J. P. Losman
birthdate=birth date and age|1981|3|12
birthplace=Venice, Los Angeles, California
* Second-team All-
* Unitas Golden Arm Award semifinalist (2003)
Jonathan Paul "J. P." Losman (born
March 12, 1981in city-state|Venice|California) is an American football quarterbackfor the Buffalo Billsof the National Football League. He was drafted by the Bills 22nd overall in the 2004 NFL Draft. He played college footballat Tulane.
After a standout high school career at Venice High School, Losman accepted an athletic scholarship to attend college at UCLA. He enrolled early during the spring semester of 1999, in order to compete for the starting quarterback position. However, due in part to distractions from friends and family who attended Bruins practices, Losman opted to demand that he be the starting quarterback for the upcoming season. However, UCLA suggested to him that he would not be the starter, forcing Losman to find a NCAA Division I program in which he could compete for the job as starting quarterback.
Losman eventually decided to transfer to
Tulane Universityto play for then-head coach Chris Scelfo, who had made a late recruiting run at him just prior to his committing to UCLA. While Tulane had long been a academic powerhouse, its football program had for the most part struggled in recent years -- with the notable exception of a 12-0 season in 1998 in which the program won the Liberty Bowl and finished ranked 7th in the nation.
After sitting out the 1999 season due to NCAA transfer rules, Losman served as the backup quarterback for two seasons behind future NFL 1st round pick
Patrick Ramsey. Losman would see spot starter's duty in his first two seasons. He passed for 299 yards and 2 touchdowns in his first start against East Carolina during his freshman season. In 2002, his first year as a full-time starter, Losman led the Green Wave to an 8-5 record and a 36-28 victory in the inaugural Hawaii Bowlagainst the host-team Hawaii Warriors. Following a 3-1 start in the 2003 season, Tulane suffered multiple injuries that depleted its already thin depth on defense, and slumped to a 5-7 finish. Losman completed his collegiate career having completed 570-of-987 passes (57.7 percent) for 6,754 yards, 60 touchdowns, and 27 interceptions. He also ran for 241 yards, with 10 scores on 237 carries.
While at Tulane, he earned a Political Science major with a minor in Media Arts.
After the Buffalo Bills selected Wisconsin wide receiver Lee Evans with the 13th pick of the 2004 Draft, the Bills traded back into the first round by trading their second round pick to the
Dallas Cowboysand selected Losman with the 22nd pick in the first round of the NFL Draft. He was the first quarterback to be drafted by the Bills in the first round since 1983, when the team drafted Jim Kelly. Like Kelly, Losman was drafted in a quarterback-rich class, and was the fourth (and final) quarterback taken in the first round that year, following Eli Manning, Philip Rivers, and Ben Roethlisberger.
Losman's NFL career got off to a shaky start during his first training camp when teammate Troy Vincent ran into Losman and broke his leg in a freak accident Losman suffered a broken left fibula, which delayed his development as a rookie. He eventually recovered and saw limited action in the
2004 NFL season, appearing briefly in three games and completing 3-of-5 passes for 32 yards and 1 interceptionwhile backing up Drew Bledsoe. Following the Bills' February 2005 release of Bledsoe, Losman was named the team's starting quarterback by head coach Mike Mularkey.
In the first game of the 2005 season (Losman's first professional start), Losman led the Bills to a 22-7 victory over the
Houston Texans. Losman subsequently struggled with his accuracy and, subsequently, his confidence; with those struggles followed consecutive Bills losses. This eventually led the Bills to bench Losman in favor of veteran quarterback Kelly Holcombin the fifth game of the 2004 season. After Holcomb suffered a head injury in the first quarter of the Bills' Week 10 game against the Kansas City Chiefs, Losman returned to the lineup and threw two quick touchdown strikes to Lee Evans, leading the Bills to a 14-3 victory. The Bills went on to lose all but one of their remaining games in 2005 with Holcomb and Losman splitting time under center.
In a news conference J.P. Losman was quoted saying, "I will take my Man Pills and get back into the game."
The Bills cleaned house during the following off-season, with changes in management and the coaching staff.
Marv Levy, the team's new general manager and former Bills head coach, and Dick Jauron, the new head coach, planned on having Losman compete for the starting job against Holcomb and free-agent signee Craig Nall. Losman won the job during the preseason.
Losman was considered by many to be a bust until his much-improved 2006 season, in which he threw 19 touchdowns and 14 interceptions in 16 games, with 300-yard games against the
New York Jetsand Houston Texans. Losman led last-minute, fourth quarter scoring drives to beat the Texans and Jacksonville Jaguars. For the season, Losman had a 62.5 completion percentage for the season, a record for Buffalo Bill quarterbacks in a full 16-game season. He was rated the 11th best passer in the NFL, with an 84.9 passer rating.
Losman's performance over the last half of the 2006 season was greatly improved. However, the offense as a whole was hurt by a below-average rushing attack that created many 3rd and long situations. After the season, the Bills traded
Willis McGaheeto the Baltimore Ravens and drafted Cal running back Marshawn Lynchwith the 12th overall selection of the 2007 Draft and Fresno State running back Dwayne Wrightin the 4th round.
Losman was also mired behind a sieve-like offensive line for most of the first half of the 2006 season; subsequent personnel changes made during the Bills bye week resulted in improved offensive line play and, consequently, more improved and consistent production from Losman. Following the season, the Bills further bolstered their offensive line in free agency, signing guard
Derrick Dockery, right tackle Langston Walker, and guard/center Jason Whittle.
The Bills drafted Stanford quarterback
Trent Edwardswith the 92nd overall pick in the 2007 NFL Draft. Edwards was considered by many to be the 3rd best available quarterback prospect in the draft (behind #1 overall Jamarcus Russell and #22 overall Brady Quinn), but waited until late in the 3rd round prior to the Bills selection. Public statements from the Bills coaching staff and management reaffirmed Losman's title as the Bills undisputed starting quarterback after the draft.
For 2007, Buffalo offensive coordinator
Steve Fairchildhas indicated that with the improved offensive line he plans to employ a more wide-open offense utilizing multiple wide receiver sets and taking greater advantage of the running backs in the passing game.
September 23Losman suffered a grade one sprain of his left knee in the first series of plays in a game against New England. [cite web|title=Losman, Poz Injured In Blowout Loss To Patriots|url=http://www.buffalobills.com/news/news.jsp?news_id=5289|work=BuffaloBills.com|date=2007-09-23|accessdate= 2008-02-08] Losman was hit late after completing a four-yard pass to Marshawn Lynch by New England nose tackle Vince Wilfork, who was assessed a 15 yard roughing the passer penalty.
"It was just a simple swing pass to get an early completion. The guy came in, hit me in the knee," said Losman, who stayed in the game for two plays "I knew something was wrong from the get-go, but I figured I'd play a few plays and maybe the pain would go away." [ [cite web|title=Losman could miss a couple of weeks with sprained left knee.|url=http://sports.espn.go.com/nfl/news/story?id=3033044]
Losman was out for the next two games and was available for the
October 21home game against the Baltimore Ravens, but Dick Jauron chose to give Edwards the nod, just for the week. Edwards performance impressed Jauron enough that on October 23, Trent Edwards was named the starting quarterback for the Bills [cite web|url=http://www.buffalobills.com/news/news.jsp?news_id=5445|title=Bills To Stick With Edwards At QB|work=BuffaloBills.com|date=2007-10-23|accessdate=2008-02-07] , having won 2 of the 3 games he started. Reports surfaced, however, that many players on the team were unhappy about Losman losing his job. The reports continued to allege that team owner Ralph Wilson, Jr. wanted Losman benched so that he could not reach the statistical milestones needed for his bonus.cite web|work=ESPN.com|date=2007-10-28|title=Source: Losman not starting in part due to ownership's financial considerations|url=http://sports.espn.go.com/nfl/news/story?id=3083947|accessdate=2007-10-29 ]
October 28, 2007game at the New York Jets, Edwards injured his wrist and was replaced by Losman. Losman led the Bills on two consecutive scoring drives, including one that ended with an 85-yard touchdown pass to WR Lee Evans. Starting the next game for injured Trent Edwards, Losman threw for almost 300 yards and one touchdown to lead the Buffalo Bills to a win.
At the end of the season Losman was upset about losing his job to Edwards and wanted to be traded, but said he would play out the season if necessary.
Still requesting a trade, Losman says he will play out the last season of his contract if needed. [cite web|work=ESPN.com|date=2008-01-04|title=After losing starting job, Bills' Losman wants to be traded|url=http://sports.espn.go.com/nfl/news/story?id=3181919|accessdate=2008-02-08]
Although not officially affixed with the
bustlabel, Losman has not achieved the rare level of success reached by his fellow Class of 2004 quarterbacks. The three others from the first round class ( Eli Manning, Philip Rivers, and Ben Roethlisberger) have all been selected to play in the Pro Bowl, while Manning and Roethlisberger have each won a Super Bowl. Losman came in for the injured Edwards in Week 5, and gave an average performance in the Bills loss. His best moment was a deep ball to Lee Evans that went for a Touchdown.
* [http://www.jplosman7.com/ J.P. Losman: Official Website]
* [http://www.niagara-gazette.com/Buffalo%20Bills/gnnbuffalorbills_story_276001058.html Bills: J.P. Losman morphing into able QB]
* [http://www.buffalobills.com/news/news.jsp?news_id=4582 Most Improved Player: J.P. Losman]
* [http://www.sportsultra.com/nfl/player/jp_losman/1505/news.jsp?track=nav J.P. Losman News and Video at SportsUltra] .
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