Taylor’s Future in the Hands of HC McDermott and OC Dennison?

The Buffalo Bills front office has a major decision that awaits regarding their starting quarterback Tyrod Taylor. That decision is just over a week away, and the Bills are taking all of the time that is at their disposal, which is the right thing to do. The Bills have a whole new staff, a whole new thought process, and a whole new set of eyes that are evaluating the roster, so they should take a methodical approach.

“We’re going to be methodical with all of our decisions. This position is critical. The quarterback position in the league is critical to the success of your football team. So we’re going to take all the time necessary to make the right decision for this organization both in the short and the long term.”

Sounds like McDermott’s answers from the NFL Combine press conferences are cookie cutter, as they should be. The organization should go right down to the wire on this decision and explore all options, i.e. trades, free agency, and the draft. Taylor is a great bargaining chip for teams that may be interested if he were to hit the free agent market for several reasons. Don’t believe me? Check out Chris Trapasso’s breakdown:

 

Although many believe the structure to Taylor’s contract was a bad decision, it gave the Bills organization an opportunity to move on from him via trade or by not picking up the option. This was smart because that means they projected the potential QB free agent pool and the NFL QB draft pool, and they realized that Taylor would have some value across the league.

“We’re going to exhaust every resource, every avenue and every option available to us before we make that decision.”-Sean McDermott

 

But who has the final say in the Tyrod decision? You would think Whaley, since he has control over the roster. To the contrary, Cover 1 has learned that the power over the Bills’ impending QB decision actually lies in the hands of HC McDermott and OC Rick Dennison. This makes sense, as they are both slated to coach here for at least several years. It’s a decision that I think will have to be signed off by Whaley, but will then be presented on as a unified decision. But ultimately, the new regime, with a new set of ‘eyes’, will evaluate Tyrod and come to a conclusion. This may bode well for Tyrod Taylor, considering the scheme fit and his prior relationship with Dennison back in 2014 with the Ravens.

So of course, when McDermott and Dennison have their meetings with Doug Whaley to explore all options and avenues, guys that have played in the new offensive system, free agent or otherwise, will be discussed. One guy that may have been whispered about is Broncos QB Trevor Siemian. He is someone Dennison has worked with and whose strengths and weaknesses are known by the offensive staff. He may even know that the Broncos organization will likely be, or is at least willing to, move on from him. John Elway drafted Paxton Lynch in the 2016 draft, so this story may not be far fetched.

Siemian is a below average quarterback, but a young quarterback who knows the system. In 2016, he threw for 18 touchdowns and 10 interceptions, but had a sub 60% completion percentage. But he has some traits that are desirable. Siemian averaged 2.55 seconds snap to attempt, which is a lot better than Tyrod Taylor’s league leading 2.97 seconds. He wasn’t impressive overall, but he also wasn’t handed anything, and you have to give him credit for that. He carried himself rather well after being named the starter for the defending champs. That kind of mental toughness is something that can’t be taught.

He won’t be a guy that the Bills would just throw into the starting lineup, in my opinion. He would be a fantastic backup if Taylor is brought back, or a low cost bridge QB that could get the Bills through the season, with eyes on the deep QB class of 2018. So I could see how Siemian could be tied to the Bills.

Siemian is a guy who in a pinch could be thrown into a game, has a quick trigger, knows the offense, and can make all of the throws. He has good mental processing, anticipation, and accuracy.

Pre-snap, he sees man coverage to the boundary. Post-snap, the corner ‘man-turns’ with the reciever, and the boundary linebacker carries the running back to the flats, so Siemian holds the middle zone defender. He gathers and delivers a perfect pass to the back shoulder of receiver Emmanuel Sanders.

 

It’s a tight window throw to the middle of the field with anticipation, something that Taylor has struggled with at times. Siemian is a poised QB that can definitely spin the ball, which bodes well if he were to play in Buffalo.

 

It was the kind of throw that Gary Kubiak noticed when Siemian was in college at Northwestern.

Kubiak said: “Before the draft in 2015, I was handed a list of prospects by our scouting department—I think about 14 or 15 prospects for being drafted, and then a list of ‘Others.’ It was about six guys who were ‘Others.’ So for the main prospects, I watched a few games and made an opinion. For the ‘Others,’ I watched a game, maybe two. When I watched Trevor, I saw him beat Notre Dame and play really well, and then I watched his game against [Cal]. The trees are blowing sideways, and he’s completing NFL-type throws. I like him. So I told [quarterbacks coach] Greg Knapp, ‘Do some homework on this kid.’”

The Bills have a coach that was involved with that homework. Dennison was the offensive coordinator in Denver and no doubt had a hand in scouting and drafting Siemien. The Broncos went on to draft Trevor in the seventh round.

But the Bills shouldn’t give up much to acquire Siemian. As I said, I think right now he is a backup and a below average QB, overall. He is a guy that should be brought in if the Broncos release him if the new regime doesn’t think he can compete for a back up job, or for a conditional future pick (and a LATE one at that).

Rumors like this seem to have some underlying reason for being released. It’s that time of year and trying to decipher that reason is what makes the offseason fun.

 

 

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