What does Seattle see in J. P. Losman?
We needn't be so sadistic to glimpse failed Buffalo Bills draft choices today. I've been in a lousy freakin’ mood since last November and scrolling through that treasure trove of hugely embarrassing misfires isn't going to help that.
Suffice it to say J. P. Losman, the team's first-round pick in 2004, cracks the top five of those all-time flops. The kid with a cannon for an arm, but all the smarts and football sense of Heidi Klum, blew up—as those hicks on SCTV once said, “blew up real good!”
Losman's failure to even resemble a starting NFL quarterback essentially cost ex-president/GM Tom “What The $%&#@ Are You Lookin’ At?” Donahoe his job, and ensured the Bills’ death spiral into ineptitude and obscurity would continue for the foreseeable future.
But as expected, J. P. is getting a second chance, inking a $630,000 deal with the Seattle Seahawks. Must be Pete Carroll knows something the rest of us don’t.
Father Time and Uncle Wear-and-Tear have clearly caught up with Seahawks incumbent Matt Hasselback, who's spent the past several years as an NFC West tackling dummy, surrounded by a lackluster cast that. Just a few seasons removed from the Super Bowl, the ’Hawks, were it not for the hapless St. Louis Rams, would've landed squarely in the cellar of football's Junior Varsity Division.
Why do you think the organization is taking such a gamble on Carroll?
But you have to give props to Carroll for trying something, anything, to reignite some offense out in Seattle. He's hoping Hasselback can get through the next season or two in one piece, and perhaps Losman, twenty-nine, and some dude named Charlie Whitehurst can subsequently step into the role.
Carroll must see something in Losman that reminds him of himself: a howling success in college but a miserable failure in the pros. Carroll’s rah-rah approach might work wonders with kids playing for their school, their teammates and a shot at The Show, but it rings hollow on seasoned, cynical pros whose butlers earn more than their coach.
Carroll’s tenures with New England and the Jets are proof of that, as is Losman’s absolute bust of a career here in Buffalo. But Seahawks fans are being asked to focus instead on Carroll’s national titles with USC, and Losman’s picking apart of second-rate college defenses at Tulane and with Las Vegas in the, ahem, United Football League.
There's a silver lining to all of this for the new-look ’Hawks: the Buffalo Curse, wherein an obscure subchapter dictates that players who performed like clowns with our sports teams overachieve and excel in other cities. I'd provide examples, but that won't help my bad mood, either. But with the Curse still alive and well, there's hope yet for that rabid Seattle faithful that Losman can plume out of football's dustbin and emerge as The Man.
But it’s something they ought not to bank on. Losman’s right arm is a howitzer, but there’s so much more to being an NFL quarterback. Unless a once-dormant light suddenly switched on during his UFL stint, he'll continue to miss on short and intermediate passes, take bad sucks and costly fumbles, and read NFL defenses about as well as Miss South Carolina 2007 negotiates a map of the Middle East.
At the very least, his drum-playing and Yoda quoting won’t seem quite so out-of-place in King County. But as far as Losman’s chances of resurrecting his NFL career?
As Yoda might say, “Optimistic I am not.”