glossy. But, the wins are nice, and he did complete the big-gainer to Josh Reed that set up the game winning field goal.

More important in the overall scheme of things, I believe Trent is demonstrating far more pocket presence, poise and intelligence than JP Losman typically does. He’s a rookie, and I have no doubt he will do something before the season is out that makes me say, “huh?” But, I really think he’s less erratic than JP.

And how about that Fred Jackson?! Marshawn’s the man, but now we don’t have to rush him back if today’s an indicator.

Also, a tip of the cap to Rian Lindell, who really won the game for us today. I think he would have hit the second 51-yarder, had he needed to. Thanks to Coach Gibbs, he didn’t need to.

Finally, a comment on coverage of this game.

I’m writing this on Sunday night, early. I have no idea how the nature of ESPN’s reporting might change by tomorrow or even later tonight. But, for now, I’m shocked by the degree to which they sanitized the coverage of this game.

Look, I know that Bills/Skins isn’t the second-coming of the Packers/Cowboys from last week. But, it was an exciting game in its own right, even before the tragic Sean Taylor story is taken into consideration. Yet, ESPN is essentially reporting it as a game in which the Bills won on a last-second field goal – without any of the context, including (especially) Gibbs’ gaffe. I even heard them reference that the Skins “clearly didn’t have their heads in the game.”

What? I thought the Skins were revved up all day. How about giving the Bills some credit for winning the game?! It wasn’t handed to them at all.

When they showed Gibbs’ press conference, Gibbs manned up to his error as I knew he would, and said that he believes he cost them the game. I don’t know if I necessarily agree with that, but the point is that, based on ESPN’s coverage, the vast majority of viewers had no idea what Gibbs meant. And the ESPN folks didn’t refer back to it after Gibbs’ press conference.

Were they “protecting” Gibbs in the aftermath of Taylor’s death? Were they just sloppy? I don’t know. But, it was bad reporting. For me, it almost harkens back to the inane commentary of the “Teddy Bruschi Returns” game a couple of years ago.

No, I’m not suggesting an anti-Bills conspiracy. I’m sure they do all kinds of things I don’t like involving other teams; I’m just more aware of Bills-related coverage.

Anyway, the main takeaway today is that the Bills are, against logical odds, 6-6. If they can beat the Fish next week – and, please, don’t let them lose to the Fish – they will be above .500 after game 13. Who would have thought?