NFL Nation: Matt Baker

Posted by's Tim Graham

CANTON, Ohio -- The Buffalo Bills opened their preseason schedule Sunday night with a 21-18 loss to the Tennessee Titans in the annual Pro Football Hall of Fame Game.

Here are five Bills observations from Fawcett Stadium:

  Matthew Emmons/US Presswire
  Bills receiver Terrell Owens got involved early in Buffalo's Hall of Fame game loss to Tennessee.
1. If you had to guess which team opened camp one week ago and which opened two weeks ago ...

The Titans appeared to be the much sharper squad when their first- and second-teamers were on the field. The Bills opened training camp on July 25, making them the first in the NFL to break out the air horn, at least a week before 13 other clubs. The Titans got started on July 31.

Bills quarterback Trent Edwards had only one series and concluded it with an interception at the Titans' 7-yard line.

Tennessee seemed to come up with the big play when it needed one against Buffalo's top players. On the game's first drive, Titans coach Jeff Fisher called for a fake punt that rookie A.J. Trapasso executed exceptionally, hiding the ball behind his back as he swung his leg and then dashing up the left sideline for a 40-yard touchdown.

Titans quarterback Kerry Collins was 7 of 10 for 82 yards. Collins picked on second-year right cornerback Leodis McKelvin for 19 yards to convert a third-and-15 situation on an eventual touchdown drive.

"The third-and-15 was a critical down in that series," Bills coach Dick Jauron said. "We can't let people off in that. The percentages are highly in our favor, and we just gave up a first down."

Early in the second quarter, the Bills were denied on third and fourth down from the Titans' 5-yard line. The Bills needed 2 yards for the first down on each snap.

"We've got to convert that and thought we had a chance to," Jauron said.

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Posted by's Tim Graham

The Buffalo Bills' most significant revelations Thursday dealt with two players they didn't want any more: Guard Derrick Dockery and tight end Robert Royal.

But they had a lot of assets they preferred to keep. writer Chris Brown wraps up all the moves they made Thursday.

The Bills re-signed third-string quarterback Gibran Hamdan, fullback Corey McIntyre and defensive back Dustin Fox.

Brown also reports the Bills extended low tenders to linebacker Keith Ellison and safety George Wilson.

The low tender is for one year at $1.01 million and gives the Bills the opportunity to match any offer sheet those players might sign. If the Bills decline to match, they would receive a draft pick commensurate with where that player was drafted -- in Ellison's case a sixth-round pick, and in Wilson's case nothing because he wasn't drafted.

The Bills also retained the rights to several exclusive-rights players: Quarterback Matt Baker, running back Fred Jackson, running back Bruce Hall, tight ends Derek Schouman and Jonathan Stupar, defensive end Copeland Bryan, linebacker Blake Costanzo and long snapper Ryan Neill.

One move not listed in Brown's report is tackle Kirk Chambers. My sources tell me terms have been reached on a multiyear deal. Chambers would have been an unrestricted free agent at 12:01 a.m. Friday.

Posted by's Tim Graham

TORONTO -- Backup quarterback J.P. Losman drove the Buffalo Bills to their only touchdown in Saturday's preseason opener.

Trent Edwards, still viewed with a certain amount of skepticism even though he's the organization's unquestioned starter, completed 1 of 5 passes for 18 yards and failed to score after the Washington Redskins fumbled the opening kickoff.

Edwards needed to do something notable in Thursday night's exhibition with the Pittsburgh Steelers in the Rogers Centre.

Mission accomplished.

Edwards looked sensational in his two series. He conducted a high-efficiency attack to a pair of touchdowns before leaving the game in the second quarter. At the time of this posting, the Bills lead the Steelers, 17-7, in the third quarter.

The second-year pro from Stanford was 9 of 11 for 104 yards and two touchdown passes to tight end Robert Royal. Lee Evans caught three passes for 55 yards.

"There's been plenty of time to throw the ball, and that's allowed our receivers to get open down the field and allowed me plenty of time to be accurate," Edwards said at halftime.

His first drive was a methodical march that began on his own 33-yard line and concluded with a clutch touchdown pass to Royal in the back of the end zone on third and goal from the 7.

Edwards' second drive was a masterpiece. It officially went 90 yards, but a sack on the first play -- James Harrison broke free of left tackle Langston Walker and nearly pulled a Turkey Jones pile driver on Edwards -- dropped the Bills on their own 3. (The Bills need to reach an accord with Pro Bowl holdout Jason Peters ASAP).

Edwards scrambled 22 yards to get the Bills into respectable territory then completed all five of his passes for 57 yards. On third and 4 from the Steelers' 13, he tossed to Royal at the 5-yard line. Royal took it in from there.

It was a monumental peace-of-mind performance.

Losman completed 4 of 5 passes for 19 yards before giving way to Matt Baker midway into the third quarter.


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