For Buffalo Bills starting quarterback Tyrod Taylor, the pressure has certainly mounted following his last start against the Oakland Raiders. The Bills’ playoff hopes require a great deal to go their way, but before anything, they need a win over the Pittsburgh Steelers at home on Sunday.
Taylor is in a big spot, at home against another team that’s going for a playoff position, and potentially armed with all his top skill players in some capacity. With Sammy Watkins’ return to the practice field, and the Bills being impressed with how much Robert Woods has been able to do in his first week back from a knee injury, the Bills will have their top three receivers (Watkins, Woods, Marquise Goodwin), top tight end (Charles Clay), and top running back (LeSean McCoy) at Taylor’s disposal.
It all even came to a point on Wednesday, where Taylor appeared to get frustrated during his press conference over questions pointing to the bigger picture, and the Bills’ looming decision on his $30 million option that’s due to him if still on the roster through the first few days of the new league year in March.
Is the pressure getting to him under intense scrutiny? On the field, the Bills haven’t seen it.
“Tyrod, he’s a mentally tough young man. You don’t have to motivate him or inspire him — he already has a lot of that,” Bills offensive coordinator Anthony Lynn said Thursday. “I just wanted him to stay focused on what we had to do this last quarter of the season, and he came out [Wednesday] and had one of his best practices. Some people crumble under pressure, some people… it brings the best out of them. I think he’s the latter.”
Even his teammates haven’t noticed anything with Taylor.
“Everyone knows, to play this position, you’ve got to have thick skin,” said third string quarterback Cardale Jones. “No one mentioned it, it’s the first I’ve ever heard of it. No one feeds into the outside.”
Taylor and the Bills have a big chance to make a first step toward a potential run to the playoffs on Sunday against the Steelers.