Gailey gives Edwards vote of confidence

PITTSFORD, N.Y. -- Trent Edwards is the man to beat in the Buffalo Bills' quarterback competition.

Bills coach Chan Gailey informed his quarterbacks Thursday morning Edwards would receive the best reps until further notice, relegating Ryan Fitzpatrick and Brian Brohm to a rotation between the second- and third-string units.

"I must be doing something right," Edwards said after camp opened Thursday at St. John Fisher College. "It's nice you're appreciated for what you've done in the past, but that's in the past. We need to grow off that.

"I know it's a competitive situation. I need to use that to my benefit. I feel that I feed off of that. There are guys right behind you that want to be in the position you're in. I have to make sure I'm out here every day, working and improving."

Gailey's initial plans don't necessarily mean Edwards will be the quarterback when the Bills play the Miami Dolphins on opening day. The Bills have 26 more training camp practices and four preseason games left in their discovery phase.

But Edwards' placement atop the depth chart is important. That means he outplayed Fitzpatrick and Brohm through offseason workouts and minicamp, a substantial amount of time to formulate Gailey's extended "first impression."

"He just made a lot more plays that we thought were positive plays during the course of the minicamps and OTAs," Gailey said. "He did a good job of handling the team. He did a good job when he had the threes as well as when he had the ones, and that was impressive to me, to be able to go out there and work with whoever he was throwing with."

In response to a question about why receiver Steve Johnson is lining up opposite Lee Evans with the first team, Gailey shared a philosophy that certainly extended to his decision at quarterback.

"We did that with most every position, what somebody earned into OTAs and minicamp," Gailey said of Johnson. "If you don't do it that way, then you're saying OTAs and minicamp weren't worth anything. We tried to make sure we used that as our evaluation process going into training camp."

Also notable was Brohm being slotted third on the first day of camp. Many Bills fans have held out hope Brohm would show enough to get consideration as the starter. The former blue-chip prospect turned Green Bay Packers castoff allows frustrated fans the chance to imagine something they haven't seen out of Edwards or Fitzpatrick.

In a seven-on-seven drill, Brohm took fewer snaps than rookie project Levi Brown.

"We still have a long way to go, and I'm still trying to get better," Brohm said. "It wasn't a disappointment for me. I'm still upbeat, still positive and going to come out here with the attitude I'm going to get better everyday."

Fitzpatrick said he wasn't disappointed with Gailey's early order. He admitted limited reps put him at a disadvantage when it comes to competing for the job, but stressed he never has been the top quarterback through six NFL camps yet has started 23 games.

Limited time "makes it harder, but at least for me, it's something I've done my whole career," Fitzpatrick said. "It's something you have to deal with. It's obviously better to get more reps, but that's something I've dealt with my whole career."