Bills coach McDermott reiterates support for Tyrod Taylor
By JOHN WAWROW
Aug. 19, 2017
ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. (AP) — Bills coach Sean McDermott didn't want to be misunderstood on Friday when given a second opportunity to back Tyrod Taylor as the team's starter.
"I have all the confidence in the world in Tyrod," McDermott said. "Tyrod's going to start for us this week, and I look forward to him getting back on track."
McDermott was put in a position to voice his support for Taylor a day after providing a non-committal answer regarding the quarterback's status immediately following a 20-16 preseason loss to the Philadelphia Eagles.
"We're always going to evaluate everything, and that goes for everything including the quarterback position," McDermott had said, when asked if he would consider a change in quarterbacks after Taylor and the starting offense sputtered in playing most of the first half.
Whatever doubts were raised by his initial response, McDermott was quick to clarify them on Friday, saying: "By no means was that meant to come across that way."
Having Taylor's back doesn't mean the first-year coach is happy with how his starting offense has sputtered through its first two preseason appearances.
"I want us to get into a rhythm offensively," he said. "We continue to evolve as an offense. That's just the second game, keeping the big-picture perspective in mind. But we've got to do some things to get the offense on track, there's no doubt about it."
The Bills' starting offense has combined for 165 yards, nine first downs and accounted for two field goals over nine drives in two games, including a preseason-opening 17-10 loss to Minnesota.
Accuracy has been an issue for Taylor, who went 8 of 18 for 53 yards and two interceptions in six series against Philadelphia. Protecting the quarterback is also a concern after Taylor was sacked three times by the Eagles.
In the meantime, rookie fifth-round draft pick Nathan Peterman has been more productive in jumping into the No. 2 spot ahead of veteran backup T.J. Yates over the past week. Peterman has gone a combined 23 of 45 for 279 yards and a touchdown in two games.
In Taylor's defense, he's still getting accustomed to a completely revamped group of receivers made up of Anquan Boldin , who was signed on Aug. 7, and rookie second-round pick Zay Jones.
Then there's Jordan Matthews, who is week to week after hurting his chest in his first practice since being acquired in a trade with the Eagles. The trade coincided with Buffalo dealing starting receiver Sammy Watkins to the Los Angeles Rams.
Taylor refused to use Watkins' departure as an excuse.
"Stuff happens in this league and you have to be able to adapt," Taylor said following the game against Philadelphia.
"I take it upon myself to go out there and correct what needs to be corrected," he added. "We are all learning something new, but we've had it long enough now that there is no need to make excuses."
Time, however, is running short, with Buffalo's season opener against the New York Jets just over three weeks away.
The last chance for the starting offense to get extensive playing time will come in Buffalo's next preseason game, at Baltimore on Aug. 26. Taylor and the starters are scheduled to play into the third quarter. Buffalo closes the preseason hosting Detroit on Aug. 31, when teams traditionally rest their starters.
Center Eric Wood said he has no reason to be concerned by the offense.
"We've produced well in practice, it just hasn't necessarily translated well into games," Wood said. "Yeah, we know we need to produce better than we've been, but my confidence level hasn't been shaken."
NOTES: WR Rod Streater was walking on crutches and had his left foot in a protective cast after being carted off the field against Philadelphia. McDermott didn't have an injury update in saying players were still being evaluated. ... LT Cordy Glenn is still listed week to week, but has rejoined the team after having a medical injection to address a sore left foot that's bothered the starter all offseason. ... The Bills are off Saturday before returning to practice on Sunday.