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Bills bench Edwards, Fitzpatrick named starter

Buffalo Bills coach Chan Gailey did not wait long to make a big change on his woebegone offense.

Gailey announced Monday that quarterback Trent Edwards has been sent to the bench, with Ryan Fitzpatrick to take over the job permanently, starting Sunday in New England.

“We’re going to make a change at quarterback,” Gailey said. “He’s going to take the reins, and see where that takes us. We’re looking for a spark. We’re looking for something that gives us a new look, a new thought process. … We’re looking for the right combination. We haven’t found that yet.”

Edwards and the Bills’ offense rank dead last in the NFL at 176 yards per game through their first two games, both losses.

The team’s scoring average of 8.5 is 31st in the league, ahead of only San Francisco. Edwards in particular has been dreadful, completing 29-of-55 passes (55.1 percent) for 241 yards, one touchdown and two interceptions.

The protection up front hasn’t been much better, as Edwards has been sacked seven times, tied for third-most in the league. The Bills’ passing average of 89 yards per game is also last in the league. Gailey cautioned that the move was not made solely because of Edwards’ performance.

“The implication might be that it’s all Trent’s fault and that’s not the case. We’ve got a lot of things we’ve got to work on," the coach said.

Fitzpatrick, who started eight games last season for the Bills, was excited about the opportunity.

“Obviously we have a lot of work to do. We’ve got to correct a lot of things from the last few weeks,” he said. “We’ve got a tough opponent this week in New England, but [I’m’ really excited for the challenge.”

Both Gailey and Fitzpatrick said the Bills’ offense has lacked a spark in the first two games.

“Sometimes the best thing to do is just move the pieces around a little bit and see what combinations fit,” Fitzpatrick said.

Here is audio from interviews with Fitzpatrick (top) and Gailey (below).

---Jay Skurski

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Bills | NFL
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