The wait is over. Tyrod Taylor will be officially be returning as the starting quarterback for the Buffalo Bills next season. It is apparently a five year deal, but restructured to pay Taylor just under 10 million dollars this season, down from about 16 million in the original contract.
According to Vic Carucci of the Buffalo News, the contract is primarily for two seasons, and year to year after that.
Obviously, this decision is going to be talked about for the coming months; Taylor is a polarizing figure amongst Bills fans. Many fans question his abilities as a passer and his ability to lead a team to a win with his arm. It’s tough to argue against that, considering over the last two seasons Taylor has a 48.5 completion percentage, four touchdowns, three interceptions and a 73.7 quarterback rating when his team is within seven points in the fourth quarter.
A source in the organization believes that the passing game led by Taylor was lacking. When factoring in the health of the receivers and the coaching staff’s commitment to the run game, our source believes that the “staff didn’t do him any favors.” Finally, this source ended the statement by saying that they need to “get him some wide receivers.”
— Cover 1 (@Cover1Bills) March 3, 2017
It is pretty clear that the staff believes Taylor possesses traits that can be maximized in this scheme. Head coach McDermott made the following statement:
“We are excited about the opportunity to keep Tyrod with the Bills. I’ve gotten a chance to know Tyrod and study him over the past several weeks, and he is both a great person and competitor. Doug and I are confident this was best move for the Bills at this time.”
HC McDermott was not the only one with high praise for the 6th year player; fellow teammate guard Richie Incognito was ecstatic and complimented Taylor’s demeanor on the field:
“He’s always cool, calm and collected. Never gets rattled. Same guy all the time. That’s what you want in your starting QB.”
Taylor’s elusiveness helps overcome mistakes made by offensive linemen in their pass sets, and when asked what he has to do differently for Taylor than normal drop back QBs, Incognito stated:
“Finish guys in pass pro so it opens lanes for him to run.”
I guess that is part of the reason that Taylor had 403 yards rushing on 51 scrambles, including three touchdowns.
Taylor is a quarterback that many coordinators would love to work with, including Rick Dennison. That’s why rumors were flying that the Broncos were trying to acquire T-Mobile prior to the 2015 season.
— Cover 1 (@Cover1Bills) February 5, 2017
Dennison has to love how Taylor “remains calm” when there is pressure in his face. In 2016, he was third in the league with 10 touchdown passes while under pressure to just four interceptions.
He is a player that can be efficient if put under center more often. In 2016, Taylor completed 68.1% of his passes when lined up under center, compared to 64.3% when in shotgun (stay tuned for this season long study). Yet, the offensive staff only put him under center 11.8% of the time. That should change under Dennison. In 2016, Denver QB Trevor Siemian was under center 64% of the time. Having Taylor under center more in passing situations helps keep his mechanics, specifically his footwork, in line and allows him to throw in rhythm. Good footwork by Taylor allows him to be more accurate, overall.
The zone run scheme with LeSean McCoy paired with play action executed by Tyrod Taylor should put him in run/pass options much more often than it did in Roman/Lynn’s offense. This plays to Taylor’s strengths, as he is a very good passer while on the run and obviously and elite runner.
Now that the Taylor decision is finalized, the team has a direction on both sides of the ball. The Bills organization can now go out and surround its starting quarterback with some weapons. With only three receivers under contract for next season, the front office certainly has their work cut out for them.
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